Samburu update: Snakes, tragedy and accepted as one of them
F* is part of a TIMO team seeking to reach the unreached Samburu. In a recent newsletter, he shared this sad yet hopeful story.
I didn’t even have my stick
Back in November we were sitting outside our home when a group of kids from one of our neighbours came to ask for our help urgently as a lady had been bitten by a snake. By the time we’d got there we realised that there was really very little we could do but wait for Martin to come and drive her to hospital. After the car arrived and carried her off we were summoned to join a group of men who went to find the snake and kill it. With no weapon in our hands (I didn’t even have my stick), we followed the men to the place where the snake had been sighted. J* spotted it surprisingly easily. After an hour of throwing rocks at it, it eventually fell to the ground where it was killed.
The snake they killed was thought to be a Black Mamba. It’s one of the fastest snakes in the world and has the ability to kill an adult in less than 20 minutes.
We returned to the house and in a short time the vehicle returned, with very sad news that the lady had died. She was the mother of my language helper, Lenajuloi. It was awful to see the outpourings of grief but amazing to see how this community really loved each other. The following day all the men, including us, participated in digging her grave. For us, it felt like we were beginning to be accepted as one of them and it gave us some cultural insights; we love these people and hope that we will be able to share true hope with these families.
Longing for the day
Further to this tragic event, there have been two more in our area. A moran was shot and killed by another moran, in an awful accident. A young boy from another family came down with a severe illness and died in hospital. We are living in a world full of suffering and, when it is your friends and neighbours who suffer, it breaks your heart. Although we are thankful to God that he has kept us from dangerous wildlife, gunshot wounds and major illness, we long for the day when all this suffering will come to an end.
* F & J’s names in this article have had to be removed for security purposes. Following the conclusion of this two year TIMO team, both F & J have gone to work in creative access locations with AIM, continuing to be passionate about sharing the gospel with those yet to hear.