Roxana Tiefenbach of Trinity Lutheran Church in Leader, Saskatchewan, recently returned from a Canadian Foodgrains Bank food study tour in Kenya and Rwanda. Part of her travels were sponsored by CLWR.
In Kajiado, Kenya, a Maasai tribe has been organized into self-help groups using some land to call their own, given to them by the government, in replacement of their typical nomadic patterns. Goats had been given to or purchased by women in a three-phase Canadian Foodgrains Bank-sponsored project through their Mennonite Central Committee partner. Out of this subsidization came ownership for the women, growth of goat herds and production of milk for nutrition.
Through the assistance of an interpreter, the food study tour participants sat on the ground alongside members of the Maasai tribe and asked and fielded questions in a question-and-answer time. “We have this issue here, do you have this problem?” they asked us. What a surreal moment to be giving advice, as it were, to these farmers/herdsmen. They sought learning as they strove for their own community development. Pride and progress was evident there and realized further when we were taken to a newly constructed community shed built to hold grain seeds set aside for next year’s planting. In the past these had been retained in their home but were often consumed or lost due to poor storage. As all present, from both sides of the ocean, encircled the stored bags of grain, we were united in Christ through prayer. In that shed, I experienced a “one in the spirit” moment that day.