The Massai people in Tanzania and Kenya
Not far from the border between Kenya and Tanzania can be found the mountain the Maasai call “Oldoinyo le Engai,” “God’s mountain.” It is halfway between Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru.
The mountain is considered a gift from God and the Maasai worship in its shadows, praying for their cattle and children. Thunder and lightning are nothing but the presence and power of Engai, who lives on the mountain where the Maasai bring their lambs to be sacrificed. The synergy that the Maasai have with nature as they harvest the land is tightly connected to their faith in “god.”
The Maasai are a semi-nomadic people located primarily in Kenya and northern Tanzania.
The Maasai are cattle and goat herders. Certain sacred rituals involve the drinking of cow blood. Maasai culture revolves around their cattle. One of their spiritual beliefs is that their rain god “Ngai” gave all cattle to the Maasai people, and therefore anyone else who possesses cattle must have stolen them from the Maasai. This has led to some fatal altercations with other tribes of the regions over the centuries when they attempt to reclaim their “property.”
Despite the growth of modern civilization, the Maasai have largely managed to maintain their traditional ways, although this becomes more challenging each year. Once considered fierce warriors and feared by all tribes in East Africa, the Maasai lost most of their power after a string of calamities. They were hit by drought, smallpox and cattle pest. The ability to graze their cattle over large territories has also diminished due to increased urbanisation and the declaration of the Maasai Mara and Serengeti forest and National Game Reserves, which was all formerly Maasai grazing land.
Some of the Maasai needs include literacy, healthcare, and the digging of boreholes and wells for when watering holes dry up in the dry season. Teaching the community on entrepreneurship, home based care for the sick, orphans and vulnerable children are some of the entry methods that bring physical relief while sharing the lifesaving gospel with the Maasai.
- Open doors for missionaries to take the Gospel to the Maasai.
- Persistent prayer breaks down the resistance of demonic powers and the influence of traditional religions. Adopt the Maasai for persistent and consistent prayer.