By Rev. Tim Sullivan


ngekee Since the beginning of WTWH’s work in Africa, our mission has been to teach the truth of the Gospel without inserting our own cultural bias. Too often, Christians have equated their commission from Jesus, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mk 16:15) with God’s command to Israel to subdue and secure the Land of Canaan. But Joshua was not called to turn the pagan nations from darkness to light. His mission was to "utterly destroy them" (Deut. 20:17).

The Good News of Jesus does not require the assimilation of indigenous peoples into occidental (western) culture. Sadly, this has been the pattern the church has followed. Since the day Evan and I first preached in Maasai land, we have rejected this notion. The truth is, the Maasai traditions are far closer to a biblical ideal than our own way of life here in America.

It is not our mission to strip people of their cultural identity so that they can be assimilated into modern society and brought into subjection to the denominations. The Gospel will never reach the Maasai if we insist that they first become "Swahilis" (a somewhat derogatory term used to describe a generic, deculturized East Africaner). True conversion is an inward reality.

"Engai" (the Maa name for God) has given the Maasai a cultural foundation to receive his Son. To destroy that culture would be to undo the Lord’s work. Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil" (Mt. 5:17). The next logical step in their spiritual journey is to receive Christ. With strong roots in Christ and their heritage, the Maasai will not get lost in their radically changing world.

The Worship and Historical Center in Madungulu village will give WTWH a meeting place in the village where we are not under the jurisdiction of the local denominations. Time and again, the Maasai have marvelled that the message of WTWH unites them, when the denominations divided them.

I am glad that Pastor Ngekee knew of WTWH’s commitment to help build this center before he passed away. I am glad that the elders of the village accepted my idea to name the center in honor of this man of God.

It is not the policy of WTWH to receive special donations for specific projects. All donations we receive go into one account and are distributed as wisely as we can. Both the Historical Center and the Maasai Women’s Group are very important to us, but not to the neglect of our other works at home and abroad. Please know that we are squeezing every penny to its maximum use. I hope you will be generous in your support.



From the June 2009 issue of The Vine & Branches