At first, she looked at me with some confusion. My friend came over to us in order to translate and explain to her what I had handed her. It was the summer of 2018, and we had just exited her corrugated metal home with a packed dirt floor. We sat in plastic chairs in her home while our African driver explained the Maasai culture we were experiencing. We heard the clamor of the women bustling outside over a fire with their pots clanging and the fire sparking, and they soon brought us hot tea. I don’t recall what the tea tasted like other than I know I drank it in humility and thankfulness. It was evident that it was made with great hospitality for their stranger visitors.
I saw it in action: Love speaks no language.
The simplicity of their life was starkly evident as they had very little possessions and only small provisions. They trusted their agrarian lifestyle and their cattle herds to sustain them. As I exited the hut in awe of their care for us, I felt compelled to give them something in return. They had shared what little they had with complete strangers and treated us as friends. I remembered that the day before I had purchased a bag of coconuts from a fruit stand while in Nairobi, and it seemed fitting to give this offering to the matriarch of the family. After asking our African guide if this would be an acceptable practice, I went to the van, found the coconuts, and nervously approached her.
She was confused as she had never seen a coconut before because the trees only grow on the Kenyan coast. After our guide explained in her native language that it was a fruit that grows on trees many hours away along the coast of Kenya, you could see her excitement in receiving the gift. The guide motioned how she could drill into it to drink the coconut water and then chop the fruit in order to eat the inside. Then she hugged me and held me close. I felt immense amounts of humility in that moment. The bag of coconuts only costed me a few dollars, and she looked at them in amazement and gratefulness as if I had given her gold jewelry of great value. Then she spoke to me in her native language as if I knew exactly what she was saying. I smiled and nodded in acknowledgement of her thanks. She posed for a picture with me proudly holding her coconuts, as the tribal Africans rarely see images of themselves. This picture of the two of us became my favorite from our trip.
Gratefulness is universal. Love and acceptance require no paycheck. While she thought she had received the greatest gift, she instead gave me a gift I will never forget.
In a few months, members of our ministry will return to Kenya and Uganda to lead essential training to African pastors and ministry leaders, training not available in their areas. Some of these leaders travel great distances in order to attend as they are in great need for relevant Biblical guidance for the issues they face. The support and education is life-giving and invaluable to them, as evidenced by the countless testimonies they offer at the conclusion. We invite you to partner with our team as they lead this training. You can find more information about how to support our ministry at https://amazed15.org/support-our-work.
Jessica Carlson, Coach