The morning air was filled with sounds of the Maasi Community of Olderkesi in Kenya. The loud whistles of the herdsmen, the tinkle of livestock bells, and the laughter of children could be heard as we walked across the plain. The friendly conversations of men and women moving toward the Africa Gospel Church mixed with the other rhythms of Sunday morning in Maasi Land.
Jon and Vera Steury, our WGM missionaries in Olderkesi, led us toward the church amid warm greetings and salutations from the Maasi people. I was impressed with the friendly acceptance we experienced. The pastor extended the hand of Christian fellowship as we entered the church. We felt at home with these wonderful people.
This was a special day for Jon and Vera. Under their instruction, several women had learned to read. This called for a time of celebration and special recognition. As Jon called the names of the women, they stepped to the front of the church to the applause of the congregation. Vera presented each lady a new Bible in the Ma language. The proceedings were interrupted by an older lady. She stood before the group clutching her Bible close to her chest. In her mother tongue, she spoke, “Kanyor orori le ngai – Kanyor orori le ngai!” Translated it means, “I love God’s word.” As she continued, the translator told us what she was saying. “This book is my most precious possession. I sleep with it by my side for safety. I carry it as my shield for protection. I keep it close to me all the time… And someday I hope I’ll be able to read it. Kanyor orori le ngai.”
I could not hold back the tears or the goose bumps. I felt a sense of shame as I thought how many of us do not read God’s word when we have every opportunity. Our Bibles often lay on an end table or shelf and gather dust. At times, other books or magazines cover it up in careless disregard. Oh, God, please give us the love for your word like this beautiful lady! Help us to read it daily and treasure its divinely inspired message. Teach us to use it as a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. May we truly say, “ I love God’s word.”
~ Brother Roy