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Rendille people

June 2012 | by Julia Cross

Rendille people

I was recently privileged to spend three months working with Nick and Lynne Swanepoel in Korr, northern Kenya. I was teaching English at the emerging secondary school there, the latest addition to the Tirrim Project.
    The students in the secondary school are studying hard for their exams, and so grateful to be able to access free education, as it gives them a future and a hope for a better life. They listen eagerly to the Word of God which is taught daily by Christian staff. If only such a thing were possible in UK schools!
    The Tirrim project now runs seven nursery schools, three primary schools and one secondary school in the Korr area. Between them, they educate and feed more than 1000 local children, most of whom would otherwise be destitute and uneducated.
    The Rendille are a tribe of nomadic camel herders in northern Kenya’s arid desert land, who stick strongly to their traditional ways. However their current lifestyle is becoming unsustainable due to drought, hunger, overpopulation and loss of land to surrounding tribes.
    
Rich in faith

Mr and Mrs Swanepoel have worked with the Rendille people for 30 years, transcribing their language for the first time and translating the New Testament, as well as establishing literacy classes for adults and children.
    It was exciting to be a small part of the work, where the community is being transformed by the gospel, and to see the difference that literacy has made in the lives of the people.
    Though still poor, they are rich in faith and love for the Lord. The growing church, which is led by faithful local men, now has a regular congregation of around 300 adults and more than 200 children in the Sunday school.
    If anyone would like to contribute to this outstanding project, or to sponsor a child in the primary school, please contact Africa Inland Mission and ask about the Rendille Education Assistance Project.
    Many of those whose school fees have been paid in the past now work for the project as pastors, translators or school teachers; the investment in their lives has paid dividends, as they seek to serve God by helping others in their community.
    I left with many happy memories of sharing warm fellowship with dear African brothers and sisters in their homes, as well as missionary friends.
    May God receive the praise for what he is doing among the Rendille people, as they come to know him. And may our Lord Jesus Christ be glorified in their lives.
Julia Cross
Tel 0115 9398 120 or email
[email protected]

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