It’s 3:10 pm at Loitip Primary School, a day before the Ilchamus New Testament launching ceremony. The school compound is silent in spite of the fact that the students are yet to break for the weekend. It is quite hot and sunny with no shade to take cover from the scorching sun. Women can be seen at a distance, carrying water jerry cans on their backs as they walk back and forth from the watering points nearby.
I am shortly distracted by the sound of heavy footsteps. I look in the direction of the footsteps and a few metres from where I stand is a young man walking in the opposite direction. We somehow look in each other’s direction and I signal for him to come to me. ‘Hello, what’s your name?’ I ask him. “I am Leshan,” he responds. ‘You are not in school today?’ No, the teacher asked me to patch a torn part of my school uniform,” he says.
Leshan is a standard seven pupil at a nearby primary school. He is also a Sunday school teacher at his local church. From our conversation, he has a grasp of the historic occasion that is about to take place in his community. “I am aware of the unveiling of Scriptures in the Ilchamus language tomorrow. I was part of the publicity team, pinning the dedication posters on walls in churches and shopping centres.” He says.
Leshan is very happy that with the Scriptures that are about to be launched, his Sunday school classes are not going to be business as usual. “I take a lot of time trying to help the children to understand the Scriptures. I use the Swahili and Maasai Bibles and not all the children read or speak the Swahili language. The intonation in the Maasai Bible doesn’t sound as it should in the Ilchamus language.”
He pauses then breaks the silence, “my biggest prayer, however, is to see God’s Word transform my community, especially my village.” “You see that homestead there?” pointing to a homestead not too far from us, “it’s the local joint for the drunkards around here.” He continues. “Our village is known for alcoholism.” He adds. I can sense a change in his tone as he narrates this big burden.
As we conclude our conversation, he ensures that I know where he fellowships and shepherds the young children. “The Church in front of us is where I fellowship.” I excitedly take a photograph of the church.
As he walks away, I pray to God to meet his need and lift the burden of alcoholism in his heart. It touches me to know that at his age, he understands that it is a vice that is affecting his people. Pray for Leshan and thank God for his Ministry with the children. Pray for God to deliver his village from alcoholism through the power of the Scriptures that have now been unveiled and handed to the community.