Who is my neighbour?

Ronnie___maggie_3 Posted by Ronnie & Maggie Briggs on Tue, 20 Dec 2016 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

Let me introduce you to the three people in the photo. Standing beside the tractor is Nchukut – he works with us in Oltiasika and especially helps with looking after all our visitors. Sitting on the driver’s seat is Juma – he is our recently employed driver for our very old tractor. Sitting on the mud guard is David – he looks after our livestock in Oltiasika. Both David and Nchukut have worked in Oltiasika for many years and are trusted members of the local community here, while Juma is new to us.

One Sunday afternoon Nchukut – who lives at Oltiasika – went to visit David in his village: a place called Lemasusu, which is about 11kms from Oltiasika along the line of the Chyulu hills. Normally people walk along a well trodden path from Oltiasika to Lemasusu, but for some reason Nchukut followed a different path which went up into the hills and circled round and then down to Lemasusu. Afterwards, when we asked him why he took that path he simply shrugged his shoulders and said that God led him that way!

Anyway, as Nchukut travelled along this path, he became aware of sounds of someone groaning just off the path, but hidden in the thick bush. He stopped to investigate and came across a man lying amongst the leaves and barely conscious. The man was Juma and his leg was very badly swollen just above the ankle and had obviously become badly infected during the time he had been lying there.

David and Nchukut are Maasai born and raised here in Oltiasika. Juma is an Mkamba, which is a neighbouring tribe living on the other side of the hills from the Maasai. There is a history between the Maasai and the Wakamba which goes back for generations and the relationship between them has not always been cordial, let’s say! There has always been a distinct mistrust between the two tribes.

However, Nchukut immediately took control of the situation. He picked Juma up and they both hobbled back to his small village. They found Juma’s wife in terrible distress as she didn’t know where he was nor what had happened to him.

Juma had been out cutting firewood and fallen onto a sharp branch which cut deeply into his leg and trapped him where he fell. He was unconscious for some time and when he came too he was in such pain he couldn’t move. As he tried to rest, the wound began to swell and he was unable to stand. He thought to just stay where he was until he regained sufficient strength to try and make it back to his village. However, he just became weaker and weaker and finally fell into a semi-unconscious state. And so he stayed that way until Nchukut found him three days later – so weak he was almost dead.

When Nchukut brought him back to his village, he gave Juma’s wife Ksh100/- (about 80p – which was all he had) to buy some food and help him to get some medical treatment. Nchukut them went on to get David and between them they carried Juma back to our Centre in Oltiasika, to find the local Doctor and to begin administering some first aid. Juma was very sick for some weeks but in the end he came back to full health – although he still has a limp.

When we needed a driver for our tractor, Nchukut mentioned that Juma was a driver and that he needed work to help care for his family – and so here he is.

In Luke 10, Jesus shares the Parable of the Good Samaritan in response to the question: ‘Who is my neighbour?’ The answer is quite clear – ‘whoever needs my help is my neighbour.’ The challenge in v37 is also clear: _‘Jesus replied, “Go, then, and do likewise.”’

Nchukut and David have lived out these words in a very practical way. It is my hope that I would do the same in similar circumstances. Maybe we should all try to do something practical over this Christmas season…

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