# The Root of the Problem
I once again was struck by the sad reality that there were no men, young or old, in attendance
Recently, while attending Sunday worship in a Samburu village, I once again was struck by the sad reality that there were no men, young or old, in attendance! Where are the men and why don’t they come to church with the women and children?
One reason is because they are out tending to their animals; cattle, sheep, goats, and camels. During the dry seasons and in times of drought they will travel many kilometers away from their families in search of water and pasture. Another reason why they don’t attend church has to do with them wanting to preserve their traditions. Many Samburu men, both young and old, see Christianity as the “white man’s religion” and a threat to their traditions and their way of life. In other words, in their minds, to be a Christian is to stop being Samburu.
Daily living for Samburu women in desert-like conditions is tough. They live in small huts framed by twigs and plastered with a mixture of cow dung and mud. Samburu women shoulder the responsibility for most of the domestic chores including tending to the children, fetching water, washing clothes, cooking, cleaning, collecting firewood, and building their homes. All this they do and more while under the constant threat of recurrent drought and increasing insecurity due to cattle rustling. Samburu women are also the victims of various forms of harmful traditional practices including forced early childhood marriage, FGM (circumcision), and “Beading” in which a very young girl is given beads by a moran (warrior) as a symbol of their “engagement” for sexual purposes only. The tradition of beading frequently leads to cruel forceful abortions or to newborn babies being abandoned.
As an outsider observing their world, I see how tough life is for the Samburu; especially for the women. I think about the physical and emotional pain they must suffer due to harmful traditional practices and I wonder if it is for these reasons that they are more drawn to Jesus Christ and the Gospel than are the men. So often when life is hard and appears to be hopeless God lovingly draws us to Himself giving us hope and peace. Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. I praise God for my Samburu sisters. Please pray with me for the men, the warriors and the elders, that they too will become followers of Jesus Christ, the God of hope and peace. Then, perhaps, there would no longer be a need to rescue babies!
Please pray with me for the men, the warriors and the elders, that they too will become followers of Jesus Christ, the God of hope and peace