Billy Willbond


Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come onto me”

A missionary in the Maasai area of Africa had been reading the bible in the Swahili language to a gathering of his field workers: Kikuyu, Maasai, Samburu, Turkana, Luou and several others. He read the story of the Good Samaritan and all discussed the story because they themselves were poor and understood.

A little while later, after the ICROSS field workers heard the story of the Good Samaritan, a young boy from a village in Western Kenya had been listening to other tales around the village campfire about the big city, Nairobi. He heard them talking about the money to be made in Nairobi but he was way too poor to even think about going. He had to work just for food on the family farm a five-acre subsistence garden and he had no money.

His Mother had just died of Aids and she was a great basket weaver and had left him some ornate baskets that he took to the village market to sell. An American tourist in Africa to do the park visit and the trip to Victoria Falls liked the look of his ornate basket. She asked him, how much and he replied “one hundred” (meaning shillings), she reached in her purse, gave him a one hundred dollar US note picked up the basket and departed. A masungu saw the transaction and told him the note was worth much more than 100 shillings. With his good luck the boy exchanged the note for Kenyan 1,000 shilling notes and purchased a bus ticket and headed for Nairobi with his new-found fortune wrapped in a handkerchief.

He sat beside a man who befriended him and told him he too was going to the big city. The boy told the man about his good fortune and that he was going to the city to find work so he could send money home to his Father, Grandfather and brothers and sisters. The man told him it was okay and that he could stay with him when they arrived. They got off the bus in the Ngong Forest. The man took the youth down a trail into the bush, hit him on the head with a stone, tied him naked to a tree and stole his clothes and the thousands of shillings tied in the handkerchief.

The lad awoke crying out and the local herd boys came to the tree, could not understand the strange language he was speaking or what he was saying, but untied him from his bonds. The boy, with blood running down his face, ran screaming down the trail and came to the Karen Road and then ran screaming up the road in front of the ICROSS headquarters where some of the ICROSS field workers chased after him. They caught the naked youth and brought him back to the NGO building.

They fed him, gave him some of their clothes and a pair of well used sandals and the missionary took up a collection and bought him a bus ticket back to his village. The field workers who told me this story said they had done what Jesus would have done, gave comfort to the sorrowful, clothed the naked, fed the hungry and assisted someone who had absolutely nothing, not even the clothes on his back, to get back to his home village, from the nightmare of modern civilization. Now he could tell tales around the campfire about how he met the Good Samaritans.

The Good Samaritan is alive and well and living in the Greater Rift Valley of East Africa. This is only one short tale about the missionaries. If you talk to the poor in Africa you will hear many more stories!

My daughter was doing HIV and Aids Research in East Africa, and miles from nowhere, she met up with a tall Maasai, a red-cloaked herder in Tanzania, and she asked him if he knew the missionary of the Maasai? He answered, “Oh yes, he is a healer to the people. We know him well; he is a friend to the poor.”

Be well – many blessings,