We welcome our dear friend Francis Sakuda back to the church on Sunday, May 6 – his 9th visit to New Canaan. Francis and the people of his Kenyan village have developed a special partnership in mission work with our church; over the years together, we have crafted an approach to addressing the most urgent short-term and most beneficial long-term needs of the Maasai: water, food sustenance, and education.
In 2004, the entire church raised money to build a water pipeline to supply water to the village of Olosho-oibor and surrounding African villages. Since then, our church’s partnership with the Maasai has included purchasing drought-resistant goats, water cisterns used to harvest rainfall, solar panels to provide electricity to homes, greenhouses to cultivate vegetables, and purchasing chickens to provide food and income. Along with the critical missions concerning food and water, the Maasai have identified education as crucial to their future. In an ongoing project, our members support Maasai children unable to afford school with scholarships, often supporting a child all the way from first through twelfth grades.
Schools and families both will benefit from this year’s project, a repeat of the highly successful water cistern mission. We will raise funds for harvesting tanks that collect rain water and store it to be used during periods of drought; the goal is to purchase 100 tanks for homes and 25 for schools. Our Church School classes, under the direction of Christy Lombardozzi, have begun collecting offerings to purchase as many water tanks for schools as possible.
Mr. Sakuda will attend the 9:30 and 11:15 a.m. services of worship on Sunday, May 6, and will also attend the Children’s Chapel service at 9:30am that day, where he will help lead a Communion ceremony in Ma, the Maasai language. A welcome celebration will be held in Smith Hall at 10:30am, where a delicious brunch will be served for all in attendance — including the children! The fundraising kickoff for the water cistern project will begin, and Francis will be on hand to greet and answer questions.