I hope you all have had a wonderful summer. As much as I love lake days, I am, however, looking forward to this fall. There is something about football, harvest, pumpkins, fall colors, and hunting whitetail deer that you just can’t beat.
I am excited to update you on what is current with Cultivate Global. I am thrilled to announce that I will be going back to Tanzania by myself from Oct. 26–Nov. 6. Your prayers for this trip would be much appreciated. Specifically, you can pray for my preparation with sermons, logistics, supplies, and travel. Also, you can pray for the hearts of the native people and myself as my team over there and I do ministry. As well as prayer for the meetings and business decisions that will be made on this trip. Lastly, pray that this trip will ultimately glorify our great God!
The majority of this trip will be spent with our Cornerstone Schools of Africa partners. This gospel-preaching school system has been flourishing thanks to help from Cultivate Global, which comes from your support, and ultimately from God’s providence. We have launched a new project with Cornerstone that focuses on the development of a Maasai community outside of the village called Chalinze.
There are over 120 tribes in Tanzania, and arguably the most well-known tribe is the Maasai. This is because of the traditional lifestyle and customs they choose to practice. Much of our ministry has started to gear towards the Maasai people. The Maasai are warriors, nomads, and herdsmen. Traditionally, they would follow their cattle around to wherever there was grass. They dress traditionally as well as live traditionally to their customs. They are very uneducated and most lack basic skills, such as reading and writing. The majority of this people group have tribal religions worshiping pagan gods. Most men in this tribe practice polygamy. Meaning they have many wives and children, who are mostly left uncared for. Young girls are married off by their fathers to older men for property. They are then forced into a life and marriage with someone they don’t love, and left responsible for providing for their children. These women are abused by their ‘husbands’, and due to a lack of contraceptives left with many children. Women are viewed in this culture as nothing more than property. Men are viewed as supreme, and often irresponsibly waste away what wealth they may have on drugs, alcohol, sex, and possessions. The men in this tribe often die at a younger age due to disease or irresponsible accidents. Due to this, most of the elderly people you will see are women. This people group is in desperate need of Jesus, as we all are. What I have found is that the women are so desperate for a hope to cling to, that they are very receptive to the Gospel message. There are a small number of Maasai Christian churches, and unsurprisingly 90% of the congregation is women. I had the privilege of preaching in a rural mud church packed full of Maasai people searching for hope, or teaching of the hope they do now have. This will remain one of the highlights of my life.
As I had mentioned, part of my time on this upcoming trip will be focused on this new project we are developing in this Maasai community outside of Chalinze. The women in this community walk a couple miles daily to fetch water from a dirty stream for their livestocks consumption first, and then for themselves and their children. Step one of this project will be to put a fresh water well dead center in this community on a plot of 6 acres we just recently purchased. This well will be a huge blessing to these people in so many ways. Step two will be to build a school/church facility on this same plot of land. We will call this facility the “Charis” Center, which means ‘the Grace of God’ in Greek. This building will be used as a Christian school, run by Cornerstone, providing education to a people foreign to the opportunity. Education for these children will open up so many more doors of opportunity in their lives. Girls in this culture who have access to education are viewed as having more value. Therefore, due to going to school, they are saved from arranged child marriages, and are given an opportunity to leave poverty and do much more. Boys will benefit from being shown what it looks like to be a Godly young man, how to respect and treat women, and having an opportunity to advance beyond the tradition of being a herdsman. This building will also function as a house of worship on Sunday mornings. We fully expect our presence and Gospel witness in this community to reap new believers in Christ. These new Christians currently have no place to meet for church, and access to this facility along with our training and facilitation of a pastor will be a huge blessing. Our third, and last, step for this project will be developing and producing agriculture plots on this 6 acres. These plots will begin as small squares of crops and herds of animals used as a resource to educate these Maasai women on how to produce agriculture that results in profit for their families. The plots are gifted to the community, partnered with by us to grow/develop, and used as a sustainable way to pay for the education of their children long term. The agricultural potential is very present all over the country of Tanzania. There is just a big need for these people to be taught how to cultivate it. This is where God is using us.
I have learned that it is often crucial to meet the physical needs of people in order for them to fully realize and reach their greater spiritual need. This method we are using for this project is drawn from Mark 6. Jesus does not send these people he is ministering to away. He is intentional in showing that he truly loves and cares for them. He shows us an example of this by feeding the masses, thus meeting their physical needs. There is a recognition that when people are cared for physically, they are more open to what you may be telling them they need spiritually. In this example, the crowd around Jesus kept growing. Since he showed his love for them in their physical state, he was given more opportunity to share with them their greater spiritual need. Cultivate Global is using the same approach with this project. As we show love to this people group by providing a well, an education/church facility, and sustainable farm practices, our opportunities to witness the Gospel to this community will grow. It is no secret that there is all kinds of brokenness, wickedness, and sin among this Maasai community. The good news of the Gospel is the only thing that can give these hopeless people Hope. The Gospel is their, as well as all of our, greatest need.
If what Cultivate Global is doing, or this project in particular, pulls at your heart, would you consider partnering with us? Obviously it takes a large amount of financial resources and support to do what we are doing. There is something so beautiful about being completely open to the Lord with our finances and where they might be given. Humbly, we ask that you prayerfully consider Cultivate Global as a beneficiary of your giving. If you have questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me. Giving can be done online at cultivateglobal.net or checks directly sent to our address.
I am beyond grateful for all of your support and what the Lord is doing. May God bless you all.
“For His Kingdom!”
— Cody J. Griess