I read this inspiring story and just had to share it.
A Life of Influence
Elizabeth Kimongo was born into a traditional Maasai family in Kenya. In her culture girls are expected to marry soon after their twelfth birthday. Women have little to say about their lives, but Elizabeth refused to leave school to marry. She had a dream.
While home for vacation before starting high school, Elizabeth learned that her father had arranged for her to marry an older man. With her mother’s blessing, she escaped and returned to her Adventist school.
During high school Elizabeth took her stand for Christ and later was baptized. When she told her mother that she wanted to study at the Adventist university, her mother encouraged her to go.
Elizabeth is majoring in agriculture, a field that will help her teach her people how to preserve their land and provide a better life. She works on campus and receives some scholarship funds to help her pay her school fees. Sometimes she must take a semester off to work full time to earn the money to continue her studies.
Elizabeth’s example has helped her younger sisters stay in school and avoid early marriage. Her father, once angry that his daughter would refuse to marry the man of his choice, now accepts her decision. But he pressures her younger sisters to marry this man. Elizabeth encourages her sister to walk close to God and continue their studies to make a better life.
Elizabeth urges other Maasai girls to study hard and trust in God. “Don’t allow life’s circumstances to steal your life away,” she says. “Satan wants to destroy you. You must trust God and not let Satan have his way.”
Elizabeth is old enough now that her community will not force her to marry. They accept her as an adult woman who can make her own decisions. “I want to teach my people by example how to produce better crops for a better life,” she says. “The village has given me a piece of land that I use to plant crops so that my fellow villagers can see for themselves the success they can have by following my example.”
Elizabeth is grateful for Adventist schools that have prepared her to live a life of influence among her Maasai people. Our mission offerings and Thirteenth Sabbath Offerings help these schools reach young people in all walks of life, including Maasai girls in the heart of eastern Africa. Thank you.
Elizabeth Kimongo will soon complete her studies and return to her village to work for her people and share God’s love among them.
It takes great courage to follow Jesus Christ and to stand up for your faith. At times it costs people their relationships with family, friends, their jobs or even their lives. For this young Kenyan woman, following Jesus was worth whatever the cost it took to do so. She knew that God had bigger plans for her life than entering into marriage she didn’t want. Education was more important and God’s help and her mother’s support, she was able to achieve what she set out to do. As a result she could now be a blessing to her community and a role model for young girls and women. God, through Elizabeth, was showing the Maasai people that He can do marvelous things among them and give them a bright future.
Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Like Elizabeth we too can make a difference in our community and reveal God’s love in the process. You too can be a beacon of hope. Don’t let fear, insecurity, opposition, doubt or Satan prevent you from pursuing your dream. Continue to put your faith and trust in God and watch Him do wondrous things through you.