Source: World Vision, October 20, 2017
For centuries, the Maasai traveled with their cattle along the Great Rift Valley in Kenya and Tanzania. Families were polygamous—men had many wives and kids. Children rarely went to school, instead helping their parents take care of animals and doing chores around the house.
This is the world into which Jackson Ole Sapit, 53, was born—with one father and 11 mothers. He’s not sure how many siblings he has but guesses more than 50. Jackson’s father died when he was young, and his mother—his father’s seventh wife—and her three children were chased away from the family home by shrewd older brothers who understood the value of land. Jackson’s mother and her children became destitute.
Maasai parents didn’t believe in education, as boys were to herd cows, and girls worked around the house. But in 1973, Jackson and the other Maasai boys in his village were forced to attend [school]. There, he began to hear about Jesus. “One of the songs [they sang],” he says, “was ‘More About Jesus.’” But he thought they were singing “moo” instead of “more.” He says, “I wondered, ‘Are they singing about cows?’” This was something he could relate to as a herder; his curiosity was piqued.
The next year, Jackson became sponsored through World Vision.