Going back to your roots

Going back to your roots

The Most Reverend Dr Jackson Ole Sapit did not have the easiest upbringing, but God had His guiding hand over his life and lead him to become the current Anglican Archbishop of Kenya. Jackson recently re-visited his Maasai roots, on an MAF flight to Olorte for the dedication of MAF partner RedTribe's new building.

In June, MAF Kenya made a very special flight, chartered by long-term partner RedTribe, bringing visitors to open the new building for RedTribe Beadwork. Amongst these visitors was a friend and mentor to RedTribe missionaries, Hennie and Becca Marais, and a Maasai himself - the Anglican Archbishop of Kenya!

From humble beginnings

Archbishop Jackson as he exits the MAF plane in Olorte

The Most Reverend Dr Jackson Ole Sapit didn’t have the easiest of starts in life. His mother was one of 11 wives, and when his father passed away, he, his mother and sisters were left to fend for themselves. But God was already working in him.

Someone came to Jackson’s village looking to educate orphans and low income families and he qualified for a sponsorship all the way through school. After completing education, his family settled in Olendeem, where a British missionary was also living. Archbishop Jackson was able to interpret for the missionary as he had learnt English at school.

As I translated for her in the Bible meetings, I came to know the gospel,’ he explains, ‘and I accepted Jesus as my Saviour.’

Obedience to the calling of God

Feeling called to full-time ministry, Jackson worked as an evangelist then studied Theology. He was ordained a deacon in 1991 then a priest in 1992, serving as a vicar and training further. He gained a Masters in the UK, then served as Bishop of Kericho in 2008 and was elected Archbishop and Primate of Anglican Church of Kenya in May 2016.

Friend and supporter of RedTribe

RedTribe Beadwork necklace

He learnt about RedTribe in 2010 when Hennie came to share about their work in Olorte, where the Marais family were valued and loved by the Maasai community for their work in water projects, education, healthcare, and income-generation for women through selling beadwork.

After 7 years, the beadwork business had outgrown its original location and needed a purpose-built site. The new site was opened and dedicated, and Archbishop Jackson was privileged to share this moment with his dear friends.

Maasai Warriors performed a song at the dedication of RedTribe's new building

It was a privilege for MAF to be able to assist him and the other visitors on this quick trip to Olorte, which wouldn’t have been possible by road as the journey time is too long. It was a joy to see how both he and the RedTribe team are loved by the community, and how God is at work in the lives of these very isolated people.