Dear AWR Friend,
I grew up on a registered Jersey farm in central Oklahoma. Jersey cows are known for their pretty fawn color and beautiful brown eyes. They’re also noted for producing
the best milk with the most cream. My parents milked between 60-80 cows every day in an old-style stanchion barn.
Mother loved her cows and knew them each by name since she did most of the milking herself, spending 6-8 hours a day with them. Milking cows was quite an experience and
backbreaking work. It required bending over repeatedly to wash and dry the cows’ udders and put the milkers on. Then, repeating the process over again whenever a cow kicked
a milker off. Not surprisingly, my dad used to say, “Everything I have I owe to udders!”
For 50 years, my parents ran that dairy farm. Mom was 83 when they finally sold the cows. Through the years they had many cows, mostly Jerseys and a few black Angus.
In the spring, when new baby calves were born, it was exciting to watch them grow from heifers into milk-producing cows, who in turn would produce more babies. But in all
those years, I remember only one set of twin calves ever being born.
It is considered a rare event when a cow has more than one calf at a time—some would call it historic. So you can imagine my surprise when I recently heard the most
amazing story from one of our AWR listeners in Tanzania—a native Maasai who began giving his tithe with cows.
What happened next astonished everyone around him and is nothing short of a miracle. Read on…
THE MIRACLE OF THE TITHING COWS
Recently, we were in Tanzania and heard the story of Abraham, a wealthy Maasai cattle owner. About a year ago, he attended a series of evangelistic meetings
and decided to be baptized. He had never learned to read or write, so when he discovered our new AWR station in Tanzania, he was overjoyed and regularly listened to the
programs on his radio.
As he listened, he learned many new things about being a faithful Adventist—from healthful living to returning an honest tithe. Owning
more than 1,000 cows and large herds of sheep and goats scattered over Tanzania and Kenya, he decided that he would strive to be faithful with all his holdings.
So he placed his cattle in large pens and counted them as they walked through a chute. He counted cows 1-9 as they went through, and number 10 was marked for God.
This went on for a while to the amazement of his friends and all the people who knew him. You see, for a Maasai, cattle are almost more important than people.
You just don’t give them away! His friends watched him go through this process again and again, and they began to mock him, laughing and saying he was crazy.
But the laughter abruptly stopped some nine months later, when 40 of his cows gave birth to twins, and many goats and sheep had triplets!
God was blessing him like He had Jacob—Abraham’s grandson from the Bible—when the cattle changed colors with Laban’s changing rules so that Jacob’s herds were always
blessed. It was God who blessed Jacob’s cattle so that they produced the right colors, and it was God who was now blessing this modern-day Abraham.
Abraham and all the Maasai who mocked him were learning that with God, nine-tenths goes much further than keeping all 10 for yourself!
Now Abraham was so happy at how God was blessing him, that he decided to give double tithe! When counting his cattle, he began counting eight and giving two
to God! And God blessed him even more.
I have seen many times how—to put it in farming terms—God’s scoop shovel is bigger than ours. You simply can’t out-give God!
But there’s more, because God’s blessings come with ripple effects.
In open ranges like in Kenya and Tanzania, thieves often come and steal cattle. But something interesting began to happen. Whenever any of Abraham’s cows were
stolen, they would always find their way back home, inevitably returning to Abraham’s herds as if unseen hands were guiding them home. It has now gotten to the point
where the thieves have become very nervous about stealing Abraham’s stock!
Recently, our Tanzanian Union Mission President, Dr. Godwin Lekundayo, told me that many of those who had mocked and laughed at Abraham now want in on the same
blessings he is receiving. They recently approached our local pastors with a request.
“We want to tithe as well, just like Abraham is doing,” they said.
“But you’re not Adventist,” our pastors replied in surprise.
“We don’t care! We want God’s blessings, so we want to pay tithe with our cows, goats and sheep too!” they insisted.
But there’s more! In a village near where Abraham lives, a local chief built a pond, and during the dry season he charges other Maasai cattle owners to
water their stock there.
One day Abraham had an inspired idea. He decided to build a larger pond and let the cattle owners water their cattle there for free. However, he hired a Bible
worker to preach to them about Jesus while they’re watering their animals. The cattle owners are so grateful for the free water that they gladly listen to the message!
People are so impressed by Abraham’s testimony and generous spirit that many have expressed a desire to belong to Abraham’s church. This is
very significant, as the Maasai are traditionally difficult to convert to Christianity.
But Abraham’s testimony is more powerful than tradition, and many Maasai also listen to AWR. They have been surprised to learn that we have some beliefs
in common with them. Traditionally, the Maasai believe in God and not in ancestral worship or witchcraft. They also believe that when you die you are asleep.
This has helped to open their hearts and minds to receive the full gospel message.
So far, thanks to Abraham’s testimony, 35 Maasai have accepted Jesus and been baptized. And they all listen to Adventist World Radio!
When we installed the radio station in Tanzania targeting the many Maasai tribes, we never dreamed of the impact it would have on Abraham. We didn’t even know Abraham.
But God knew him, and He knew this sincere man was waiting with a ready heart to listen and receive the full gospel message—and this time, it was from “Baptism to Broadcast!”
God is working in all parts of the world, and in all receptive hearts. Each one of us has a small part to play in sharing the precious message. It is only as we
work together—whether it’s setting up new radio stations, preaching the Word, or supporting God’s work financially—that God can fully bless our efforts—and He never
Thank you for supporting the work of Adventist World Radio. There are many people like Abraham waiting and ready to hear God’s voice and respond with us, “Here I am.
If there is just one takeaway from this story it is that God is faithful. He was faithful to Abraham the Maasai
in Tanzania, just as He was faithful to Abraham of old—and He has promised to be faithful to you and me as we proclaim this wonderful message!
Thank you for supporting the work of Adventist World Radio. There are two things that especially encourage us: Stories of changed lives like Abraham’s,
and knowing we can count on your support to continue this work. Jesus is coming soon. Maranatha!