The Story of Mashakini

“Mashakini is a cripple who came to us about three years ago, crawling on his hands and knees, and saying he wanted to be taught the Word of God. We built a little grass hut was for him to live in.  Here women make cooking and water-pots. But we persuaded Mashakini to learn the trade, and gave ideas the women did not know. To the amazement of others, Mashakini soon acquired the art of pottery making. At the same time he learnt to read. After six months expressed his belief in Christ.

“He now makes beautiful pottery and is teaching others to make it. Often we see him sitting outside his hut studying his New Testament. He is the friend of all the young lads living round about, and seeks to teach the Bible to them. Mashakini himself is only about nineteen or twenty years old.

“My husband made a kind of "tricycle-cart" for Mashakini made of two bicycle wheels, a wooden frame, and a little wooden wheel in front. Mashakini watched it being made with great interest. The day came when he tried it, and as he pushed the wheels and found himself being carried along, his joy was probably equal to that of a junior pilot on his first flight.

“Soon after this we saw the tricycle parked under a mango tree in a village nearby. There was Mashakini explaining the Bible to an interested group. An onlooker said, "Won't you come and visit us, too?" Which Mashakini did the next day.

“One Friday afternoon I saw a sight worth seeing. There was Mashakini on his tricycle. He was all dressed up wearing a dark tweed coat, khaki shorts, a grey motor cap and a pair of old garden gloves. He was off on a weekend preaching tour. He was being towed by a small boy wearing a sun-helmet several sizes too large for him tied under his chin with a string. Accompanying them were five other lads, all dressed in their best. Their Bibles, blankets and other belongings were tied in a large bundle and attached to the back of the tricycle. That weekend they visited three villages, a mine workers’ camp, having meeting meetings in each location. Some listeners became Christians. Altogether they covered a distance of about 42 Kilometers.

“An interesting form of evangelism occurred when a new chief of police was appointed. The policeman introduced a novel method of reforming the prisoners. He lined the prisoners up one Sunday morning and asked who would like to go to a Catholic or to a Protestant service? Nine prisoners stepped forward to go to the Protestant church services. Under guard they walked eight kilometers to our Gospel Chapel! Soon the prisoners came to services without an armed escorted! This opened the door for us to visit the prison and hold a Bible study there each week.  A number have become Christians.” [These incidents were recorded by Margaret Howell, a missionary in Africa]

Dr Keith Graham

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