How it started
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin…
Zechariah 4:10 NLT
Mara Vision started out much like Zechariah 4:10 and has grown over the years by being faithful in the little things.
In 2003, founder and President, Anita Jepson, by invitation went on a mission trip with her good friend to Kenya. On that trip, she ended up spending time with her interpreter studying the Bible. Through just one Bible study a mission was started, even though at the time she did not know it. At the end of the 2-week mission, she left $500 offering with the local pastors to purchase a public address system for their church to use.
After leaving Kenya, thinking she would never go back to Kenya she kept praying for the people. Before long, the Maasai pastors contacted her by email and asked if she would be willing to support an evangelistic program in the future. These requests for support continued every 4-months for about seven years. During that time, she just prayed by faith for God's guidance. Guidance to know or not whether she should send the support to help them. Some people thought she was a little crazy, but through her impression from the Lord during her Bible study time each day, she would always have strong impressions from the scriptures to send the money, to help the 2-Maasai pastors spread the gospel.
In 2011, the 2-pastors pleaded with her to come back to Kenya and see these people. When she arrived, she found hundreds of people sitting under trees wanting to hear more from the Bible. While she too was sitting under the tree that day, she felt convicted it was time to build these people churches; a place to come worship; a place of prayer to come meet with the Lord and be out of the sun, wind or rain. She knew things would have to change a lot in order to do this.
"Devotion to God and a spirit of self sacrifice were the first requisites in preparing a dwelling place for the Most High." PK 61-62. The platform she had been using to raise offerings would now require a higher level of commitment and faith. She knew in her heart, that with God all things would be possible. Because after all, this was not a business, this was God's mission. How could one fail with Him at the helm.
At that point, she stepped out of the boat to walk towards God on the water knowing that as long as she kept her eyes focused on Him, she could not fail, and by 2012 Mara Vision Outreach became an official entity, a 501c3 nonprofit corporation. Although Anita was more excited about being a missionary than and running a NGO mission business in Kenya, she asked the Lord to make a way for her to work directly with the East Kenya Union and Central Rift Valley Conference of Kenya; whereby, all her accounting could be sent to and be handled. God answered her prayer and during her first meeting with the president of Central Rift Conference, he told her, Mara Vision was an answer to their prayers. He told her how they had a special committee that had been praying about what to do about the Maasai people. They informed her that there were 42 tribes in Kenya of which the Maasai were one of the 42. He told her that their challenge was that the Maasai people would only listen to another Maasai or else to a foreigner, and she was the foreigner they were already listening too. They would support her mission with the Maasai and partner with Mara Vision to reach the Maasai people.
Today, a small team of people are leading the work exclusively with the Maasai and Samburu tribes in Kenya. The results are anything but small.
In those years, hundreds of people have been baptized into the Sabbath truth.
Churches are being built, and many of them are filled to overflowing before the building projects are finished. Thousands of children are being taught by our Bible teachers every day to learn about Jesus.
Even though Kenya is largely a Christian nation, 90% of the Maasai and Samburu people have never heard the name of Jesus, much less His truth. God providentially is working through MVO to change that statistic.
Gospel Workers, p. 464, indicates what the people of God are to be doing: “The church of Christ was organized for missionary purposes.”
MVO’s team labors to fulfill this purpose. God continues to grow His mission as MVO continues to be faithful with the small things.