The Samburu of Kenya

Population: 240,000

Location: Remote North Central Kenya greatly dispersed between Mt Kenya and Lake Turkana.

History: The Samburu are a Nilotic people who originally migrated from Sudan, settling in Northern Kenya centuries ago.

Culture: Their name comes from their traditional leather bag they carry called a ‘samburr’. They are related to the Maasai. They are semi-nomadic pastoralists, keeping cattle, sheep, and goats. They especially love their cattle. Like the Maasai, they believe all cattle belong to them, and cattle raiding is a major preoccupation. Young unmarried men are warriors, charged with protecting the village from lions and hyenas, as well as raiding other tribes’ cattle.
Both men and women adorn themselves with colorful beaded necklaces and the young men braid their long hair and coat it with ochre.
Elders rule the clan and their curse or blessing is taken seriously.

Religion: Animism. The Samburu believe in a creator god ‘Nkai’. They pray and seek his blessing. Their beliefs are expressed in their traditions and rituals, which they are very careful to follow. It is not uncommon for children and young people, especially women, to report visions of Nkai. A few children gain a reputation for prophecy throughout their lives. Samburu also have ritual diviners, called ‘loibonok’, who divine the causes of individual illnesses and misfortune. Sin has a very restricted meaning and therefore, many would say they have no sin.

Latest Prayer Updates:

A Pastors’ Training School

A number of Christian pastors and missionaries have a vision to begin a pastors’ training school for northern Kenya. Please pray that the Lord will provide the needed teachers and finances to begin training pastors this year. This school would serve churches in at least 5 area tribes, including the Samburu.

Keep Praying for the Five

We are swiftly approaching the end of December and the end of 2017. Since January we have been praying that five Samburu men would follow Jesus by the end of this year. Thank you to all who have been praying with us and asking God for these men. We have had a lot of contact with men this year. A number of men have received a “Treasure” (solar-powered MP3 player with Bible stories, scripture, and Christian songs). We cannot measure how much God’s spirit has been working in hearts of men we know. Until now, we have not seen those five men make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ. Please continue to pray with us for those Samburu men as this year ends and 2018 begins. God is sovereign and He will answer our prayers in His time.

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