UCA Students Help Feed the People of Naikara

May 25, 2017 | Kathy Marson

Students from Upper Columbia Academy in Spangle, Wash., traveled to Africa during their spring break to hold medical and dental clinics in the villages around the Masai Mara. They also distributed much-needed shoes to Kenyan children and adults who are in need.

They brought shoes that expand by five sizes, designed by a young man out of Caldwell, Idaho. The 31 UCA students were joined by two doctors, two dentists and two nurses.

Before the trip, the students had heard of the drought in rural Kenya. They wanted to raise funds to distribute food to the people who were starving. The student body voted unanimously to eat six meals of beans and rice to raise $10,000 for beans, maize and rice for the people of Kenya.

The food they bought was supposed to feed 200 families, but here is what really happened, according to Dean Kravig, one of the UCA sponsors.

On Tuesday, March 21, our second day of medical and dental clinics in Naikara, we put in the necessary amounts of maize, rice and mung beans into the trucks — over a ton of food. When our team arrived in Naikara there was already more of a crowd than we had anticipated. Jan Latsha, Maasai Development Project (MPD) director, circled the group for prayer time before clinic opened, and she specifically prayed for God to stretch the food to feed everyone who needed food that day.

Late in the morning, two of the students went to the safari trucks to find the balls for the children’s activities but could not find them. However they did find that the bays of the trucks were all empty. About 2 p.m., the students distributing food from the truck told Pastor Steven, one of the MPD lay pastors, that they were on their last gunnysacks of maize and rice.

Pastor Steven heard the trucks were both empty, but he checked them anyway and brought back two gunnysacks of each — these would have been impossible for the students to miss in the truck bays, but here they were.

When the clinics closed at 3 p.m., the food distribution moved indoors, and the food was running low within a few minutes. The lay pastors returned to the trucks. In the same bay they had just emptied, they found nine and a half more bags of food and brought those in.

Over the next hour or so, people went out five more times, and they always found food in previously “empty” bays and brought it in to keep distributing to the people. In all, God provided seven extra gunnysacks of rice, seven sacks of beans and seven of maize — 777.

Instead of feeding only 200 families, God fed 475 families and there was food left over — not 12 baskets, as when Jesus fed the 5,000, but 12 of the 1-kilogram bags of green gram. God clearly took the feeding of the people of Naikara into His own hands, and our students were just channels of blessing.

Several adults were skeptical at first, so they went and checked the bays to be sure they were empty. Even after the parents had checked the bays, God kept providing food as if to say, “Oh, ye of little faith, why do you doubt?” 

By the end of the afternoon, everyone was in tears. Some were on the floor crying uncontrollably, as they realized what God had just done. As the afternoon ended, the group formed a circle, prayed a prayer of thanks to God and sang Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow like they had never sung it before.

There were thousands of people who were touched by the food miracle. The people were excited that we would care enough to come and help thim in this time of emergency. 

After hearing Kravig's account, others have heard students sharing the story of God's miracle with tears in their eyes. This was a mission trip that these students and staff will not forget. They saw the power of God firsthand and know He was the one who provided food for the people.