When Church Just Happens
“I don’t see why I would want to live without Jesus.” Joseph W, a college student who joined Ndoto in 2014, finally made this statement in July of this year. Like all cases of salvation, however, this was neither the beginning nor the end of the story!
|Ndoto staff and students at a Fatherheart retreat|
In May, a group of Ndoto students went to a seminar from Fatherheart Ministries, which is an international organization that is a place of healing for people to experience the depths of God’s love for us. They have a site in Kisumu where we work. Joseph and four other students went with three of our staff members.
Isaac R., another college student who has survived cancer and now wants to be a worship leader, was also at the retreat. After the weekend, he asked Joseph if he was born again, and Joseph said that he wasn’t. He said that he didn’t want to give his life to Christ while he was living the life he was living, and began to ask about how to overcome sin. Isaac told him he needed to talk to Michael, our Ndoto pastor.
From then, Joseph began coming to Pastor Michael’s house in the evenings to ask all sorts of questions about Christianity. The questions would come during the day via text message and Michael continued to do his best to answer them. Joseph would come by the office and borrow books by June Hunt, a Christian counselor.
It was after all of this that he told Michael one day in the office that he didn’t want to live without Jesus anymore, and he gave his life to Christ. Since that weekend retreat, Joseph has been on a roller coaster of Holy Spirit transformation, and now that he has been born again, he is calling others to join him.
Pastor Michael began to invite some of the other college men along with Joseph and Isaac to come to his house after Sunday services for some discipleship time. The group rapidly outgrew his small home and since September, 12-15 young men have met at the church every week. It turns out that many of our college men are hungry to grow closer to the Lord, even when it requires precious weekend time!
Ndoto’s newest staff member, Fred Sadia, joined in as he is learning how to do this type of small group work and wants to be a pastor. The regular attendees include Charles and Benson, who want to be teachers; Felix, who wants to be a surgeon; Caleb, John, and Silas, who are in vocational training; Abubakar, who was a Muslim street boy and is now a Christian in high school; Antony, who is studying to become a crop scientist; Collins, who is working on an engineering degree; and David, who just graduated from high school.
These young men are growing to understand God’s truth and how it corrects what society prefers to teach. They are all learning together as they talk about real life issues like sex, relationships, drugs, porn, anger, fear, and social media. Each of them shares their experiences, and then they look together at what the Word of God says about it.
|Men’s Group members playing Dinosaur Memory|
The group really enjoys coming together – they always start out playing some games and they love to laugh together. But they never stay surface-level for long, as they ask for accountability from each other too.
This discipleship time is having a great impact on all of these students, and it all started with a single student coming to Christ. As Joseph recently said, “Even if we read all the books and hear all the words, if we don’t go and put it to work we are wasting our time here.”