by John Seale

I’m proud to get to serve as Ndoto’s first Director of Operations. It feels like a position I’ve been preparing for over the last ten years. From my first trip to Obunga with the team in 2006, to spending six weeks in Kisumu in 2007 training small business leaders and working with the community church, to helping lay the foundations for Ndoto as a US nonprofit in 2009, to eight years as a Director of Operations for a local Dallas organization, God has been preparing me for this role for a long time.

Perhaps not the ideal foundation.

This seems to be the way God operates. He’s like a chess master who sees the entire game at once, making moves in the opening game that he looks forward to using later. God never neglects the foundation in building something, whether it’s a person or a movement.

I hope that the same thing will be true of my role here. As Ndoto grows larger in Kenya, I’m here in the US to make sure that our foundation is growing with it. Sometimes people wonder what it’s like to work for Ndoto here. The truth is that it’s not all that glamorous. Our two other part-time employees live in Houston and Ft. Worth, so I just office out of the corner of our spare bedroom. Our Kenyan staff has much larger offices than I do (but I have them beat many times over in Internet speed!).

The Lord has shown me clearly what my role is, and what it is not. I get to spend about two weeks a year in Kenya with our team there, but the other 50 weeks are spent here setting them up to succeed. I’m never going to be nearly as effective at discipleship with our Ndoto students as they can be, so I am their cheerleader. If I can design a smartphone-based database tool to make them more effective, I’ve succeeded in the biggest way.

It sometimes gets lonely at home by myself doing things like sorting student and sponsor letters or looking at huge spreadsheets. It gets balanced by fun things like passing along content from our Kenyan staff to our supporters via social media and talking with our donors here. But the true joy in my job is in knowing that I can be used by God to further His Kingdom in a far away place. I heard somebody say once, “They needed a hand up, and I had a hand.”

Six months into my new role here with Ndoto, I’m very excited. We’re building good systems here in the US, and our Kenyan team is doing great work. God has blessed us with awesome supporters like you, and there’s some really cool things on the horizon. I am privileged to be part of this, and I hope that you all will join us on the journey!

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