Serving the Least, Last, and the Lost




by John Seale and Michael Omondi

“Does anyone dare despise this day of small beginnings? They’ll change their tune when they see Zerubbabel setting the last stone in place!” (Zechariah 4:10)

Everyone reading this will remember the early days of the global pandemic, when everything as we knew it changed. A lot of us at Ndoto were confused and unsure of what the future looked like. The challenge that COVID-19 posed to leaders everywhere was that you had to change or be irrelevant. We took the opportunity to be flexible, and we’ve written before about how that led directly to one of our largest programs at Ndoto today.

The first Ndoto Gym

Weightlifting outside under the sun led to the Ndoto Gym, and the opportunity to build a sports ministry led to the Ndoto Soccer Academy, but it was the passion of Michael Omondi and Clinton Okoth for another sport that led to Ndoto Boxing. In the small gatherings of youth who came for Bible studies and evening prayers after training, God had something larger in mind. Leadership is sometimes revealed in people, not when things are easy, but when times are hard. In the beginning, Ndoto was the only boxing gym with a real structure and a trained coach, and we began to be the center of boxing in the Kisumu region.

We could go further. We laid a plan and did the stone by stone work of getting there, praying to God for the impossible to happen. Pastor Michael, our pastor, director, and boxer, shared his testimony in an article about competing in the Olympic Trials early last year. He said, “In this ring is a place where people fight, although the greatest battle is one happening in the hearts and minds of the fighters, the one people don’t see. That is where connecting youth in sports with the person of Jesus Christ is key. When all is said and done He was and will be called King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the one who truly fights our battles.”

It did not take long for God to answer our team’s prayers. We went from training outside to renovating an old chicken coop to building a real gym on a nearby piece of land. Then we expanded it. As a slum boxing gym, we have sent players to national league tournaments, and earlier this year we got something else.

Introducing Kisumu County’s first professional boxing ring, one of the five best in the nation, located at the Ndoto Gym right here in Obunga. This has been a dream come true for our team and the boxers who have been training with us for years. The dedication ceremony took place on April 20th, with members of the community, regional boxers, coaches, and Ndoto staff members in attendance. Pastor Michael officially opened the ring for business, and all in attendance shared a meal as the first official matches began.

The expansion of the current Ndoto Gym

This boxing ring, and the expansion to our gym that was made necessary, was funded by a number of different generous donors in the US. We initially hoped to purchase a ring internationally, but the transport costs and import duties made it unfeasible. We found a talented builder in Thika, Kenya (outside Nairobi) who could fashion it for us. Joshua and Clinton from our team traveled multiple times to sign contracts and oversee the fabrication. We created a new logo for Ndoto Boxing and it’s featured prominently on the ring skirt so that everyone knows that Ndoto is for the community.

Ndoto Boxing has become a way for Ndoto to create a community with some young men in the area, who train daily and stay for Bible Study on Fridays. These boxers are competing nationally and making a splash for such a new gym. With the only professional ring in this part of the country, Ndoto is now positioned to host regional and national matches and tournaments!

When Jesus was here, rather than seek out the powerful and wealthy, he spent most of his time with the least, last, and lost of his society. In every community today such marginalization is still at play, and Jesus calls us to preferentially seek the marginalized. The boxers in Kisumu are one such forgotten group. When Michael starting boxing as a high school student, most of the boxers came from the streets, where they worked as conductors of town service and intercity buses. In helping to fill and aiding with boarding, they earned their daily bread.

Boxers tend to be feared, because people consider them rude, uneducated, and rough. In reality, however, boxing has become a home, a place of solace and reason, and a source of peace of mind to these young men. In boxing, they have found purpose beyond just the sport itself. Many of these young men have been adopted like sons, their coaches like fathers, their gyms like rehab centers. When you look at someone whose parents abandoned him from childhood, a youth whose elder brothers and sisters chased him from home, their challenges go beyond truancy from school.

With no one to support, believe in, and stand in the gap for these boxers, there would surely be no hope. Ndoto Boxing Gym and the Ndoto Sports ministry as a whole stand in the gap for these young men. Investing in the equipment and bringing a high-quality boxing ring is not just an investment in a growing program. It’s an investment in a forgotten group of young men: the least, last, and lost. We have brought all 10 local boxing rings under one umbrella around our ring, providing leadership and a future that will go beyond sports.

We’re identifying youth who want an education and propelling them to get it. Most of these boxers didn’t grow up in homes where they were told what is true, good, or bad, so most of them created a path in life for themselves. We started Friday Fellowship to give space for worshiping God and sharing the message of Jesus so that we can show them a better way. Ndoto Boxing is changing the narrative that has existed in Kisumu’s forgotten boxers. Elevating Ndoto Boxing to an international, professional standard is actually part of transforming minds, hearts, and lives, using a platform like a boxing ring to bring hope to the least, last, and lost.



  1. Christi Melton on May 22, 2024 at 1:24 pm

    To God be the glory and thank you God for consistently shining Your favor over Ndoto ♥️

  2. Becky Awuor on May 23, 2024 at 1:50 am

    Glory to God. Ndoto is destined for greater heights

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