By Michael Omondi
Silas comes from a place where he was abandoned by his father and had no mother. He went to school until form two (sophomore year of high school) and could not continue – not because of money, but because of peer influence on him. He became a dangerous thief with his friends and his brothers, who happened to die in the process of stealing. Silas himself escaped death in the situation and came home to wonder how he made it.
Now after he left school with bad influences from friends, he continued now smoking bhang (cannabis) and hanging out with his friends who were thieves, many of whom have not survived to this day. Then came the moment of transformation. Isaac R. and Samuel O, Ndoto students, happened to be his schoolmates in primary school, and as we began teaching our students about reaching out and sharing your faith with others in our community of Obunga so that they too can experience the change and transformation they were having in Christ, we told them that they too should not keep quiet about Jesus but talk to their friends about Jesus’ power to bring them to life in him.
These two boys were brave enough and spoke to many of their friends who were thieves alongside Silas. Only Silas came to give his life to Christ through many months of Isaac and Samuel preaching to him, and telling him about going back to school, at which point I began seeing him come to our Ndoto church and he began learning a lot.
His heart was more open to things, and he wanted to learn more about his new savior and to go back to school. We encouraged him that it’s possible that one day maybe Ndoto might take him to school. He waited a year and applied through our process and was blessed to be chosen to take a vocational training in mechanics and driving.
He now enjoys being in school and spends the whole day there learning how to be a mechanic. I have never seen someone so happy about being in class like Silas. He is hungry for knowledge and knowing more about God for his heart and becoming a contributing member of society.
Because he is old enough he has a house and needs to care for it, and he has to find food for himself. He has chosen to sell groundnuts and mangoes when he gets back from school to get his rent and food. He does it every evening, we see him, and we are just proud of him that he has chosen to change his life.
Two things he told me when I took him to school – that he does not want to take someone else’s belongings to feed him now, and that he now wants to look for money in the right way. Because during the day he used to work but now he is in school and not work, he decided to sell groundnuts and mangoes and get money in a good, fair way, not stealing or robbing anyone, because he wants his life to be different from the way he was known and has been. He also said he is not going to waste this opportunity but use it to make a difference in his life and help others, also by encouraging them that they too can change and be a change in the community.
For me as someone who has worked with students for so long, nothing has blessed me more than seeing him so happy and enjoying himself both at church and at school. I am seeing a life being transformed, and that is my joy to witness to the doings of the Lord.