Church Planter – Nakuru, Kenya
John, along with Joseph Okech, is planting a church in Nakuru, Kenya’s fourth largest city. John is a graduate of Central Africa Bible College in Kitwe, Zambia and completed a pastoral internship with Lusaka Baptist Church in Zambia. After his internship, John spent a year with Naphtally in Eldoret before being sent out to Nakuru by Grace Baptist Church.
Testimony of Conversion
My name is John Akeyo. I was born in 1978 in Kisumu District, Kenya. My father’s name is Peter – he is a polygamous man with two wives. His first wife is my mother. I was raised a Roman Catholic where no gospel about salvation is preached. At the age of five, my mother took me to stay with my dad in Eastern Kenya where he used to work, while she herself remained with my other siblings back at home. In my childhood, I stayed more with my father than my mother.
I was a proud and disobedient child. I loved listening to reggae music and I had a great desire to become a reggae musician when I grew up. I did not engage myself in bad habits like drinking or smoking, but in my life I had no fear of God. I knew that if I needed my sins to be forgiven, I had to go for penance at the Catholics priest and confess my sins to him. He will then pray for me and from there I will be set free of my guilt and sins. Little did I know of God’s saving grace and the salvation that is found in Jesus Christ.
During my fourth year in High School, The Gideon’s International came to distribute the Bible to us and encouraged us to read it. I was prompted to read the Bible for one reason, so that I may gain more wisdom. So I started by reading the book of Proverbs every day. I came across these verses: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Prov.1:7) and “There is a way that seems to be right in the eyes of man but its ways led to death” (Prov.14:12). The Holy Spirit used these verses to convict me of my evil ways, which were not good and pleasing before God. I realized that I was lost and needed to change and turn to God, but I did not know how to change myself.
The Word of God kept convicting me every day and night. I could not find rest or sleep during these nights. I had no peace in my entire life. Urgently, I sought for help and guidance from Pastor Tonui, a friend to my uncle, and asked him to help me understand what I needed to do in order to become a real Christian. After explaining the gospel to me, Pastor Tonui told me to trust in Christ alone for my salvation. I received Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior in March 1995. Immediately after salvation, I joined the Christian Union at our school, and got involved in testifying to my friends about Christ, preaching the gospel, and teaching God’s word to my friends and classmates.
A great change took place in my life. There was a great peace flowing like a river in my heart after I trusted Jesus for my salvation. The new birth I received by the Spirit (John 3:3) was so wonderful to me. I had an assurance that something had happened inside me. I had become a new creature (2 Cor.5:17). Immediately I had the call and burden to serve the Lord for the rest of my life. I could not keep silent. I went and proclaimed the Gospel to my family and friends (Rom.1:16-17). My family, instead of appreciating my new faith in Christ, did not accept or agree with my conversion. They saw me as lost since I had received a new faith and I could no longer follow them in Catholicism. My family laughed at me, but in my heart I rejoiced greatly for having been saved (Mat.5:11-12). I have since continued praying for them so that God would eventually save them too (Acts 16:31).
Call to Ministry
After my conversion during the last year of my high school in 1995, I felt a great call and burden to serve the Lord in the ministry the rest of my life. As I continued growing in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, I felt a great need to go to Bible school immediately after I completed my high school, with the purpose of serving the Lord in His kingdom. I knew for sure that our community needed to know more about Jesus Christ, because the majority of them had never heard the ‘True Gospel.’ I had never before seen anyone come around to witness to us about Jesus, sharing about His love and His saving grace. As a result, I was determined to go and proclaim the Gospel and its power to save to my own people (Rom.1:16-17).
My new faith in Christ was certainly challenged. My family did not accept my decision to follow the Lord. My dad got very much annoyed. When I spoke to him about sponsoring me to go for theological studies, he was not willing. He saw I was lost since I left the local ‘church,’ and also I was no longer following our Luo tribal tradition and customs. Most of the other family members laughed at me for being saved, but in my heart I rejoiced greatly for having been born again (Mat.5:11-12). I continued praying for them so that God could eventually save them too (Acts 16:31).
In our local church, I helped in teaching God’s word and in leadership. I was involved in leading a branch from the main church, and working with the youths for a period of two years. I also got involved in the work of evangelism. I evangelized the sick patients at the church’s health center, which was located within the church premises. It was so amazing to see how God ministered His mercy and grace to save those patients who believed and who called upon Him for salvation (Rom.10:7-10). A large number of people gave their lives to Christ. There remained in me great zeal to serve the Lord even though I had no formal training. It was not until fifteen years later that God opened the door for me attend theological training at Central Africa Baptist College (CABC) in Kitwe, Zambia in the year 2010. Even now, after the completion of my studies, I still possess the zeal and desire to serve the Lord fervently.
My name is Precious Machila. I was born in Zimbabwe in 1981. My father is a polygamous man who married two wives, the first wife being my mother. I was raised in a family where my mother was born again, but my father was not even religious. While we stayed with our mother in the village, she took us to church every Sunday. We were separated from our real mother when we were still young and taken to live with the second wife in the city of Bulawayo. She was not a Christian, did not attend church, and was harsh and cruel to us. Life became difficult and I relocated to live with my uncle in Kitwe, Zambia.
One day I was invited by my best friend, Esther, to attend their home Bible study. Little did I know that this would be the day of my salvation. It was at this Bible study that I encountered the gospel. The study was about the Love of God from John 3:16. The explanation of the Scriptures from the gospel of John about God’s love for sinners entered my heart and I had a deep conviction within me that I am a sinner who deserves not God’s love but judgment. My guiltiness before God was so heavy on me that I had no peace in my heart. I could not resist this and so I waited until the Bible study finished, then I took a step of faith and approached the leader of the Bible study.
I spoke to him of my desire to be born again. He explained to me that I needed to pray to God and ask Him for forgiveness of my sins. This I did before we left the Bible study. I made a short prayer to God asking Him to be merciful to me a sinner and save me from my sins. After this repentance prayer I became a born again Christian. My life was changed from that moment in February 2002.
I felt great peace in my soul after praying. I felt an assurance within my heart that I was now a new creation, a child of God who had been translated from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. My friend Esther encouraged me further to join their church fellowship so that I may be taught God’s word in great depth. This I did. I joined the membership class where I was discipled and taught what the church believes with all its doctrines. After the completion of his class, I was baptized and accepted as a member of Faith Baptist Church in Kitwe.