George’s story of faith:
“I was brought up in the church, was a regular church goer and an active member of the church youth group. For many years I was just that, until I attended a retreat in 2003 in a city called Kisumu…That retreat was a game changer…I gave my life to Christ, was turned from a church-goer to a follower of Christ and was given the right to become a child of God (John 1:12). Since then I have always and constantly experienced spiritual transformation. I continued being a youth leader and helped in shaping our youth group spiritually by organizing youth retreats, seminars, vigils, and other events.”
George was invited by a friend to go to Young Life. When he got there he sat with over 70 Young Life leaders and they were taught about the mission, vision and objectives of Young Life. He joined in ministry shortly after. As time has passed that original group has dwindled from 70 to 10. “At one point I also felt like quitting but something kept urging me to keep holding on. That is why I am still in ministry today and I am determined to keep going on.”
George leads Young Life ministry in Ruiru, Kenya, a small industrial town, not far from the capital city of Nairobi with a population of about 300,000 people. Most of the city’s inhabitants work within the coffee industry or are small-scale farmers. The main challenges in Ruiru town are its poor infrastructure, unemployment and poor wages in the industrial sector as well as in the farms around.
The most common challenge faced by the young people both in school and out of school is drug and substance abuse, alcoholism, rebelliousness and illiteracy. Many in the town are seeking “greener pasture” with a rural- urban migration to search better employment opportunities but find themselves very frustrated and unfruitful in their labors.
Although the many problems, Young Life in Ruiru has been growing with each and every year. “We had our first club in this area in 2008. Currently we have 5 neighborhood clubs, 18 active leaders and 6 strong high school clubs as of June 2015.
“Young Life became real to me in 2005 and more alive in 2007 when I took my first group of kids to camp. What encourages me to keep going is the practical transformation that I see in the lives of my teenage friends. It is so motivating to see and get to realize that you have made a difference in someone’s life…. when I hear kids who initially didn’t even want to hear about Jesus, telling stories of how God is working in their lives, I get energized to soldier on despite the challenges.”
The Bible verse that most inspires George to press on in ministry is 1 John 3:16, which says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”
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