In February 2021, in the midst of rising case numbers during the pandemic, Tom and I threw off any reserve we had about catching the “virus that shall not be named” on airplanes, and flew to Kenya to help my brother’s family move back to the US. While there, we got to visit with George and Mama George who I based my children’s book, The Marvelous Mud House, on. It was such a beautiful reunion! After our visit, I asked George if he could write out his testimony of how things have gone for him since the book came out. Below is the story of faith, perseverance, and pursuing a dream that he sent me! I hope you enjoy and are inspired by George’s story!
My journey through high school gave me a whole new perspective on how I generally view life. What I learned, and what I went through molded me into the person I am right now, and I am so thankful to God for the transition.
At first everything seemed impossible. I didn’t think I would ever get to go to high school, and I had every reason to second guess my abilities. But then, little did I know God always had a plan.
God proved to me that He is above all when He gave me the opportunity to go to Yemit Boys High School.
High school was no joke like I thought. It was difficult, but one thing for sure I told God, “You are the one who brought me here, and I trust you have a purpose in me. I am not terrified. I am bold, and I am going for the dream you instilled in me because I know you are with me and you have always been.”
While in high school I used to encourage my friends who were feeling low at some point, they would come to me and open up and they always thought I had every answer to their problems in terms of giving them advice.
Back then I was a member of the journalism club, but I didn’t have the courage even to present news in front of the whole school like my friends used to.
Luckily I finished high school. People didn’t believe me when I actually told them all I wanted to pursue was becoming a journalist.
I used to ask my friends how they think I speak. Do I speak so badly that I can’t be heard in the media? They encouraged me, but most of the people wanted me to become a teacher. That was not my passion. They even demoralized me saying I couldn’t be a journalist because “nobody in this county has ever done it and you won’t make it.” That was the truth, and presumably they thought journalism is only meant for those in urban areas and since I was from the village they were really not convinced.
So I remember the only person who stood by me was…my mom. She didn’t refuse me when I told her I wanted to be a journalist. She said “Is that a job you would love?” I said, “yes” and she told me “then go for it, pursue your dream! Don’t be discouraged by anyone and trust in God. He is the one who will keep you on track.”
When I went to school for my certificate, the first thing I did was try to make friends with those who were already graduating because I knew they had the experience at the studio. I was the only one in my class who used to spend time with the senior students who were graduating,
I have always loved challenging myself with those who already have the experience. But some of my colleagues didn’t want me, a beginning student, to interact with those who were finishing. There was one who told me, ‘George, you are coming here to practice reading the news with us who are already graduating. Don’t tire yourself…your friends are relaxing, it’s not yet your time.’
Deep down I knew nobody in my class was competing with me to the level I wanted so I wanted to compete with the ones ahead of me.
A friend and I used to stay up at the school until 8 pm when all the other students left the college at 5 pm. Even the security guards knew us as those late going students but it was worth it!
Later I went on to an internship at ALPHA radio Kenya for three months.
On the first reporting day to my internship….
I went on air with a mid-morning presenter as a co-host, something that has never happened before for any attaché or intern! I didn’t know what they saw in me, but what I had been practicing surely paid off that day. We even knew each other’s names while on air, and the show was awesome!
I proceeded back to school for my diploma. It was nice and truly God’s favor has always been with me because during our orientation, I was just noticed in the middle of all the first year students. It was so nice because it was then that they loved my voice and chose me to do almost all the voice overs for the school studio. They also had me start presenting news on air.
The next semester, I started mentoring students in writing scripts for radio, reporting and doing voice overs. I was also good in graphics and mentored students who were doing that.
Currently, most of the students I mentored in the past are doing very well. Some even started their own vlogs, design companies, and I love it seeing how they have even perfected even more.
I have always been a key champion of empowering people with the skills and resources that I have because I have also been a product empowered by people who just put their big trust in my own small efforts.
The majority of the theoretical knowledge I acquired from school but the practical things I have learnt by myself because the people I once approached didn’t want to show me the skills and were telling me, ‘You can’t understand it because it’s too difficult.”
But I later realized if they can learn I can also learn, but maybe they were afraid of what I can become with the skills. That’s why I have always tried my best to help those students who want to learn, in any way possible because I am also learning more from them.
I was pursuing a diploma, but I was helping even older students and it was good because they also mentored me.
People used to say I do some things well but…
I haven’t wanted it to be me. I want people to see Christ through me. It’s not George doing this. It’s not me nor should I be boasting of what I am doing. I am only a servant of my master Jesus Christ and I have always stated that. I know God has done so many things for me, and I want people who look at my work to accept that indeed Christ is there and Jesus listens to our prayers. I want my friends and everyone in the community to follow Christ.
After the pandemic schools were shut down, and after coming home I was called to go and work at Alpha Radio.
Alpha Radio is a Gospel radio station aiming at transforming lives. We preach the gospel and fish souls for Christ. We also have programs tailored to meet people who live in areas that could barely be accessed by road. They love it since there are a lot of people giving testimonies about how their lives have changed. We have had people struggling with alcoholism quitting, those practicing FGM quitting, churches built and also reconciled warring communities. It’s just amazing how God uses people to transform people.
I also mentored students who came to the radio as well as learn from them because I believe everybody at least knows something I can learn. Even if it means spending extra hours with them so that they learn it’s worth it for me. That has been the journey since I graduated from high school, and I just want to be the voice of those who cannot speak for themselves like me when I was growing up. I want to fish souls for people to accept Christ because He is amazing and He does wonders.
Challenges were there….
It was a challenge back then for my family to put food on the table
It was a challenge while in high school studying with candle light at night
It was a challenge for me to do the best for those who entrust on me not to fail them
It was a challenge for people to accept that I was capable when I was starting my first job at the radio station.
And now I just thank God, I don’t have everything but I know he will provide for my needs.
Today, George lives in Nairobi working for Kilimall and makes around $260 dollars each month. Between transportation to and from work, rent, food, and sending money home to help his mother, George usually runs out of money before the end of the month. The Lord has given him the dream of being on national radio in Kenya. To do that, he needs his bachelor’s degree. I have set up a fund for George to do that with the Christian fundraising site, Give Send Go! To date, we have raised $2494 towards the $10,000 needed for him to get his degree!
Would you consider helping George achieve this goal through a small contribution to his Give Send Go fund? You can do that here: https://www.givesendgo.com/sendgeorgetoschool.
Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord,
and he will reward them for what they have done.” Proverbs 19:17