For those of you who were not able to meet the SEA Partners’ Director, Henry Okumu, I wanted to share his story with you. I have known Henry for almost three years, but I had not heard his whole testimony until he visited the United States in November.
I was born in 1954 in western Kenya, East Africa. Back then it was very difficult growing up to become an adult; more children died than those who lived to become adults because of the threat from wild animals, tribal conflicts and lack of health facilities. My maternal grandfather had worked with the first Christian missionaries who had earlier arrived in our village to start a church. Because of them he was converted and my mother also became a Christian. Later, as a child my mother would take me to church with her, and that prepared me to later surrender my life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ – the only Savior and Lord.
In 1962, the church started a school in our village, and I was among the first kids to attend it. We met under a tree. We didn’t have books and pens and so we were taught to write using sticks on dirt. Our teacher organized us (kids) to build a hut to serve as our first classroom. I continued with my education and attended a high school that had been started by Catholic missionaries some 35 miles away and then went on to attend Kagumo University College where I studied Education.
For more than 30 years I served as a school teacher, administrator and church leader. My early childhood development in an environment of hardship prepared me to serve in the ministry in a difficult environment that Boma is. When I fulfilled government requirement for retirement from teaching in 2010, the Lord answered my prayer to open a door for me in a ministry where He would want me to continue serving Him with the vast experience, knowledge and skills I had acquired over the years. Thus, in 2012 I got the opportunity to serve as head teacher at Faith Learning Center; and in 2013 I was asked to serve as the director, the position in which I currently serve.
I have been married to Sophie for 33 years. Both she and I have been blessed with four children and two grand-children. Our first child is a daughter – Salome; she has been to college, is a school teacher and married to Eric who is also a teacher and deputy principal of a high school. They have 2 children – our grand children. Our second child is a son – Vincent; he has graduated in Telecommunication Engineering and is now leading the team at the Boma Project. Our third child is a son – Peter; he is studying Computer Technology at the Technical University of Kenya. Our fourth and last child is also a son – Emmanuel; he is studying Industrial Chemistry at the Technical University of Mombasa.
Missionaries in Kenya had a profound effect on his life and in turn Henry has been a blessing to the children in Boma. His testimony is further evidence that missionaries are needed. Please continue to pray for the SEA Partners missionaries in Boma who are sharing God’s love to the Murle people.
Serving Christ with you,
PS. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. Henry’s leadership has been instrumental in restarting the school after the conflict of 2013 and has a clear vision for our future in Boma. If you feel led to give to help him continue his mission work in Boma, please consider an online gift.