In July, 2001 a quiet, humble gentleman from Chuka, Kenya arrived at New York's airport with $120 in his pocket and one suitcase. He was here to attend a spiritual seminar in Cleveland, Tennessee. His village in Kenya that had no electricity or running water. He had never flown on an airplane before or experienced many of the sights and sounds that confronted him when he stepped off the plane that day. Today, he is finishing his first semester at Erskine Theological Seminary in Due West, South Carolina as a student in the Masters of Divinity program.
His journey began in 1976 when, at the age of 13, he committed his life to Christ. He has been in a "real hot pursuit for God and especially knowing His will for my life" to quote his own words. The story of his faith journey is remarkable. In New York he spent $115 to purchase a bus ticket to Cleveland, Tennessee. He then lost it or it was stolen. A fellow Kenyan traveler replaced his ticket. The last day of the seminar he needed to get to Georgia. A gentleman stood up and announced that he had a space in his van going to Atlanta, Georgia if anyone needed a ride. When he arrived in Atlanta, he met his contact "at the Big Chicken". God was continuing to pave the way for His faithful servant to follow.
This gentleman's name is Humphrey Kanga and he is a member of Mars Hill Presbyterian Church. Humphrey is a lay minister at a small church in his village. His wife Hellen and children (Alex, 13 and Abigail, 7) are still there serving at the church and keeping the family together in Humphrey's absence. As a lay pastor, Humphrey soon realized that he couldn't answer some of the questions his church members asked. That's when he began a 3 year prayer vigil to ask for God's guidance and will in this matter. God's answer was to come to the United States and go to seminary! (Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send: And who will go for us? And I said, "Here I am. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8).
The journey from that faithful day in 2001 when he got off the plane in New York until now is full of stories of doors closed and other doors opened and the miracle of God's work in a life completely devoted to His will. Humphrey touches the life of anyone and everyone he meets. Most importantly, Humphrey has taught those he talks with what it means to be a member of the Body of Christ. Humphrey comes from a culture and part of the world that is just as foreign to most of us as New York was for him. However, when we talk about our God and our faith, we have an instant connection that binds us together as brothers and sisters in Christ. (There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galations 5:28). He has shown the congregation of our church what it means to live every day, hour and minute of your life for God. He also has shown us that living that kind of life does indeed set you free. Humphrey has been a living Bible for many of us who have had the privilege and pleasure to share this journey with him. The Mars Hill Kenya Connection is a group of 16 church members who have come together with the congregation at Mars Hill to support Humphrey and his family spiritually, emotionally and financially as he pursues the journey that God has set before him.
If your group or church would like to hear the remarkable journey of Humphrey, he would also like to share with you how God has worked in his life to get him from Chuka, Kenya to Due West, South Carolina. He has been blessed to be able to share his testimony with several church groups from teens to adults and also with a 3rd grade class at a local school. To quote so many people after hearing Humphrey speak of God's work in his life-"You can see the face of Jesus in Humphrey's face".