Humphrey's Autobiography (July, 2003)
My name is Humphrey Kanga. I was born on January 9, 1962. I come from Kenya in the eastern part of Africa. My mother introduced me to Sunday school in my childhood. At an age of 13 years (1976), I committed my life to Christ as my Lord and Savior. To me it looked like a small decision, but as I grew it turned into a big long decision in my life, since it has affected my whole being and life. Ever since I got saved I have had a deep desire to grow in Christ and to serve him.
In my school life, I was involved in leadership among young Christian movement. In the course of my involvement I learned how to lead a small group Bible study, how to preach and techniques of Christian leadership, etc.
In a camp meeting in 1983, God confirmed to me his call to be a preacher and minister of the gospel. It is from then that I become very aggressive on knowing God by way of studying his word, prayer, and involvement in the service. I can confidently say that since that time it has been a real hot pursuit for God and especially knowing his will for my life. Many doors opened in churches, colleges, schools and villages to preach the word. All these open doors were a confirmation to me that God has called me to preach the gospel.
I have served in the capacity of a deacon and elder in my church. For the last ten years I've really enjoyed serving God in the church. It was this time I realized that God has gifted me with leadership and preaching. My pastor gave me many opportunities to preach in the church. Other churches who were not of my denomination extended their invitations to me, too. In 1997, my church had revival meetings in my village where many people committed their lives to Christ. A church was started to give these people spiritual guidance. It is there I became a lay pastor to minister to those people. I've enjoyed this work so much despite the fact that it has many challenges. While in pastoral work, I realized my inadequacy as a minister. For example, the people I ministered to had questions I could not answer. Sometimes I felt burnout invading me, etc. Sometimes I felt I lacked confidence and authority to answer some questions or teach some Biblical subjects. When I realized this, I started praying for God to open an opportunity for me to join a good seminary. Ever since then I began to pray at 4:00 a.m. for this door to open. This has been my prayer item over the last three years. God answered this prayer in 2001 when I came over to the U.S.A. in search of an opportunity to join seminary. In Kenya, I sold my land and closed my business to raise money for my air ticket in preparation for the States. I did not have enough money for an air ticket, but God miraculously supplied through Christian brothers and sisters.
I landed in New York with only $120.00. I bought a bus ticket of $115.00 to Cleveland, Tennessee. Before getting on the bus I lost the ticket. God provided me with another bus ticket through a fellow Christian Kenyan who was on the same airplane with me.
After the seminar, I asked another attendee for a ride to Atlanta, Ga., because I had a telephone number of a Christian man in Marietta who was from Kenya. When we arrived in Marietta, the fellow who had given me a ride called this Christian man and just told him that he had a visitor and to meet us at the "Big Chicken". He met me there and took me to his house. He told me that his house was too small for me to stay but knew of another Kenyan who had room in his house for me to stay and gave him a call. This fellow allowed me to rent a room in his house in Acworth. I found a Presbyterian church in Acworth where I experienced the warmth of God's presence. After prayer for a church, God directed me to that church. Brothers and sisters in this church have supported me to go to school. God's plan and his love have opened many avenues for me to get this far in my search for a seminary. Finally God opened a big opportunity to join Erskine Theological Seminary for the spring semester in 2003. Glory to his name! (See THE ROAD TO ERSKINE to read about God's hand in this part of Humphrey's journey)
I gained a lot of experience as I attended Mars Hill Presbyterian Church where I participated in a weekly men's Bible study every Saturday morning. I've also been a member of an adult Sunday school class, the Thursday morning Prayer Ministry and a greeter. Over a year ago I completed the Walk to Emmaus retreat sponsored by the Upper Room.
I had an exciting moment to give my personal testimony to over 150 people on my faith journey and walk with the Lord. I had several chances to preach in churches here in the U.S.A. and speak to Christian groups about my faith.
I'm married with two kids. My wife Hellen and children Alex and Abigail are in support of my ministry. They are in Kenya and they pray for me daily. Hellen is very involved in the church we started. She is the chairlady of the women of the church. She is also on several other church committees. She is also a preacher and has many opportunities to preach in the church. She has been a real motivation for me to enter full time ministry. This became vivid to me when she agreed we sell our land for this vision and course. She also was a part and percent of the prayer for seminary since 1997. She has comfortably agreed to take the role of the mother and father to our children now that I'm not there with them.
I'm currently enrolled at Erskine Seminary. This is really golden to me. I'm in the place of my dream. I really have enjoyed being taught by professors who are also in ministry. Their experience in ministry excited me. Their teaching is not only theoretical, but also practical and applicable in the field or life situations. They also influence my Christian character by the level of their commitment and godliness. They are so loving, kind, and understanding. The seminary community as a whole is fantastic. By the way of their lives you can tell that God is in this place. I feel each one of us is here for such a time, for God to mold me/us for the ministry. I'm very eager to continue and see what is in store for me.
Why am I in seminary? I may have answered this question so far, but since it is a question of paramount importance to me, I would want to make it a bit clear.
To open a theological seminary in Kenya:
There is great need for trained ministers in Kenya. We have few seminaries in Kenya. Most parts of Africa are not evangelized. In addition to my pastoral work, I will endeavor to the cause of training ministers of the gospel. In Kenya alone, 20% of the population has never heard the name Jesus. I will identify Christians in the remote communities of Kenya and other parts of Africa and facilitate and support them for training. After training they would then go back to their communities and countries to serve Christ. Like Paul I will visit them in those parts I can reach to see how they are doing and offer encouragement. The seminary would help in the strengthening of the church in Kenya, Africa, and the rest of the world.
To promote social/economic change:
In "the" seminary school, we will aim at also contributing to social/economic change along side with providing spiritual guidance to these needy areas of the world. The church will be encouraged to bring people closer to obtaining school and health centers, and help feed the hungry. The church will also raise AIDS awareness and prevention and promote strong communities and strong Christian families. This in return will bring the light of Jesus Christ to shine in the darkness.
To gain confidence and authority:
In Erskine Theological Seminary I'm sure most of my questions concerning gray areas in the Bible will be answered. The training and the Christian maturity I will gain here will empower me with more confidence and authority in my future preaching, teaching, and leadership. The training will also give me confidence to act independently at times if need be for the warfare of the kingdom of God and the church. This seminary I'm sure can adequately equip me for the vision and dream I have about my ministry in Kenya and Africa.
My aim and goal is that within the first three years from now I will be able to finish my masters of divinity. I will also take any role and ministry that will open up in the church that is sponsoring me. I intend to be very active and involved in the church. Immediately when I'm through with my masters of divinity, I will seek to enroll for a doctor of ministry. I intend to finish this within three years. After that I will then go back to my country (Kenya) to continue with my mnistry. Amen.