“The Lord has been giving me a picture that we should be patient,” Pastor Dionisio Mugendi tells Director Paul Njuguna as they sit inside Bread of Life Centre Church Maua on a Saturday morning. “And He is doing great things.”
Patience is definitely a word that would describe Pastor Mugendi, who has been faithfully following God’s call on his life now for many years. Coming from the small town of Kanyakine in Meru County, he first served under a pastor in the local church, until God called him to evangelize in the surrounding valleys and hills.
“My greatest passion is for people to receive Christ,” he tells me with a smile that rarely leaves his face. “I love to tell people about Christ, and even if one week goes by and someone has not come to know [him], I feel sick.”
Even upon arriving to his first session at Divine Providence, he stuck up a conversation with a motorbike driver, asking if he knew where the school was located.
The driver responded yes, saying, “I am [the pastors’] driver!”
Mugendi responded with, “Since you have been driving the big men of God, have you given your life to Christ?”
At this point several other motorbike drivers had gathered with them at the gates of Camp Chemi Chemi.
“No, but I am thinking about it,” one said.
“I don’t know how…” responded a second.
Next thing you know, their motorbike helmets have been removed and Mugendi is praying with three of the drivers who expressed a desire to accept Christ as their Savior. He still communicates with them today, checking to see if they have been able to get connected with a local congregation, so that they can be discipled in their faith.
Now Mugendi has been serving in a town called Maua. One of the main issues in this area is a crop called Miraa. The leaves of the tree act as an extreme stimulant when chewed, and so many people have come to abuse it as a drug. It has become so popular that it is now Maua’s main cash crop, and many people are harvesting it and exporting it to other parts of the country and even the world.
“There is so much resistance to the Word of God. In order to be accepted into the community, you must not speak out against Miraa. They know, if you are born again, that you will not agree.”
Even though he faces a lot of opposition, Mugendi has been patient, and you can see that the Lord has done great things. He tells story after story of the Lord’s faithfulness in this small church of only about twenty members.
“We did not have any seats,” he says. “Then one day a man comes and says, ‘Are you Mugendi?’
I told him, ‘Yes.’
‘I have been told to deliver these thirty seats to you.’
I asked him who paid him, and he said he did not know, he was only told to deliver them.
I still do not know who it was, but I thank the Lord that He provided.”
Another time there was a man from Nairobi who was in town visiting his parents. He walked into Bread of Life Centre on Sunday morning, where Mugendi was sharing a message about God’s divine favor. The man returned that week to Nairobi and found out that he had been given a plot of land near his parents home in Maua. He immediately tracked down Mugendi and told him that he wanted to bless him with a portion of the land for faithfully speaking God’s prophesy into his life.
Mugendi shows us proudly the plot of land where he plans on building a home for his family so they can move from their rental home in town, and his wife Esther, cuts down sugar cane for us to take on the journey back to Camp Chemi Chemi.
Since attending DPTC, Esther says she has seen “a renewed commitment and seriousness in his ministry.”
Mugendi first heard about the school from DPTC alumni Titus Kimathi who he has known for over fifteen years. Titus told him, “Pray that you will have a chance to study here.” Mugendi did, and now as a member of the fourth class of DPTC, he is excited about all of the new things he is learning.
“When you have been in ministry a long time, you think that the way you have been doing things is the only way or is the correct way, just because that is the way it has always been done. It isn’t until you have the opportunity to learn how things actually should be done, for example in church leadership or structure, and then you realize [that isn’t true].”
Mugendi still feels he has a lot to learn, but he is certainly up to the task.