We visited a village community called Muminji in Mbeere district of Embu County, Kenya, in 2008, a village so remote even for those who grew up in a typical African village.
We worked with the local chief and a group of pastors to explore ways to address the community’s perennial and multi-faceted poverty. One of the initial leaders we engaged with, was Pastor Festus Ngare, a pastor of a small 10-person church. He farmed Miraa (Khat) as a source of income to support his family of four children.
His first radical step after beginning to engage with PA was to cut down his Miraa trees. He then used his savings of Ksh. 3,000 ($30) to start a small kiosk selling basic grocery. Ten years later, while several other leaders who were in the group struggled to embrace the call to abandon a handout mentality, Pastor Festus stood out as a leader. He is consistent, committed and ready to take personal responsibility for the transformation of his life, family, and community.
Over the years, Pastor Festus :
- has grown his store grocery shop from the initial KSh. 3,000 ($30) and now his business is valued at over KSH. 2,000,000 ($20,000) in just 10 years;
- has educated two children through college, with two currently in high school, by utilizing his business proceeds. He has also bought a piece of land and developed his own home and business premises;
- After learning more on leadership and church growth principles, he stopped the church he was running to allow himself to grow. Now he has planted a new church with 12 members, building it on the foundation of holistic transformation and focusing on discipleship;
- he is separately mentoring 7 youths in business and faith. often makes good use of the PAK Sacco, taking and paying loans on time, while maintaining a healthy balance in the Sacco.
Today pastor Festus joins PA staff regularly to train other leaders in other parts of Kenya on behalf of PA. He is a national leader of the PAK Sacco and through his leadership, he is now creating a new community of like-minded people who, each one taking personal responsibility, are holding one another accountable for the change they desire to see in the lives, families, and communities.