I was born in a small town in Nakuru, which is a town in Rift Valley, Kenya. Needless to say, I made my debut to the world two weeks before the due date – I guess this curiosity goes with me way back. We lived in upper hill for sometime before moving to Eastlands, where I spent 14 years playing and growing. Those were the days video games were coming out and yet we still had time to play rounders, kati, icho icho, cops-and-robbers and stuck-in-the-mud.
My father has worked as an engineer for almost 30 years and my mother has been involved in the educational sector as a teacher, for many years, before beginning her own school in Kasarani. As such, education and a knack for figuring things out has been a part of my genes. I learnt playing basketball using a tennis ball that was lying somewhere in our home and later became a serious football player and enthusiast (or so I like to think 🙂 ). Of late, due to fitness issues – or lack of it – I like to swim, play tennis and snooker. I went to Strathmore school for my high school, where I’d say I started exploring my gift and passion for leadership, collaboration and sports.
After finishing high school, I was at a crossroads as to what to pursue in uni. This is because I think that I have always had a problem choosing just one thing because I find that within me is a passion for many things. Following the advise of my father, I began and completed my undergraduate studies in Electrical and Electronics Engineering (although I almost quit) – He thought that my good grades in the sciences were a good foundation for Engineering and that if I wanted to move into another field, at least the platform would be set. I studied at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, in Juja. The distance gave me the space I thought I needed to begin owning up and explore life – By the time I was in my final year, I had stopped going to church. This was a big deal, because my parents were both faithful believers and servants in the Church (my dad an elder and my mum involved in hospital ministry). This exploration was compounded by the fact that I had gotten myself involved in a youth-run organization, AIESEC (actually, rather seriously, as we founded the local chapter from scratch with some friends). I met different people from various religious and philosophical backgrounds, and none, and I couldn’t see why “Jesus was the only way.” The youth culture of reckless abandon would provide a conclave for this inner search. By the time I was finishing my undergraduate degree, I was more or less an agnostic – I thought God existed but I wasn’t sure there was any convincing evidence to cause me to commit my life fully to him. By this time I had exhausted enough religious and philosophical literature, visited a Buddhist temple and thought that Christianity was “an opium for the masses.”
Hope Begins to Dawn
I came out of university with a relationship that wasn’t working, confusion about my future and the guilt of my past life. During the first few weeks of January 2013, as I was reflecting on all this, I got an impulse to take up my dusty bible and begin to read “genuinely” – 1st John started painting for me the picture of God’s extravagant love – of Jesus Christ as one who had sacrificed his life on behalf of a wreck such as I so that I could be fully alive. It came to my realization how much contempt I had poured on him by calling myself a Christian when in fact my actions were a total opposite of what I claimed. Being drawn to my helplessness I made a prayer that if God was really out there he would come to my life and help me. I remember that evening in my bedroom at my parent’s house, how all of a sudden there flooded into my heart such peace and joy, a realization that actually I had been given a new slate at life – That he loved me first, even before I could.
My calling – from Engineer to Pastor / Teacher
That would begin a long journey of transformation that still continues. God would later draw me to go to seminary for my theological studies, initially with an emphasis on apologetics so as to help those who had questions about the Christian faith if not at the very least, mine the riches of the history of Jesus followers. Additionally, I have been the recipient of edifying friendships at BSF young adults class (Parklands Baptist), my seminary teachers, my former youth pastor and his wife, together with the other various fellowships and friendships at my home Church. I initially worked as an Engineer in the fields of Energy simulation for Green buildings and then as a power systems engineer in the country’s utility. In September 2017, I transitioned into pastoral ministry and serve at PCEA Loresho Parish, in Nairobi Kenya. Since I have always had an abiding interest in books and ideas, I am currently (August 2019) pursuing a Doctorate in Practical Theology at the University of South Africa which is helpful for my writing and teaching ministry. I also teach courses in youth ministry, theology and apologetics as an Adjunct at pan Africa Christian University as well as writing and editing some articles for The Gospel Coalition Africa. My researching, writing, and teaching interests have seen me serve as a presenter at the International Association for the Study of Youth Ministry African regional conference, an assistant secretary for the Africa Society of Evangelical Theology as well as a co-leader of Apologetics Kenya. I take this as a huge honor, because I know that “I was the worst of sinners.” I continue to see the abiding grace of God, as he continues to transform me and renew my mind. These words are written in an effort to remind us of the living hope that is Jesus Christ.
All has not been rosy – 2015 was a dark year for me as I lost my brother, the one who follows(ed) me. I have written about this loss and the process of grieving here. I collected all these stories and published them in a memoir called A Curious Faith: Love, Loss and Living. Currently (August 2019), I am in the process of editing a book that talks about the intersection of faith and African identity – It looks at the generations of three African men and their women, and how in their different socio-cultural backgrounds, they stumbled upon faith.
In December 2016 Jessica and I got married at our home church, St. Andrews after dating for over 3 years. She has been a good friend and now wife, extending grace to me and aiding me in my growth and service. She reminds me that God gives excellent gifts to undeserving people. She is a Business analyst and also enjoys working with children. In June 2019, God blessed us with a son – Noah Ndereba Muriithi. I can tell you that Fathering is another class on its own, but one I am enjoying. In my studies in youth ministry, I have seen that parental influence is one of the foremost factors in forming young people – Of course, the Bible has always said this. You can see some pictures and see a summary of what this blog is about here. I can fully assure you, we are very much “under construction.” When not writing or reading or pastoring or teaching, you can find me playing tennis with my brother, enjoying a soccer game (used to think I’d be a Ronaldinho) or listening to music (hymns, classical and jazz music are my favorite).