On Friday, August 21, as I was scrolling through my timeline late at night, I saw a Facebook post from Pastor Amos Boniface of Redeemed Gospel Church (RGC), Sunton, in Nairobi. He had posted it after ministering at RGC Buru Buru, which is headed by Pastor Felix Kavoi. The image of the modern Buru Buru sanctuary caught my attention because it was huge and very impressive.
I then reflected back to 20 years ago, when I worked as a reporter for EndTime News, the now defunct newspaper that was owned by the RGC organisation. I had just been sacked by Kencell Communications – a mobile network company now known as Airtel Kenya – and was struggling to make ends meet. That was when the then EndTime News editor, Francis Ayieko, offered me a chance to write for the paper.
Part of my duties entailed going around the country, especially to RGC branches, meeting and interviewing local pastors, and writing about what they were doing and the challenges they were experiencing.
Two decades later, when I remember my sojourn at EndTime News, I truly appreciate the power of thinking big and expressing your thoughts in words. By this I mean proclaiming what you believe even if you look like a fool.
Many pastors I met who had big visions, ideas and plans, and who spoke big, are truly big 20 years later. Sadly, those who were just living one day at a time with no vision are still stuck where they were. I know some who had churches in iron sheet structures and two decades later, the only visible development is that the sheets have been painted and there is a big signpost up.
Yet others who were in similar structures now have mega buildings. I remember Kavoi was one of those in a little iron sheet structure but he was always speaking big, making one wonder what he meant.
There is real power in having big dreams and speaking big in faith. There is real power in seeing beyond your current surroundings. There is real power in proclaiming victory even when you look like a relative of defeat. There is real power in seeing yourself driving that V8 Toyota Land Cruiser while currently you have no bus fare to get you to town.
During my time in Mathare North, Area 3, in Nairobi, I used to cross Thika Road – now Thika Superhighway – and walk towards New Muthaiga Estate to see the humongous buildings coming up. I kept telling friends that I would one day own a similar house. Then I would walk back to Mathare, buy matumbo (tripe) and go back to the single room that I shared with eight other guys.
And my words came to pass.
When you are down, never let that be your story. When you are in that single room, maybe sharing it with seven other people, never let that be your story. When you are jobless, never let that be your story. Have a vision for a better tomorrow.
If the situation in the estate where you live looks bad, take a walk to the leafy suburbs – start by visiting those who you know live there or just walk around. Or visit car showrooms and ask for prices even if your shoes are not polished. Think big, dream big and talk big. Be inspired by successful people and never be intimidated by them.
Today, reflecting on how, 20 years ago I travelled across the country to gather stories for EndTime News, and seeing the same people now, I can confirm the great impact of big visions and big verbal affirmations.