Monday, September 01, 2014

Stories of Transformation: Pastor Collins Ochieng, Kenya

Collins Ochieng first came to the Mathare Valley slum in Nairobi, Kenya in 1991. To survive, he made a living as a cobbler, but he never had a sense of fulfillment. Without a sense of purpose or Hope, he resorted to alcohol and drugs to fill the void.

While walking through the slum one day in 1997, he met a local pastor who told him about the redeeming love of Jesus Christ; however, he was not ready to take that leap of faith. Thankfully, the pastor did not give up on him and just a few weeks later, Collins gave his life to Christ.

Not long after, he began to attend Outreach Community Church (OCC), Bright Hope’s partner in Mathare Valley, where he was mentored and given the opportunity to go to Bible school through the Pastor Training program. In two years, he earned his certificate, and four years after that, he earned his diploma in Biblical Studies. Finally, in 2008, he was ordained as a pastor.

Currently, he is the administrative pastor at OCC, where he oversees logistics, music, offerings, and ushering. As a husband and father of a daughter and another child on the way, Pastor Collins’ hope is for his family to avoid the struggles that he faced. His heart is for those living in Mathare Valley and he is confident that the local church has the ability to provide for the daily needs of the community. Moreover, he firmly believes that the Gospel is powerful and can lift the people of Mathare out of poverty. Through the Pastor Training program, he has developed the skills to lead the OCC congregation in this assault on poverty.