Part 1: From Military to Missionary

*Dotun Modupe is Bright Hope’s Country Director for Kenya. Over the next two weeks he’ll share his incredible testimony of how God called him into missions and brought him to Bright Hope.

My name is Dotun and I was born and raised in Nigeria. That’s home.

After high school, while my other classmates were looking at going to conventional universities, I chose to go to the military academy. I was going to become a military officer. And I did. It was a five-year program.

In my third year, my mom, who was a nurse and had already left for the U.S. years before that, was able to apply for my dad, two younger brothers and myself to come to the U.S. My two older sisters were already adults.

Well, the paperwork went through and I was about to get a green card to the U.S., but I was in the military academy and I had two more years left until I finished. That was the first big challenging decision in my life: do I want to go to the U.S.? Do I want to stay in Nigeria?

I finished my fourth year, and then in my fifth year, I really had to make the decision: do I become a commissioned officer, or do I leave those five years behind—which would mean that nothing would come of it—and start life over in the U.S.?

Well, after a lot of agonizing about what should I do, prayerfully, I felt very convinced that the Lord was going to use my going to the U.S.  I left Nigeria and did not get my bachelor of science in math from the military academy, and did not get commissioned as a second lieutenant.

I arrived in New York in 1996. I registered at City College of New York in Manhattan as a freshman computer science major. Then, my junior year I transferred Earlham College in Indiana. I met a French language tutor at the school, and she talked quite a lot about missions. She talked about the mission work they did in various countries. I just always remember telling her, “What’s this noise about missions, missions, missions?” I would say, “No, missions are only for white people.”

I saw missionaries coming to Nigeria when I was young, but I thought there was nothing there for black people. Blacks don’t do missions. And she would laugh and say, “Maybe you need to read your Bible more, to really see that it’s for all of us who are believers in Christ.”

So I began to say, “All right, I will do more research on that. I will find out more.” But something began to happen right from the conversations with her. It was almost like God brought missions right in front of me everywhere I went. The messages every Sunday—even when I would go back to New York for holidays—everywhere I went, it was all about missions and missions and missions. I actually stopped having peace because I was being reminded of it so much.

I really began to pray. “Lord, what do you have for me? What do you want me to do? How do I go about this?” Remember, I already did five years in Nigeria, nothing came out of it. Now, this is my junior year, so what does that mean: Do I leave school and go and become a missionary right away? How do I tell my parents these things? 

That summer I took an internship because I decided I was going to have a computer science major and a minor in marketing. I wanted to work for a big American company, like IBM or Dell, so I could be the sales rep working for them in West Africa, which is home, but God had other plans…

*This is Part 1 of a three-part blog sharing Dotun’s incredible testimony of how the Lord has led him, starting as a teenager, into mission work and then onto becoming Bright Hope’s Director of Kenya. Check back next Tuesday for Part 2.

Dotun Modupe
Dotun Modupe

Dotun Modupe is Bright Hope’s Country Director for Kenya. In a series of three blog posts, he’s sharing his incredible testimony of how God called him into missions and brought him to Bright Hope. After leaving the Nigerian military as a teenager to come live in the U.S., Dotun was pursuing a computer science degree, with plans to work for a major U.S. company in West Africa, when God undeniably called him into missions. Upon sharing this with his family, his father disowned him, and Dotun returned to the Midwest and sought the Lord for the next step.