*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. (If you missed it, you can find Part 1 and Part 2 here.)
So last week the story left off when I left my family in New York. I came back and got a job at a computer store in downtown Chicago. I was enjoying the work and just praying and asking the Lord, “What do I do?”
It was the year 2000, so I did a search online. I just typed in “missions” and, as you can imagine, there were pages and pages and pages of links to mission organizations. And the seventh link on the first page was an organization called International Teams*. What attracted me to it was that every other organization was in Florida or California, in Hawaii—all these different places that were far away. But International Teams was in Elgin, Illinois, about 40 kilometers west of Chicago, so I said, “Okay, these guys are close by. Let me click on them.” I clicked on the link, they had a five-minute interview application where I shared my testimony and where things stood in my life, and I said that I was looking for direction.
Well, I came back in the evening, and they had responded. They’re like, “Wow, your testimony is very powerful. We’ll really love to see how the Lord will lead and guide you, but our missionaries have to raise their own support, which means you have to legally be able to work in the U.S.” I think they assumed that I was on student visa or something. So I responded back and said, “No, I have a green card, I can work. There’s no problem with that.”
I said, “Look I don’t understand what you mean by this ‘support-raising’ position. I don’t know how it would go. I’ve been disowned, so all the networks that I could work with to raise support through my parents are gone. I don’t know how this will happen. But I’m trusting God that He is the one calling, that He will make a way.”
So they said, “Great. We’ll send you our missionary package. Fill it out. Get all the references that it will require and send it back in.” And so I did all that and I sent it in.
In the fall of 2000, I started missionary training at the International Teams headquarters. After the four-month training I was very ready and prepared to go to the field.
But then, there were a couple of things it seemed the Lord was saying I needed to take care of before going to the field. One of was to finish school and get my bachelor’s. Second was to pay off my college loan. Third one was to become a U.S. citizen. So, from December 2000 and March 2003, the Lord took care of those three things: I finished paying my college loan, I became a U.S. citizen and I graduated from Judson University.
In 2003, I left the United States to become a missionary in Kenya.
In June, I started out in language school learning Swahili, and then I return back to the States to raise more support and make sure my support base was strong. I returned to Kenya in early 2004 and have been here ever since.
While serving with International Teams I met my lovely wife, Ami, who is from the Philippines and was also serving as a missionary on the same team with me in Kenya. We got married in 2005 and we have a seven-year-old son, Dami.
As International Teams and Bright Hope have a mutual founder and some common connections, little by little I started helping out with some of Bright Hope’s needs here in Kenya and eventually, in 2014, I became the country director for Bright Hope. My wife also now works for Bright Hope and we continue to serve the Bright Hope church partners in the Mathare Valley slum and in Turkana County.
As I look back, I can say without a doubt, that for me, mine is a walk of faith.
It’s a journey of faith.
And the walk of faith is a risky walk because when you take that step of faith, you don’t know what you’re going to meet in front. You don’t know what’s ahead. You just take this step of faith. But the Lord honors that. Because what you’re doing when you take that step of faith, that risk, is you’re saying, “Lord this is my life. I place it in your hand. Do what you want to do with it.”
I’m very grateful to the Lord for touching my heart, for giving me the courage, the boldness and the strength to take the step of faith, to come to Kenya and for the opportunity to have seen Him work.
I’m very grateful that He chose me, chose my wife, chose our family and gave us the opportunity to serve Him, to work for Him.
I also thank the Lord for reconciling me and my parents. They have become our biggest supporters as we serve in Kenya.
I look forward to many more years to continue to do His work.
*International Teams, now known as One Collective, was also started by Bright Hope Founder Kevin Dyer.