I first met the Rev CB Peter in August 1993 when as a young ordinant I joined St Paul’s Theological College, Kapsabet. He was an adjunct tutor in Religious Studies. We later learned that CB was a senior lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Moi University, Eldoret. Having just arrived from our rural settings, most of us were quite excited to be taught by an Asian, and more so a respected university teacher.
In late August 2009, I walked through the St. Paul’s University main gate to the welcome of one Joseph Lemuka the ever cheerful Maasai guard. It felt like coming home. For a long time my siblings and I had been treated to stories about St. Paul’s United Theological College from our father who is an alumnus of the now defunct institution. This was going to be my home for the next eight semesters. I had left my previous employment life in order to follow my heart’s desire to serve with youth and children and here my journey in the new life had just begun. My plan was to make it all count and at the end, stand to be counted.
I joined a class of thirty one, a number rather large for a BD class. This was a totally new life for me knowing that my first training was in business.
At SPU I volunteered to work with the young people. While my classmates hang out in the library and such places, I found fun hanging out with younger students. My motivation was a statement a friend of mine made one day in a conversation i.e. ‘behind every face is a story’ and I set out to find out what their stories were. In my interaction with them I hoped to walk with them in their struggles. This was not because I had all the answers but because I hoped to help them make right choices in life that would propel them in the right and positive direction. Our conversations were mostly fun though there were those who suspected I was up to some mischief and hence kept their distance. I loved working in the Students Welfare and it gave me a great satisfaction, something that many still don’t and may never understand. Not only did it give me a chance at interacting with fellow students, but also live the SPU motto ‘Servants of God and Humanity’.
Volunteering led me to places I may never have fathomed. This was so much so that some members of the community didn’t know whether or not I was a student or staff. There were those who actually expressed shock that I was in the graduating class of 2012. As a volunteer I got to learn great lessons at organizing worship from the University Chaplain. I particularly loved being part of the Choir and later the Praise and Worship Team (P&W). I was also privileged to be voted leader of the P&W Team. The dynamics of being a team leader and organizing volunteers taught me great lessons. I loved the challenge of coming up with various orders of services for the various non-traditional worship services held in Chapel especially on Wednesdays. Watching the Chaplain organize people from different denominations and ages in Chapel was simply amazing and from that I drew immeasurable lessons.
As volunteer I was involved in such university functions as graduation, installation of the current Vice Chancellor, inductions of the Council and new members of staff and of course, orientation of new students. I enjoyed favour with all those planning the functions and got experience working with various teams and individuals. Volunteering brings such joy knowing that one gains hands on experience that cannot be taught in any university class the world over.
Being a St. Paulian has confirmed many things that I once only held as beliefs. The following three make it to the top of a longer litany. One, I am where I am by divine appointment. Thus my mantra, Colossians 3:23 never disappointed. I endeavored to do what I did as unto God and this built excellence in me. Two, it is possible to volunteer and enjoy serving without actually being paid in cash. Three, when the divine term is over, it is time to seek fresh mandate on the next appointment. This helped me to leave knowing that the LORD who brought me to SPU will not just fill my shoes, but fill the gap left behind according to needs present.
As a proud St. Paulian my prayer is, “…………Almighty God bless St. Paul’s, the University of servants of God, that we may grow and grow to greater heights of service and dedication………….”