FDM graduation in Busia, Kenya
On June 28th, 2022, FDM held its certification ceremony in Funyula, Busia country in western Kenya. Trained under Pastor Davis Juma, 21 pastors and Christian leaders graduated after completing all 5 FDM workbooks. It was a joyous day of prayer, worship and reflection as all who attended praised God for how this course has changed their lives and ministries.
One of the graduates is Pastor Bonfas Odwory Bwire from Busia, Kenya. Pastor Bonfas testifies that FDM training has been a great blessing to him personally, and also to his family and ministry. It was his wife Prisila who first enrolled to study with FDM, and after a few sessions recommended that he accompany her to hear what was being taught. Pastor Bonfas was skeptical at first, but upon his wife’s insistence decided to join her. Little did he know that God would change everything in his family and ministry through these trainings. Just the first session made a big impact on him – it was the first time he was being discipled on sound Biblical doctrine, marriage and parenting. He asked many questions, all of which were answered to his satisfaction, and then decided to attend every class until he completed the entire training.
Pastor Bonfas admits to misleading the children of God for many years with false teaching as he did not understand the Bible well. Growing up in the church, he understood from his own church leaders that animal sacrifice was required to get rid of the original sin inherited from one’s parents, and this practice he called redemption after one accepts Christ. After this he would breathe over each person as he laid his hands on their heads to receive the Holy Spirit, asking them to speak in tongues. If they could not speak in tongues, Pastor Bonfas would tell them that they were not saved and had to repeat the whole process at another time. Also he was unclear about the Trinity and thought that God the Father was different from God the Son and the Holy Spirit. Another perplexing concept was life after death – he cannot express in words the confusion he brought to his flock with his teachings in this area!
Today, Pastor Bonfas thanks God for being trained under FDM which has sharpened him to be an effective minister. He has now begun afresh to teach his flock sound Biblical doctrine. According to Pastor Bonfas, every minister needs to know that it is not enough to just have people come to church on Sunday – they have to be well-discipled.
FDM’s training on marriage and parenting was also an eye-opener for Pastor Bonfas, who had been captive to the African culture where wives are subordinates at home and in society and even telling your wife ‘I love you’ after marriage is a great embarrassment to the man. He was very apprehensive when he began the first marriage book. As the training went on and there were interactive questions, he and his wife frequently exchanged guilty glances. They saw themselves as people who had been living under one roof as enemies and strangers. The more sessions they attended the more the Biblical truths were revealed to them, and every time they got home in the evenings they apologized to each other for not living up to God’s expectations for each other in marriage and for treating each other like enemies. Many times they would shed tears after the kids had gone to sleep and ask forgiveness from God. The training has changed Pastor Bonfas’s view of family and forever transformed his marriage. Several families have approached them seeking marital advice after seeing this transformation and their love for each other. One thing Pastor Bonfas has discovered is that 98% of marriages are in shambles and couples do not know how to salvage their relationship. He is sure that this training will save many marriages – one of his classmate’s spouses came to the faith after seeing the change in his wife thanks to this training, and is looking forward to joining the next class when it begins. Today Pastor Bonfas trains others with FDM materials – he has begun a class in his church as well as training church leaders from other denominations.
Another graduate is church leader Celestine Mwabi. She confesses that before joining the training her marriage life was not good. She and her husband, who is an elder at a local church, would constantly have misunderstandings and quarrel. FDM classes changed her view of marriage and parenthood. Her husband also noticed her positive behavior, love and submission, and this has inspired him to enroll in the next class so that he too can become an effective minister and a good spouse and parent. Celestine had also believed that the African child is to be brought up by the cane, a value that was instilled in her by her parents who would quote Proverbs 13:24 – ‘Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but whoever loves him is diligent to discipline him’. However, through FDM’s training, she and her husband realized that they were being too authoritative and have since repented, and their relationship with their children has improved greatly.
Celestine was also taught that one loses their salvation every time they sin, and so had been responding to every altar call to receive salvation anew. She now understands that true salvation cannot be taken away from her. Celestine praises God that FDM’s training is available in Africa where it can bring light and clarity to so many who badly need this teaching. Her friends and family are eager to join classes after hearing about her experience and seeing the change in her.
We praise God for all 21 graduates who have faithfully attended FDM classes, seeking to learn God’s Word and applying it to their lives and ministries. May they now disciple others in the faith, teaching them about God’s purposes for them in their marriages and families. Please also join us in praying for Pastor Davis Juma, for God’s strength and wisdom as he conducts these classes and that his faith and teaching will continue to transform communities in Africa.