Andrew is a missionary today . . . because of missionaries.
Andrew Onguka’s grandfather was spiritually lost when missionaries visited his Kenyan village. They shared the gospel and discipled new believers—including his grandfather—and now, three generations later, Andrew himself is a missionary.
“I’m fortunate because I was discipled by my grandfather,” Andrew says. “I was able to watch him up close. He was the same person in private and in public. I have a heritage I can’t even put a price tag on.”
Today Andrew and his wife Stephanie run OneLife Africa, a discipleship program for young people in Andrew’s native Kenya. They see firsthand why discipleship is essential and cannot be neglected if we want to see lives and communities transformed for Jesus Christ.
“Eight-five percent of Kenyans identify as Christians,” Stephanie explains. “They’ve heard the gospel. They’ve been saved ten times! It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s impacted the way they live or if they’re truly following Christ. That’s why discipleship is so important.”
Andrew gives an example—a young man who recently came to faith in Jesus Christ through their ministry. “Janus is 14, new in his faith, and unable to defend his beliefs. In Kenya he is vulnerable. [Terrorist] groups like al Shabaab are actively recruiting teens. That’s what they do—they train their people to target young Christians in the schools before they get their feet under them.”
Andrew noticed some suspicious activity on Janus’s Facebook page and a dangerous pattern in his social interactions. He was able to intervene in time, teaching him to follow Jesus alone. Today, Janus is being discipled, growing strong in his faith.
“This is what’s at risk,” Stephanie says. “New converts and new believers need receptive churches where they can grow, thrive, and become disciple-makers themselves. Churches where younger believers can watch mature believers, up close and in person—to learn how faith is put into practice. To learn what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.”
To God’s glory, the story comes full circle—just as it did in Andrew’s own life. “As our students who are being discipled go back to school and start to witness,” he explains, “others are coming to be discipled.”
One sows, another waters—our God gives the increase!
Meet Andrew and Stephanie Onguka
Andrew grew up in a rural village near Kisumu, Kenya. Stephanie grew up in Damascus, MD. They met on a church-based mission trip to Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya, in 2005. They were married in 2006.
Your giving to SIM provides training, logistics, and support for missionaries like Andrew and Stephanie. Your support helps connect missionaries to ministry opportunities on the field, cares for them in times of emergency, and provides ongoing spiritual and family care.
“We had some challenges [in ministry]. But because we are with SIM, we are confident somebody has done this elsewhere, someone has been through this before. It is helpful to know we can voice our issues and our concerns, be heard, and be cared for. They have our backs.” –Andrew Onguka