It was a windy cold evening on the slopes of Aberdare Ranges in Ndunyu Njeru, Kinangop in 1991. Bishop David Thagana, a 28-year-old high school teacher at Karima Girls High School had just arrived home from work.
Moments later, he was joined by a few friends for fellowship. It was their norm to meet in the evenings for fellowship. David had a passion for worship and fellowship. As they chatted the evening away, waiting for an easy evening snack, coffee and meal that could warm them up, David and his friends developed a vision. “We started thinking of ways we could use to spread the gospel beyond Ndunyu Njeru. We wanted a missionary platform that could take the gospel to the world and offer real life solutions to real life problems along the way,” says David who is 57.
The vision became the template on which Glory Outreach Assembly founded. Over the next few years, Bishop David and his friends marshaled resources to found their vision. They started off by hiring a hall for limited hours every Sunday where they would hold the worship and bible teachings. “The ministry grew from baby steps, and we bought a piece of land where we set up our first church known as Glory Outreach Assembly in Ndunyu Njeru Township,” he says.
From those steps, and over the last thirty years, GOA has grown to over 300 congregations in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Burundi and Tanzania.
Today, the Glory Outreach Assembly programs creatively reach out to different age groups through initiatives that are tailored to suit their unique needs. For example, among the youth, the ministry has been using sports including football, floor ball, roll ball and athletics.
Apart from GOA initiatives, GOA Compassion provides a shoulder to lean on for homeless children. Currently GOA Compassion provides home to over 310 children, with over 700 children having gone through the Compassion programs to date.
“During my teaching career at Karima, I interacted with numerous grandparents who were taking care of HIV/Aids orphans. Their struggle to raise their HIV positive grandchildren stirred my conscience. I would often find myself crying whenever I interacted with them. In 1998, I began to wonder how many other HIV/Aids positive orphans were struggling out there without even a relative to take care of them. Back then, the stigma that was attached to HIV/Aids was immeasurable. Contracting HIV was like a death sentence. People avoided you like a plague. Relatives hardly wanted anything to do with you. You were segregated and set aside. This drove me to lend a hand,” he says.
On September 1, 1997, Bishop David, the GOA presiding Bishop, wrote his resignation letter to the Teachers Service Commission with a three month notice. “By this time I was married and thankfully, my wife supported my decision and passion wholeheartedly,” he says. They took in one boy and started looking for ways to take in more children. “We now have built eight children’s where over 700 children have found shelter,” he says.
GOA also spread their missions to the conflict-prone Northern Kenya region, as part of our peace building initiatives “This is a region that over the years has been dominated by conflicts and wars.” he says.
The initiative has been teaching communities in Turkana, Samburu and Marsabit on the essence of love, harmony and peaceful coexistence. In turn, this has helped diffuse community tensions in the region. Today, says David, the fruits of his labour are in seeing people worship and interact together peacefully in the areas his mission has reached.
The Glory Outreach Assembly also trains leaders in partnership with other like-minded partners such as International Leadership institute, CCBR fellowship and Nairobi Pentecostal Bible College. These forums target leadership in churches, corporates, schools, government and communities. Over 30,000 leaders have been trained across Africa through the GOA leadership training programs.
“The last 30 years have been a great period for Glory Outreach Assembly through the transformation that has happened through their four departments of Church Growth, Compassion, Peace Building and Conflict Resolution and Leadership Development,” he says.
However due to the focus of our ministry, transforming communities and individuals lives, GOA has not build a headquarter to help coordinate our different functions. During our 30th anniversary celebrations, this is our top priority project. Empower GOA to reach more people through donation to build the Dream center today. Click HERE to donate through Mpesa and Bank and HERE to donate online.