by Joina Munyanya
Joel Obande was desperately sick, hopeless and frustrated. “Tell me where I can buy salvation,” he told his sisters who had come to visit him. “I will sell my land and buy salvation!”
Apart from being sick, Joel’s life was a mess. He was a drunkard, a heavy smoker and a drug user. Every shilling he found was spent on supporting his habits. His children were out of school and going hungry because he could not provide for his family. His wife was unhappy. Relatives begged him to go to church, but he declined, thinking that he could not be helped anyway.
After recovering from the sickness, but still a drunkard and chain smoker, his wife invited him to a new church that had started in the village of Kadawa. On Sunday he went to church, listened, and went back home. But he decided he would go back the following Sunday.
That week, Joel had a strange dream. He saw in his dream a company of angels in white dresses. They laid their hands on him and prayed for him and then one of the angels handed him a book. When Sunday came, he once again accompanied his wife to church. He does not remember what was preached. But he remembers that when an altar call was given, he rushed forward, desperate for help.
That day Joel received Jesus Christ as his Savior. Pastor Hesbone Odindo prayed for him and laid his hands on him. But what left him shocked was that after prayers, Violet Odindo, approached him and handed him a book. It was a Bible. He remembered his dream.
“That book has changed me,” Joel testifies. “I treasure that Bible and read it reverently. I stopped drinking smoking and taking drugs. I provide for my family. Recently, I became the pastor of RCC* Bethel church! You cannot even imagine how happy my wife is now.
Joel describes his life as something that had been rotten but is now restored. Yes, God restores all things. Praise His name!
*Restoration Community Church (RCC) is a network of DOVE churches in Kenya, Kisumu region
Pictured: Joel (far right) with his wife and other RCC pastors.