George Obiero M.A. ’13 grew up in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Some of the kids he played with became “thugs and drug dealers.” But when George gave his life to Jesus at age 15, he wanted his life to be about something different.
“I wanted to be used by God,” he says, and he began praying for opportunities to be a role model to the kids in his community, and for ways to help those living in the poverty and injustice that were a part of his everyday life.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Daystar University in Kenya with the goal of returning to the slums to work with the poor. After interning with International Justice Mission, an organization focused on “seeking justice for the oppressed and vulnerable people who are mostly women and children around the world,” IJM offered him a full time position working, among other places, within the slums where he grew up.
Getting to Wheaton
In April of 2010, while attending a workshop for organizations reaching out to at-risk populations, George met a graduate of Wheaton's Clinical Psychology Program.
“When she heard what I was involved with, she got really excited and asked me if I had thought about furthering my education. I told her that I had, but that I still did not have enough money to afford it.
“She was gracious enough to tell me about the Billy Graham Center Scholarship for people who are already involved in missions work, and who want to further their education.
“That was the first time I had heard of Wheaton College,” George says. “I immediately got really excited, and by God’s grace, I ended up here.” Although he had to quit his job and be apart from his wife for his first semester of school, George knew that God was leading him, and would provide for all of his needs.
“My wife has joined me now, and the way God has led me is amazing. I just thank God for the way it has been one day at a time. I like quoting Psalm 119:105 ‘The Word of God is like a lamp unto my feet.’ Though I still have moments of doubt, so far God has worked amazingly in my life, and I feel He has led me here, and He has good plans for my wife and me.”
The masters program has been challenging, but George says he is thankful for the opportunity to study with the professors at Wheaton and with students from around the globe. “By being here, I feel like I am really being empowered and given more skills to serve those that I used to work with. Coming out of this program, I know God can use me more."
George eagerly awaits his return to Kenya in the summer or 2013. “Kenya is going through a transition,” he explains, “So there are many opportunities that come with transition. I am trusting God that there will be an outpouring of His Spirit to be able to help and equip the church to better minister to the needs of the nation, and the needs of the vulnerable populations.”