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Thursday
May062010

A God-sized Adventure

Former CBC students, Mike and Pat Heiser, became missionaries to Meru, Kenya. (Click to enlarge)Thirty-eight years ago, on the very first day of their married life, Mike and Pat Heiser made a commitment to make Jesus the head of their family and to live their lives for Him. The Heisers knew from the beginning that God had more of an adventure in store for them than a routine corporate lifestyle. Even after the birth of their child, Tiona Sue, Mike maintained a certain level of reluctance toward settling down into a typical American lifestyle. His resistance to the norm kept the door open for the pending adventure he knew God had purposed.

In 1994, while the Heisers were living in Pat’s home-town of Kansas City helping to care for Pat’s ailing father, Mike took a job with a local newspaper publisher. While there, God blessed Mike and Pat abundantly through business opportunities Mike was exposed to through his corporate work. Their prosperity allowed them to follow their heart's desire and they gave liberally to missions around the world.

The Heiser's missionary journey has brought them to Meru, Kenya, located on the east coast of Africa, East of Uganda. Despite the demands of their busy lifestyle, and true to Mike's reluctance to settle down, the Heisers decided to enroll in Charis Bible College (CBC). They had been introduced to Andrew's teaching in the mid-1980s. Andrew had become a great influence in their lives and they were looking to further saturate their minds with the Word of God. Their time at CBC was fruitful, and ultimately led to an amazing opportunity; Mike and Pat were asked to teach at Grace Bible School in Meru, Kenya. Upon accepting the invitation to teach, they set out on their long awaited adventure and moved to Meru in November of 2002.

Many children are forced to survive on the streets of Meru. (Click to enlarge)The Heiser's hearts were immediately filled with love for the Kenyan people, with a special fondness for the children who were running wild on the streets. They recalled a recurring dream Mike had approximately 30 years before their adventure to Kenya, in which the couple was in a foreign land with many children living in a big house on a hill. And true to the dream, the first home they settled into in Kenya was a big house on a hill. Very soon after moving in, they opened their home to the unwanted and neglected children of Meru. In just a few days time, they were blessed with six children who needed parents, and the love
of Christ.

8-year-old Elijah is one of many children the Heisers have welcomed into their home.
(Click to enlarge)
Filled with compassion for children on the streets, Mike and Pat also began PATHWAYS, a ministry outreach to the children who are not ready to submit to the discipline of family life. For more than seven years, the Heisers have been loving, feeding and teaching street children
about Jesus.

13-year-old Claire Muthoni also lives with the Heisers.
(Click to enlarge)
With Christ's endless supply of love and compassion, Mike and Pat also began reaching out to the single mothers of Meru and the children they saw these women struggling to feed. One Sunday in February 2005, Pat served tea to six single mothers as she shared God’s unconditional love and grace with them. After discovering that these women felt rejected in their local churches because of their poverty, the Heisers began hosting the women in their home each Sunday morning to celebrate God’s love and faithfulness. This was the beginning of what God had already told Mike to do; plant a church. Today, Mike and Pat pastor not one, but two Heart of God Fellowship Churches, one in Meru, and one in Githongo. Each month the church goes into the surrounding neighborhoods and shares the Good News of the Gospel.

NEEMA (grace in Swahili) Bible College Graduation ceremony. (Click to enlarge)The Heisers, understanding the need to train other leaders to continue the work they have lovingly begun, founded a Bible college in January of 2007. NEEMA (grace in Swahili) Bible College uses much of the curriculum of Charis Bible College, emphasizing the unconditional love of Jesus. Opening the Bible college has created new opportunities for the Heisers to reach several surrounding villages.

Mike and Pat waited faithfully for God to reveal His plan, His adventure, for their lives. And now, living their destiny, they are touching the lives of the people in Meru and beyond with the love and grace of Jesus, and training them to do the same.

To find out more about Mike and Pat Heiser and their ministry visit the Kids in Kenya website.