My DNA Discipleship Journey:

Christmas Term (1st Oct- Dec 2018)

 

“Achamuge” GCC Family! (translates as: warm greetings in my tribal tongue= Kalenjin)
 
2019 is what we Kalenjin would celebrate as a ‘Taunet Ne Leel’, meaning ‘A Glorious New Beginning’!
 
As you may know by now, my name is Joy (Chepkemboi- 'born at night') Lelei.
I am a 20-year-old Kenyan A-level graduate, with hopes of becoming a medical doctor for my community back home…. but above all I am Yahweh’s Beloved child.

 This is a blog to let you in on who I am in Christ, where I’ve come from, but most importantly, to share with you the awesome journey that I am going deeper into this through my DNA discipleship year.

DNA is a Pioneer-led yearlong discipleship course established over a decade ago…(browse through their website for more inspiring details- https://dna-uk.org/).
        It stands for Discover Nurture and Action. Through this programme I was placed quite spectacularly at GCC- an event that was changed the day before I travelled to England (I was previously placed in Sheringham, Norfolk).

My programme co-ordinator is the fantastic Rachel May, and my programme discipler is the radiant Janet Williams. They are my backstops- the wonderful people who help me organise my schedule, hold me accountable to termly targets.
        They have, and continue to positively challenge and build me up and for this and all you do I am so grateful.
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I came to know about it from my high-school friend Mulisa, who went through it and having graduated from year 1- (2017-18 class), told me it was the most transforming thing she’d done with her life! She then went on to tell me about the incredible journey she’d been on and how she and her mum had been praying for me throughout the year.

        So this is where we backtrack a little…. Prior to coming for this course, I had been on a gap year- having graduated from St. Andrews Turi High school with 4 A-levels in: Biology, Chemistry, English Lit, and Economics. Due to financial constraints and ABBC grades- I couldn’t apply for a degree in medicine locally.

“What’s next then?” I asked God, and His answer was clear- Wait.

        So I waited, and as He’s always does, he made a wonderful way for me to spend a very healing gap year.

    I was able to do a variety of things and learn new skills including: volunteering at a senior’s physio clinic- talking to patients, delivering equipment between their two clinics and simply being an extra pair of hands where needed!

    I also did outdoor catering course on the preparation and presentation of 3 course meals for 7 months- a place which became a second home. And for 2 enlightening months, was employed as an online freelance writer mainly writing about: food and nutrition, travel destinations, and ‘DIY articles/ life hacks’.
     
    Let’s now fast forward to August 2018.
...My friend Whatsapped me a link to the DNA website and asks me if I’m interested… I check it out and love that it’s focus is on ‘Character in Christ development’ but, I get discouraged when I see it costs £4,875. But that initial faith, despite being clouded by doubt, paved way for God’s miracle. Mulisa called me and told me –“If you’re interested in it Joy, my mum and I would like to fully pay for you to do it”.
 
TEARS. Lots of them. I couldn’t believe that out of nowhere, so much could be given to me. I prayed about whether this was the direction God wanted me to go and then I shared it with my parents. More tears. And shouts, screams, dancing!

With one month to the start of the course, I got all my docs and things sorted without a single delay.

I left Nairobi on 28th Sept 2018, and was so warmly welcomed by Rachel and Alanna at Heathrow. The first meetup with GCC members was at the Turner’s Community Sunday Brunch  which was a wonderful introduction to some of you (shout out to Jane’s magnificently curly maneJ #captivatingfromthegetgo!)

I begun the DNA course on 1st October during a week’s residential in Dalesdown Christian Conference Centre in Horsham. This was a challenging start.  IMG-20181011-WA0009
In this blog (would love to have follow-up chat too!) I will be sharing with you these and other bits:
  • Activities I’m involved in with GCC
    • Highlights of my DNA training blocks (2/month) and residential meetings (1/term)
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      The following is a summary of my Christmas term which I sent to my Reverend Pastor at my home church in Kenya (Christ Is The Answer Ministries- CITAM Rongai. 

      For some good news check out our website: http://rongai.citam.org/ )

“This year I have been placed in a town called Guildford, Surrey County- which is in the Southlands of England.
I am growing and transforming by the renewal of my mind. The Dna curriculum is really challenging and enlightening- I’ve enjoyed the 2-day training sessions that we have every 3 weeks and I am forming blessed friendships with other trainees.

We learn so much from each other and are becoming more open to share vulnerabilities and pray together. I am being so well equipped holistically and really maturing spiritually and emotionally through my disciple, Janet’s influence.

This journey has been a busy and wonderful one so far. I have really enjoyed being at my placement church- GCC (Guildford Community Church) because the family environment is truly welcoming. I have been invited for dinners and outings with church members and gotten to know people within the church.
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    I serve in the Kids’ church ministry by preparing and doing talks, games, doing admin and organising certain logistics. I particularly enjoy working alongside the youth who help lead the kids’ church- it’s so inspiring to have young people participate in church life so enthusiastically.

        I’m also involved in and have undergone training for cross-church outreach initiatives e.g. Street Angels, Emerge Advocacy, Untamed Youth Summer Party, and organising the spoken word piece for our Christmas Church Service.

It has been a real learning curve in terms of being accountable with my time and being organised and disciplined enough to follow through with my commitments.

There are three main lessons which I feel God has been teaching me in the past month:
1. Grace is favour that is undeserved and that there are not enough “good” or “bad” works that I can do to separate me from God’s love. He is so good –always.

2. Relationship is at the heart of Christ’s gospel and as Christians we should follow in these footsteps if we are to: a) have unity within the church/each other- love your neighbour as yourself, and b) have a greater impact in communities and the world- working together to make earth as it is in Heaven- “His Kingdom to come”

3. Godly pressure is not like worldly pressure. Instead, His pressure finds its way through the cracks, revealing them and creating a way for healing ~stolen from Pete Gilbert.
 

It has been a tough time to dig deep and discover painful truths from my past. I feel secure to confront them and share with my discipler,  and DNA team leaders.

Thank God.” 


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So that’s it for this entry.
I will be updating it on a monthly basis but in between would love to catch up with you and your families.
 

Sending His Light, Love, and Life your way,

JLei

Joy Lelei, 10/01/2019