A Kenyan-born man working as a pastor and a US soldier has shared his story of hope and resilience.
Anthony Ng’ang’a, who was born and raised in Komothai, Kiambu County, spoke during a recent interview with Nation.
Anthony said he first went to the US to further his studies after his family sold some properties to fund his education at Beulah Heights University.
While at the university, life became unbearable as he did not have a scholarship or anyone to host him and was forced to move into a shelter for the homeless.
He had to ride a bicycle to and from school before landing a job at a gas station, which enabled him to foot his bills and pay tuition, juggling between work and school.
In 2018, he returned home and settled in Nairobi’s Ruai estate where he started a cyber café and bought a motorcycle.
“I’d operate as a boda boda rider from 4 am to 7 am. I would then open the cyber café for the rest of the day. This went on for two years until I landed a Green Card in December 2018 and my American dream was revived,” said Anthony.
His passion for the pulpit became a reality after he was ordained at PCEA Baraka in 2019. Later, he and other like-minded church members split to set up Uwezo Gospel Church where he became the pastor before returning to the US a few months later and began his ministry.
Anthony was the presiding pastor of a thriving congregation at Uwezo Gospel Church in Plano, Texas until March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit most parts of the US. He decided to enroll in the US Army and got a pastor to cover for him during his military training.
“I knew that there was no looking back once the training began because in case you back down, you could face a jail term. I knew it was a risk I was taking, but I braved it all. I was passionate and focused and I wasn’t ready to drop my pastoral tag. I almost gave up at some point, but a jail term was the last thing I’d want. The training is so tough, it breaks you to make you. I managed to run two miles in 12 minutes against the expected 21 minutes. I was also very good with the M16 rifle as well as being able to throw two live grenades, among many other tasks. I passed them all and here I am,” Anthony said.
Anthony is currently assigned to the Equipment Record Parts Specialist (ERPS) segment but the Army Reserves has the right to send him into the battlefield.
“I still preach every weekend in different states, and have now visited over 16 states…My dream is to be an army chaplain. I’m currently enrolled for a master’s in divinity at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to make this dream a reality,” he added.