I was born a Maasai in Kenya and grew up as a herdsboy. My parents didn’t believe in education; in my community, boys were expected to herd cows and girls to work around the house.

But when I was nine years old, myself and the other Maasai boys in my village were told to attend school. It was there that I started to learn about Jesus and my curiosity about faith started to grow. The following year I became sponsored through children’s charity World Vision, which meant I was paired with a family overseas who helped support me, and we regularly wrote to one another. Through my sponsorship I received both simple and life-changing gifts – from my first pair of shoes, to access to healthcare. I’d never been able to afford to visit a doctor before. 

In 1976, there was a severe drought in Kenya. World Vision, a member of the Evangelical Alliance, gave us enough food to feed our entire family during that terrible time – maize, beans and cooking oil. Everybody benefited, and it helped us to survive the entire drought. When the rains finally came, the charity then helped my family to grow our own food, making sure we could stand on our own two feet.

And then my life truly shifted, and God took me on a journey I never could have imagined. I did well in my studies and I loved school, but I floundered during my final high school exams. I became a cattle trader, walking 10 days to Nairobi to sell cows. It was during this time that I had an epiphany while resting in a forest with the cows, watching a spider rebuild its web. I realised how much I had been given, and the amazing opportunities that were before me. I connected with God in a wonderful way and I knew he was going to change my life.


With the encouragement of a missionary and a local pastor, I decided to become a priest. I then went to work for aid agency Tearfund in England, where I learned about development and running humanitarian projects. I studied at St Paul’s Theological College, receiving a Bachelor of Divinity, and earned a masters degree in social development and sustainable livelihoods from the University of Reading. Upon my return to my home country, I became a bishop. Then in 2016, I had the honour of being elected as Archbishop of Kenya. 

Today I represent, preach to and pray with five million Anglicans across the country. I live in Nairobi, just over the road from the president. I have travelled to every county preaching peace, and have even met with Salva Kiir, the president of South Sudan, imploring him to stop the devastating civil war.

When I look back at my life, and how far I’ve come, I am so grateful for every person I’ve met and every experience I’ve had along the way – not least my time as a sponsored child. I know first-hand what a difference it makes to children living in some of the world’s hardest places.

My experience with World Vision has helped shape my vision for Kenya, and I’m so grateful to be a part of building my country’s future. For this reason, I encourage readers to consider partnering with organisations such World Vision and others involved in supporting children who can so easily be destroyed by poverty, as they really do make a difference.