My name is Bevalyne Otulia. I’m 31 years old. I’m from Kenya, most especially in the border, a place called Busia, that is between Kenya and Uganda. I’ve grown up there. I was brought up in a family that really believed in God. My father loved church. My mother also loved church. Today my mother still sings in the church choir. We all have grown up in a Christian family and you take it up as your own. The first time I got saved was in Grade 7.
Initially we were in the Anglican Church of Kenya. Then there came a crusade for the Redeemed Gospel Church. My mother was kind of swayed and wanted us to move from Anglican Church to Redeemed Church. So, this crusade gave me another perception of God because it became like an eye-opener to me. I decided to get saved then, but I think what really happened is that I wasn’t ready to grow. I was just flowing with the flow. This is a new church in town. Everyone is going there, so let’s all be there.
When I was in high school there was a Christian Union, and they used to sing these great worship songs. You could feel yourself close to God. There could come a praise and you’re feel like this music is sweet and it was calling me each and every time. Christian Union was divided into two activities. You had an option to either go to Christian Union or to entertainment, watch movies and stuff. I could find myself getting attracted more to CU. That was when I was in Form 3, the 11th grade.
After high school my dad thought it was not right for me to stay in the village. He decided to send me to my brother’s place in Nairobi. Things there were different because he did not go to church. He’s one of those people who believe that you are learned, you’ve had good jobs all your life, so to him, God did not really exist.
First, I had a challenge because I did not know where to go to church. I was new in that area, so it took two years before I started going to a Catholic Church because that was the closest church I could go to. God had been working in mysterious ways, because when I came to my brother’s house, I was supposed to study accounts. He decided to pay for my first two semesters. Then, all of a sudden, I don’t know whether he went broke, but something just happened to his life and he couldn’t pay for my school.
I realized that I needed to start finding jobs, so that I can be able to pay my school fees. The first job I got was working with a Contractor who worked with the power company. They connected power to rural areas, 1,000 miles to those people that don’t have power. But I was grateful because I was able to raise my exam money. That was the most important thing. I had friends; so, I could get my notes and I could still pay for my fees.
I used to go to each and every Catholic service, I could go to lunch hour prayer, everything, but I was not growing. There came an event in 2016. I lost my dad. When I lost my dad, everything kind of came crumbling down. My brother decided to marry another wife and the wife decided to disorganize us. Some of us who are staying there were told, “Go and start your life.” The first thing I did was go back to my mother’s place. It took me time to recover from my father’s death, so I stayed at home until 2018. In January 2020 I came back to Nairobi to my cousin’s place. My cousins were not living a right life. My cousin did not have a husband and she had a teenager. Their life was kind of confusing. They had a shortcut way of getting money.
I had never desired to live such a life. I have never wanted to live by depending on people. I’ve never really wanted an easy way out.
Then I remembered I had a friend when I was studying CPA in college. She’s a bit older than me, like 15 years older than me. She was coming back because in her job they needed an accountant and the only choice she had was to go back to school. She met me and decided this is the young person I can depend on. So, I used to teach her CPA. I used to teach her math. Our friendship grew that way.
I stayed at my cousin’s place for a month, and then I decided to call my friend and tell her that I came back to Nairobi but life was not treating me quite well. And I was telling her, even the place I live in, it’s not good because for my cousin, if you could not bring food you cannot eat.
The first thing my friend did was say that you can come stay with me in my place until you find a job. Unfortunately, it was February when I came to her house and when I was supposed to start looking for a job in March, that is when COVID hit us. I was left again just roaming around, doing nothing. I remember one time there was a hospital close by. It reached a point where I was looking for just any job, as long as I had a job, despite the fact that I have studied accounts. I decided to go and look for a job as a cleaner.
I did not quite get that job, but that situation made me feel disappointed, and I started asking God, “Why would you take me through school? Why would I go through all that? I made my own fees and right now I’ve just resolved to being a cleaner?” Then I went back home, disappointed again, despite the fact that I’ve lowered myself down to that level. Still, I did not get a job as a cleaner, so I went back home.
Then there was a security company that was recruiting people. The first person I met there was a gentleman, and as much as I wanted a job as a security guard, I think he also had his own stories. What he told me was, “I can take you in. I can rent for you a house. Then you can be working here and you will not work as a security guard, you will have a good job.” Then that day I went back home and told God, “God, I am not looking for a job anymore.”
I went back home and my friend was not even in that house. She had also gone to her other home. I used to stay there alone. Sometimes you don’t have food. You’re forced to just sleep without food as long as you survive.
One time that friend of mine came and brought her friend from the place where I work now; she’s called Anne. They work in the same office. Then she just told her jokingly, “Can you please give my friend a job?” Back then no one was working here. It is a tours and safaris company and COVID kind of crashed down everything. She said that right now I cannot really tell you that I have a specific job for you. But what I will need is for you to just run errands. The very first time I came to this place, I used to take checks to the bank, deliver letters, or things like that.
But with time, I met Alice. From 2018 to 2020 I was not going to church. In July 2020, when I came here, it took us three months before we could become friends. Alice really loved God. The first thing Alice did was take me to the nearest church. She would wait for me every Sunday. Alice was like, “Bevalyne, I’m waiting for you. At around 8:00 we’ll go to church and come back at 10:00.” Now the problem with that church was that even Alice herself could sense that we were not growing.
She told me there’s a place I’ve heard of and we’ll go and try it and see what happens. It was around April of 2021 we tried that new church. I went to that church for one month, and then they started asking if you want to give your life to Jesus, or if you have given your life to Jesus and want to renew your relationship. I thought, that is my chance. And on June 23rd 2021, I gave my life to Jesus, and since then I think my life has really changed.
There were things I used to just desire to have. I had desired to have my own bed, to have my own room, to have my own things in it. And God has been faithful to me because each and every thing that I desire, (I guess I may not have much) God is satisfying my needs in His own ways. I no longer have to look for people to give me food. I no longer have to look for people to give me transport, or maybe I’m stuck somewhere or something. I no longer have that.
I think coming from a background in our village, there are always these beliefs like you cannot just prosper. You cannot just succeed. It’s reached a point where I started thinking that maybe this witchcraft is working on me because how can I have finished school? How can I have gone through all that? And I just cannot figure out my life. I am 31 years old. It is worrisome when you pass 25 and your life is not moving. It’s like you are stagnating. You’re stuck somewhere. It reaches a point where you start to worry like no side of your life is moving. Your education reached where it was, your finances are not growing, you’re not just moving.
I thank God because ever since I went to church, I know that everything, no matter what struggles or no matter what challenges you pass through, all you need to do is pray. I remember when this year was starting, we had a 21-day fast. I thank God because I went through the 21-day fast, and this year I have not struggled. This year I’ve learned to be at peace with everything, nothing stresses me. Even if you think you’re delivering the worst news to me, I just find myself neutralizing it.
These days I’m the one giving people hope. Even if my friend tells me, “By the way, I don’t have school fees.” These days I can tell them to trust in God because what I’ve seen God do for me, I don’t think I’ll see it anywhere else. And I am waiting. Yes, I have a lot of dreams. I have a lot of visions. But even if I’m 31, I’m no longer worried because I have come to learn that God’s timing is the best. You cannot hurry God. These days, all I do is wait, no matter what, I just wait. I know my time will come and that time is God’s time. So, I keep on waiting for God to do for me wonders. That is my story.
More Faith Stories
We built the first church with great difficulty. We went back to the States and the board asked us to become mission staff with the Outreach Foundation. That was 25 years ago, just about, and we’ve gotten more involved with Kenya as days and years went on.
I am a chef by profession. I’m happy because I do what I love. Now I work at Villadise Tours and Safaris, where I meet so many different people coming from far. Being helpful is just a blessing to other people.
Then God started tugging on my heart. There was a church sermon series that was about taking your God-given dream off the shelf. I was like, “I don’t know what my dream is. God, if you have a dream for me you’re going to have to tell me what it is.”
We attended church but maintained a passive religious life. Our family had been going to church and proclaiming, “Jesus is our Savior and Lord,” with our mouths only. It seemed that my heart was gradually drifting away from God.
So, I just put my faith in Jesus. I trust him and it is my prayer that my children and the entire community will know Jesus because of my faith. Our salvation should not be only our own. We should encourage other people.
I’d gotten saved but it took another two years for me to actually submit myself to Him. I eventually wound up on a park bench. What led me to this park bench was that I knew I needed something different. I just didn’t know what.