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Stephen’s Story

by Vickie Reynen | Feb 2024 | HB Africa, HB Kenya, Heartbeat

Have you ever become good friends with a taxi driver? When Mike and I lived in Kenya, Stephen became “our” taxi driver — taking us to and from the airport and various places. We became good friends. When we return to Kenya, Stephen is usually our driver. Rides to and from the airport have been filled with lively discussions about faith. Once, Stephen stated quite firmly, “You won’t convert me to becoming a Christian.” I quickly told him it wasn’t my job — that was up to the Holy Spirit. We enjoyed our discussions and would pick up where we left off on each visit. Between trips, I often shared devotionals, songs or sermons that had impacted me, and Stephen was always grateful.

In August, I traveled to Kenya with a team of 15. Since we were a “group,” I needed to arrange for vans rather than Stephen’s three-passenger taxi, so there was no “plan” to see him. However, one team member needed to leave earlier, so I called Stephen to ask if he could take her to the airport. He agreed but reminded me, “We haven’t picked up our conversation this time.” His remark caught my attention, and I arranged my schedule so we could meet at a coffee shop.

As soon as we sat down, I could tell there was something different about his demeanor — more humble and a bit uncertain, not the usual confident and friendly debater. Obviously, something was on his mind. As we Stephen’s talked, he shared how the “things” I had been sending him via WhatsApp were disturbing him. He talked about living differently, living the right way, not living a lie — wanting to be a good example to his children. He spoke about the challenges and difficulties of life and the need for help. He was genuinely unsettled and looking for an answer to “life.” I shared about the Lord here and there, and at one point, it seemed fitting to say, “Stephen, it sounds like you need to give your life to the Lord and trust Him.” Stephen’s response was, “That’s why I’m here.”

It was a Holy moment.

What a privilege to partner with the Holy Spirit in leading Stephen to the feet of Jesus right there in the coffee shop. August 18, 2023, was no ordinary day in his life. I shared how, from that day forward, his life would be forever changed. He called me his spiritual mom, and I joked that I wouldn’t let him forget it!

Stephen has connected with other believers, helping him grow in his faith, and I still share devotionals, songs and encouraging words with him. He has repeatedly remarked, “There’s no turning back.”

Stephen shared that when he was younger, and people asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he would say, “Either a preacher or a politician.” I believe he’ll become a preacher!