Man of the Cloth


I had a meet up with Pat at the commencement of the year.

I had not started writing on my blog. I had thought about it for about five years though. People tell me that I obsess too much. I could think of something for years before I do it. I think it is because I am mostly looking to get the best outcome. I get my perfectionism from daddy dear, I don’t think I get anything else from him but I guess that’s enough to thrive in this God given earth. We never get everything anyway, that’s how this world works, right?

So, when I met Pat he’d just said that he wanted to meet and hang out. He’s one of those guys I met kitambo when I was just starting off in life. We have a very interesting kind of friendship Pat and I. It is a sort of a seasonal kind of camaraderie. Sort of like the relationship rains have with Ukambani. The rains in most of this region never really promise much, so they can fail for seasons, then one day, out of nowhere, they pour. They pour so hard that they even destroy the crops that they are supposed to water. So Pat and I, we don’t place lots of expectations on each other, if he doesn’t call and goes missing for two years, that’s fine. I normally know that one day he’ll come back like he never left. And then, he will disappear. That’s him.

So this meet up was one of those comebacks.

We met in Machakos. We met in Machakos because guys in Nairobi always think that everyone should come up there to meet them. They never really think of coming to Machakos for a meeting up. I have never understood why but every time I talk to a friend that hasn’t seen me in a while they’ll be like “when are you coming to Nairobi?” Then I’ll tell them that I am not coming soon but we can meet in Machakos or do half way. Then they’ll renege, claiming that Masaku is too far and that’s how the plot falls flat on its tummy. Maybe guys in Nairobi think that there’s nowhere to sit in Machakos. Mostly, they think that Machakos is bundus. It could be though, but who’s asking?

So anyways, when he said he wanted to meet, I told him that he’d have to make the trip. He did. We had not planned to talk about the blog but I happened to mention it as a by the way. I told him that I wanted to do human stories. Stories about love, pain, joy, and just people. Then, I told him that I would specifically love to do a ‘boys and girls’ story series. When I told him that, his face lit up!

I honestly didn’t expect him to react in that manner. You must know a bit about Pat for you to understand why I almost chocked over my tea when he exclaimed, with a big grin on his face, “That’s amazing!” when I told him that I was going to write about ‘boys and girls’.

So, Pat is a managaad! That’s what we call pastors these days. I think we even confuse God with this new lingua of ours. I mostly think that God is always asking Jesus and the Holy Spirit what guys are saying when they pray these days. A bit of pun intended! But yea, Pat is a pastor.

He’s a very serious man of God.

He’s one of those who can literally call fire from heaven if people upset him. Yaani, if you are looking for a pastor in a room full of humans and Pat is there, you can’t miss him. He stands out. He looks the part as well. He has a pastor voice even. You know those voices that have roughened up because of all the shouting and screaming that pastors do? Yea, he has that one. Pat never wears anything that’s not a complete suit. So that we are not deluded, a complete suit is a three-piece suit complete with a necktie, pocket square, a matching handkerchief and those sharp pointed multicolored shoes that pierce the air in the atmosphere when one walks.

Pat is so serious that when he laughs you have to be careful to ask why he’s laughing before you can join in. He is what we call a shpirii guy in Christianese. He doesn’t even look or sound like he lives on this our earth.

So, really, why was Pat getting excited about my boys and girls stories? I for sure knew that he wasn’t going to be glued to his phone screen every Thursday waiting for me to deliver a story so that he can read. No! Far be it from him to engage in such earthly frivolities.

So I ask, “Why are you so excited about it? Uko na story kwani?”

Well, the second question was actually a joke but then, I had just poked the bear! So Pat looks up and says, “actually yes, I have a boy-girl story!” I sink in my seat! I don’t know which I was more, excited or shocked, but it was a concoction of emotions. We have a good laugh about it until one day, out of the blues, after my blog has launched, Pat calls and says that he has been reading my stories and that he is finally ready to share his own. I took him up on his offer albeit a bit skeptical but hey, if someone wants to share their story, mimi ni nani nikatae jameni?

Pat wanted a one on one.

He said he doesn’t do well with phone conversations, which I agreed with, and that he wanted me to capture everything including his non-verbals without any distractions. For this, I said I’d go to him and even buy the coffee. You don’t let a managaad pick up the bill when you are there. At least that’s what they taught us.

So we met up on a Friday afternoon at Java on Kimathi Street. I guess by now you’ve already figured that I am Java person. If I could get a bob for every time I said ‘Java’ I’d be a millionaire. But oh well, wishes! I, obviously, was there ten minutes before time because Dad taught me the manners of minding my time. Pat came in about five minutes late and graciously apologized. I won’t even describe his attire, you can already guess, he looked like he was headed for a speaking engagement.

We exchanged pleasantries. His salams always include the usual “Bwana Asifiwe!”, “Shalom” and “God bless you!” overtures. He ordered an Espresso, I am a Mocha person, and so I asked for that. We settle down.

“I had never thought I’d share this story anywhere until I read your stories. There was so much realness in there. I think telling this story will really help someone,” Pat said.

“Truth is, at some point in life, I felt like I lived two sets of lives.”

Well, to be honest, I would think that all of us really have two or even three sets of lives. I often posit that we have a public life, the one that everyone sees. This is the one that people know you by whether lawyer, doctor, nurse, teacher, farmer, or which ever career you ascribe to.

Then there is the private life, the one that you don’t show all of us. So may be a few of your friends know a bit of it or your wife is privy to it, but majority of the people don’t know that you struggle to sleep when the lights are on or that you talk in your sleep. Then, there is the third set; your secret life. This is the one that only you and your God know about. This life even the devil doesn’t know about. These are personal fears, demons that you fight in the deep closets of your life that you only talk to yourself about, or talk about in God’s hearing. So, really, no one has one set of a life but I could be wrong.

Most of us are only known through the public set of life. This is how I’d always known Pat.

“I was always a church person,” Pat said.

“I was born in a pastor’s house and consequently church became my whole life. I was shielded from the ‘real’ world for much of my life. I never indulged in any adolescence misdemeanors. My campus life wasn’t any different. I was always doing something in the Christian Union. I literally didn’t have time for anything else other than church and books.”

“Wasn’t that a bit boring?” I ask.

“No it wasn’t, it never was. I loved it. I think I loved it because that’s all I knew to do. I never considered an alternative and for the longest time I didn’t want one,” He says.

“But something changed after my undergraduate; I came to Nairobi. I got my first job and at the same time decided to start my masters.”

Pat’s first job wasn’t like most of what we get for first jobs. He was fortunate enough to land himself a six-figure salary job for a first job. It was a mix of fortune, skill and a bit of connections. While pursuing his undergraduate, Pat had also done CPAs and so he was easily employable. He found himself an accountant in an international NGO. His dad happened to be good friends with one of the directors in the firm and when a vacancy surfaced, Pat found himself in an interview that was more of a formality than anything else.

Pat clasps at his cup of espresso tightly as though the story is in the cup.

“Truth is I had never noticed girls all my life until I landed in my work place. Something just hit me. It was like my eyes had been closed all this time.” He said.

Pat met girls, all manner of girls.

There were those who were well cultured and traditional. They liked him, even wanted him, but only dropped hints and hopefully waited for him to pick them up and maybe say something or ask them out. Then there were those who didn’t care much about tradition, they saw a guy who they liked and went after him. There were college girls, workmates, older women, and all kinds of women. Pat was a wanted man. He was an eligible bachelor and any woman he met saw him as a trophy to be won. Women can tell a good man from a bad one from a mile away.

Pat was beleaguered. Nairobi girls don’t play games.

He got confused but he had set his mind to getting married at 28 and he had at least 3 years to go. He also didn’t want to get involved with someone if that relationship wasn’t going to end in marriage. He had been taught that dating had to be intentional and purposeful. He stayed the course.

He met many girls but none of them met his strict criterion of a wife. To be fair, his list was rather grandiose. He might have been looking for an angel in a woman but then, this was no ordinary man, this was Pat.

“I was a virgin at 26 and most of my friends didn’t understand how or why. I had loosened up, I was no longer the stuck up church guy I was in campus but still there were things I could never bring myself to do,” Pat says.

But his resolve would be tried sooner than he thought, and in the most unexpected of ways.

“So one day I had worked late. I left the office a little after 11 p.m. I lived on Ngong road and for some reason, I can’t even tell you why, I decided to take the Argwings Kodhek road route. That meant that I’d pass through Hurlingham. That one deviation changed my life completely.”

Pat didn’t know that at that hour Hurlingham would normally turn into a red light district. As he drove by he saw girls, half-naked girls perched by the roadside displaying their bodies for sale to the highest bidder. He took a quick glance at them then turned his eyes back to the road and drove straight home.

“You know I thought like most Christians do when they encounter temptation. They’ll be like… this is not something that would interest me or I am not that kind of a person. Most Christians don’t even know that all it takes is a glance and something inside you is ignited. I was one of them.” He says.

So he got home, slept and thought that that moment had gone. But he was terribly wrong. That moment, that quick glance at a half-naked girl on the side of the road was a tiny seed planted. That seed would slowly start growing.

“I didn’t know it then but my walls had be breached. They would slowly start coming down,” Pat says. “I started having this insatiable desire that would come over me suddenly. It started with the image of one particular girl. It wouldn’t leave my mind no matter what. I tried everything I knew. I prayed about it, rebuked the thought, tried replacing it but nothing worked. It seemed to have been etched on my mind.”

He struggled for months on end until he got tired. He says that he got tired of the daily struggle and just decided to let it be. Unbeknownst to him, this would end up being the biggest mistake of his life yet. The thought didn’t just grow, it now flourished. It graduated from being just a thought to him wanting more. He kept wondering how it’d feel to see the girls again. He toyed with the thought. He’d become comfortable with it, he even entertained it. He didn’t realize that he was feeding a monster and that it doesn’t matter how sweet a monster looks, one day, when it has nothing to eat, it’ll turn on you.

Pat’s monster was growing, its appetite mushrooming by the day.

Soon, Pat found himself leaving his house at mid-night and driving through ‘H’ Street. He’d drive slowly and look at the girls, then drive back home and sleep. Now it wasn’t bothering him as much. This went on for about a month. Sometimes he would fight the urge off and just go to bed, other times the urge would be too strong and he’d go out. ‘H’ street doesn’t sleep much and so, he could drive by in the cover of the dark.

“One day I was doing my usual drives, it was a little after midnight. My tinted car windows were rolled up so that no one could easily see me. I caught sight of one particular girl, up until this moment, I can’t tell you why she intrigued me. I drove past her, went on a few meters and stopped. I parked the car by the roadside and looked through my side mirror to see whether she’d come, and she did. I asked her into my car, once she got in, I knew that I was in trouble, but I didn’t want to stop, I wasn’t going to stop. I drove away.” Pat narrates.

Pat and said girl drove to his place.

“What were you thinking as you drove with this girl in your car?” I asked Pat.

“I wasn’t thinking actually. I was sort of numb. I remember her talking, asking me what my name was, where I lived and what exactly I was looking for in a girl that night. I am not even sure that I answered her. I just know that I was having an adrenaline rush, one akin to that one that a junkie would have when they are just about to do coke or meth. I don’t know.” He tells me.

All the way as he drove though, Pat tells me that he kept hearing a voice telling him to stop the car and abandon this mission. But the urge to keep going was stronger. So he drove on. They got to his place, he was still fighting this thing, fighting but losing horribly. He was losing control, terribly losing control. The girl must have figured that he wasn’t a pro, or that he was a first timer, so she took the lead.

“Shit went down!” Pat’s words, not mine. The whole act lasted for just 10 minutes.

“I don’t even remember much of it but I know I felt grossed out after that. I hated myself immediately. I looked and felt dirty. I knew I had messed up big time and I hated it,” Pat says. “I asked the girl to dress up, she asked whether we were not spending the night together, I told her I was done. She asked me whether she’d done anything wrong, I told her that it wasn’t her, it was I. I just needed her to leave. She dressed up, I drove her back to where I had picked her up from, I paid my dues and drove off speedily.”

Pat got home and headed straight for the shower. He stayed there for close to an hour, the water running down his bare body. I think he hoped that it would cleanse him of his sins. He wasn’t even bathing, he just let the water pour over him. He finally got out of the shower and got into bed. He tried to sleep but couldn’t. He tossed and turned for most of the night. He finally drifted off at around 5 a.m. His alarm would spook him off at 6.30, it was time to go to work.

Pat tells me that one sexual encounter completely altered how he viewed sex.

“For one, now I wanted more sex to numb the guilt and shame that I felt. It’s funny that an addict will always run to the drug that got him high when they are guilty,” He says. “I had a lot of sex after that. I didn’t even care who I slept with, I just wanted to have sex, that’s all. Meaningless sex,”

“I hit on girls just to have sex. I got into relationships that I knew would end the moment we had sex. I had flings, situationships and what they now call entanglements. I had it all.”

So Pat would appear to you as an eligible bachelor, well put together on the outside, but on the inside, he was a total wreck. He was showing the public life during the day and in the open but living the secret life in the shadow of the dark where no one could see him. Sometimes he would have a one-night stand on Saturday and wake up to go to church on Sunday morning.

“How was it like though, living a double life?” I ask him.

“I had cognitive dissonance. My thoughts and beliefs were the direct opposite of my actions, and that hurt me, a lot. I struggled a lot, I just didn’t show it.” He says. I ask him how church helped, he tells me he talked to a few people and even tried to get counseling but it just didn’t work. He doesn’t blame anyone for the phase he went through. He tells me that sometimes one just needs a personal encounter with God to sort him out. This encounter would come to him in the most unexpected of ways.

“I had gotten tired of all the messing around so I decided that I was done with girls, porn and anything of that sort. I had just had a fling that ended really badly and I promised myself that I wouldn’t go down that road again. So I would go straight home after work, I stopped watching TV and movies. I made my life as boring as possible. All I did was go to work, and go to church, just that.” Pat says.

One day he is hanging out with his friends on a Sunday afternoon when a girl, a friend to one of his guy friends, passed by to say hi. He was struck by her beauty, he liked her, even wanted her. But he had ended that phase of his life so he wasn’t going to chase her. He didn’t know it but as fate would have it, she had also noticed him but because she was the traditional type, she played the wait-and-see game. It took him three months to seek her out, and when he did, he promised himself that it would just be friendship. Nothing more, nothing less.

They started talking, a lot. They chatted a lot. Pat is a WhatsApp person, and so they’d be on chat all day, sneaking phone calls in between work breaks. Then they started hanging out. They spent time a lot on coffee dates and started going to church together. They slowly gravitated towards each other. No one was saying it but there was chemistry, everyone else around them noticed it, but they didn’t, rather they didn’t acknowledge it.

He tells me that this girl had heard things about him, not so savory things but she didn’t believe half of them. She didn’t believe in being told about someone by others. She’d decided to find out for herself. So she was kinda shocked when six months down the line Pat hadn’t made a let’s-have-sex move on her.

But Pat had started liking her a bit too much and he was afraid it was going to end the same way other relationships ended, in between the sheets. So he decided to ask her out.

“I was sure she’d say no because I knew that my friends had said stuff to her about my previous escapades.” He tells me. Shock on him, she said yes! He couldn’t believe it, in fact he was petrified. What was wrong with this one? How could she want to date a guy like him? But he’d already asked, they were an item now, and she was in love. So they dated.

They dated for two years, and things were going very well. Very well except that once in a while, he’d get distracted and have a fling. She didn’t know about any of them and he didn’t tell her, but it bothered him, a lot. He got to a place where he couldn’t stand it. He was tired of the double life so he decided to self-sabotage the whole thing.

“I had a plan! The perfect sabotage plan,” He says. “I was going to ask her to marry me, but before then, I would tell her all about my past life, everything about it, and then ask her if she still wanted to marry me. I was sure that no one in their right mind would accept such a messed up person. My plan was fool proof, or so I thought.”

He activated the sabotage plan. He sat her down and told her everything he’d ever done even the things that he’d done when they were already dating. He then told her that he would love to marry her but he just wanted her to know the truth about him ‘from the horse’s mouth’.

She listened to him intently, even calmly, then stood up and left without saying a single word. She would then go quiet on him for three weeks. He was sure that his plan had worked. He had successfully succeeded in killing the only real thing he had ever had. He wasn’t happy but he was relieved that he wasn’t going to make a good person miserable.

But three weeks later, she called. He was shell-shocked!

“She said that she needed to see me. She gave me the date, place and time and said that she wasn’t going to take no for an answer.” Pat tells me.

So he went. She sat across him and told him that she had heard everything that he had said. That she had prayed about it and that she had felt an assurance in her heart that he was the guy for her. She wasn’t going to leave him and yes she was going to marry him. She loved him.

He almost choked over his drink. He knew that God had jokes but this was one joke too many. She looked at him and saw the disbelief in his eyes, so for avoidance of any doubt, she repeated herself, word for word.

“I still remember what she said,” Pat intriguingly tells me. “She said… I prayed about it and God says you are the one, and my heart agrees, I am at peace. I am not leaving, I’ll marry you and I love you.”

Long story short, Pat has been married to Kali for eight years now. They are blessed with two amazing kids. Kyle is six while Laimani is four. And he is a pastor.

“How did you even end up a pastor?” I ask him. He tells me that that is a story for another day.

So I ask Pat what he makes of that phase of his life. He looks at me and laughs as though I have just cracked a joke then sits upright.

“I learnt that God is really a gracious God and that sometimes he uses people to show us grace. Kali, my wife’s name means graceful. You see, I had gotten to the place where I had given up on God and love, and God knew that if he talked to me, even in person, I’d probably call his bluff. So he sent someone who refused to give up on me. He sent someone who loves me just the way he would have,” He pauses.

“It’s what we call reckless love. Love without care. Love without a hint of doubt. Love that covers a multitude of sin. It is what made me turn the corner and believe in love and God again. God can use anything, even a woman in love,”

“And that’s the reason I preach Mwendwa. That’s why I can tell anyone about God’s love. I can do it because I have experienced it. I know love exists. I know God exists. He is love.”

I pause to reflect on those words a second too long. I don’t think I have heard God’s love spoken of in that manner before. That’s profound.

“But I have to ask you one more question Pat,” I say, looking directly at him as though he’s in my crosshairs.

“Shoot!” He retorts.

“Are you completely over your past life? Do you ever feel like going back?” I ask.

“Every superman has his own kryptonite. I am glad I know mine,” He laughingly says then adds “You’d never catch me driving through ‘H’ Street at night, never!”

  1. Wow! My dear Jesus see how good you are. My heart is…. I don’t know!!! I celebrate there is hope for everyone. Thank you for sharing Pat.

  2. God’s Love, God’s Grace. Thank you Lord for sending your only son. This is a moving story and I thank God Pat knows his “kryptonite”. We all have our weaknesses and have to keep on working towards perfection!

  3. Happily, the story goes full circle, not all do… It started off ‘very close-knit’ and ends up ‘even neater’. I love the authenticity. We need to do this more in Christendom. Thanks Mwendwa for piecing this together for the reading community. And asante to your Pat friend… Looking forward to his return NEXT like the Ukambani rain!

  4. Probably could turn this into a movie…somebarry please call Tyler Perry…
    This is one of those stories,yaani…mmmh

    Thank you Pat for telling your story na usipotee ka mvua ya ukambani; and thank you Mwendwa for writing it oh so well…

    #Awesome read

  5. Situationships !!!!!!!!!!!! I too testify God is LOVE,he can use anything even a”””” man in love”””””
    Meanwhile some English here is too much am coming for spellings/pronunciation class.

  6. The seed of God in a man never dies. God will use anything/anyone to return you/us to His own purpose for His Glory. Thanks Pst.Pat for sharing your story, thanks ma Adm. for the efforts.Great writing indeed.

  7. Its for sure God works in Diverse ways to prove who he is…..I mean who would have thought God can really change someone through that ?! Its never in vain someboby somewhere is going to be transformed thro this…..God bless

  8. …“And that’s the reason I preach Mwendwa. That’s why I can tell anyone about God’s love. I can do it because I have experienced it. I know love exists. I know God exists. He is love.”….. MIC DROP!!!

  9. As high as the heavens are from the earth, so much is His love for us. The things God’s forgives and takes us through, it’s only Him who can… Nice piece coming from a man of God.. Not many can tell 😃.

  10. Too much english inanisuffocate haki..any hu the story is so amazing..for real God is’s His greatest quality.

  11. How you describe Pat’s shoes 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣. God is indeed love and his reckless love is the best reassurance that we have. That is such a beautiful story .

  12. Excactly what I have been looking for after I stopped reading novels that were not helping me spiritually. Good job. More grace. Keep them coming 😁

  13. Pat has sufficient grace of telling the whole truth to her love. I think if we can be real to one another then life would be ok. Nice story Tito

  14. Such a honest story. I love the ending quote “Every superman has his own kryptonite. I am glad I know mine” such a high level of self-awareness.

  15. First, you write so well!

    Secondly, sin will promise so much and deliver so little! Yet we rarely spot that deception early enough. God is so gracious & good to have granted him a turn-around!

  16. First of, maanagod, at java, was literally coming to a speaking event(with you), so pardon his choice of wear😁. ( Si umemuonea).Great and relatable read.

  17. The number of times I had to go to the dictionary though!
    Mercy indeed we have received, Grace upon Grace.
    The writing is also excellent,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.