My Spiritual Roots, Revisited

by Dale Fisher

The Early Days

I grew up in a Christian home and went to Sunday school ever since I was small. I even joined a church and went to small Bible-study groups. God was there, but my life was so out of focus and I didn't see him. I was seeking meaning and purpose in life and thought that I was a Christian; but I still lacked something.

I used to get mad at people, have outbursts of anger, and be sarcastic. I kept going to a mainline denomination church, even through college. But I never remembered hearing any discussion or preaching about how a person could accept Christ as his personal Savior.

After I graduated from college, I thought I could find what was missing in my life by dales peace corp patchserving people. So I joined the Peace Corps (serving from 1970–1973) and went to teach high school biology in Kenya from 1971 to 1972. While there, I realized, to my surprise, that I was not a Christian. What a bummer! I had intellectually believed in Christ but never personally put my faith in Him. I did all the things that I saw Christians do, such as go to church, read the Bible, and pray. So I thought that I was indeed a Christian.

Cheptenye Boys High School 50th Anniversary Banner

In the Kenyan high school where I'd been teaching — Cheptenye Boys High School in Sosiot, Kenya — I observed two types of Kenyan students: (a) the non-Christians and (b) the Christians, whose lives were in focus and who had a joy, a motivation, and a quality of life that I truly admired, yet did not possess. The Christian students appeared to have an inner peace and direction in their lives that I lacked.

I was living in inner turmoil. I knew what I wanted to do but wasn't sure I could trust Christ enough to give my whole life to Him.

One day, a missionary friend and I talked as we took the school principal's wife to the hospital. Bob said that in Kenya he had observed two kinds of Americans: (a) the one who was motivated by God and (b) the one who was motivated by humanitarian reasons. I was in agreement. That night I thought about it and knew immediately what my motivation was. Alas, I was the humanitarian!

A few days later, in October 1973, I went out into my backyard to pray because I was afraid that if I prayed inside my house, the ceiling or roof might block my communication with Him. As I looked up at the bright cloudy-blue sky, I asked Jesus to come into my life and become my Lord and Savior, to forgive my sins, and straighten out, lead, and organize my life the way He wanted. Immediately, I knew that I had become a Christian, because I had personally asked Jesus into my life.

That night, I slept more peacefully than I had ever had before. It was great! My life began to change. God had given my life focus and shown me a clear direction for it. I had a new desire to read my Bible and pray, not because these were what Christians do but because I wanted to learn more about God and be closer to Jesus.

My temper and outbursts of anger noticeably subsided. My life had begun to change. Today, I have peace, purpose, and direction in my life, almost as if God had given me a pair of prescription glasses to give needed focus of my life. Here's a verse that captures it all: "I had heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees thee" Job 42:5.

November 2014

I thank God for allowing me to have the valuable and memorable opportunity to revisit the place of my spiritual birth: Kenya. You can find more details in the cover story of our January 2015 e-newsletter.

Here are a few photos from my very special visit there.

Dale walks up the road to meet his friends.

The principal and Christian Union students took Dale for a campus tour, passing the banner advertising the school's recent 50th anniversary. Dale did not realize until that moment that he taught there when the school was only about 4 years old, having had only 150 students and six teachers.

Dale walks up the road to meet his friends.

The high school principal and Dale stand in front of the school sign and the running track in the background.

Dale walks up the road to meet his friends.

Dale shares his personal testimony with the principal (center) and Christian Union students
at Cheptenye Boys High School during his visit there last November.

Dale walks up the road to meet his friends.

Dale enjoyed living in this duplex (left side) for his two-year stay at Cheptenye.

I'm pleased to have been able to share my life-changing experience with you, my friends and supporters, fellow TLM servants, and today's students and staff of Cheptenye Boys High School and Christian Union Club.

And everyone who calls
      on the name of the Lord will be saved. — Acts 2:21