“Preaching the gospel of Christ is hugely satisfying for me,” Reverend Wairimu
She is by all means a noble woman and organizing this interview helped me ponder on a number of issues.
I must admit that meeting such a highly successful person, a well acknowledged servant of God who has a prophetic voice, a classic yet authoritative leader was not a simple task. I knew I was meeting a lady with a lasting legacy; who preaches the gospel passionately and fearlessly. She is the founder and Senior Pastor of the Faith Evangelistic Ministry
I had heard people describe her as a lady of impeccable taste as well as high standards and I just did not know what to expect of this interview.
She was born into royalty with her grandfather, the late Paramount Chief Kinyanjui wa Gathirimu serving as a kikuyu colonial chief.
For many years, she preached at Uhuru Park where as recorded she would have over two hundred and fifty thousand people in attendance from all over the country and beyond. This made her a household name.
She takes the gospel to schools, universities, in the slums and wherever else an opportunity beckons. She is a well sought after servant of God, who has prophesied of things concerning the nation of Kenya and these prophecies have come to pass.
She is respected by many, from leaders in government to the street urchins as she has a heart for all.
Wonders and miracles have authenticated her ministry.
Her recently released autobiography A cactus in the desert depicts a journey of courage, humility and resilience having overcome difficult challenges, disappointments and loss while emerging stronger and more confident in every area of her life.
To the eyes of many, she is an icon of true servant hood. Reverend Teresa Wairimu Kinyanjui is a lady on assignment, she has been helping the less fortunate in the society including those in prostitution, gangsters while giving hope to the endangered young women in the slums.
Our scheduled interview with her was at FEM’s offices in Ngara, Nairobi. After an uneventful morning, we were there at 1 o’clock. Her guest room where this interview took place is a combination of vibrant African design and Old English style which set a warm sophisticated tone of the great room. She was waiting for us and her hospitality was evident, going by all the refreshments we were served.
I got to learn later in the interview that Reverend Wairimu is a very time conscious lady; she likes keeping appointments and expects the same from those she is meeting. Her time keeping skill was echoed by a few of the people I interacted with in the course of the interview. “I am a shy and very private person who doesn’t like to be in the front line. I prefer to sit back and watch,” this revelation kicked off our long awaited interview.
“However, I am very passionate about people and particularly those looked down upon like, the widows, orphans, the less disadvantaged. This is something I learnt from my father who used to pay school fees for hundreds of kids; he built houses for the aged and dejected people in the society and was actively involved in building churches.
My departed father was also a very private person, he neither drank nor smoked despite the fact that he was not born again. He passed on in 2006 having accepted the Lord into His life. I must confess that my upbringing was reasonably joyous and comfortable, I did not lack because my father who was a businessman gave us a comfortable life. I was brought up lovingly and learnt the art of selflessness. My mother was a disciplinarian and hence, discipline was thoroughly instilled in us.
I was born in the Waithaka area at the outskirts of Nairobi on 15th November 1957. My dad had constructed a spacious, stone walled modern house which was in a large compound; he even had a car in the 1930s. This was a rare priviledge at the time.
I was daddy’s girl having been named after his mother who also loved me dearly. My elder brother and I had a very tight bond; we were inseparable. We would go for adventures and sometimes got into mischievous escapades together. As a young girl, life was good,” she notes.
I was not so good in my studies as my other siblings but my father always told me that my mouth would help me in the future.
Her agonizing moments
Rev Wairimu has passed through tough times in her life; the worst of them all was her divorce. Although she chooses not to delve much into this issue, it must have been a devastating period for her. “I got married on 25th November 1978. It was a beautiful, happy day. However, the happiness was short lived.
“My marriage faced both internal and external forces before finally breaking down. I loved my ex-husband and sought to support him, make him happy and raise our children in peace. Just like any aspiring couple, I never looked forward to marital breakdown but it happened to me.
I remember how my greatest desire to make our marriage work put a strain on me, I lost so much weight. I tried all I could but it didn’t work. I had two children, a son and a daughter, and I couldn’t imagine myself bringing them up on my own. It was unpalatable.
I got born gain in 1977, and this remains to be the greatest and precious decision of my life. It’s this fact that kept me strong and in one piece when everything else seemed to fall apart.
I viewed myself like Joseph in the Bible who was thrown in a pit. I had nothing to hold onto but I knew that God was my only source of hope. This entire incidence taught me that, there are some situations that happen to prove that indeed God can pick you from any problem and lift you higher than you ever imagined. I was in tears, and agony,” she further explains.
But the most painful loss, she says, was her son Robert, who had been taken away from her custody. “Had it not been by the grace of God and my solid faith in Him, I would not have survived through the ’80s,” she writes in the first chapter of her autobiography, which sets the foundation of her faith and ministry, which has been around for 25 years now.
I did not get anything from my matrimonial home. I only had the clothes I was wearing. All my documents were gone. I wondered if there was a God because I couldn’t understand why he allowed all these problems to come my way. I was devastated and even contemplated suicide at some point but in the midst of all the tribulations, I knew my way of escape was in God. Our God is a strong tower where the righteous find refuge.
The Lord extended His grace and mercy to me. He picked me up and took me to His school of training and patiently polished me up. I discovered that the more I yielded to Him, the more experienced the working of the Holy Spirit within me and the more I felt at peace.
I was separated from my son for thirteen years but I am thankful to God that we finally reconnected in very miraculous ways. He is now an adult. My daughter is married and they are blessed with a son.
Her ministry and successes
“I am a woman of very daring faith. My faith is unshakeable. This only happened when I totally surrendered myself to God by dying to self. My whole life is all about God. I desire to do His will every single day of my life,” she says.
Contrary to the agonizing times that Evangelist went through, her character depicts a lady of great faith. She is seen as the epitome of faith and strength by many.
I started my ministry through mass meetings all over the country. It was at the beginning of 1990 that I started holding revival meetings in Nairobi. It was very fulfilling ministering to thousands and thousands of people every day at Uhuru park every once a month,” she shares
Through out Evangelist Wairimu’s ministry many people have been touched, lives have been transformed, families have been restored and great miracles have taken place.
Unknown to many of those who come seeking her ministry, the 54-year-pastor has endured the most of complex state of affairs to build the fascinating Christian ministry that boasts properties in Karen and Ngara, state-of-the-art sound equipment, service to destitute children and a following that would be the envy of most of her contemporaries.
There is a case where a one day old baby was dumped at her offices, then based at Norwich Towers. Baby Moses as he was later named is about eleven years old and was brought up by Evangelist Wairimu. She would wake up at night to feed and change him.
“I raised baby Moses with so much love and tender care during his earlier most difficult stages of life. I used to wake up in the middle of the night to feed and change his nappies,” part of her book reads.
For Evangelsit Wairimu, her joys, rewards and successes of ministry outnumber the risks as well as discouragements that have come along with her calling.
“I have happily witnessed tumors disappearing, blind eyes opening, deaf ears hearing and the lame walking in Jesus name. God has raised people from coma and death beds, healed the incurable HIV-AIDS, mental illness, kidney failure, cancer, diabetes, brain tumors, skin conditions- among other diseases,” a portion of chapter 28 of her book recounts.
Her concerns and advice
We should live with the fear of God at all times. It is sad that there are people who take God for granted and no longer fear Him. For example, why is the church no longer a safe place where people can shelter from dangers? The incidence of people being burnt inside a church in Kiambaa during the post election violence shows a general erosion of faith.
Why is there theft in the church if people still fear God? In the Old Testament, there are incidences which are recorded of how people would seek refuge in the church which was referred to as the city of refuge. But now there are cases of incest, rape of even small babies, murders and many other ills which were unheard of in the former years.
Why is witchcraft a big issue in the present society, many people believe in it particularly after watching programmes aired locally which tend to manifest and somehow exalt witchcraft.
I believe that if Christians rose up in repentance and prayer coupled with revival meetings, we will overcome these evils.
As for parents, it’s important to have a strong family unit. This can be achieved if you create time for your children. The current society is neglecting their children due to the search for material things. It’s crucial to create time to pray and bless your children, create a relationship with them and impact in their lives. The world is too harsh to let your children explore it without guidance and prayers.
I would urge parents to speak words of life in their children; condemning and abusing them only makes them more rebellious, instead correct them in love, and use words that are positive in their lives. Words have power as they can build or break.
God is gracious and He longs for a relationship with each of us. It does not matter the situations you have been through. He is the only friend who sticks closer than anyone else. You should learn to believe in yourself as you are God’s opinion and not what any one else thinks.
As for all the mistakes you have made in life, the only person to blame is YOU, and with repentance and brokenness, God is able to pick you up and use you for His glory. Never give up because there is so much ahead of you,” she advises.
What do you do to your face on a daily basis?
I just ensure that my face is clean. I like keeping my face natural. Due to my ministry, I find myself traveling most of the times and therefore I adapt appropriately. Suprisingly, I can use bar soap to clean my face and then apply the milking jelly. I am that simple!
Pedicure and manicures?
I believe in the basic hygiene of washing my hands and trimming my nails to a presentable size. In most cases I have no time for pedicures and manicures.
And your hair?
I like washing my hair at home whenever possible. However, once in a while I put on weaves. My hair is not a priority.
Where do you buy your clothes?
I don’t like shopping. I can’t remember the last time I went shopping! I get many gifts in terms of clothes and surprisingly, I wear clothes from some of the top designers in the world which are donated to me. I also put on clothes made by the reformed street girls. However simple they maybe, I feel happy and appreciated when I put them on. When poor people give me something, I must take it.
What is beauty according to you?
It is living your life as per Gods purposes. If you want to connect with people, you must stop pretending that you are special. You must come down to the people to be able to touch their lives. I can survive anywhere, if God sends me to Turkana, I fit there perfectly, I eat what they eat and sleep where they sleep. That’s the simplicity of my life.
What is your parting shot?
I believe that every one has a purpose in this world. Nobody should intimidate you.
I am so proud of my FEM partners; they have made our work easier through their generous donations. They donate money, furniture, clothes, foodstuffs and many other great things.
Tid Bits about Evangelist Teresa Wairimu
- She was born to Njeri Kinuthia and Kinuthia Kinyanjui
- She is the second born
- She was born in 1957
- She attended Ngiriambu Girls high school with Hon. Martha Karua
- She gave her life to Christ in 1977
- She got married in November 1978
- She has two children, Robert and Catherine and one grandson
- Her grandfather was Paramount Chief Kinyanjui, a Kikuyu colonial chief
- Her story is captured in the 402-page autobiography which was recently launched. It is titled A Cactus in the Desert’ and is available in all the leading Christian bookshops and in the FEM offices in Ngara
- FEM has a childrens home in Kikambala
- Her mentor is Ev. Reinhard Bonnke
About her autobiography, ‘a cactus in the desert’
“This is the most remarkable story of Evangelist Wairimu. Teresa sat in 1988 heart broken in my meetings at Uhuru Park. She had just gone through an ugly divorce and suffered deep rejection. But it was right there that the Lord picked her and turned that broken vessel into a vessel of His great honor. Teresa passionately preaches Jesus.
This book is a compelling read. It spans from her childhood till today, the nobility of the earthly family and the legacy of her ministry. This is a MUST read book”