This heart is heavy today. My Kenyan brother, Leonard Kyalo, went home to be with Jesus yesterday. He was a dear friend and someone I’d coached regularly for the past three years. Instead of my normal blog, this is a tribute to his life and a challenge to join me in raising up hundreds to take his place.
Social Media Friendship
I first met Leonard on Twitter. It was early in my learning stage on how to use social media to spread the message of Disciple Making Movements. We chatted about his vision to reach his nation and multiply movements there. I sensed sincerity and a hunger to grow in his understanding of DMMs.
On a whim, I decided to offer him a coaching call by Whatsapp. From that first call, I knew he was someone I wanted to invest time in. He was fruitful, faithful, and passionate about reaching lost people around him.
Visit to Kenya
A few months later, my husband and I were on our way to South Africa for meetings with our organization. Kenya was on the way and wouldn’t cost us anything extra to visit and do some training for the leaders he was working with. So we went!
It was a wonderful time of training with these Kenyan brothers and sisters, so hungry to understand a biblical approach to multiplying disciples. We ate in his home and met his family, especially enjoying his intelligent sons Mark and Joshua.
Everything I trained Leonard in, he immediately put into practice and passed on to others. He was truly a 2 Timothy 2:2 kind of coachee. I love to invest in this kind of person!
Before long, he’d led his group of trainees forward in transitioning discipleship groups into churches, was baptizing people, and working to multiply the groups he had started. A few months ago, one of his coaching action steps was to empower more leaders to also baptize, including some women. He was excited to share how he had passed the baton to those leaders and they had now baptized those they had led to the Lord and were discipling. Leonard didn’t hold on to authority but freely gave it away.
Whenever I talked with him by phone, Leonard had many testimonies to share. He’d found another Person of Peace here or there. Someone was interested in DMMs and he was planning to go to another district of Kenya or Uganda to train them. “I’m in a slum, holding a discovery bible study, and will be late for our call. I’m so sorry,” he would text.
A Serious Diagnosis
About a month ago, as he and his wife were preparing to go for further training on how to use a storying method to multiply groups among oral culture people, he fell ill. Diagnosed with a brain tumor, we were deeply concerned and he was hospitalized for some days. After initial treatment, they sent him home to rest and for the swelling on the brain to go down.
I spoke with him during that time, telling him to rest and spend time with his family. Brother Leonard didn’t want to talk about rest. He wanted to tell me about the people he’d just shared Jesus within the hospital, and about the new discovery groups, he wanted to start. His passion and energy were for reaching the lost, with only minimal concern for his own health condition, even with such a serious diagnosis.
Grieving Loss, Crying Out for Fruit
This morning, I grieve the loss of my brother and friend. He is with the Lord, worshiping in His presence. He leaves behind a wife and three children who will miss him greatly. There are also many who he brought into the Kingdom and trained that will miss him too.
My heart in some ways questions the investment made in coaching. Leonard was someone who would only live a few years after I’d begun to work with him. My dear Kenyan brother couldn’t fully implement all we had discussed, nor the goals he’d set. He didn’t get to personally see the completion of his End Vision for a movement that would launch other movements.
I know God will finish what He started through Leonard. Others will rise up and carry on the DMM work there in his beautiful nation. Maybe you are one of those who will do that.
When we invest in people, we invest in the Kingdom of God. It is God’s work, and God’s dream we partner with. He will bring it to pass.
Would you pause a moment to pray for Leonard’s family and those he trained? Ask with me for a huge kingdom harvest of souls in East Africa. The baton can no longer be carried by my brother and friend. Pray that it will not fall, but be passed on to hundreds of other disciples who will make disciples especially among the unreached of East Africa.
Though loss is painful, we must keep investing in people. We look for those 2 Timothy 2:2 men and women who faithfully pass on to others what we train them in. Some will go on to glory before we do. Others will surpass us as trainers of trainers. A few will fall away from Christ or give in to sinful desires and paths. This must not deter us from continuing to make a Kingdom investment in loving and developing people.
We train, disciple and mentor. Our lives are poured into those we coach and love people and they become close friends, brothers, and sisters. Some seeds will fall to the ground, but they will bring a rich harvest of souls.
Who are you investing in as a brother or sister, pouring your life into to raise them up to train others?
Share in the comments below or on the DMMs Frontier Missions Facebook Group.
I met Leonard a few months ago at a DMM training that he was hosting. His passion for disciplemaking was contagious. We were in the process of planning an invitation for him to come over to my end of town to train when I heard that he was unwell. I am shattered by the news of his home-going. May God’s comfort surround his family. Rest well, Leonard.
A great man has left this earth but will forever be in our hearts. Great memories will live on. Leonard was my colleague at Kenya National Museums, my closest friend and above all my Teacher in this journey of Spirituality. Our last moments were at Kakuma Refugee camp on his mission trip.
We discussed and planned about a major training in the refugee camp which was to take place this year.
My heart is bleeding!!! My spirit is low!!
I firmly believe God Has good plans for us. Plans to prosper us and not to fail.
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14 :3
Rest Well Brother!!!
We lost a good person ,it was like …dream we were with Leonard kyalo last year before we conducted zoom training I mobile kyalo inform him that I lost my sister I was in a sad moment and the training was there I am DMM practioner in Dandora hubs our family members are meeting for funeral arrangements and Leonard told me that I am his eye in Dandora hubs so I need be there . Leonard appreciated my work in Dandora hubs was successful. I Dannis and Leonard kyalo made a friend in National museum of Kenya leonard and Dennis were there as casual
Leonard Kyalo are the one who invited me to Join Dbs .
Every day at lunch time hours Leonard and her team of Dannis Gabriel Kiptalam and Kennedy they were a group of ten people
During lunch time I have been committed with other of politics anolize politics sometime I m in car wash
Bit I remember one day because I like fun I jokes with Leonard said that every day you were on nature trail, How can I join you so that I can be part of you are doing there.
It was not easy to live my old thing and follow Leonard
Leonard spoke to me you be Man of peace I didn’t know what Leonard me to me.
This is reminding when Jesus was on mission walking be side the lake Jesus meet Simon Peter and Peter told Jesus that he was there in the ocean since from evening until morning he has never catch any fish and Jesus told Peter put your net over there and Peter put on the net ,the net was full of fish and Jesus told Peter you will be my Fisher of men, when I joined Leonard we start DMM in Dandora Leonard made my own future to shine
Go Leonard I know I am after you bye
Oh so sorry. Just met him on social media last year. We were talking about DMM Africa. Am in Nigeria he in Kenya.
Oh. God keep his family and keep the work going.
Will miss him. How about the DMM Africa thing now?
I believe God has given me the chance to continue with this discipleship.So sorry to have lost Leonard.Its so sad.We will work more and more from where he left.
It was such a sad moment for us to lose such a kingdomly and spiritual leader.
Sincerely, my brother was so obedient to the word and put every word into practice.
I remember when we had a mission with him in Kilifi,he kept telling me,all we need is ‘OBEDIENCE TO THE WORD’
We will miss him alot.