PASTOR HANGS UP BOOTS

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Pastor John Ochola Olongo has today, October 31, 2021, hang up his boots to retire from an illustrious and devoted active pastoral ministry of 18 years.
In a colorful joy-filled farewell ceremony held in his honor by the churches of Nyahera District at Viewpoint Church yesterday and presided over by the Central Nyanza Conference president Pr. John Ojung’a, he emotionally expressed his gratitude to congregants that he had had the opportunity to serve, especially Nyahera District—his last, for the relatively ‘easy time’ they gave him while serving as their pastor.
He also thanked the Central Nyanza Conference leadership for creating a good working environment that he enjoyed and for giving him a listening ear and assistance any time that he needed it, especially with regard to his children’s education.
The old servant of God who was evidently overwhelmed with indebtedness punctuated his speech by saying every once in a while “I can weep”, and at one point he actually broke down and wept. His weeping turned out to be a light moment for every colleague and friend present there always knew him to be very emotional.
Pastor Olongo began his ministerial journey in January 2004 when he was posted to Uholo District, he served for less than six months then he went to Maliera, then to Koru, Kamnara, Naya, Nyakwere and finally Nyahera. Interestingly, the last 7 of his 18 years of service as a pastor were spent in Nyahera, his 7th and last District.
Before he joined ministry, he worked with the ministry of Agriculture as a Technical Assistant. He afterwards spent 7 years at the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton training to become a minister.
Speaking at the function, Pr. Ojung’a lauded Pr. Olongo for his positive attitude and readiness for the transition as opposed to many who find it very difficult when time comes for them to retire. He also praised him for his high integrity, humility and respect for leadership. The president recognized pastor’s untiring efforts to secure education for his children. He also thanked Nyahera District for the rare gesture of love and thoughtfulness towards their pastor to organize such a ceremony.
Every succeeding speaker agreed with the previous on Pr. Olongo’s industry, commitment and observance of protocols with a couple of them lightly referring to him as logistics in keeping with the word he would use quite a lot in his work schemes.
Also in attendance were the CNC Ministerial Secretary, pastors of Kisumu Station, a few shepherdesses and other church workers who came to show solidarity with their senior colleague.
Seventh-day Adventist pastors retire either when they attain 65 years of age or when they have put in 40 years of service, whichever comes first.
By Pr. Vincent Onunga, Communication Director, Central Nyanza Conference.

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