Kenyan Leadership Team
Willis Obunga joined CGA in Jan 2017 as the Ministry Coordinator. He has been serving in ministry roles over the past 20+ years throughout Kenya. For the last 12 years, Willis has been the Communications and Development Coordinator of BethanyKids, a hospital for handicapped children in Kijabe. In that role he oversaw and executed all aspects of publicity and marketing in Kenya. Willis also served as a part time Lecturer at Kijabe College of Health Sciences teaching Communication skills to students. He has also served as the Christian Education Coordinator for a church, Assistant Coordinator for the Bible League, and Media Assistant with CURE Hospital.
Willis earned his Diploma and Bachelor of Theology degree from Moffat Bible College and Kenya Methodist University respectively. He later graduated from Daystar University with a Master of Arts degree in Communications. Willis is married to Janet Otieno, and they are blessed with three daughters; Joy (15), Pam (9) and Laila (7). Janet is a Registered Nurse Practitioner and has served as Head of the Midwifery Department at Kijabe College of Health Sciences.
Willis brings excellent administrative experience to CGA, along with his gift of effective communication. Willishad this to say during one of his firsts visits to CGA; "Indeed the school is a gift to the children and their families in the community, and through it, God’s Kingdom is coming to Kenya."
Lilian Mukeni Ombori began volunteering at CGA in 2000 when she and her husband moved to Mbita to start a church. The first year she served the school by assisting with Bible classes, chapel and home visits for the orphans. But as her love for the children grew, so did her commitment. In 2002 she became the orphan overseer which includes monitoring the living situation, health care, academic and social progress of the orphans. In addition to this she coordinates the uniforms, shoes, and pe games kits for all the students, as well as teaches Bible in grades 7 and 8. She is literally a mother to almost 300 children. Lilian has a love for the Lord, His Word and the church. She takes to heart the biblical mandate that calls us to care for the widows and orphans.
Lilian married Ezekiel Ombori in August 1994. They met at a Bible college, where he obtained a degree in Bible Theology, and Lilian received an advanced diploma in the same. Since then Lllian has gone on to get her bachelor’s degree in Bible Theology and hopes to pursue her masters in September 2007. Lilian and Ezekiel are both strong mature Christians, and though they both serve in local schools they also pastor a church in the community. They have 3 children of their own and 4 (more at times) orphans living in their home under their care. Lilian is a huge blessing to CGA and to the community of Mbita.
Daina Odoyo was one of the original founding members of CGA. In 1997 when the school was starting, Daina left a good job to help with the pioneering effort of creating a school for orphans in Mbita. She was on the original planning committee and also became the first teacher, handling the young 4 year olds in Nursery class (pre-school). Every young child who has entered CGA in the Nursery class has passed through her hands. Some of her former pupils are now in college and university, but they wouldn’t be there today without Daina’s efforts to help them learn the basics of speaking English, reading, writing and even how to behave in class! She provides a motherly influence and cares about each and every child. Her patience and love make each student feel comfortable and welcomed so that they learn to love coming to school. Daina’s husband, Peter Odoyo, passed away from cancer in 2012 which has left Daina as a widow caring for her 4 children, as well as a niece who lives with them. Her first born, Beatrice, has earned a diploma in Business. In 2014, Benjamin will graduate from high school, Perpetua started her 1st year of high school and Miracle is in 4th Grade at CGA. Daina’s niece also started living with them in 2011 after her parents passed away.
Steve and Judi Cochran have been involved with the ministry of Christ’s Gift Academy in Kenya, since 1999. As manager, Steve oversees the development of the facilities, staff, special projects, finances and purchasing. As administrator, Judi oversees the teaching staff, curriculum, enrollment, orphan care, and the spiritual focus for the school.
With a degree in elementary education and experience in foreign and inner city missions, Judi came to Mbita in 1999 to be the administrator of the school. In her first term, she saw the school grow from nursery to standard three. During that time she also adopted two of the students who were attending CGA, Beatrice Auma and Beatrice Achola. Steve has been involved with CGA since 2000. With his experience as a project building manager, Steve came to CGA to oversee the physical growth of facilities for eight months in 2000-2001. He returned to Kenya for a three month stay in Mbita during 2003 as part of his missions training. After his short season of service, Steve decided to make a more permanent commitment to CGA -- and to Judi. They married November 2003 at the school compound. In May of 2004, the girls, Big and Little B, became official American citizen and official daughters of Steve in November. Both girls attended CGA and went to an American boarding school outside Nairobi, Rift Valley Academy, to prepare for university in America. Beatrice Auma graduated from RVA in July 2010, and is currently a junior at Oklahoma Christian University. Beatrice Achola graduated from RVA in July 2012 and is currently a freshman at Vanderbilt University.
Steve and Judi have been moving into a support role of the CGA ministry since 2010, turning most of the daily responsibilities to the national leadership team, which has been the goal since CGA began. They continue to be involved with finances, spiritual guidance, student sponsorship and raising awareness and support for the school. In the last two years they have made several trips into Southern Sudan to serve as a support in both medical and educational ministry. As CGA becomes stable under the Kenyan leadership, they are scouting out other areas of ministry in South Sudan.