Ex-refugee becomes minister 1 year after reuniting with family

3 years 4 months 1 hour ago Saturday, August 16 2014 Aug 16, 2014 Saturday, August 16, 2014 9:42:00 PM CDT August 16, 2014 in News
By: Tyler Castner, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Pastor Nene Peter was ordained as a minister at the First Baptist Church Saturday.

Pastor Nene came to the U.S. from Kenya as a refugee in 2008. He was forced to flee his home country of Congo when a rival tribe attacked his village in 2002.

Pastor Nene became separated from his family during the attack and had given them up for dead as he watched his home burn.

"One day, they came, our houses, they attacked our village, burned in fire. I ran. I guessed my family was dead," Pastor Nene said.

Pastor Nene said the men in his village ran in different directions from their families during the attack to keep them safe, but weren't able to reunite with them afterwards.

He made his way across Africa, preaching the Bible and leading prayer. He soon arrived in Kenya, where he stayed for the next six years as a refugee. During that time, he continued his work as a pastor.

In 2008, he immigrated to America and lived the next two years in St. Louis before moving to Columbia in 2010. When he arrived, Pastor Nene said he didn't know any English and wasn't even sure where he was going. He said it was God's calling that brought him to mid-Missouri.

"In my plan, there wasn't any plan any day to come to America, but God had such a plan," Pastor Nene said.

After being in the states for a year, Pastor Nene learned his family, his wife, Francine, daughter, Aline and two sons, Kwezi and Freddy were alive in the same refugee camp in Kenya. His wife had also adopted a third son, Cloude, in their time apart.

"They was in Kenya, they came in to Kenya and some people tells them, 'your husband was here, Pastor Nene,' but there was no belief," Pastor Nene said, "They gave me a number to call. 'Oh, my family was alive!'"

Immigration restrictions and ongoing war in the region kept them separated for another four years before the family reunited in Columbia in 2013. Pastor Nene had not seen his family in over 11 years. When he last saw his children, they were toddlers. They're now teenagers.

"Because I help some people, they say, 'Pastor, pastor, pastor, pastor,' but never who will say, 'Dad!' But now, I'm poppa. They will say 'Poppa! Dad!' Even in the house they don't like me to go outside. For one year and three months, they say 'oh, we'll go with you, we'll go with you," Pastor Nene said. "Right now I have a family full of joy. We are happy."

Saturday, 13 months after reuniting with his family, Pastor Nene was ordained as a minister at his church. He was a pastor in his life in Africa and has led African services at the church for several years since coming to Columbia. Since becoming a U.S. citizen last year, Pastor Nene had to renew his license as a minister in the Baptist Church.

In the past year, Pastor Nene and his family added a new addition to their home - their four-month-old son, Israel. Pastor Nene said his life is now full of joy with his family back in his life.

"I'm happy. First, because I believe in God. Second, I believe because right now I am with my family, my kids, my wife and my members," said Pastor Nene.

 

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Officials with the University of Missouri-Kansas City say students will soon have access to state-of-the-art... More >>
54 minutes ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:16:45 AM CST December 16, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Cat cafes have popped up across the world in cities including New York City, London and Tokyo, and... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 7:36:00 AM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol has confirmed it has fired Trooper Anthony Piercy. KOMU 8 spoke to... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:42:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - St. Louis officers arrested a suspect that was on the run in a duplex on Sears Court in... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:29:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The application for the top education position in the state, Missouri State Education Board Commissioner, opened Friday leaving... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:02:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
BLUE SPRINGS (AP) — A commercial real estate records company based in suburban Kansas City has abruptly shut down, leaving... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 7:42:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department say a house fire that killed a cat Friday afternoon started in the kitchen.... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 7:29:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - For the past six years Ryan Shultz, the creator/owner of the Candy Cane Crib, has shared a well-lit... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 7:17:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said around half of adults in the U.S. struggle with understanding... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 6:00:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in Continuous News
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A Blue Springs, Missouri, man has pleaded guilty to kidnapping and raping a sheriff's deputy... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 4:51:08 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Ten people are facing federal indictment in a $5.4 million methamphetamine distribution conspiracy. ... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 4:07:15 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Several new businesses will open in Columbia at the start of the new year. Wheely's Cafe, a... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:49:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in Continuous News
INDEPENDENCE - Police have now cancelled an endangered silver advisory for a 73-year-old woman with dementia who might have been... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:43:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The Jefferson City Public School Boundaries Committee began discussions on boundary lines for the city’s new high... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:29:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT - Holts Summit's board of aldermen met Thursday night to discuss creating a city-owned shelter. Currently, the... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:07:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
SEDALIA (AP) — The former administrator of an ambulance service in central Missouri has pleaded guilty to embezzling more... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 2:52:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police said a 42-year-old woman went missing Friday morning and was considered at risk because of medical conditions.... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 2:11:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Some HIV-positive patients in nearly half the counties in Missouri will lose health insurance coverage next... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 1:02:12 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 42°
10am 48°
11am 50°
12pm 53°
1pm 56°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

9:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
10:00a
The Voyager with Josh Garcia
10:30a
Wilderness Vet
9:00a
Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: Family Edition
9:30a
Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: Family Edition
10:00a
Brain Games: Family Edition

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Will & Grace
7:30p
Superstore
8:00p
Dateline NBC
9:00p
Saturday Night Live
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld