I believe that God has uniquely gifted me to relate to the needs of African immigrants both in the Diaspora and in Africa.
At the age of 14, rebel soldiers amidst the Liberian civil war kidnapped me (Tuma), and I endure beatings, hunger, and physical abuse. During that time, I was sustained by God’s grace and able to reach out to fellow captives with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I escaped after six months and was evacuated from Liberia to the United States.
I was born in Liberia, West Africa, and moved with my mom and older brother Dakanah to Fresno, California and then moved to Daly City, where I attended High School.
After High School I attended Concordia University in Irvine, California where I major in Pastoral Studies and graduated in May 2001. I also study at Concordia Seminary and Wesley Seminary.
After graduation from Irvine, I spent 7 months in Homer, Alaska at faith Lutheran Church as a volunteer Youth Leader. After which, I took a CALL to Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Chugiak, Alaska as Youth Director/Youth Ministry, where I was for a little over two years.
While in Alaska I (Tuma) reconnected with my childhood friend Evita. The reconnection happened somewhere in May/ June of 2001. By July of 2001 we were engaged and married September 20th, that same year (when you know, you know).
We have a daughter Etelle, who was born on May 5th, 2004, and a son Tuma Jr. (TJ) who was born on June 4th 2007.
Evita was also born in Liberia, West Africa. She and her family move to Lagos Nigeria in the mist of the Liberian civil war and then they moved to Atlanta Georgia where she and Tuma got reconnected.
We both have dedicated our life to service.
After getting married we live in Alaska for a short time. While in Alaska we had the opportunity to start International Christian Ministry which was a mission congregation of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and a mission partner of Grace Lutheran Church, Pittsburg, CA. and also the CNH-LCMS district.
ICM was/is a congregation that began serving the spiritual needs of African immigrants in February 2004. ICM provide an opportunity for all God’s people to worship and be spiritually fed. While her doors were open to all people, it mainly focusses on Liberians from West Africa that were victim of the civil war in Liberia and were now refugees living in Northern California.
ICM served and continue to serve the East Bay Delta communities and others (Oakland, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Concord, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Livermore, Tracy, Stockton and other surrounding communities).
African immigrants fleeing famine, persecution and civil war in their homelands are increasingly resettling in Northern California and across the US seeking freedom, safety and economic opportunities to rebuild their lives. Due to the harsh circumstances, which caused them to leave their beloved homelands, and due to the stresses, confusion and difficulties they face when entering an unfamiliar culture, African immigrants are in need of spiritual direction, strength and comfort.
When we finally decided to leave California, International Christian Ministry and Agape Bible Fellowship merge and now is Agape International Church and Ministries (AICM) under the pastoral leadership of Rev. Dr. John Ojewole. And continue to serve the spiritual needs of God’s people in the East Bay of California.
After serving in the San Francisco Bay area from December of 2003, God lay it on our heart to move to Texas. We left California February 2016 for Texas.
At first, we thought it was to come to Texas to plant a church. Very early into our move we realized it wasn’t to plant a church, but that God had a bigger plan.
We came in contact with my father (Tuma) that I had no relationship with at ALL. He had been sick and lived less than 300ft from Etelle school. We care for him, somewhat and he ended up dying in March of 2017.
During the Covid pandemic God clearing show us that one of the reasons we had moved to Texas was to focus on the project He had put in our spirit some 13 years ago. That was to lead/ build a High School in Liberia. And that is when this project was rebirth.
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,”
2 Timothy 3:14
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