A Note from my Mentor Rev. John S. Mahon
When Eleanor and I first did our research on the topic of parenting, it was initially for our own consumption. Both of us had come from dysfunctional homes and we did not want to pass this heritage to our children. So we worked tirelessly to ensure that our children would not inherit our baggage. We are now proud grandparents. We met Stanley and Patience Mukolwe in 1985, three months after they were married.
Stanley and Patience soon became part of our ministry at Oklahoma State University and integrated into our family. Eleanor and I received a good amount of criticism for allowing this African couple freedom in our home, and for leaving our children with them for a week while we were gone to Chicago. We were convinced then, and are still now, that when men and women are transformed by the gospel, they take on a biblical culture that transcends their original culture. Such has been our experience as we have interacted with transformed persons from around the world.
Returning To Kenya
When Stanley and Patience chose to return home after spending 5 years in the US, it caused a stir among their colleagues at Oklahoma State. Many foreign students studying in the US chose not to return home. I asked Stanley why he had chosen to return. “If the Lord wants me back, He can arrange that. Besides, there is so much I have learnt here both in my academics and in my walk with God that I feel I must take back home to my people” he responded. At that time, we did not know that he and Patience would, in time, leave the pursuit of the lucrative field of Veterinary Medicine to focus their efforts on leading men and women to Christ and nurturing them in their faith.
Our visit to Kenya
Stanley and Patience first invited us to Kenya in 1994 – three years after their return. They had put together a group of about 20 couples for us to teach biblical principles of parenting. After the weekend conference, we encouraged Stanley and Patience to continue meeting with couples in their living room to teach them the principles. Two years later, we returned to teach a group three times as large. By that time Stanley and Patience were mastering the content and we were seeing how God was already using it to bless them and the ministry.
I decided to release the copyright of publishing the content of our research to Stanley and allow God to use it wherever he wanted. Stanley continued to master the content, practice the principles and to teach it. In 2003 he and I published the bible study under the title “Raising the Next Generation” Biblical Principles of Parenting ISBN: 9966-05-003-5. The content of that study was central to my Master’s dissertation.
Stanley serves on the board of directors of Grace Community International (GCI) which Eleanor and I founded. He has received an award from the board in appreciation for his service and contribution to our mission work throughout the world. At GCI, our two goals are “to win the world through heads of households” and “to disciple the world through families”. I consider Dr. Mukolwe to be one of my dearest and closest friends.
To qualify to teach the Family Discipleship Seminar (FDS) you must have grown-up children walking with God, which Dr. Mukolwe has done. Dr. Mukolwe puts to death the myth that full time Christian workers and executives cannot be good parents. Having traveled in over 27 countries giving the FDS, 13 of which are in Africa, I have come to consider Dr. Mukolwe to be the single greatest advocate and authority on child-raising in all of Africa.
The teachings in his book “Raising Future Parents” have evolved to have an African flavor without losing the sharp biblical edge. In an attempt to attract a wider readership, many authors today use biblical principles without quoting directly from the bible. While they have their reasons for doing that, I’m proud that Dr. Mukolwe has not edited the bible out of his book. The truths for which GCI stands have been retained. We are proud of Stanley and Patience and highly recommend his book to you.
Rev. John S. Mahon Ph.D.
President, Grace Community International, Houston Texas