“I used to call myself a pastor, but after learning about how Jesus led, I realized I was unworthy of the name,” says Dibeta Oyera of Kenya. “The work of Lead Like Jesus touched my life so much that I felt like I actually received salvation afresh.”
A single mother, Dibeta has always been passionate about her ministry with widows and orphans. She is a farmer and has been a widow for a quarter of a century. But first and foremost, she identifies herself as a servant of God. Learning to follow the leadership model of Jesus has advanced her ministry — and her personal faith — significantly.
“It started first with me,” says Dibeta of the impact following the first Encounter she attended years ago. “I started living like Jesus myself, and people around me started seeing the change in my life.”
And according to this compassionate woman who tends her community like she tends her land, Jesus’ example has caused a ripple effect.
“What touched my life so much is that when I look at Jesus, He does things as a servant instead of as a master,” she says. “When I started humbling myself, other people began imitating me. Several pastors confess that they have received salvation afresh. The church has really started leading like servants, and this teaching has changed lives. People are asking about Encounters to see what it is and to understand more about it.”
In addition to caring for widows and orphans in her immediate community, Dibeta travels with her team of three co-facilitators to take Lead Like Jesus to other districts in the northern region of Uganda.
The audience that gives Dibeta the greatest joy, however, is made up of her smallest listeners.
“A leader of the orphans whom I look after was giving orders,” she says. “One of the children challenged him by saying, ‘You have to lead like Jesus. Jesus was a servant, not a leader that would shout at people.’” Dibeta smiles as she remembers. “That went deep into my heart. I realized that these teachings are reaching down even to young children, that leading like Jesus is the way.”
Dibeta is doing her job to make sure that the example of Jesus’ leadership is growing in Uganda, but she dreams it will be cultivated worldwide. “My desire is that when we take this teaching all over the world, then Jesus will manifest Himself,” she says.
“It has touched my life and changed my surroundings so much. May we lead like Jesus for the glory of the Lord!”