Loving, supportive, a team, God-fearing, best friends and many others are some of the values those who have interacted with this couple will tell you about them.
Albert is a senior pastor at Manna Christian Fellowhip in Eldoret, while his wife Monica is a teacher at Chebisaas Boys’ High School. They celebrated their 23rdyear in marriage about a week ago, and I got them to speak about their relationship.
Albert and Monica Nandi first met in 1989, but it wasn’t until a year later that they started dating.
It was during the Easter weekend of 1989 that I first saw him. A group of speakers had come to minister at my high school and he was among them. Being one of the Christian Union members, I was tasked with the responsibility of taking care of them under the hospitality ministry. It is later on that I got in touch with him to share a testimony. The serious relationship begun in 1990. I was then at the University and he was teaching at Chebisaas High School.
Albert proposed once, asking Monica if she could be his girlfriend. Their end goal was to get married even as they dated. Albert however had to wait for a while.
Sometime in mid 1990, I visited him in Chebisaas High School and he made the proposal. I told him I would consider and after a while I said ‘yes’, and so we began the relationship. Albert went to Tanzania in 1992. Our relationship continued and we planned to get married as soon as I finished college. So introduction to both families was done after college and Albert came to ask for my hand in marriage and we were given a go ahead. We got married in April 1994, and went back to Tanzania in September that year.
Albert has been a minister for over 20 years and Monica has been his biggest support, even though she has not studied theology.
During our time in Tanzania I got to learn more about ministry as an apprentice because there was a lady called Patty Bogart who was acting as a role model so we would go out for ministry together, visiting women, Bible study and then we also had times of studying the Bible and being guided, and through that I learned how to support. The bit I do now is in Sunday school and I went for training as a Sunday school teacher, and so that is the bit I support him in. Also, just visiting with the ladies, encouraging them in their walk with God and just being there for him, being present.
After 23 years of marriage…
The journey has been great, but not without highs and lows, but all in all, leaning on God has helped us a great deal to deal with the challenges and move on. we’ve grown a lot just in knowing God and even growing in understanding and being considerate of the other. So far, it’s been great.
Albert is the financial manager. All our finances are put together and we spend from one basket. He manages the finances. But when I need money, I get. I have no problem, and he doesn’t ask me what I want to do with it. He trusts that I will use it well.
Informing each other of their whereabouts has made faithfulness and trust come effortlessly…
Albert informs me of his whereabouts and the people he is going to meet and how their time goes, and I do the same. There are moments he’s shared about ladies who send wrong signals and whenever I’ve told him I’m uncomfortable with this, he will stop and refer them to another counselor. So I trust him for that and we keep praying that God would help us. Our relationship comes first.
When we were newly weds, the excitement was there, yes. This is something you are discovering but as you grow you get to strike a balance. So, we strive to make it the best because it’s not just about children now we are not getting more children. So, we still have to enjoy each other and so with understanding and talking about it and trying to get newer ways of making it interesting, it works well.
They have been blessed with three children, Purity 22, Jerry 19 and Joy 17.
Parenting has been great. Initial days when they were babies and you say things and they do were great, but we learned from early in our marriage that we needed to introduce the rod early. Discipline not beyond four, but use it as training and our children knew that and that helped to shape them and taught them self-control because they knew ‘no’ was associated with pain. We were consistent and in agreement on how we do it. Of course they have been a little bit of challenges as the children have grown up into teenage, into their twenties, but we still just talk to them and make them understand that since we’ve been there we are guiding them even when they feel that probably things have changed and we don’t know what we are talking about. But we still endeavor to direct them in their relationships with the opposite sex, guide them, helping them to be open. So, it’s a great journey, not without it’s challenges though, but we are enjoying every part of it.
We still keep growing in the area of communication, but at least we’ve come a long way because initially it was quite difficult. You would think you’ve said this, but the other person has understood it differently. So what helped us is you ask, “So is this what you’ve said?” You try to repeat and get clarification. So seeking clarification all through has helped us. Though there are times we still make mistakes but we still endeavor to seek clarification and make it better because clarification is key.
Submission according to the word…
Submission is not just for wives, it’s for husbands too, and we’ve striven to practice that, and submission does not mean just saying ‘yes’ also submission can be difficult, but with God’s help and with an understanding spouse, it works.
Advice to those planning to get married…
We would encourage them not to look at material things and if they know God, look for a spouse that knows God and who has values that you share. Trust in God. Do not help God to get a man. Do not force it. Trust in God, be sensitive to His leading know that He’s faithful, and despite marriages that are breaking, you can strive to make yours the best with the foundation on God.