top of page


Hello, my name is Laban Okinyi Onyango and I grew up in Migori County, Western Kenya as the ninth of ten siblings.

With 4 sons and 6 daughters, my parents had a lot of children to take care of, which was quite a challenge since we lived in poor conditions.

Our life was not easy. We were always lacking food, a place to sleep, or the money to go to school, so at times I could not continue learning.

My father died already in 2015 and my mother lived only two years after that, so my siblings and I finally became orphans in 2017.

When I was about 15 years old, my grandmother took me in to take care of me. While I lived with her, I finished fifth grade. But after that, there was not enough money to send me to school. Since she was also very old, she had difficulty taking care of me at all.

So I moved in with my three brothers, hoping that they could help me with my school fees. But here, too, I had no success. They also had no money to support me.

Finally, I moved in with my uncle, who made it possible for me to finish school up to the

8th grade and thus graduate from primary school.

Just as I was about to start secondary school, I was sentenced in 2019 and sent to the juvenile prison "Shikusa Borstal Institution". I was to spend my 3-year sentence there.

Nevertheless, I was allowed to leave the juvenile prison already in 2020 because I was ready to take my second chance at Crossroads. There I got the opportunity to do an apprenticeship as an electrician in the vocational school of "Diguna".

Through the church services that were conducted in the prison, I was able to get to know God and experienced that He loves me and always walks with me. He never leaves me alone, even when everyone else does.

After completing my second year of teaching, I was able to start working at Crossroads as an electrician. Nick, one of the employees, supported me actively and taught me more than I could learn in my apprenticeship. Thanks to his guidance, I install the electrical system in our family home almost on my own. If I have any questions, he is still my first point of contact. He has become a mentor for me to whom I can turn, and

While still in prison, I began serving God by preaching and leading worship. I have been allowed to continue these ministries here at Crossroads. In addition, I began leading the Sunday children's services some time ago.

In the meantime, I have been at Crossroads for about a year and a half, have learned a lot, and am thankful to God for this second chance.

Crossroads has become my home. I love the people here because they are family to me. They ask how I am and care about me, which I couldn't do before. That's why it means so much more to me. I feel accepted and appreciated here.

By the end of February 2023, I'll have gone through the whole rehabilitation program and will be allowed to go back home. And while I know it's the best thing for me, I'm afraid I won't be as well received there as I am here at Crossroads. I'm afraid that I'll be judged at home and that I might have a hard time making new friends, even getting used to live there.

Part of me would like to stay at Crossroads forever. I have brothers here, I have family here.

But I know that I have learned enough at Crossroads to build a good, responsible life for myself back home. For that, I am incredibly grateful to God and my family at Crossroads.

Hello, I am Ben Kisa and I grew up in Kitali Tranzoia County, in Western Kenya with my grandfather.

I didn't know my parents because they dropped me off at my grandfather's house when I was 9 months old.

My two younger brothers did not live with our parents either. One of them grew up with me at our grandfather's and the other one lived with our grandmother.

I attended school only up to the 6th grade. I couldn't study any further because I had to start working. So I provided for my grandfather and myself already at the age of 12.

At the age of 15, I was sentenced to a three-year prison term, which I had to serve in the juvenile prison "Shikusa Borstal Institution".

The time in prison was hard. I suffered especially from the fact that I had no visitors, no one to give me hope. When there were visiting days, it was always a great joy for the other boys, but not for me. What should I look forward to? - No one came to see me or bring me things like soap anyway. If family or friends don't support you in prison with hope and also material things, then life there is characterized by deprivation.

However, something good came out of my time in prison. Because if I hadn't ended up there, I probably would never have heard about Jesus and that he loves me and wants to guide me in life. Getting to know him gave me strength.

During this time I was able to learn a lot, as hard as it often was. But when I look back, I can thank God for leading me there. Because otherwise, I might not have changed my life.

After some time, the people from Crossroads came to visit us in prison. Through the interview with Teresa Togom for my place in the rehabilitation program, I got hope. To this day, I am deeply moved by how I was and am treated by the people here.

After one year and three months, I was finally allowed to leave the juvenile detention center and take my second chance at Crossroads.

After three months at Crossroads, I was due for my first visit back home. There I learned that my grandfather had died while I was away. In my grief, however, there was a ray of hope. For now, I finally met my mother. She and my father are divorced and while he lives with his new wife, my mother took care of my two younger brothers.

At Crossroads, I was able to finish my plumbing apprenticeship. In addition, I was able to learn a lot in my life and received a lot of support.

Tabitha studied the Bible with me, taught me how to treat the things I received well, and taught me how to save money and spend it wisely.

Philipp taught me how to drive a tractor and Chris helped me get my driver's license. The Togom couple took over the role of my parents. Peter and Teresa treat me well, show me their love, and still call me now and then to see how I am doing. Teresa even provided me with food for a while when I was short because of my work.

I care about Crossroads because it changed my life.

After I went through the whole rehabilitation and reintegration program, I got to volunteer and help the next guys that came in with their rehabilitation.

When I wanted to move back home, there were some misunderstandings with my father, so I decided to move to Eldoret. I still live there and work as a plumber.

At the beginning of 2023, I was allowed to help dig the trench for the new water supply line from the spring in Crossroads. It moves me deeply that I am still allowed to come here and that Crossroads has offered me this work.

I am still living alone in Eldoret, but I hope to have enough money soon to rent a small room for my mother as well. Her living conditions are not good and I want to help her as much as I can.

I continue to trust in what I learned in prison and Crossroads: that God cares for me and guides me. I will always be grateful for that.

Recent Posts

See All

Prison Work

Neben der Rehabilitation ehemaliger straffälliger Jugendlicher sind uns die Schicksale der Insassen in den Gefängnissen in Westkenia wichtig


bottom of page