Neil was raised in the Southern Baptist faith and Jennifer was a Catholic before she made her declaration of salvation. After meeting at Florida State University, both received the baptism of the Holy Spirit while fellowshipping with charismatic students. They began attending the Church of God, and in 1988, Neil enrolled in the Pentecostal Theological Seminary, receiving his Master of Divinity. Jennifer worked as a receptionist at Church of God World Missions.
The Lawrences’ first missionary service was to the Virgin/Leeward Islands, but it was their appointment to Kenya that sealed their calling to education. Neil’s primary ministry was teaching at Discipleship University, a 17-acre campus located in El Doret.
Involved in evangelism and worship, the Lawrences began singing songs in Swahili and leading in worship at the church in Nairobi. A ministry team named the Eagle’s Wings Gospel Team was formed and countless seminars/open-air crusades have been held in market places, town centers, roadside centers, slum, and villages, also providing a great opportunity to disciple the students from the university. Africa is an “indoor/outdoor society,” meaning people spend much of their day outside fellowshipping with friends and neighbors, moving around town doing their jobs, or if they are jobless, idling in town. People tend to return inside their homes only at night.
Neil says: “We have a tremendous burden to disciple others. Our ministry is one of equipping and encouraging fellow Christians, ministers, and students to accomplish what God is calling them to fulfill.”