Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Born to Legio Maria parents, though indifferent to the faith as he grew up, Deacon Daniel Joseph Barnaba Yala learned the word of Baba Simeo Melkio gradually and finally overcame his doubts. Today, he is one of the most steadfast members, defenders and preachers of the faith. This week, he narrated his journey in learning the ways of the glory of God to lejionmaria.blogspot.com. Here is his story.

Birth in Legio Maria

“The fourth born among my siblings, I grew up in Legio Maria, though I did not see our Lord Baba Simeo face to face. I started attending Legio Maria services at a very tender age and as soon as I could walk long enough to go anywhere my father formed the habit of carrying me to church on his bicycle. For a very young child that I was, Legio Maria services were always interesting and I could not miss going to church even if it meant the grueling bicycle rides with my father and my elder brother.”

“When we did not take a bicycle ride to church with dad, we would go there in the company of our mother. She was a devout member of the church who never missed her prayers. Hence, she would have us accompany her to church on Wednesdays and Saturdays for the devotional prayers to Mama Maria. I really enjoyed the devotional services, especially the song ‘Holy Mary, our beloved mother, show us your son, our lord….( Maria Mtakatifu, Minwa mwahero, nyiswa wuodi Ruodhwa…).

“But one day, when we were taking the journey to church on a bicycle, my left ankle was accidentally cut. I felt deep pain and decided against the bicycle rides to church anymore. In fact, I put an ultimatum to my parents that if they could not buy me shoes then I would not accompany them to church. Those days, going to church for me was like performing a duty to my beloved parents. And to entice me back to church, my parents bought me a pair of shoes to wear on my way to church. Nevertheless the excitement lasted only but a short while and my dislike for Legio Maria set in.”

 The Dislike Years

“My dislike of Legio Maria church services began while I was still a very young boy. It all started with the frequent pressure on us (children) to keep quiet whenever the services were going on. No playing, movement and talking was allowed and we (children) were being instructed and even compelled to remain quiet and to kneel down for the entire duration of the Holy Mass and the devotional prayers to Mary. It was a hell of a place to be in as a child and I hated the services.”

“My aversion for the faith exploded into a hard negative feeling as I grew up and faced the boyhood challenges of being a member of the faith. At school, the mockery and insults were almost unbearable. And in the village, the scorn against us for worshipping Ondeto was too much. These scorns, together with the kneeling and sitting in church for long hours during services made me hate being born in Legio Maria.”

“To make matters worse, no sleeping was allowed during night prayers. You had to kneel, sit and stand through it until the solemn prayers were over. And if you dared sleep, an adult member of the congregation, such as a priest or a nun would squirt cold holy water on you. These really made me angrier, and even hate the faith more. But that was not all. Immediately you stepped into the church compound, you would have to remove your shoes and walk barefoot on hard earth and sometimes spiky rocks. Indeed, these issues were grieving me day by day and throwing me miles and miles away from Legio Maria to the extent that by the time I was a teenager, I had decided I never wanted to be a Legio Maria when I grow up.”

“More awfully, the explanations given to me about why I had to be a member of such a faith never made sense to me. As a child, I did not like the injustice I thought I was receiving in church, but no one was explaining things to me clearly. For instance, I saw adults taking the Holy Sacrament every service day, but children were not allowed to take it. When I asked my mother why I could not be given the holy meal, she only told me that I was still too young to partake of it. I got furious!

“And on another day, a teenage friend of mine saw the image of Mama Maria on the wall of our house and then asked whose image it was saying: ‘Is that the image of your grandmother or who?’ I could not respond to him and simply ignored the question because I had no reasonable answer. When I asked my mother about the image, she told me that the person on the image was the mother of Baba Messiah. I could not believe her.”

“Therefore, while I was born in Legio Maria and grew up a member of the faith, the events of my childhood life almost turned me away from the faith completely. In fact, by the time I was in my early teens, I had decided that I would never be a Legio Maria.”

The Lord Calls Me to Serve Him

“Exactly a month to my joining high school, Baba Simeo spoke through the Holy Spirit and gave me a direct call to serve him. He said: ‘My son, I have great plans for you. Would you accept to serve me?’ The call came as a surprise to me. Before that day, I had already made my mind that I would not serve him and yet, he had seen me and knowing my plans, he was now asking me to serve him. So, I responded to him coldly, saying: ‘I do not know your ways. But if you can open my eyes so I can know you well enough, then I am willing to serve you.’

“When I had responded to him, he replied: ‘I want you to serve in my altar, but before you do that, I need you to make a blue robe. Once you make that blue robe, your mind shall open and you shall know me and serve me.’ After that conversation with the lord, I decided to hold him on his own words and made the blue robe. I was eager to learn his ways in order to make a permanent decision about being a Legio Maria or not.”

“Making the blue cassock requested by the lord changed me completely. Within a few days, I had learned many critical things on Legio Maria that I had never known before. My spiritual eyes were opened more and my knowledge of Simeo Ondeto increased so quickly that by the time I was joining high school, I had completely become a Legio Maria. And soon, I learned how to serve in the Holy Mass through the help of Father Joseph Oluoch.”

“When I had become a success on the Lord’s first request, he again spoke to me through the Holy Spirit saying: ‘My son, now I want you to start teaching my people.’ This was a shocker, especially coming so soon to a person who just committed fully to him a few months back. So I responded naively, saying: ‘Lord, I am not a gifted teacher of the word of God. Moreover, I am so shy that I can not face your people with your word.’ But the good lord responded saying: “Be not afraid for I shall be with you always.’ And as he said to me, he has successfully turned me into his teacher.”

What I Learned of Baba Messiah’s Coming

“After Baba Simeo had promised me that he would help me to know his ways, I quickly developed a passion for studying his teachings and the Bible. And with more bible studies, prayers and reading of the Lord’s sermons, I have learned that he is the second coming of Christ. For instance, I had the chance of reading Baba Messiah’s teaching from a 1959 record when he was in Segegi. I got the document from Father Joseph Oluoch.”

“In the sermon, Baba Messiah says:  

“God the father has sent me to you. He has sent me to bring the message of eternal life to the whole world. He has sent me to gather all believers for their rewards in heaven.” The followers were amazed at his teachings, and they asked him saying: “Where did you meet him before he could send you? “I was with him before I came to the world. He is the one who sent me saying, ‘Simeo my son, go to the world and teach my people the word of life.’ I was with him and still am with him every day,”

“An old man named Musa Akumu asked him saying: “Now that God was sending you, why did he not give you a car or a bicycle that you ride on as you go around preaching?” Baba Simeo replied: “The father knows how my mission on earth will be. But I also know that a message from heaven is never brought to the world by the sound of trumpets or the blowing of horns. It comes in the world as a small, despised, and rejected word, but it grows and overwhelms the world with power and glory.”

“And what is the sign that God has sent you?” “You will see my people come here for me; when the saints and angels come down from heaven; and when the father gets honored through great works of the Holy Spirit.”

“After reading the entire sermon and other sermons of Baba Messiah, I have learned a lot about his mission and coming. And my bible studies have helped me to relate his message with the words of Jesus. Baba Messiah’s coming is supported by some verses in the Bible:

a)    (Mark 13:26-27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
b)    (Mathew 23:39.  For I say unto you, you shall not see me henceforth, till you shall say, Blessed is he that has come in the name of the Lord)
c)     (Matthew 25:31-46 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, and then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory. And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd dividing his sheep from the goats. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.)
d)    (1 Corinthians 4:5. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, which both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.)

My Show of Faith, My First Procession

“The toughest experience of being a Legio Maria is marching in public in a robe and in the company of other Legios as you pray. It is a step you can only make when you fully acknowledge the faith as part of you because often, it is a grueling and long walk on foot and for several hours on hard earth. And when I finally made the journey on Saturday 10th, December 2005, I had given myself fully and permanently to the service of the Lord. This was no journey for those who have any doubts in their minds about their God. To walk for twenty-two days against strong winds, hot and sweltering sun, and hot tarmac road required so much faith.”

“Our procession began in the morning, just after we had taken a devotional prayer to Mary in the morning. We made our way to St. Francis of Assisi Nyandiwa in Oyugis to prepare for the procession to visit Mama Maria’s mausoleum in Nzoia Epheso and to pray for peace as well. This was a request by Baba Messiah who talked to us in our church at St. Abraham Nyabondo, Kendu Bay diocese. With only Ksh. 250 in my pocket, a single white robe and a few clothes properly packed in my bag, I joined a group of Legios who were walking the over 400 kilometers from Kendu to Epheso Nzoia.”

“We started our journey on 11th Sunday 6pm and we rested on various churches like Rawinji, Mawego, Kobala, Kadongo in Nyakach, Loria just besides the Katito – Kendu Bay road, Rae, Kagango in Ahero and finally St. Peter Manyatta.  Most of our processions were in the evening, night and early morning because of the terrible weather and road conditions, and it took us 6 days to reach Kisumu. I carried the beautifully made image of Baba Messiah and helped with carrying the flag for Oyugis Diocese.”

“The experience we had when we reached St. Mary Ambira was amazing. The spirit of God descended and extraordinary ecstasy filled us. And when Baba Messiah spoke to us, he said that the arch-angels of heaven, the angels and the saints of heaven were covering the entire journey with us. He also told us that the entire Ephesus gathering was going to feel the spiritual impact of our arrival. The he added that we wear light blue robes of Mama Maria for the rest of the journey.”

“When we arrived in Ephesus, the experience was overwhelming. It was 7 p.m. when we entered the Ephesus Church. But as soon as our entourage made its way in, the Holy Spirit descended in the whole church and the gathering was thrown into a big ecstasy. People jumped, shouted and ran to and from different corners of the compound speaking in tongues. Those who were not caught in ecstasy fell down on their knees in worship of the lord. And our entourage processed all the way to the tomb of Mama Maria where we were blessed by Cardinal Romanus Alphonse On’gombe. And after the blessing, I was lost in rapture for over one hour. It was the biggest episode ever in my life. And I thank God for the experience. The tiresome journey to and from Ephesus Nzoia took us 26 days, with 22 days spent on the road and 4 days spent at Ephesus Church.”

Heeding His Call

“Our good lord has called me to be his and I shall heed him for the rest of my life. He has been with me always, counseling me and making promises to me every step of my life. And I am excited that all the promises of Baba Messiah to me have come to pass in my life. When he told me some years ago that he was seeing me gathered somewhere in a crowd of graduating university students and in the company of my parents, I did not know it would come to pass. But today, on my last year at the University and just waiting to graduate with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nairobi in December 2015, I am excited that another promise he made to me is about to come to pass.”

“How awesome is our good lord! I am so happy to be part of the group he has called to testify to the world about him. May Baba Messiah grant us peace and wisdom as we learn his ways? Amen.”

Deacon Daniel Joseph Barnaba Yala