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Kenya: Peter Kingoina
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Peter Kingoina moved from his native Kenya to the U.S. in 1995, to continue his education. He is the pastor of a church in Minneapolis. (MPR Photo/Brandt Williams)

Andover, Minn. — Peter Kingoina is a native of Kisii, Kenya. He's 52 and a pastor of the Minneapolis Kenyan Adventist Church. He is married and has four children. They live in Andover.

He came to the United States in August, 1995 -- first to Berrien Springs, Michigan, to gain his Ph.D in theology at a Seventh Day Adventist university. Kingoina and his family moved to Minnesota in June 1998.

Kingoina says they moved to Minnesota because they heard there was a group of Kenyans here. His aim was to establish a congregation in the Twin Cities.

Kingoina was a pastor in Kenya as well, overseeing thousands of congregants in several parishes at one time.

He says he is glad to be helping Kenyans and other Africans who now live in Minnesota, through his work at his current congregation. Still, he says he dearly misses his home country.

"My congregation was over 4,000 people," says Kingoina. "We met many national leaders and we interacted on national issues, so you miss that kind of privilege and profile to impact that many. But ... we're meeting the needs of other Kenyans here and making an impact in this community, we think."

"We're not crying for what we've lost," he says. "We make the best use with what we have."