The Pastor of Our Flock
Keith Richard Ham
Born: 12/28/1962, Alhambra, CA — 2nd born of 4 boys
Harley Ham - father - deceased ’76
Phyllis Ham - mother - currently residing in Brea, CA (since ’67)
Brea-Olinda High School, ’81 — Fullerton College ’81- ’82
Hope International University — ’86 BA ; ’90 MA missions
Married — ’87 to Kathy Payton, Astoria, OR
Recruited to CMFi in ’88
Karisa ’90 ; Kelsey ’92 ; Jesse ’94 ; Jonathan ’97
Missionary ’91 to present — Kenya, East Africa
Rural missions ’91 to ’02 - Urban missions ’03 to present
Languages learned: English, Turkana and Swahili
I became a Christian when God got ahold of me in my first year of junior college and was baptized into Christ at Eastside Christian Church, Fullerton, CA. Some early influences were; “Out of the Salt Shaker” by Pippert, Keith Green’s ministry through song and written materials, “More Than a Carpenter” by McDowell and Eastside’s emphasis on missions. When I started memorizing passages like Matt. 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-16, Acts 1:8, etc. I kept asking myself… “Here I am, send me somewhere!” I took those passages literally. I felt the calling for sure. Finished my first year of college and was ready to go anywhere… Africa?? My mom and my college pastor suggested some training first — I enrolled at PCC/HIU in missions in ’83.
Met Kathy at PCC/HIU in a prayer meeting for unreached people groups. My eyes were mostly closed during the prayer time… we married in ’87 after Kathy graduated and her father joined us at the Astoria Christian Church in July ’87. We signed up with CMFi as recruits in ’88. We were ready to go anywhere… soon! We looked at Indonesia, Mexico, Scotland, and Africa… Turkana to be specific. Still more schooling… did my masters and graduated with Everett Payton in May ’90 from HIU. Someone very special was at my graduation… our first born, Karisa. She was born in April that year. We raised funds and landed in Kenya in ’91 and went to the desert of Turkana to begin ministry. As we did church planting, and leadership development, we had another 3 kids in Kenya. Kelsey, Jesse and little Jon were all born in Kenya. In ’01 - ’02 CMFi wanted to start a work with the growing urban poor in sprawling cities such as Nairobi. CMFi wanted to use a holistic approach to ministry and we were trained in Community Health Evangelism in ’02. We accepted the challenge to help begin this new work and began by residing in Nairobi in ‘03, the capital of Kenya and learning Swahili the national language. We began a partnership with a local Kenyan organization called Missions of Hope in ’04 and have been doing this work to present.
My motto is: “Stay tight to God, only He matters”. I have 5 strengths:
1. Context: I become wiser about the future because I relate seeds sown in the past.
2. Belief: Success to me means faithfulness to God, His values, and His purposes
3. Connectedness: We’re part of a bigger picture so we must not harm others
because we’ll only end up hurting ourselves in the process.
4. Input: I’m inquisitive and that keeps my mind fresh.
5. Learner: I love to learn. I enjoy the process more than the result and this excites me.