AU theology graduate returns to serve in East Congo

Translate Page

Key points: 

  • The East Congo Conference recently welcomed home the first student from the conference sent to the United Methodist university for theological studies.
  • Pastor Raphaël Makanga Mikuwa coordinates the English-language worship service at Amani United Methodist Church and serves as the English-speaking administrative secretary in the episcopal office.
  • “I am delighted,” Bishop Gabriel Yemba Unda said, “to see Africa University receive several young people from East Congo to await studies in the years to come. This is my wish.”

Faithful United Methodists in the East Congo Conference welcomed home the first student from the conference to graduate from Africa University in Zimbabwe.

Pastor Raphaël Makanga Mikuwa received a scholarship in 2016 to attend the United Methodist university.

Hervé Tshoso Mboko, Kindu District youth president, expressed happiness with Mikuwa’s return.

“Our geographic location does not allow children to reach Africa University. Young people express the need to go there, but are often limited due to lack of means of transport,” he said. “Raphaël’s parents sacrificed to send their child to Africa University. We encourage other young people to follow the same model to transform our young episcopal area.”

The East Congo Episcopal Area was formed in 2012.

“We are happy to see the fruit today because Mikuwa is back,” said the Rev. Kibushi Ngandu, who chairs the conference board of ordained ministry.

Today, Mikuwa coordinates the English-language worship service at Amani United Methodist Church and serves as the English-speaking administrative secretary in the episcopal office. 

“English is a big challenge in our community,” Ngandu said. “It is a great joy for us to see our son come to our rescue.”

Conference lay leader Philippe Okonda said Mikuwa’s return is a proud moment for the community.

“Receiving a young person who has just finished studies is a joy for any parent,” he said. “We, as parents in the church, have this immense joy for the return of this young (person), devoted and committed to the work of the Lord.”

“We are very happy with the initiative of Papa Bishop (Gabriel Yemba Unda), whom we all love, on the promotion of youth in our episcopal area,” added Lushima Damas, conference youth coordinator. 

“Since the bishop launched this initiative to support youth leadership, we are seeing the change in ministry, with young people assuming many responsibilities in our episcopal area, annual conference, district and local church. Every young person seeks to do the best, to work effectively to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

Unda said Mikuwa’s return motivates others to follow his example. 

“Training young people is the key to development of the church today and into the future,” he said. “The church needs energetic, engaged and transformed youth to support the work of God. The return of this youngster to his annual conference motivates many young girls and boys to go to school.”

Mentoring young people, Unda noted, is a priority for securing the church’s future.

“Knowledge of English is of utmost importance, which is why I like to send young people to Africa University to study and have open knowledge, as well as the mastery of the English language to face other realities of life,” he said.

“My role as father and mentor (is to) appeal to everyone during the annual conference to have several young people who express the desire to continue their studies at Africa University. 

“I am delighted,” Unda said, “to see the authorities of Africa University receive several young people from East Congo to await studies in the years to come. This is my wish.”

Osongo is the director of communications for the East Congo Episcopal Area. 

News media contact: Julie Dwyer at newsdesk@umnews.org. To read more United Methodist news, subscribe to the free Daily or Weekly Digests.


Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
Global Health
Dr. Marie Claire Manafundu, program officer for the Maternal and Child Health Program in East Congo, serves porridge to malnourished children at United Methodist Irambo Hospital in Bukavu, Congo. Photo by Philippe Kituka Lolonga, UM News.

Church helps nurse children back to health in Congo

With the support of United Methodist Global Ministries’ Global Health program, more than 1,000 malnourished children are recovering in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
General Church
East Congo Bishop Gabriel Yemba Unda (center) is surrounded by lay and clerical leaders after his election as provincial president of the Church of Christ in Congo in Maniema. The CCC is a union of 95 Protestant and Evangelical Christian denominations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo by Judith Osongo, UM News.

Bishop Unda picked to lead ecumenical group

The United Methodist bishop has been elected provincial president of the Church of Christ in Congo of Maniema, a union of 95 Protestant and evangelical Christian denominations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mission and Ministry
Science students and their teacher, Nyashirai Cletus Maruni, celebrate the installation of a new science laboratory at the United Methodist Hanwa Secondary School in Macheke, Zimbabwe. Funds for the laboratory were provided by Zimbabwe Volunteers in Mission. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UM News.

New science lab grows options for students

United Methodist Hanwa Secondary School gets state-of-the-art science laboratory, new library with help from Zimbabwe Volunteers in Mission.