|Pastor Raphaël Makanga Mikuwa (center) stands with youth and leaders of the East Congo Conference .Source: United Methodist News|
This holiday season was special for the members and friends of Faithful United Methodists in the East Congo Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Pastor Raphaël Makanga Mikuwa, a student in 2016 when he departed for Zimbabwe, was returning home after graduating from Africa University–a United Methodist college in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
As he walked in the church, he was greeted by Hervé Tshoso Mboko, Kindu District youth president.
Mboko said, “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…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.”
Mikuwa returns to the East Congo Conference where he will coordinate the English-language worship service at Amani United Methodist Church and serve as the English-speaking administrative secretary at the office for the East Congo Episcopal Area.
Rev. Kibushi Ngandu, who chairs the conference board of ordained ministry said, “English is a big challenge in our community. It is a great joy for us to see our son come to our rescue.”
During an address welcome Mikuwa home, conference lay leader Philippe Okonda said:
“Receiving a young person who has just finished studies is a joy for any parent. 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 hopes others will follow Mikuwa’s 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.”
Source: United Methodist News