A MOMENT FOR MISSION
"Love … bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NRSV
After honing his leadership skills at Africa University, in 2012, Pierre T. Omadjela received an irresistible invitation from his bishop – to become director of communications and development for the Central Congo Episcopal Area. At the time, he was completing his last semester at the university.
Today Omadjela works in one of United Methodism's flourishing areas. Delegates to the 2012 General Conference confirmed that fact as they increased the number of bishops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from three to four. Annual conferences within the Central Congo Area have a current aggregate membership of 2.3 million.
Omadjela credits Africa University with shaping him to become a leader.
"I was learning how to lead; meanwhile, I was leading," he said. "In intensive English, I was the class representative in a class of 96 students from five countries." He organized an English-language worship service, worked as a residence assistant for master's students and led the Africa University choir as student coordinator.
"I organized many activities, preparing the choir for graduation day and the World Methodist Council event in Durban, South Africa.
"My bishop heard about all my responsibilities at Africa University," Omadjela recalled. "He decided to give me a job in the church."
Earning a Ph.D. is Omadjela's dream. His goal? To teach at Africa University.
"From Africa University, I have seen love in action," he said. "I am really a changed person."
Gracious God, bless the teachers and students of Africa University as they share your love. Enrich their ministry. In your holy name, we pray. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany - O Lord our Savior, we praise you for your constant care. We are grateful that you have claimed us as your own, that we belong to you as part of your people. Thank you for drawing us to this congregation where we share in worship and study, friendship and service with others who love you. Let our lives be useful for your purposes. We gladly give our tithes and offerings as a sign of the joy you give us, to share with the world. In Jesus' name, we pray, Amen. (Psalm 71:1-6)
Solomon Kupa had applied to attend Africa University in Zimbabwe but had no money for transportation. He began walking to the university from his hometown in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. When he reached the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, someone call the university to tell them the young man was there.
Staff at the university were astounded and told the caller they would be there to get Kupa. When they arrived, the man said, "He is no longer here. When he heard he was accepted at Africa University, he left running."
Founded by the United Methodist Church in 1992, Zimbabwe-based Africa University serves students from more than 25 countries. They earn degrees in agriculture, management and administration, theology, peace and governance and more. Then they return to their native countries and serve as physicians, ministers, agriculturalists, teachers and other life-changing, lifesaving vocations.
When we support the Africa University Fund through our local church apportionments, we help to transform entire communities. As you thank God for educational opportunities, please give generously.