On Wednesday morning, Bishop Mande Muyombo from the North Katanga Episcopal Area gave a brief report on the mission and ministries of The United Methodist Church in North Katanga.
Wings of the Morning, an aviation ministry that transports critically ill and injured people to healthcare facilities in larger cities, is currently building a new hangar for its aircraft. This will provide greater security for the planes and provide rental space for other organizations in order to generate additional income to support the ministry. In 2018, Gaston Ntambo, missionary pilot, flew 167 critically ill or injured people to Lubumbashi, DR Congo, for medical treatment. Of those, 163 returned home, with only four dying.
The Kamina Children’s Home (KCH) has served for many years as the home and family for children orphaned by the civil war in the Congo. Now, those children have all grown into youth and young adults who need assistance transitioning from living in the orphanage to living productive, independent lives. Two of those students, Chantal and Claudia, will graduate from Africa University in the next few weeks. West Ohio is working with Bishop Muyombo to provide seed money for some of these young people to create small businesses.
Another area of focus for Bishop Muyombo is the creation of income-generating projects, especially for pastors. Pastors in North Katanga are paid very little, sometimes not even enough to send their children to school. Because of this, fewer young people are entering the ministry, and in the next five years, there may not be enough pastors for all of the churches in North Katanga. New churches continue to be built in North Katanga as the United Methodist movement grows.
Another session of pastors’ school will commence later this year when a team from West Ohio visits North Katanga. The pastors’ schools are about mutual learning between West Ohio and North Katanga United Methodists – listening to each other and finding the lessons in the others’ stories.
Bishop Muyombo gave his thanks to the people and churches of The West Ohio Conference for their continued support and partnership with ministries in North Katanga.