West Ohio Team Takes Mission Journey to the DRC

Last week leaders from the West Ohio Annual Conference returned from a two-week mission journey to visit Bishop Mande Muyomobo and our partners in mission, the North Katanga Conference. Arriving to the Wings of the Morning hangar on the aircraft, the team was welcomed with singing and dancing by a host of leaders, choirs and people from the area – a welcome that is unique and distinct to the North Katanga Conference in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“This trip was incredibly eye opening. The people of Kamina showed a graciousness and hospitality I’ve never experienced before. And their love for Jesus Christ is abundantly clear,” said Kenzie Kuhn, West Ohio Conference Multi-Media Producer.

The 14-day journey provided opportunities to visit mission sites and to see firsthand the impact of our partnership which began in the late 2002. Together, the group discussed strategies to strengthen the partnership by including ways we can learn from one another and continue to support the growth of The United Methodist Church in North Katanga. Traveling many unpaved roads in sport utility vehicles, the team visited various mission sites: the 330-acre Kamisamba Farm, a sustainable farm and learning center, Wings of the Morning Aviation Ministry, Kamina Children’s Home, the Women’s Sewing Center, Lupandilo Clinic and new churches under construction.

This journey was not only a time for the team to collect data, but also a chance to reconnect with friends in the region. Each morning and evening, the team gathered for devotional time. This grounded the team as they traveled and allowed sharing their perspectives of what they saw and learned through the lens of their humanity and faith. Each team member was able to preach and worship at a local church and was also invited to a time of fellowship with retired Bishop Ntambo.

“It was really good to put faces to the names of people we have connection with and see how that plays out in ministry. I can see all the ways our church can partner with these ministries,” said Rev. Clara Kwon, pastor at Stonybrook United Methodist Church.

In addition to Rev. Clara Kwon and Kenzie Kuhn, the team included: Rev. Karen Cook, Director of Connectional Ministries, Rev. Peter Matthews, Rev. Cynthia Atwater, Rev. Scott Miller, Amy Graham, and Rev. Dee Stickley-Miner, Global Ministries Executive Director for Mission Engagement.

To learn more about our partnership in the North Katanga Conference, click here and look for future stories about this mission journey.

Written by Amy Graham, Communications Specialist