Born in a large Christian family, from parents who strove to provide for their children as best they could, Yves Mukana Kinangwa's parents instilled education and Christian generosity as a core family value. True to his upbringing, Kinangwa values the relationship between the church and the community.
"For me, following Jesus Christ is all about being attentive to our neighbor, that is the main reason why I thought the deacon’s ministry would be a great fit for my future career," said Kinangwa.
However, Kinangwa would not have been able to pursue the Master of Divinity degree if it were not for the support of some generous neighbors — the people of The United Methodist Church who gave to the World Communion Sunday offering.
The road from Lubumbashi, DR Congo to Candler School of Theology (Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia ) is long in distance but would be longer and unreachable if the financial resources were not available.
"The World Communion Sunday scholarship has changed my life because it has given me an opportunity to reach the level of life where I can be helpful to my local community and bring real change."
“The church's generosity is indirectly feeding, healing, accommodating, evangelizing, protecting, nurturing, and developing thousands of people around the world" continued, Kinangwa.
Kinangwa is forever grateful for the financial support he received from the World Communion Sunday offering. He says that Chandler School of Theology is providing "significant contextual education and internship opportunities" that will be helpful in his future career and ministry.
After completing his studies, Kinangwe plans to serve the church and community as a deacon. The focus of his ministry will be justice, peacebuilding and conflict resolution, and transformation. He feels that just as Jesus cared for the hungry, the poor and the needy, he should do the same.
"I recall the valuable lesson that one of my professors taught me. He taught us that eternal life begins on earth, through our own transformation and change but we must live a life that will characterize us as Christians in everything," said Kinangwa.
Elsie Cunningham, freelance writer, UMCom retiree, now living in Jamaica
One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, World Communion Sunday calls the church to reach out to all people and model diversity among God’s children. The special offering provides World Communion Scholarships, the Ethnic Scholarship Program and the Ethnic In-Service Training Program.