For Adolphe Lumuna Kimanwa, poverty is not just about lacking money.
World Communion Sunday is October 5.
It is about social exclusion: racism, gender marginalization, bad government, injustice and limited access to education.
The United Methodist Church thinks Kimanwa is the type of leader to tackle those very problems.
Intersection of development and theology
Kimanwa, of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is using his degree in development planning and economic management to fight poverty and inequality and to establish food security and water sanitation. His scholarship — made possible through generous giving on World Communion Sunday — will allow him to complete a master’s degree in economic policy and development management at the United Nations Africa Institute in Dakar, Senegal.
“This World Communion scholarship I have been granted has given me an opportunity I could not pursue without the church and the people of God,” Kimanwa said. “The scholarship has enhanced and equipped me with resources, which will enable me to acquire the knowledge and sciences which will be used for the building of God’s kingdom and to end poverty.”
Kimanwa has been a community developer for more than 20 years. An active member of The United Methodist Church in the Southern Congo Episcopal Area, he will return to his home country upon completing his degree. There he will work in the community development office, focusing on socioeconomic policies, strategies and politics for church self-reliance and Christian well-being.
“My vision is to revitalize an agro-pastoral center, the Kingandu Center, in southwest Lubumbashi, my home town,” he said. He will also initiate projects and plan training seminars in small project planning, management, evaluation and monitoring for lay and clergy leaders in the church.
Teaching other world transformers
Once he earns his master’s degree, he will become a senior lecturer, teaching community development management at the Centre Interdisciplinaire pour l’Education et le Développement, Département du Katanga. Eventually, he hopes to earn a doctorate and become a full professor.
“There is a growing need for teachers of socioeconomic politics and project management in my conference,” he said, “so to have one more in this country will contribute a lot to the training of students and the education of the community.” Adding that the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most underdeveloped African nations, he said, “Being a teacher at a university is one of the best ways to bring back what I got by grace from God.”
Responding to God’s grace
Kimanwa is open to God’s leading.
“I am ready to go wherever the church may judge important for me to go for the global mission. I am a Christian of everywhere and a worldwide missionary,” he continued. “As Wesley has said, ‘The world is my parish.’”
International students like Kimanwa are equipped to serve through the generous contributions of church members on World Communion Sunday, typically celebrated on the first Sunday in October.
Of his scholarship, Kimanwa said, “It has given me an occasion to use my potential and talent which God has blessed me with for the sake of the neighbor.”
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.
When you give generously on World Communion Sunday, you equip gifted, qualified students from around the globe to become the world changers God created them to be. Give now.