Regional Missionary Biographies
Catherine Akale is a United Methodist Women-supported Regional Missionary based in Yaounde, the capital city of Cameroon, since July 2001. She is a gender analyst by training. Dr. Akale empowers United Methodist Women in Cameroon by emphasizing self-reliance translated into skills-building and action on all needs and aspects of women's lives. Her responsibilities include working with church and community women's organizations in developing training and leadership development opportunities in areas of enterprise development, economic justice, violence against women and gender justice with United Methodist and ecumenical women throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.
Grace Musuka is a United Methodist Women-supported regional missionary of The United Methodist Church serving as coordinator of women’s work in Central Africa. Ms. Musuka engages in leadership training for women in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Zimbabwe, where she is based in the city of Harare. The program’s objective is to empower women as peace builders, healers, and economic developers in their communities, and as leaders in their churches. Her work also promotes ecumenical collaboration.
Elmira Sellu is a United Methodist Women-supported Regional Missionary who has served East Africa Annual Conference countries from 2000-2009 from a base in Kenya, first, and most recently in Kampala, Uganda. In 2010, Ms. Sellu will be based in her home country of Sierra Leone. Leadership and organizational development of United Methodist Women national and central conference programs and mission leadership for outreach to women living with HIV/AIDS will remain the focus of her work throughout West and East Africa. Ms. Sellu was a Regional School study leader for the 2009 course on Sudan.
Finda Quiwa is a United Methodist Women-supported Regional Missionary serving in her home country of Sierra Leone. Ms. Quiwa coordinates the Global Justice Volunteer Africa Program as well as the leadership and organizational development and networking of Africa's youth and young women's Methodist/United Methodist organizations throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Rev. Hikari Kokai Chang is a United Methodist Women-supported regional missionary of The United Methodist Church, serving as administrative and program director of the Wesley Foundation in Tokyo. Rev. Chang was appointed in 2012 to lead the foundation toward official recognition as a public benefit entity under Japanese law. The foundation promotes educational and social activities in partnership with churches and other nongovernmental organizations. Rev. Chang understands mission as “sharing God’s love in the world” and believes each Christian is called to mission.
Emma Cantor is a deaconess and a United Methodist Women-supported Regional Missionary based in her home country of the Philippines. Ms. Cantor provides gender training and leadership development for Methodist, United Methodist and ecumenical women of the Asia/Pacific region. Ms. Cantor has provided leadership for the Bible Women Program throughout Asia since 2000.
Latin American and the Caribbean
Serna Samuel is a United Methodist Women-supported Regional Missionary commissioned in October 2009. She will serve as a liaison between the United Methodist Women/Women's Division and the women of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and Americas (MCCA). She will also provide mission program leadership for churches in the Caribbean to reach out to persons living with HIV/AIDS and to advocate for gender equality. Ms. Samuel will base her Caribbean regional work from St. Vincent and the Grenadines.