Christian Witnesses to the World
United Methodist Women-supported regional missionaries are engaged in cutting-edge ministries of mutuality around the world. They focus on capacity building and leadership development among the communities of women, children and youth they work with.
Regional missionaries work in areas of the world local to them rather than at one specific site. Building relationships with Methodist, United Methodist, ecumenical and grassroots programs that focus on issues of health, gender equality, the elimination of violence among women, and support for the uprooted and marginalized compose the work of these women in mission. They work in regions of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
CATHERINE MUDIME AKALE
Works with women in Sub-Saharan Africa
Catherine’s ministry focuses on leadership development, gender justice and capacity building with the aim of strengthening women’s abilities to work together for mutual benefit. This work includes institutional, community and economic development.
Upcoming work for Catherine and the women of Cameroon includes a look at human trafficking, specifically child trafficking, understanding its global connections and fighting to stop this modern-day bondage. Another goal is to bring children and families out of poverty to prevent the sale and trafficking of children.
Catherine on mission: “Constantly conscious of how far I have been pulled up out of the depths of abject poverty through the help of others, mission, for me, entails striving to be an inspirational success, an enabler, a beacon of hope, an instrument of God’s presence, affirming that God is good and loving, desiring personal fulfillment and well-being for all."
Works with women, children and youth in the Asia/Pacific Region
Emma’s ministry focuses on gender training youth empowerment programs and women’s leadership development programs. She promotes peace and justice ministries, and also provides leadership for the United Methodist Women-supported Bible Women program throughout Asia.
Emma on mission: “Mission is one of the basic foundations of faith, for faith without works is dead. Mission is the lifeline of God’s graciousness and mercy. And it should always be made available so that life in Christ has to be experienced. Everybody who believes has to be engaged in mission, so that those who have not experienced God will be given God’s mercies and grace in order to believe that God lives. Such grace is made abundant for all (John 10:10).”
Works with women in Latin America
Rosângela’s ministry focuses on wisdom and witness: Witnessing Latin American women’s wisdom and providing it an opportunity to grow into leadership roles, advocacy for women’s human rights and networking with other women so nobody feels alone in their own struggles. She works in partnership with Methodist women organizations in the region and also ecumenically.
Rosângela on mission: “In this regional missionary work, mission has been to find God’s words in women’s lives and witness God’s acts of salvation with a network that is passionate to transform this world. Women can speak so much about their unconformity with the powers to be in family, church and society, but they also can go beyond, creating new forms of power and relationships that can hold us together in the name of God’s love.”
Works with youth and young women in Sub-Saharan Africa
Finda’s ministry focuses on leadership development and empowerment programs, and workshops and seminars on topics including HIV/AIDS, spiritual growth, peace education, poverty alleviation, and gender- based violence.
Finda on mission: “Mission is all about serving God’s people anywhere at any time whether young or old, rich or poor, male or female."
Works with women, children and youth in the Caribbean region
Serna’s ministry focuses on leadership development program planning with Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA) women, youth and young adults. She also conducts gender awareness trainings, and workshops on
HIV/AIDS and domestic violence with the goal of transforming relationships between women and men in church and society.
Serna on mission: “The Church’s mission is to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world. ... It is God who calls persons to mission and when God calls, God sends and equips. Therefore the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ regardless of their background, ethnicity and culture.”
Works with women in West and East Africa
Elmira’s work focuses on bringing women leaders together for leadership training and capacity building through workshops and seminars that address critical issues such as poverty, gender, education, peace, reconciliation, the environment and health issues, including HIV/AIDS.
She provides trained leaders opportunities to train other women. She has also initiated opportunities for women to obtain small loans for self-employment activities.
Elmira pioneered the construction of the first United Methodist Women training center for women in Uganda and the organization of Operation Hope in the Kayole area of Nairobi, Kenya, a group of HIV/AIDS-infected women who serve as caregivers and support to each other.
Elmira on mission: “To be in mission is to step out of our comfort zones and witness for Christ through love, sacrifice and service to others; to be an advocate for justice, mercy, peace and reconciliation.”