Greetings of Peace from Lomé, Togo. My Name is Yves Kinangwa, and I am a General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) Global Mission Fellow (GMF) International. I am serving as the Food and Climate Change Advocacy Officer with the Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in West Africa (FECCIWA). I work with the Advocacy team to frame advocacy initiatives in favor of the poor, malnourished and the hungry in West Africa. Because God has done much in our lives, we are all called to offer our lives back to God through a life of service, real service with a high sense of sacrifice, as disciples (Simple living). We know that Love of God is always linked to love of neighbor and to a passionate commitment to seeking justice and renewal in the world (UMC thought).
The following story demonstrates God’s transformational work in my life, and how it has inspired me. We may not always like something that happens to us but it is possible to come to like it or even to love it as long as we understand it is shaping us, and that is what I call transformation.
I have been in Mission in Togo, West Africa for 8 months now. When I arrived, I was so excited to start my work as a GMF and to give as much as I could of my energy, my time and my intelligence to contribute to the work of my host organization in Togo. Upon my arrival in October 2015, I was given quite a number of responsibilities to handle. For example, I was charged with organizing the Global Week of Action on Climate Change prior to COP21, so that churches could be informed on climate negotiations and be able to engage with the government and climate negotiators and lobby for fair climate negotiations in Paris. However, after working on and engaging with different advocacy initiatives, I was challenged with critiques about my work. From there I had to try to continue to give what I could. There is no doubt that the old me would have never taken into account those critiques, but now it has been shown to me how critiques can shape me and make me better. I took it as a strong basis for positive, tangible change in case there was really a need for change, and to perfect my work even if what I did was good already. The most important thing that I can affirm is that change happened to me, and real change brings peace, and peace brings power for achieving more for others in need.
I have experienced how faith has no boundaries while passionately working to accomplish more for a good cause; it is about advocating for the rights of the poor, malnourished and the hungry. I am becoming who I am from my joy to serve, grow and accomplish new things.
Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in West Africa (FECCIWA)
GMF International, Class of 2015-2017