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Elmira Sellu, Finda Quiwa, Grace Musuka

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Regional Missionaries Share God’s Love

Elmira Sellu, Finda Quiwa, and Grace Musuka travel throughout Texas and Kansas in the fall of 2023.

by Tatiana Dwyer and Betty Gittens

Seeing is believing, and sharing is caring. These well-worn phrases came to life as three African international United Women in Faith Regional Missionaries traveled throughout Texas and Kansas from September to October 2023. The missionaries discussed the good news stories of where and how United Women in Faith cares for and uplifts the lives of women and children in Africa and around the world.

This unique opportunity allowed local women to meet the Regional Missionaries and hear how their generous gifts have changed the lives of women and children across the globe. Elmira Sellu visited Rio Texas Conference; Finda Quiwa traveled to North Texas Conference; and Grace Musuka was hosted by Great Plains Conference team.

The Regional Missionaries attended district meetings, spoke at local units, visited NMIs (National Mission Institutions), met with children, youth, and seniors. One member summed it up like this: “This itineration reaffirms the mission of United Women in Faith and I wish more women could hear their message.”

Elmira Sellu, Regional Missionary, Africa

Elmira Sellu tours the Wesley Health and Wellness Center

After traveling more than 800 miles to cities and towns in the Rio Texas Conference, Regional Missionary Elmira Sellu exclaimed, “Texas is so BIG!” During her two weeks from September 4 to 18, 2023, she also was impressed by the size of Texans’ big hearts.

Enthusiastic United Women in Faith members welcomed Ms. Sellu to three district annual meetings. They loved hearing her stories of thriving projects, such as a pig project and a bakery in Sierra Leone. “We appreciated putting a face to our mission money – I think it really helped support our UWF mission,” said one woman.

Ms. Sellu also visited local units, a university chapel service, the conference office, a campus ministry, and Sunday school classes, among other locations, under the leadership of Ms. Sandy Wilder.

One attendee at a meeting told Ms. Sellu that, “meeting you, hearing your enthusiasm for your work with women and youth, seeing the love of God shining in your eyes helped me to know how our mission money was being used, and it blessed me.” This Texan recommitted herself to work harder to care for women, children and youth. Many hearts grew larger during Elmira’s visit. Here are some more of the women’s remarks:

“We were able to learn first-hand the impact our funds have – the work actually being done.”

“I better appreciated the different circumstances throughout the world. We take for granted things in the U.S. that may not be readily available elsewhere.”

“Communication regarding her visit was excellent. The scheduling, contact information, etc. were helpful. Also being able to communicate with her directly was beneficial.”

Everywhere listeners responded positively to Ms. Sellu’s warm smile and her obvious love for her work. They gave generously to support international ministries work done by the Regional Missionaries and United Women in Faith partners in many countries.

Finda Quiwa, Regional Missionary, Africa

Finda Quiwa with Marilyn Bryant at the North Texas Conference

United Women in Faith Regional Missionary Finda Quiwa visited the North Texas Conference for two weeks in September to meet as many United Women in Faith members and their friends as possible. She was also able to speak twice in the Central Texas Conference.

Ms. Quiwa’s missionary work focuses on serving the women and youth of Liberia. During her visit, she shared with United Women in Faith members about building leadership trainings seminars, empowering women economically, and helping to build skills for sustainability.

From Ms. Cynthia Rives’s planning, Ms. Quiwa itinerated throughout the conferences, sharing the story of her work with Liberian women in leadership development. She was always filled with joy and love for God and all those around her.

Ms. Quiwa was the keynote speaker at four district annual meetings and she also visited local units, the conference office, several luncheons, worship services, Sunday school classes including youth and children’s classes, and conducted a West African cooking class. Blessed to stay in the homes of several members around the conference, Ms. Quiwa was a blessing to those whom she met.

According to one of the members, “Finda’s joy for life and love for us and for the women, children, and youth she works with is a gift. She fit right into our UWFaith sisterhood and helped us grow in our knowledge of her work and helped us learn more about the other regional missionaries we support. Now, when we think about Mission Giving, we are even more willing and eager to give, knowing it is going to support Finda and all the regional missionaries who are working to empower women, children, and youth. We believe faith in action can change the world!”

Positive remarks from other members include: “Finda gave a great explanation of the programs she is working with that seek to empower women, children and youth.”

“It was especially nice to hear where our money goes. Always good to hear from those wonderful people called to be missionaries.”

“Finda is a beautiful person and a godly passionate missionary. We were so blessed to have her come share her story and to see her deep and ongoing dedication to her mission work.”

“Everyone loved Finda!”

Grace Musuka, Regional Missionary for Africa

Grace Musuka at Colby Kansas Great Plains Conference

Ms. Musuka visited the Great Plains Conference from September 13 to 28 under the guidance of Karen Dunlap. According to one United Women in Faith member who met her, “We were blessed to have Grace Musuka in Colby, Kansas. She is a wonderful ambassador for Christ.”

What was Ms. Musuka’s message during the Colby United Methodist Church worship service on Sunday morning? Grace talked about “The Power of Love.” She shared examples of how the financial gifts of United Women in Faith are making positive transformation possible throughout countries in Africa for women, children, and teens. She shared photos and stories and answered questions.

Preaching during the worship, Ms. Musuka told the gathering about her experiences in receiving the power of God’s love, and the power of giving and receiving the love of Christ through others.

There were so many positive comments about Ms. Musuka. According to one member, “Grace was very personable and left a very positive impression among the listeners. We are thankful she visited us in Colby, Kansas. It meant a lot to have her here and to know how United Women in Faith has supported Regional Missionaries who touch many lives in Africa — and around the world.”

Ms. Musuka’s morning and afternoon messages were livestreamed on Facebook at the Colby United Methodist Church site on September 17, 2023, and on St. James Kansas City on September 26, 2023.

One attendee expressed her gratitude, “Thank you for giving us this opportunity to experience faith and love in action in the United Methodist Church’s Great Plains Conference.”

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The 2023 summer and fall visits from the Regional Missionaries throughout Texas and Kansas showed how the international work of United Women in Faith builds the capacities of local women to become leaders. Indeed, the missionaries’ stories of transformation included powerful examples of economic and social development projects which help women get up on their feet and put food on their tables.

The meetings throughout the region were a witness to the power of sharing faith and international friendships. In meeting the Regional Missionaries, a new generation of leaders stands poised, their skills at the ready, to follow in the footsteps of these missionaries as they lead their churches, communities, and regions into a more loving, just and equitable era.

Tatiana Dwyer and Betty Gittens are executives for international work for United Women in Faith.

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