This missionary will end service on April 30, 2021. The Advance number will remain active until December 31, 2021.
Nawej Patrick Mwinkeu is a United Methodist missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries serving as the agriculture coordinator for the South Africa Annual Conference. He is based in South Africa.
Raised in a farming family, Mr. Mwinkeu grew to love the connection with creation and the community at a very young age. His zeal for connecting with people over the foundational essence of food led him to a career that would give others access to needed education and resources to help meet basic needs. His professional skills blend his love with working in the fields with an ability to organize and report on fieldwork. He desires to share his agriculture background with others to improve their quality of life and to bring communities together in unifying partnership.
United Methodism’s South Africa Annual Conference, part of the Mozambique Episcopal Area, is rapidly growing. After conducting a thorough land audit as recommended by the Global Ministries summit held in South Africa, the conference discovered its potential to use its available land and seize the opportunities offered by the South African government to lend land to credible institutions like the church. With its growing pace, the conference wants to engage in commercial farming business that can generate income and make The United Methodist Church in South Africa self-sustainable. Primary goals are to promote food production and security through agricultural activities and raising animals, aquaculture and other programs related to the South African markets.
Mr. Mwinkeu will assist in identifying agricultural needs in the annual conference, visit rural communities to organize farming groups geared toward sustainability and income generation, coordinate and work closely with conference personnel, provide extension services in sustainable agriculture; give regular progress reports on the project, serve as a spokesperson for agriculture locally and internationally, and prepare monthly and quarterly work plans and budgets.
Describing his faith journey as one of gratitude and ongoing dependence on God, Mr. Mwinkeu said, “I like to visualize it as a long road with straightaways, sharp curves and steep hills. Like a weary, terrified traveler, I always ask myself, ‘Where would I be without God’s presence during this journey’”
Confident of God’s continued presence amid family struggle, death and illness, Mr. Mwinkeu said, “I can testify that the Lord has granted me with solitude through prayer and surrounded me with his presence when I was too frightened, too angry or too distraught to pray. God has walked with me when the journey was too difficult to travel. He will continue to bless me with an abundance of his plans for me.
There have been circumstances and difficulties during which the only thing that kept me on the God path was that I knew God has plans for me,” Mr. Mwinkeu added. “The prophet Jeremiah arrived at one of these crossroads in his ministry where he wanted to ‘throw in the towel and call it quits.’ As with Jeremiah, the call of God on your life is something you cannot escape. We obviously have free will and can choose to serve him or not, but if we are in a right relationship with God and walking with him, we will learn to be in tune with his desires and plans for us.”
Born in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mr. Mwinkeu most recently lived in Zambia. He earned a state diploma from the High Institute for Education Teaching in Lubumbashi in 1994 and a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and natural resources, with a major in agribusiness, from Africa University in 2007.
Prior to his present assignment, Mr. Mwinkeu worked as an Assistant Trainer/Rural Agriculture Support, Mutanda Mining/ Katanga Contracting Service (2018-19), an Assistant Trainer/Health, Safety Environment, Mutanda Mining/Katanga Contracting Service (2017-18); and a Technical Sales Representative, C&B Engineering Limited Zambia, Kitwe, Zambia (2013-17).
Mr. Mwinkeu and his wife, Ngwashi Diane Mwili, are the parents of three children: Klara, Kason and Kuron. They are members of Living Word Parish United Methodist Church, Kitwe, Zambia.