M. Kulongwe is an International Global Mission Fellow with the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, engaged in a two-year term of service.
The Global Mission Fellows program takes young adults ages 20-30 out of their home environments and places them in new contexts for mission experience and service. The program has a strong emphasis on faith and justice. Global Mission Fellows become active parts of their new local communities. They connect the church in mission across cultural and geographical boundaries. They grow in personal and social holiness and become strong young leaders working to build just communities in a peaceful world.
Kulongwe is the firstborn in the family of four children. She is a member of Mvera CCAP, Presbyterian denomination in Lilongwe, Malawi. She is active in the youth group and the Mvera Joint Choir. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition and food science from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
“My spiritual journey started upon receiving the grace of salvation which God granted to me in 2011 at the age of 13,” Kulongwe said. “I realized that my natural rebellion against God and the sense of being fully independent from God, including my self-righteousness, would yield nothing but eternal destruction in the end times. The only way to make things right with God was to be justified by faith in Christ, which, by grace, God granted in my life.”
She continued, “Recognizing my total dependence on God and learning to rely on God rather than myself induced my spiritual growth.” She studies Scriptures (Joshua 1:8), gathers with other believers (Colossians 3:16,) prays and serves others in the church.
“Studying God’s word has helped my spiritual growth,” Kulongwe said, “as am getting to know the truths about God and what God expects from me. It is teaching, correcting, reproofing and training me in righteousness by the help of the Holy Spirit. God’s word is helping me love, forgive and care much more about others. The Bible has assured me the faithfulness of God, his promises and my role to serve others so that they also may be saved by God.”
Kulongwe loves joining with others and learning from their faith experiences. She has learned about studying the Bible faithfully through study and preaching, encouraging others to serve, being challenged by submission to God’s will and being present for others.
“This has helped me realize the need to make more relationships and reach out to people,” she said, “not only by words but [also by] good deeds with a motive of bringing them closer to God.”
Prayer also plays a big a role in Kulongwe’s life. “When I need something,” she said, “I talk to God, seek wisdom, and he provides. Talking to God brings joy, peace and assurance in my heart, even in hard times.
“Having learned of God’s love and his expectation of us to love others, one of my roles as a Christian is to serve others with what God has blessed me. This calls me to a mission, as I have the passion to work with communities, helping them meet physical or spiritual needs.”
Interning with the nutrition extension office of Africa RISING, Kulongwe worked with farmers, conducted nutrition and WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) training during clinical visits, and monitored nutrition status of and recommended feeding programs for young children.
“These community mobilizing and facilitating skills,” she said, “would help me reach out easily, working together with people and finding ways to solve food-insecurity issues.
“Teaching is one way of delivering new information. It needs resource mobilization, planning, time-management, writing and communication skills, which, I believe, can also help in the running of the program.”