Frieda Mwebe Mofya is a United Methodist missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries, serving as the regional missionary for Africa (Francophone) – Democratic Republic of the Congo.
She was consecrated as a deaconess (1998) in Kinshasa, DRC, and as an elder (2019) by Koinonia Ministries in Nairobi, Kenya.
Frieda earned a Bachelor of Art with honors in development studies from the University of South Africa, Pretoria, and a Bachelor of Art in English and African culture from the National University of Applied Pedagogy. She studied peaceful conflict reconciliation and participated in training required to work in humanitarian action.
Her resume includes a variety of positions with World Vision International, beginning in 2000. Most recently she served as global child protection senior advisor.
Born into a Christian family, Frieda decided at age 14 to let Jesus Christ lead her life. “I got baptized the same year,” she said, “just before I joined the boarding school. I started immediately sharing the good news among friends and other teenagers in my community. The joy of salvation made me serve the Lord among elderly people and youth. In school, I was sharing the word of God, singing in the choir and particularly helping sick girls in the boarding school with laundry and liaising with the school kitchen to ensure food was served appropriately while they were under treatment.”
After completing secondary school, Frieda joined the university chapel in 1991 and served as a Sunday school teacher, as an evangelist trained through Campus Crusade for Christ and in the Hospital Biblical Group, the university chapel ministry with neurology and psychiatric patients. “I was ordained deacon for the university chapel,” she recalled, “and was among students sent to support Christian schools to facilitate Bible camps during school holiday.”
After completing university studies, Frieda returned to her home church, where she taught Sunday school and participated in the young women’s group. Then she joined Koinonia Ministries, serving God in Nairobi slums. “We ministered to caregivers/parents of children with special needs once a week as part of our outreach ministry,” she said. Frieda shared God’s word with young mothers and advised them on infant care and protection.
God’s love, presence and faithfulness, she said, have strengthened her faith journey. She finds hope in God’s unshakable love in Christ, God’s word, prayer and sharing God’s love. Frieda first felt called to mission while on holiday with her husband in Zanzibar during Ramadan.
“We devoted some time every morning to seek God’s direction in our journey,” she said, “asking him to lead our next step and show us how we could better serve others. One morning, after we prayed and read the Bible, we were led to go out and to give money to someone. We saw a woman sitting along the road. I looked at her, she looked at us and my husband looked at me.” After receiving the money, the woman told them she had had nothing with which to cook for her grandchildren. Returning to the hotel, they praised God.
After Frieda’s husband died, she resigned from her job and sought new ways to help children. “I have a desire to support any work that would result in changing and empowering children,” she said. “The Lord opened my eyes to the ministry to caregivers and parents of children with special needs and the one of young mothers. I found joy and satisfaction when working with these two groups, and Bishop Mande Muyombo (North Katanga Episcopal Area) advised me to apply for missionary work. It is with lots of excitement and with a grateful heart that I embrace God’s call to do what he has been leading me to do.”
The Regional Missionary Initiative began in autumn 2000 after consultations with women leaders around the world during the 1990s. Methodist and United Methodist Women from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean requested support for leadership and organizational development and training to assist women, children and youth to focus on leadership, organizational growth and mission response to critical issues.
The term “regional” comes from the geographic assignment each missionary is given. The regional missionary does not work for an individual church/annual conference or organization, but serves Methodist and United Methodist, ecumenical and grassroots organizations throughout the world, including sub-Saharan Africa, specifically West Africa Central Conference and East Africa Annual Conference areas.