A-Banza, Rachel Ngoy

Country: Cameroon
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Serving At: Cameroon Association for the Protection and Education of the Child (CAPEC)
Home Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Rachel Ngoy A-Banza 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.

Rachel is a member of Lokole United Methodist Church in the Central Congo Annual Conference. Her father is a pastor. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in international relations at Africa University, Zimbabwe. She interned for a year in the State Protocol at Foreign Ministry (DRC).

“Being a United Methodist pastor’s kid,” she said, “I was involved in the church such as singing in the choir, teaching Sunday school and participating in youth activities.”

Although she attended church regularly, Rachel admits she did not have a personal relationship with God.

“For years, I limited myself to recognizing Jesus as my Savior,” she said. “I did not respect his teachings, I did not imitate his example and I did not entrust him with my decisions and choices.”

Perhaps the first lesson Rachel learned was the power of forgiveness. “When my family arrived in Kinshasa,” she said, “we were discriminated [against], and we did not receive help from others. I had a hard time forgiving them. After receiving Jesus in my life, I forgave myself and all those who had offended me. I confessed, and I repented.”

Today, Rachel is a new creature in Christ.

“The fruits of the Spirit are manifesting more in my life,” she said. “Jesus transformed me. My old sinful nature gave way to the new nature in Christ. My spirituality continues throughout my life and depends on my practicing the word of God.”

She decided to cultivate five positive habits: have a day of personal retreat, do a prayer vigil once a week, read the Bible daily for 30 minutes, talk about Jesus and help someone, and spend two days a week without social networking.

In the process, Rachel recalled, “I learned to believe in God. I put all my faith and trust in Jesus. I saw his miracles and received help through several people. I studied through a scholarship. They helped me finish my studies.”

Rachel asked God to guide her to the area in which she could best serve.

“I got the answer,” she said. “It’s in sharing and charity. Our lives are more meaningful when we are there for others, to have the Ubuntu – “I am because you are” – in my life. I should always care about the well-being of my neighbors.

“This is one of the reasons I decided to apply to Global Mission Fellows. If people who volunteered for me were not there, I would not be what I am today, and I could not have the chance [to pay] my financial fees. As a Christian and as the Bible says, we should always help our neighbors.

“As long as I am alive and as long as I can do something to put a smile on someone’s face, I should always do it.”