Alberto, Afonso Mutunda Upale

Country: Democratic Republic of Congo
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Serving At: Kamisamba Farm
Home Country: Angola

Afonso Mutunda Upale Alberto 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. 

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in natural resources management from Africa University, Harare, Zimbabwe. He participated in The United Methodist Church’s material-prevention ministry. Most recently, Afonso was an environmental inspector for the Environmental Management Agency in Zimbabwe.

He is a member of the United Methodist Church in Malanje, related to the East Angola Annual Conference. Afonso was a Sunday school teacher and assisted missionaries in community literacy programs. Through various experiences and influences, he grew spiritually.

“I have been exposed  to different religious and spiritual teachings,” Afonso said, “and these have sparked my curiosity and led me to explore and comprehend many belief systems.” He recognizes that spiritual development is not confined to a particular tradition or belief system.

“It is a synthesis of wisdom gleaned from different sources: meditation, prayer and introspection,” he said. “I understand that mission work [requires] a deep desire of serving others and contributing positively to the world. My calling is shaped by my spiritual growth and the realization that my purpose extends beyond personal fulfillment.

“I feel a deep-seated urge to alleviate suffering, promote peace and foster understanding,” Afonso added. “My calling to mission work is rooted in the personal belief that I have the capacity to [make] a meaningful difference in others’ lives.”

A music lover, Afonso has served as a choirmaster. He looks forward to “investing in the new generation. My skill is a gift from God for his people as their servant.”

Afonso referenced Matthew 9:37-38: “Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’” He also quoted Matthew 22:14: “For many are called, but few are chosen.”