More than 12 million people have benefitted from the work of Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM) in Africa, the NCM coordinator in Africa told attendees of an on-campus social justice conference.
Rev. Cosmos Mutowa, the coordinator for NCM in Africa and a Global Missionary with the Church of the Nazarene, spoke at Trevecca’s Justice and Compassion Conference on current needs and the response of the Nazarene church.
Mutowa discussed the responsibility of Christians to be Christ-like in their empathy and question the dichotomy of self-serving sanctification.
Mutowa provided an overview of NCM’s specific approach to various issues including AIDS prevention and care, disaster relief, and child development.
“Give a man a fish you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,” said Mutowa, quoting the well known adage. “We strive for self-sustainability.”
Mutowa hopes to build bridges between people, between people and the environment and between people and God, creating a strong support system that leads to healthy independence.
The undercurrent throughout the talk was one of encouragement. Primarily, encouragement for those who care about the plights of injustice and wonder how the Church of the Nazarene is contributing to crises around the world in a Godly and life-giving way.
“The Church of The Nazarene has been committed to raising up leaders throughout the world but not being colonialist about it,” said Dr. Tim Gaines, assistant professor of Religion. “There is an African leading African ministries and that often does not happen.”
Advancing the global nature of the church is no small feat, and despite the ever-present challenges of injustice, Mutowa’s ministry is founded on a central idea.
“We want to love and value people,” said Mutowa. “ We want to love and value them the way God loves and values them.”