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Conference prepares for missionary visit

Missionaries at event

Dr. Temba Nkomozepi, an agriculturist with Mujila Falls Agriculture Center in Zambia, will visit Michigan from September 2 through October 15, and hosts are needed.

Content Editor

The Michigan Conference is preparing to welcome Dr. Temba Nkomozepi, a missionary with the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) serving at Mujila Falls Agriculture Center in Zambia. He will be visiting Michigan from September 2 through October 15, 2023.

The Michigan Conference Board of Global Ministries seeks churches that would like to schedule a time to host Temba during his visit to our conference. Temba is eager to tell his story and share about Mujila Falls’s growing impact on communities near the agricultural center.

Because Temba is staying in our conference for an extended visit, there is a particular need for church members willing to host Temba for a stay at their home. This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with United Methodist missionaries on a deep, personal level. Individuals wanting to host do not need to be members of a church he is visiting.

Churches interested in having Temba visit or individuals open to hosting him overnight or assisting with travel can contact Audra Hudson Stone, Michigan Conference Secretary of Global Ministries, by email: [email protected]. Audra is setting the itinerary for Temba’s visit and is glad to answer any questions regarding the expectations of hosts.

Growing cabbage in Zambia at the Mujila Falls Agriculture Center.
The Mujila Falls Agricultural Center has seen success in introducing and growing certain types of vegetables. Cabbage, which goes along well with the main starch (Nshima), is usually accepted by the community, while rhubarb/beetroot are not. Experiencing local food has helped the missionaries develop cross-cultural understanding. ~ photo courtesy Temba Nkomozepi

“I am very excited for Temba’s visit to our conference and the cross-cultural connections his visit will make,” said Audra. “His work in sustainable agriculture and community empowerment will surely resonate with our local congregations, connect them to our larger United Methodist Church, and enrich ministry happening in their own communities. I encourage any interested church to take the unique and transformative opportunity to host.”

Commissioned as a GBGM missionary in 2017, Temba serves as an agriculturist with Mujila Falls Agriculture Center. He holds a degree in agriculture from the United Methodist-related Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in agricultural civil engineering from Kyungpook National University in Daegu, South Korea. Both Temba and Mujila Falls are EngageMI Ministry Partners.

Since 2000, Mujila Falls has been a United Methodist mission focused on food security and teaching sound agricultural practices to community members. Temba explained, “Our center’s mission is derived from John 10:10b, ‘I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly’ (NKJV). We run a small farm and promote rural development by supporting small income-generating projects in our local communities.” (Read more here.)

According to his GBGM biography, “Temba takes part in a range of agricultural, education, and health projects, as well as church growth and development. Mujila Falls raises essential crops, such as corn, and engages in small animal husbandry, cattle and goat milking, fruit culture, tree nurseries, fish culture, and research.”

Temba Nkomozepi serves as a missionary and agriculturist at the Mujila Falls Agricultural Center in Zambia.
Temba Nkomozepi, his son, and his wife live in Zambia, and Temba is a United Methodist missionary serving as an agriculturalist at Mujila Falls Agriculture Center. He was commissioned in October 2017. ~ photo courtesy of Temba Nkomozepi

For many years, the Michigan Conference has supported Mujila Falls and GBGM missionaries. Rev. Paul Webster previously served there, and Temba now leads the agricultural and rural development in the community.

United Methodist missionaries return to the United States to thank supporting churches and to provide ministry updates, usually every three years. Temba is excited for his first in-person visit with Michigan United Methodists and to share about the work of Mujila Falls, especially recent news about the brand-new vocational training center being built there.

So, how can a church welcome Temba and invite him to tell his story? Here are a few suggestions for churches to think outside the box in their engagement.

Aside from Sunday worship, churches can welcome Temba to speak at United Women in Faith groups, Bible studies or small group meetings, midweek community meals, or youth events. Churches might engage Temba by having him share a meal with the missions and outreach team. Or have him serve alongside your church members in a local mission project or event. Show Temba how your congregation is making an impact in your community.

Sorting eggs at Mujila to be sold to the community, Zambia.
Providing fresh milk and eggs has been a successful at Mujila. The project provides the community of Kanyama with over 80 liters of fresh milk and between 1,500 and 2,700 eggs per day. The eggs are sold at an affordable price, while the milk is distributed free of charge. ~ photo courtesy of Temba Nkomozepi

On hearing of Temba’s forthcoming visit, Bishop David Bard remarked, “Our Michigan Conference has a wonderful mission engagement program, among the best in our connection. EngageMI encourages congregations to learn, give, and act, and it guides giving to mission projects here in Michigan, nationally and internationally. When Dr. Temba Nkomozepi visits us, you will have a unique opportunity to hear about his important work in a range of agricultural, education, and health ministries. I trust Dr. Nkomozepi will be given a warm Michigan welcome as he itinerates throughout our conference for the first time.”

Email Audra Hudson Stone, Michigan Conference Secretary of Global Ministries, [email protected], if you are open to hosting Temba at your church or home and exploring mission engagement opportunities further.

Last Updated on August 24, 2023

The Michigan Conference