Hope for the Children of Africa presents
Following God’s Path
for the Children of Jamaa Letu
Fresie Chikomb is a United Methodist missionary assigned half-time to the boys’ orphanage, Jamaa Letu II, in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Chikomb and her husband Rukang were commissioned as United Methodist missionaries in August of 2011 and moved with their three children to Lubumbashi in December 2011. Chikomb’s spiritual journey takes her full circle growing up helping orphans in the DRC.
My name is Nandona Fresie Chikomb. I was born in Kolwezi, DR Congo and I’m the oldest in the family. At the age of two, my dad passed away. I stayed with my mom for a couple of years. Later, I moved to Lubumbashi to stay with my uncle, who by the grace of God adopted me.
I started my primary school at Misingi School located in the same compound with the Jerusalem United Methodist Church. After finishing my primary school, I attended the United Methodist High School called Mavuno. For my 10th grade, I went to Mulungwishi, a boarding school for the United Methodist Church – 80 miles away from home. It was a blessing, as I made a lot of friends. Some of them have been mentors in my spiritual life. After Mulungwishi, I returned to Lubumbashi to Institute Safari where I got my Diplomat/Certificate as an elementary school teacher.
During this period of time, my uncle was shaping our lives with Christ. Every evening we gathered together and took turns reading the Bible verses for our daily devotion as a family, singing Christian songs and praying. Every Sunday we attended different United Methodist Churches to sing during services, and to praise God for the wonderful voices that He gave us to glorify His name. We volunteered many times to take care of orphan babies at our home and to assist elderly people by cleaning their homes and cooking for them. We did what my uncle knew to be the right thing. Today I realize that it was to shape me to stay focused in Christ, to obey Him and make me value the principal of believing in taking care of others in our lives.
In June 1994, I met my husband Rukang who was attending the French-speaking service at Jerusalem UMC. I was attending the Swahili service in the late morning in same church. By that time he was already working with the Flight Ministry of the United Methodists. We were engaged for two years, and on December 14, 1996 we got married in the same French service in Jerusalem UMC that I joined while we were dating. My uncle united us. My uncle spoke some words of wisdom to my husband. He told Rukang, “I gave this daughter the path of Jesus, and no matter what trails you go through, just remember that only God can and will lead you out of it.” I will always remember that, and yes, God has been with us through struggles and happiness. I will always serve Him through His call in my life. I am blessed with Rukang, a man of faith with a heart for serving others. Rukang went through the same childhood life that I went through, which has been our gift from God to serve other. I love God.
After two years of marriage, Rukang went to Africa University in Zimbabwe to study English in preparation for aviation studies in the United States. I stayed in Lubumbashi, teaching at primary school for two and half years. Eventually, we moved to the US in May 1999. He started school at Moody Aviation in Elizabethton, Tenn. During that time I was taking my English classes, I became pregnant with my first child, Andre who is now 12 years old. In 2001 my second child was born, Sally, who is 11 years old. I went back to school and got my Certificate in Medical Terminology and another Certificate as a Clinical Medical Assistant. I was also teaching kids Sunday school at my church and volunteering in the nursery. Later I had become pregnant, but in August 2003, we lost twins. It was the toughest time in my life. But, God blessed us with the beautiful little girl Selena. She is now 5 years old.
My work with the kids at Jamaa Letu is to check if they are getting enough nutritional foods and also to focus on their schooling – to pay their school fees, to change their schools if needed because of the program that they want to focus on, to attend their parent’s conferences at school, and follow up.
Author’s note: Chikomb’s title is Education and Nutrition Assistant for Jamaa Letu. She also provides an important link between the orphanages and the Pacific Northwest Conference. When asked about her motivation to become a missionary and return to Lubumbashi, she responded, “The need of witnessing to these orphans; I was one of them, and I know anything that I can do for them will always make a difference in what steps they take for their lives.”
Local churches and individuals may support her ministry through the Advance program,
including Covenant Relationships with local churches.
Her Advance number is #3021434.
Special thanks to Barbara Dadd Shaffer.
Haiti: Perspectives on a Living History (D1088)
Stories from the Circle of Life (D48833)