By Franklin Walker
While serving as Dean of the Missouri United Methodist Church School of Mission, I was introduced to a student from Zimbabwe, Africa. She was attending Central Methodist University as an undergraduate student. Upon taking a closer look, she was trying to attain an undergraduate degree in the areas of theology and social justice with plans to later attend a seminary. This training will move her toward becoming an Elder who can serve anywhere in the world, giving particular attention to the needs of vulnerable youth, women and children.
I became emotionally involved in her situation once I learned what she had gone through to get to this point in her life.
Rev. Kuzanga was born in the African country of Zimbabwe to a single mother. Her mother died of HIV Aids when she was young and she went to work to support herself. Her grandmother provided some support emotionally, however, her mother’s brothers and sisters made it very hard for her.
Facing so many hardships in life, Rev Kuzanga learned to pray and became a prayer warrior. She became so committed to the church that she was approved by the United Methodist Church Board to join the ministry. She was appointed pastor of a church at the tender age of 19. By faith and God’s grace she prospered as a minister, even though she had to walk miles to her church and sometimes didn’t get paid for up to six months. Rev Kuzanga got married at the age 21 and gave birth to two children.
After serving the Zimbabwe Annual Conference for 13 years, she felt the need to grow educationally, spiritually and felt a higher calling on her life. Investigating the situation, she noticed that all of Zimbabwe’s Bishops were trained in America and she set out to do the same. After many searches, she decided to come to Central Methodist University. Her first attempt to get a Visa failed. She prayed about it and she was given another try and passed.
December, 2013, her Bishop officially appointed her for further studies in the U.S. and in Jauuary, 2014, she was enrolled at CMU. This was a dream come true. Though she had faith that things would work, she didn’t know where all the money would come from. After much prayer, God spoke to her through Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you, be strong and courageous, do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” It was tough leaving her two children with her brother, but she has faith that they will be with her soon.
Rev. Kuzanga stepped out on faith and after completing two semesters she is an honor roll student while working on campus and being available to speak to churches when called on. God continues to provide for her tuition and living expenses with help from the Mission School participants and various churches, including St. James VIM team. God also provided for her to go to Zimbabwe over the Christmas break to visit her children and obtain Visas for them to come to America.
Rev Kuzanga is proof that God is still working for those who have faith in Him and step out on that faith. I am sharing this story to show what God can do. Also, to give more persons a chance to demonstrate their faith through acts of kindness. Rev. Kuzanga’s favorite saying is: “I believe my life is a true testimony of the works of faith and the amazing grace of God.”