Miché Kakule Lughembe studied Biblical Counseling and Psychology in the Theology Faculty at UCBC. He now serves as a pastor at a church in Boikene, a neighborhood near UCBC that has been particularly devastated by frequent militia attacks and kidnappings. As recently as the middle of November, a militia group killed civilians and kidnapped others, sending much of the population fleeing.
Miché never thought he would be there, serving a community traumatized by war. Before he came to UCBC, he was working hard at a store in Kisangani, saving up so he could study business.
However, that changed when Miché had a conversation with a mentor who encouraged him to check out UCBC because he believed the university could nurture and encourage Miché in his interests and dreams.
“What inspired me when I visited UCBC was the philosophy “being transformed to transform,” to be transformed to transform the world. The way I was trained at UCBC motivated me, inspired me to go and serve my community so that those who are traumatized can be healed.”
Through UCBC, Miché was equipped as a pastor to serve others compassionately, responding to and accompanying them through their grief and suffering. As Miché explains,
“When I came to UCBC, I didn’t know how to accompany a traumatized person…I have learned that to accompany a person you have to go into his or her skin, understand the pain, and help. Because if we do not understand others’ pain, we will not be able to support or accompany them. And what motivates a person to enter into the pain of the other is love. At UCBC, the life and community demonstrate this love. We share, we accompany each other, staff and students alike. This environment transformed me and made me feel compassion. Life at UCBC helped me experience God’s kingdom.”
It is quite rare for someone as young as Miché to lead a church in Beni. Normally, church leaders appoint pastors who have more experience. In general, they are older. But shaped and trained at UCBC, the leaders saw in Miché someone equipped to lead and accompany a community that has experienced immense suffering and hardship. At first Miché was hesitant, concerned about the reaction of the church members. But he found a situation entirely in contrast to his expectations. He was embraced, encouraged, and supported by the community and its elders.
Miché explains his motivation: “I am here because of my compassion for the people who have lost loved ones. Some have lost parents, brothers, children. Some have abandoned or lost their fields. They have been traumatized and need to be accompanied. I want to help them spiritually and psychologically. I didn’t come here for money; I came here for compassion.”
UCBC equipped Miché through a community that believed through its members, change was possible. One thing that motivates Miché is UCBC’s founding verse: Isaiah 43:18-19. “UCBC has a passage that embodies the vision. Forget what happened, don’t think about past events anymore, here I am, I want to do something new. In the wilderness, I will make a way, and will bring forth waters in the dry places, there are new things coming. It is up to us to start small, where we are, and now. With the Lord, there are new things coming. That’s what I learned at UCBC.”