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Central Conference Pensions Testimonials

Building a brighter future

The United Methodist Church provides support to clergy and their spouses in parts of the world where there is little hope for covering basic needs in retirement. Most recipients of pension support use their payments to fulfill basic needs—food and medicine for themselves and their families—while some are starting household-based businesses, improving their homes and even assisting with family members’ school tuition.

Here are some of their inspirational stories:

Retired Clergy from Philippines Talk About CCP

Dolphine Abangi—Uganda-South Sudan Annual Conference

Dolphine Abangi, a surviving spouse in Uganda, has used her Central Conference Pensions (CCP) program benefit for three primary purposes:

  1. She built a permanent home for her and her family. She previously lived in a house with a grass thatched roof.
  2. She opened a kiosk where she sells vegetables and tomatoes.
  3. She supports her children.

Abangi thanks God for the support she has received from the CCP program.

Ajiambo Joyida Egesa—Uganda-South Sudan Annual Conference

Ajiambo Joyida Egesa is a surviving spouse in Uganda who said her life as a widow was difficult prior to receiving CCP program benefits. She is thankful for The United Methodist Church (UMC), and the individuals who helped her enroll in the CCP program. She used her pension to build a permanent home. She also used her benefit to purchase weaving materials because she is good at making crafts.

Nabwire Harriet—Uganda-South Sudan Annual Conference

Being a child beneficiary is itself a monumental challenge, but then on top of that, Nabwire Harriet suffered a stroke in August 2018. Nabwire, who lives in Uganda, paid her hospital bills with money she received from the CCP program. Nabwire says she thanks God for the CCP program.

Rev. Kagoya Loy Kadoko—Uganda-South Sudan Annual Conference

Kagoya Loy Kadoko, a retired pastor in Uganda, expressed gratitude for the CCP program because it allows her to run a small business. She uses her pension to buy the materials she needs to weave mats, which she then sells to support herself. She also uses her pension to buy food and to help support her grandchildren.

Rev. Baligeya Tito—Uganda-South Sudan Annual Conference

Baligeya Tito has an entrepreneurial spirit. The retired pastor, who is pictured on the left alongside his wife in 2019, used the money he received from the CCP program to begin laying bricks for rental houses. The rental properties then generate income. Tito resides in Uganda and he says he is thankful for the UMC’s pension program.

Miriam Ndayiragije

Miriam Ndayiragije—Burundi Annual Conference

A surviving spouse in the Burundi Annual Conference, Miriam Ndayiragije no longer has the energy to grow crops on her land, so she used her pension, in part, to pay workers to farm it. She also used her benefits to pay for medical bills and to purchase a cow. The cow’s manure helps to boost her crop production. Ndayiragije expresses thanks to God for his support of the surviving spouses in Burundi. She noted that prior to the CCP program, widows had often struggled to support themselves in her East African nation.

Ester Nkwirikiye

Ester Nkwirikiye—Burundi Annual Conference

Ester Nkwirikiye is a surviving spouse in the Burundi Annual Conference who purchased two goats with her pension to assist her with farming. Nkwirikiye uses the goat manure to fertilize crops. She also uses her benefits to purchase clothes and food, and to tithe at her church. Nkwirikiye said she thanks God for the financial assistance she has received.

The Reverend Taisiya Sergunina—Retiree, Russia

Rev. Taisiya Sergunina

Rev. Sergunina helped establish one of the first United Methodist churches after the fall of Communism when many were afraid to join a religion that wasn’t Russian Orthodox. She attended seminary in 1995. After graduation, she converted an assembly hall into a make-shift house of worship. As the new church grew, Taisiya and her fellow parishioners traveled on mission trips to preach the Gospel to those outside her town. Retired in 2004, Taisiya is still active in the church and always takes the opportunity to tell others about Christ.

The Reverend Domingos Almeida Sobinho—Retiree, West Angola

Rev. Domingos Almeida Sobinho

Retired in 2009, Rev. Sobinho served 17 churches during his 44-year career. He began his ministry during the War of Angolan Independence and was jailed for his efforts. Since he was also a teacher, the bishop was able to gain his release after three months imprisonment. “I want to express my gratitude to both Bishop de Carvalho and Bishop Domingos because they talked me into staying in the ministry during my few times of doubt.”

Domingos has 12 children (seven daughters and five sons) and 14 grandchildren, many of whom live with him. His CCP pension helps pay for their medicine and tuition. He was a licensed local pastor and has proudly attended 46 consecutive annual conference sessions—every one since his first appointment in 1965. “Visiting members and being an evangelist were the most enjoyable duties of my ministry.”

Reverend Ernest Namakpeh

Reverend Ernest Namakpeh—Retired Pastor, Liberia

Rev. Namakpeh was assigned to his first church in his homeland of Liberia in 1992. At that time, Liberia was well into the first of two devastating civil wars that eventually lasted for the better part of 13 years—and which saw nearly a half million people killed. Now, Rev. Namakpeh is retired, yet he still is active in the church, primarily helping young children receive an education. “Young people need assistance to go to school,” he said. “I work within the Church to help them.” He is grateful that his pension allows him to care for himself and his family while carrying on his mission.

Reverends Teotimo Falla and Teresita Supetran

Reverends Teotimo Falla and Teresita Supetran—Retired Pastors, Dasmarinas City, Philippines

Proving there is strength in numbers, a group of retirees and their spouses, and surviving spouses of pastors, live in Board of Pension-owned housing adjacent to Philippines Christian University near Manila. These retirees and spouses said they are thankful for their pension funds, which helps them pay for necessities such as housing, medicine and food. Following 30 years of service, Rev. Falla retired at age 70 and remembers converting to Methodism as a young man, finding Methodists to be “more joyful and alive” than those of other religions. Rev. Supetran was a retired teacher who then became a full-time pastor. In retirement she continues to work with women’s groups and leads a senior citizen’s Bible class.