Poto Valentine Shutsha is a missionary with the Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church assigned to the Wings of Caring Aviation Ministry based in Kinshasha, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Valentine serves in many capacities for Wings of Caring, including as radio operator, bookkeeper, flight tracker, and guesthouse manager.
Poto is married to Jacques Umembudi Akasa, a GBGM missionary who is program director and pilot-mechanic for the Wings of Caring Aviation Ministry. “We carry the Good News to people through different ways,” she explains. “We fly missionaries, pastors and other church leaders to different places where the Gospel is needed. We fly doctors or medical teams” to remote areas, she continues, “and we fly sick persons to the hospitals where their lives are saved.”
Poto recalls one emergency call her husband received while flying supplies in the area: a college student had been shot and needed to be hospitalized immediately to survive. “My husband went in, got the boy, flew him to hospital, and his life was saved,” she says. “God was praised, and until today people have never forgotten that event.”
The Wings of Caring ministry is also involved in efforts to provide immunizations to children throughout the region. “It is not just a means of transportation, but a Whole Ministry that is preached in another way,” Poto says of the program, which is also utilized by Church of the Brethren and Roman Catholic missionaries.
A native of Shukende, DRC, Poto earned a degree in business administration from CIDEP in Kananga. She has worked for Wings of Caring since 1990. From 1994-1997, she also coordinated projects for women and children in the area for the GBGM's United Methodist Committee on Relief. She also has worked as a teacher in a elementary school for two years and for four years at a women's training center in Kinshasha.
Poto and Jacques have three sons, Akasa Umembudi Nignon, Shamba Umembudi Gigi, and Otoko Umembudi Dennis. They are members of the Paroisse Francophone congregation in Kananga II, DRC.
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