Do Not Fear
When he was 19 years old, an anxious Ackrion Mangimela boarded a plane to China.
It was his first time inside an airplane, and he was on his way to begin a six-year medical school program. During the flight, Mangimela felt the Lord nudging him to a particular passage of Scripture, Isaiah 41:10: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
That plane ride would certainly not be the last time Mangimela made the decision to jump into the unknown, nor the last time he felt anxious about the future. But each time since, he’s remembered that moment, that nudge from the Lord, and that passage.
“I’ve held onto that verse,” he said. “Every time I’m about to leap into something I don’t really know… that verse comes to mind, that promise.”
This year, as Mangimela begins a full-time role at Oklahoma Wesleyan University as an Assistant Professor of Biology, he’s still drawing on that promise.
“In a setting like OKWU, there’s more to what students should take home than knowledge. One of the things I hope they can take home is to actually meet Christ,”
Mangimela was born in Zambia, the fourth child in a family of ten. Growing up, he always imagined he’d take one of three career paths: law, medicine, or computer science. He eventually chose medicine, attending medical school in China and working in a diverse array of specialties within the profession, both in China and in Zambia.
As he prepares for this new role, Mangimela sees his role as a mentor and a spiritual helper. Working at a Christian campus was non-negotiable, especially after his freedom in Zambia to share his faith with patients and peers.
“I think that it’s crucial for me,” he said. “Being here allows me to still continue pouring into the spiritual lives of students, helping them, pointing them to Christ.”
In the future, Mangimela is interested in returning to hands-on healthcare, probably to become a specialist. For now, he’s here in the classroom, and that’s enough.
One thing is for sure: the next time Ackrion Mangimela steps out into the unknown, he’ll be drawing on the same promise God gave him at 19, as he boarded his first airplane.
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