Giving Thanks

We are thankful for so many things this week, but I’ll limit the post to three.

First, we have had abundant rain. Thank you for praying for it; you can probably stop.

DSCN9667Second, we celebrated the missionary service of Daryll and Verna Stanton at chapel on Tuesday. Vice Chancellor Bhebhe challenged the students, “I wouldn’t be Nazarene if I didn’t say that God is still calling missionaries.”

There will be a few more celebratory events in the days ahead before the Stantons’ departure in early December.

If you would like to have the Stantons speak at your church as they do their year-long victory lap stateside, contact Daryll at dstanton@anu.ac.ke

Third, the Wash-Pac Work & Witness team is making an impact here. They are involved in a myriad of projects all over the campus. They have learned about local bees and visited the apiary. They have eaten local foods.  They even have a snake story. One thing I think all could agree on is that Work & Witness is a stretching experience.

From 49th to 2nd

S Kalitera
Rev Samson Kalitera, with Dr Greg Crofford

“Why have you allowed our son to cheat?”

The school teacher assured Samson’s parents that she had done no such thing, that Samson was a changed student. No longer a lackluster pupil, ranked a lowly 49 out of 50, he was now 2nd in his class.

In chapel yesterday, Samson Kalitera explained how God had transformed him in 7th grade through a sermon. The preacher told the crowd that we are all made in the image of God. That was a revelation for Samson. He reasoned that if even he – poor student though he was – was made in God’s image, then surely he could improve. After all, God was intelligent, so Samson must be, too. And so began extra effort in studying, and his rise from next to last to next to first. At ANU, this transformation was in evidence when Samson succesfully completed his Master of Arts in Religion (MAR), earning a distinction on his thesis. And now he’s enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry.

We’ll miss Samson. He has been serving for the past 18 months as Chaplain at our Town Campus. But family waits for him back home in Malawi, and we know that God will open doors of effective ministry there even as God has here.

Pray for Samson’s transition back home, and for his safe travels.

Verna’s Challenge to Do Something

Today, Verna Stanton spoke in the chapel service of ANU. She first demonstrated how her life verses have undergirded her experiences. From her first appearance at church when she was six days old until today, God has been faithful to guide her.DSCN9447

Proverbs 3:5-6 : Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (NIV)

Since she began to teach the Community Health class at ANU in 2003, she added a two more verses to her life verses.

Proverbs 3:7-8 : Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. (NIV)

Verna then challenged the ANU community to help rid the world of stigma concerning HIV. She noted it cost nothing to be kind. Referring to Mashangu Maluleka’s acrostic (below), she asked people to stand if they would do something noting that she was leaving and would not be able to continue to lead conversations about the topic. People stood in response. Would you also stand? Will you do something?

  • Am
  • I
  • Doing
  • Something?

Today, it rained! We are always grateful for rain. The rose at the top of the post was just irresistable today.

 

Commencement 2017

These have been momentous days at ANU.

Much of last week, we said our official farewells to Prof. Leah Marangu. She has served with distinction for 21 years as the Vice-Chancellor of Africa Nazarene University. On November 1, Dr Stanley Bhebhe, Vice-Chancellor Elect, begins his tenure.

Prof Marangu
Prof. Marangu (right, in white and purple) receives a gift from the non-teaching staff at the Main Campus, now named by the University Council as the Leah T. Marangu campus. Students, faculty, alumni and others expressed appreciation for the VC’s dedicated leadership.
20171023_154648
Mrs Verna Stanton cuts the cake. Cake cutting is practiced at many events, not just weddings, and everyone gets a small piece.

Hooding Ceremony and 20th graduation ceremony

On October 23, we celebrated a hooding ceremony in the School of Religion and Christian Ministry (SRCM). We had a total of 10 graduates (3 in the Bachelor’s program and 7 in the Master’s). We applaud a job well done by all!

20171023_153858
Front Row: Oliver and Esther Mwove; Back Row (L to R): Rev Dr Greg Crofford, Barasa Shikuku, Michael Aringo, Nicholas, Rev Dr Patrick Kamau, Jasron Akoyi, Rev Richard Awanda, Rev Geoffrey Odette, Rev Dr Daryll Stanton, Winfred “Winnie” Wambua, Rev Dr Russ Frazier, Owino Margaret (not pictured: Moses Ngugi, and the late Rev Gerphas Oure, graduating posthumously) 
Jefferson
I congratulate Mr Jefferson Mwangolo, outgoing Student Body President. Jefferson was a student in “Christian Beliefs” class, the general education course that I teach to many second and third year students. He earned his B.A. in marketing.

Please keep praying for Kenya and for us. 

Thank you for your prayers for Amy and me as we continue our missionary service at Africa Nazarene University. Like our University motto says, we believe that “What begins here, transforms the world.”

Thursday October 26 is the re-run of the invalidated August presidential election. Ask the Lord to visit his peace upon Kenya and that a clear outcome will emerge that will be widely accepted by citizens.

W & W: God-given gifts

Josh Williams spoke in chapel on Tuesday.  Through stories and scripture, he emphasized “Whatever your job skills, hobbies, or passion, they are gifts from God. He wants to work in us and through us to reach this world and transform it.”

Here are a few pictures from the Global IT team he leads. I don’t have any pictures of the women who taught local women new patterns for making bags or Debbie Goodwin, but they also have made a lasting impact.

To the team, thank you for allowing God to work in and through you here at ANU! You not only have used your God-given gifts, but you have been a God-given gift.

 

Special visitor…and our incoming VC

special visitor
(L to R): Andrew Ntabo, Debbie Salter-Goodwin, Dr Greg Crofford

When I was a teen, I always read Bread magazine cover-to-cover. One of my favorite parts was the column, “Ask Dan and Debbie.” Today, I got to meet Debbie Salter-Goodwin. She’s at ANU as part of a Work-and-Witness team. Her assignment is to capture stories from administrators, faculty, and students, to help chronicle where God has lead us as well as our hopes for the future. Today, Debbie stopped by our 7:30 a.m. meeting of the Religion Students Association. Above, she’s pictured with me and our RSA Chair, Andrew Ntabo. Thanks for gracing us with your presence, Debbie!

Transition

This month, we’re celebrating the 21 year tenue of our Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Leah T. Marangu, with special events and appreciation. As of November 1, our incoming Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Stanley Bhebhe, will assume his duties. In chapel last week, Prof Marangu officially introduced Dr Bhebhe as her successor. Thank you for praying for ANU during these days of transition. We know that our God who has lead us this far will continue leading us into a bright future!

drbhebhe
Prof. Marangu (outgoing ANU Vice-Chancellor)  welcomes Dr. Stanley Bhebhe (incoming Vice-Chancellor). We thank the Lord for a smooth and gracious transition.

 

 

 

The Elephant and the Truth

Greg and I recently visited the David Sheldrick Elephant Sanctuary, which is very close to ANU, with Jairo and Chrissy Maldonado. I was reminded of the oft told parable:

“A group of blind men heard that a strange animal, called an elephant, had been brought to the town, but none of them were aware of its shape and form. Out of curiosity, they said: “We must inspect and know it by touch, of which we are capable”. So, they sought it out, and when they found it they groped about it. In the case of the first person, whose hand landed on the trunk, said “This being is like a thick snake”. DSCN8053

For another one whose hand reached its ear, it seemed like a kind of fan. DSCN8051

As for another person, whose hand was upon its leg, said, the elephant is a pillar like a tree-trunk. DSCN8047

The blind man who placed his hand upon its side said, “elephant is a wall”. DSCN8058.JPG

Another who felt its tail, described it as a rope. DSCN8059

The last felt its tusk, stating the elephant is that which is hard, smooth and like a spear”DSCN8056.JPG

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant).

________________________________________

In these troubled days, let us all humbly listen to the Spirit of truth and to one another. We rarely see the whole of a situation and can get perspective from others.

John 16:13 –  But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.