New Life at ANU

It’s spring! I (Amy) love this time of year here at Africa Nazarene University. The temperature is warming. New life is showing up everywhere. The trees are budding and the butterflies are fluttering over the flowering bushes. The birds are back.

Of course, more important than anything else, the students are back.

The beginning of the new trimester is the time for Holiness Week. This trimester the speaker is Rev. Stephen Bamutungire from Uganda. He did an excellent job preaching the word this morning in the chapel and the students were right with him.

Early morning prayer for Holiness Week, a full auditorium in Helstrom Hall, our Chaplain Rev. Cindy North, and Rev. Stephen Bamutungire.

Prayer requests:

  • for Rev. Stephen Bamutungire as he preaches this week at the LTM campus and next week at the CBD campus.
  • for the students, faculty, and staff. May everyone find new (or renewed) life at ANU in the next two weeks.

Sing a song

 

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We always begin with 5-10 minutes of warm-up.

I (Greg) sing second tenor in the Nairobi Music Society (NMS) choir. It’s a wonderful way to get out in the community every Tuesday evening and spend two hours doing something I love.Right now, we’re rehearsing portions of Handel’s “Messiah.” The beauty and complexity of the music provides both a challenge for my voice and music reading skills and therapy for my spirit.

 

In early October, we’ll perform “Messiah”as a benefit concert for an area hospice. After that, we begin rehearsing music for our Christmas concert in early December.

 

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Tea cups, tea and coffee stand ready for break time.

 

I love mixing with my fellow tenors. Three are Roman Catholic priests (two Jesuits and one Dominican friar), and we enjoy good fellowship in the Lord. Mid-way through the rehearsal, tea time is a fun chance to sip “chai” (Swahili for tea) and visit with others.

You may not sing in a choir, but you can sing. Remember the words from the late Joe Raposo:

Don’t worry that it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear.

Just sing, sing a song!

Prayer request

Next week is Holiness Week on the L.T. Marangu (main) campus at Africa Nazarene University. Pray that the Holy Spirit will visit us in a special way, that lives will be transformed by the love of our amazing and faithful God.

 

 

Dreaming at ANU

I (Amy) had a dream for a writing center at Africa Nazarene University and now, it is becoming a reality. For the last two trimesters that I was here, I would take a few dictionaries and reading materials in catch-alls to a room for a few hours and we called it the Writing Lab. Students and staff would pop in during those two hours the room was available. Then, when we were on home assignment, I was granted a dedicated space – Harmon 9.

I still need a couple of tables, chairs, and reference books, but otherwise, the room is looking good. (The picture at the top is the city skyline as seen from the window of the Writing Lab.)

Don’t you love it when dreams become reality?

This trimester, dreams have the potential to come true for a record number of students. Classes are bursting at the seams and excitement is running high. The opening chapel with a focus on prayer had students from both campuses represented and required students to bring in desks from neighboring classrooms because the seating had run out.

Dreams are often fulfilled because of prayer – ours and yours.

Please pray for:

  • The Writing Lab to be fully functional in a week or so,
  • The new students as they adjust to university life,
  • ANU doctoral students to move forward with their dissertations
  • Us as we work, play, live, study, and strategize.

From Idaho to Nairobi: Faculty Workshop, August 2018

Fac workshopIt must be a new trimester, since today we attended the ANU Faculty Workshop. It was Amy’s first workshop as a member of the Department of Language and Literature.

To kick off the new term, Kathleen Hansen and Leola Bailey, veteran public school educators, came to Nairobi from Idaho (U.S.) to teach us. Among other things, we learned about Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching. It was both fun and informative as we broke into small groups and exchanged ideas and best practices for the classroom.

 

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Kathleen is a gifted communicator.

 

Besides food for the mind, we enjoyed food for the body, sharing warm tea and a delicious lunch together.

 

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Joking around in the lunch line

 

 

 

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Leola enjoys a chat with Evie Gardner during the tea break.

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer requests

On Monday, the new term begins. Pray for our students as they return to school following their August break. Ask God to give them safe travel and fresh minds for a new trimester of learning.

Pray that God will move in the hearts of everyone, that those who do not know Christ will make the decision to follow Him. Ask that those who already know Jesus will grow closer in their walk with the Lord.

 

Looking back and looking forward

Even before we had finished our last home assignment, we were asked to figure out the dates for Home Assignment 2020! Well, we now have those dates all cleared.

Before we get too far into that though…

When we were preparing to go on Home Assignment 2018, I cleared off all the horizontal surfaces. I was thinking that when we returned a quick wipe and I could put everything back. That’s not what happened. Instead, some new things were added.

I want to say thank you …

These three pictures (devotional art book – Metro NY, vase – Indianapolis, and prayer reminder bracelet for human trafficking victims – now a candle decoration – VA) are representative of the many thoughtful gifts we received as we traveled around.

Prayer requests:

Wisdom in setting up Home Assignment 2020. We need it to be full, but not such that there is no relaxation. We need to have those God-ordained meetings with unknown people and reunions with others.

Good utilization of our time as we get ready for the next trimester here at Africa Nazarene University. It’s going to be grand!

Amy as she works on her Ed.D. studies through Trevecca.

Greg as he leads the Ph.D. program here at ANU.

Bonus picture: It’s good to see the variable sunbirds again.DSCN8203

A visit to the Kenyan produce shop

When in high school, I (Greg) worked in the produce department at Wegmans. It was surprising to discover the variety of fruits and veggies available, things I’d never heard of before: Bok Choi, Romaine lettuce, anise, kiwi, and persimmons.

Now Amy and I live in Kenya, and there is also a variety of fruits and veggies here. We tend to be pretty traditional in our tastes. Here’s a photo of what we bought over the weekend:

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Some of what you see is imported, such as pink lady apples, seedless grapes, and tangerines. But the red onions, green peppers, bananas, limes, garlic cloves, lemons, squash, and cucumbers were all grown on Kenyan farms and shipped to Nairobi.

Prayer requests

Ask the Lord to give us resolve as we care for ourselves not only spiritually but also physically, through renewed good eating habits.

We’re busy preparing for our September 2018 trimester classes. Pray that the Lord will help us make a positive impact for Christ upon students in the classroom.

 

Back to the routine?

We are almost over jet lag! This seems to get harder each time. Maybe we just don’t bounce back as quickly these days.

Some things are just the same. Universtiy Church is still the welcoming, loving place we remembered in our hearts. ANU continues to be a great place to work. We still have baboons, blooms, butterflies, birds, and lizards.

Some things are different. Since when does the local store carry Pop Tarts – brown sugar cinnamon even?! When did Mugg & Bean – on the Go (a South African chain) come to Kenya? How does the road to ANU rate a gas station (it’s coming!)? Changes happen even in three months.

Thanks to all who hosted us during our home assignment. We appreciate you!

Looking forward – Prayer requests/praise

We need to get our passport stamps to show we are residents. This should be straightforward, we will be heading to the offices early next week. Pray this goes smoothly, because…

Greg is heading to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to teach a class. He needs to get a visa which requires about 10 days to process. Literally, he should get his passport back the afternoon before he flies. — Praise, when Greg and Khulani went to the embassy yesterday, they were not given much hope until the woman saw that he had been invited by the Church of the Nazarene. Her daughter attends ANU. She went out of her way to help – including keeping the office open 30 minutes after closing – so the initial paperwork could be filed.

I (Amy) will be super busy this fall. I have been assigned three classes to teach in addition to the Writing Lab and my Ed. D. studies. Pray for stamina for me.