On the hotseat

Three times per year, ANU students are on the hotseat.

In Kenya, final exams count for 60% of an undergraduate’s course grade, and 50% for a master’s student. The last 2 weeks of each trimester are exam weeks. Many students take 7 classes per term, so that’s 7 final exams they’re sitting for, each exam lasting for 2 hours. Others who are part of our online programs sit for exams in the remote locations where they live.

Exams can create a lot of pressure.

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We serve a diverse student population, providing Christ-centered education.

Here at ANU, lecturers proctor their own exams, except here we call it invigilating. This term, Amy got to invigilate for the first time, since she’s wrapping up her first term teaching English 101 and English 102. Between both classes, she has around 130 students. That’s a lot of exams to correct…or as we say here, to mark. To do so, she doesn’t have an answer key. She uses the marking scheme.

But whatever terms we use, it all comes out to the same thing: ANU students are getting a great education in a wonderful Christian environment. Pray for our students, that they’ll finish strong.

 

Global Librarians

Nazarene librarians bound together by a love of books and the people who read them can make a huge impact. This week, ANU is hosting five librarians from three countries. Recently retired from Northwest Nazarene University, Sharon Bull, a Canadian, leads the group. She has traveled the globe working with librarians at several Nazarene institutions. You can follow her posts on Facebook through the Mission: Nazarene Libraries page. (above – bottom right)

Lungile Seymana, a Swazi, is the head librarian at Southern Africa Nazarene University for the campus in Manzini. Two years ago a similar team came to Swaziland to train her and her staff. Now, she has abundant practical advice for using the OPALS system. Her travel was sponsored by the Education Development Foundation. (above bottom left)

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(Ruth, Ellen, and Bobbi working with Salome Kivuva on the computer)

Three Americans round out the group. Ruth Kinnersley, Director of Library Services at Trevecca Nazarene University, has taken a lead role in training ANU staff librarians in the OPALS system. Bobbi Tomlin, a church librarian from Boise, ID and Ellen Beckwith, a retired public school librarian, have taken the task to catalogue books from the shipment sent from Nazarene Bible College through Christian Literature for Africa in cooperation with the Education Development United Foundation. (Bobbi and Ellen are pictured below.)

These librarians are part of a larger Global Tech team. The other team members are installing security measures at ANU’s downtown campus.

If you have skills and a willing hand and heart, contact Rob North at rnorth@anu.ac.ke to find out if there is a team coming to ANU that you could join. We love sharing our wonderful weather, beautiful flora and fauna, and warmhearted people with visitors.

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Our home assignment starts soon. We will be on the following districts: Indianapolis (April 22-29), Maine (May – ), New England (May  – ), Upstate New York (June  – ), Metro New York (June  – ), Pittsburgh (July  – ), and Mid-Atlantic. (July -). If we will be near you, we would love to spend some time together. Contact us at gregamyc@gmail.com to set up a time. Let’s not just leave it to chance.

Prayer requests…

  • Finishing this trimester strong
  • Safe travels from here to there and back again
  • Success in sharing the stories of ANU and her God-given impact
  • Amy’s Ed.D. work – keeping up with the work while on home assignment
  • Greg – He’s writing another book — We’ll keep you posted

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Happy Easter from ANU!

3 days together with Jesus

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Rev Gift Mtukwa, Chair of the School of Religion and Christian Ministry (SRCM) at ANU, answers a question from the floor.

The 4th Global Theology Conference of the Church of the Nazarene was amazing! Nearly 300 theological educators, pastors, and other Nazarene leaders from around the world gathered for three days here in Leesburg, Florida. With our theme of “Christology,” the questions we addressed centered around Jesus’ identity and what that means for the Church as we pursue God’s mission in the world.

All the full-time faculty from ANU’s School of Religion and Christian Ministry (SRCM) came as part of a delegation from Africa more than 50 strong. We were especially proud of our own Gift Mtukwa, who wrote a paper on Paul’s Cruciform Mission in 1 Thessalonians. He partcipated in a lively panel discussing his paper, along with paper of Dr Jorge Julca (South America Regional Education Coordinator).

I’m so glad to be part of a denomination that devotes time and resources to theology and its practical application. Having a good mix of educators and practitioners made for a rich time of exchange in both small groups and plenary sessions. Last night, our G.S., Dr David Busic, preached an excellent message on Christ based from the Gospel of Mark, after which we joyfully celebrated the Eucharist together.

Prayer requests

  1. I fly back to Nairobi today and tomorrow, hopefully avoiding a strong snowstorm that is plummeting the Northeast of the United States. As I type this, my flight has not yet been cancelled or re-routed, though other SRCM faculty have had routing changes. This could be a serendipitous adventure…
  2.  Amy and I have just 3 weeks left before we head to the U.S. for our home assignment. There are many tasks to wrap-up before we go, including administering final exams for both my religion classes and Amy’s English courses. Thank you for praying that God will give us the stamina we need to finish this trimester well and to get packed up for what promises be a fruitful time of deputation in churches and visits with loved ones.

Continuing on

Some weeks it is hard to figure out what to write. We are continuing on, but nothing startling or particularly interesting is happening. This was one of those weeks.

Greg is at the Global Theology Conference with many from the School of Religion and Christian Ministry from ANU. I am finishing a class in my Ed. D. program. We are nearing the end of a trimester, so grading and such is taking a large part of our time as term papers and projects are turned in. The rains are coming every day – usually at three o’clock. The weather is cold (for here).

We are getting ready for home assignment – contacting people, making plans, and packing.

The most fun thing was seeing the mongooses in the back yard this morning … until I remembered they are snake hunters. (For more about mongooses, click here)

So, until next week, thanks for praying for us in this busy season.

A few more pictures from this morning…

Rising African theologians

ASET Group photo March 2018

Greg has the honor of serving as Secretary for the Africa Society of Evangelical Theology (ASET), located here in Nairobi. The society brings together theology scholars from a number of Christian Universities mostly in Kenya, including Africa Nazarene University. We also had representatives from Ethiopia, Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, and South Africa.

This past weekend we gathered for our annual conference, with nearly 100 in attendance. Our theme this year was “God and Creation in Contemporary Theological Discourse.” It was wonderful to hear so many well-written papers, many investigating how we can take better care of God’s creation. Other papers examined the missio Dei (God’s mission) in our world, including a paper on prevenient grace that Greg was honored to research and present.

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The paper will be a chapter in a collection to be published in 2019 by The Foundry Press (formerly Nazarene Publishing House).

Available now for sale is Christianity and Suffering: African Perspectives (Langham, 2017) which contains many papers from our 2015 ASET Conference. It may be purchased via Amazon.com at this link

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By purchasing the book, you will be supporting future ASET publications and learning more about the worldview of our African brothers and sisters in Christ.

For more information on the work of ASET and more photos from the conference, visit the ASET Facebook page located here.

 

 

 

Aspiring Social Entrepreneurs

ANU has three teams advancing to the regional level of the Hult Prize competition. One of the great things about working in the ANU community is the energy and enthusiasm of the students to fulfil the university motto: “What begins here changes the world.”

One team will present here in Nairobi. The other two will be going to Dubai and Cairo.  The “Kool Kibanda” team, who are headed to Dubai, visited my office looking for some support and I snapped the picture above.

The 2018 Hult Prize challenge is to improve the lives of 10 million people by harnessing the power of energy.

Gabriella Kisoi writes about their project:

Our project aims to create smart markets in developing countries by digitizing “kibandas” (traditional market stalls), by providing cold storage compartments within the stalls which will be majorly powered by solar energy. This can be customized according to the source of green energy that is most readily available in the market area (e.g., wind energy in markets near Ngong Hills). Not only will this increase the shelf-life of the perishable goods that fruit and vegetable vendors sell, but it will enable them to make use of this readily available energy for lighting so that they may work for longer hours and also charge phones – which will act as a new revenue stream. We call these digital stalls Kool Kibandas.

The Kool Kibanda team members are: Gabriella Kisoi, Nyambura Njoroge, Winnie Mashirima, Martin Yegon, and Cliffton Nyakundi.

Celebrate with us these young aspiring social entrepreneurs. Pray for their safety as they travel and that God will continue to inspire them with ideas to change their world for the better.

The scholar and the athlete

One is a scholar, the other, an athlete. Africa Nazarene University is home to both.

Andrew Ntabo is reading his way through my library. He can’t get enough of theology books. His goal? To be a lecturer one day. Meanwhile, he’s already active in ministry, serving as associate pastor at a church founded by his father and as Chair of the Christian Union and the Religion Students Association.

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Andrew Ntabo

Espérant Fumunguya’s gifts are athletic. He’s a guard on ANU’s champion men’s basketball team, where he also serves as chaplain. With the heart of an evangelist, this young man from the DRC is having an impact for Christ right here in Kenya.

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Espérant Fumunguya

Different talents? Absolutely, but they serve the same God. As Dean of the School of Religion and Christian Ministry, I’m honored to be part of a team of mentors, helping them hone their gifts. And in the process, they’re teaching us what it means to sacrifice to fulfill one’s calling.

Thanks for praying for Andrew, Espérant and the other men and women the Lord is entrusting to us.