We’ve been blessed to live in seven different countries: the U.S., France, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Haiti, South Africa, and Kenya. Each country has its own charm, and its own challenges.
At Christmas time, we rehearse memories from each stop on the journey. We do this by hanging inexpensive key rings purchased at Presidential libraries, museums, or tourist sites.
It’s a tradition that never grows old, even if we ourselves are getting older!
What Christmas traditions do you celebrate?
Wrapping up the trimester
We’re putting the finishing touches on Trimester 1, marking exams, submitting grades, and getting ready for the next trimester. Amy will be teaching English to first year students, and Greg will continue with his “Christian Beliefs” class plus three online courses, in addition to his duties as Dean of the School of Religion and Christian Ministry (SRCM) and Coordinator of the PhD (Religion).
Goodbye to the Stantons, hello to……..?
We said our final goodbyes this week to Dr Daryll and Mrs Verna Stanton, who headed back to the U.S after 35 years of missionary service in Africa, including 20 years at ANU. With the retirement of Dr Stanton, pray that the Lord will provide the right PhD qualified missionary to come serve in the SRCM with us as as a theological educator.
L to R: Pauline Abogo, Dr Greg Crofford, Dennis Muthee, Chale Atikonda, Cecilia Kiliteny, Andrew Ntabo
On the last Sunday of November, Greg and a team from ANU’s School of Religion and Christian Ministry (SRCM) visited the Anglican Church of Kenya (St John Chrysostom Parish) in Nairobi in order to promote the programs of Africa Nazarene University. The church’s pastor is Rev Ken Aringo.
The team took part in both morning services. Dennis Muthee preached in the youth service. Greg preached a holiness message in the main service. The students sang in both services and talked with congregants afterwards.
This was the first ANU promotion in an Anglican church for this team. The SCRM is trying to recruit new students not only for their department, but for ANU generally. Lessons were learned as they reflected on the day, but generally the experience was positive and successful.
If you are local (in Kenya) and would like a team to come to your church, contact Greg to see if and when that could happen in 2018.
If you are not local, please pray for this promotional team and others that will follow.
Meanwhile, back at our beautiful campus, we have birds, bees and blooms
In September, I flew to the States for a conference and spoke in a nearby Nazarene church afterwards. Before the trip, needing a video about ANU, I stopped by our PR office. That’s where I met Alfred Wakesa.
Alfred began attending ANU in 2007. He had to take a few years out but came back not long ago and finished up his course work. Last month, he graduated from ANU with a B.A. in Mass Communications and Broadcast. In January, he plans to enroll either in the M.A. (Communications) or MBA (Monitoring and Evaluation).
Today, Alfred stopped up to the School of Religion and Christian Ministry, or SRCM as we call it for short. He’ll be working with us on our new Facebook page (please visit the page and like it!) Between our social media strategizing, he shared a few insights about his walk with Christ.
Alfred grew up in the church but credits his deepening in faith to ANU mass com lecturer Mr Macharia, who became a spiritual mentor to him. When I asked Alfred what difference ANU has made in his life, he offered:
ANU has shaped my character and helped me be a leader in my professional life as well as my personal life.
Thank you for your faithful giving and prayers, which allow Amy and me to fufill our missionary calling here at ANU, working alongside talented individuals like Alfred. It’s an honor to serve at a University where students receive not only a first-rate education but also find a place that nurtures a closer relationship with the Lord.
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.
Second, 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 email@example.com
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.
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.
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.
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?
Today, it rained! We are always grateful for rain. The rose at the top of the post was just irresistable today.
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.
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!
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.