The family that prays together…

hymn books

…stays together.

I (Greg) have always liked that saying, and it’s no less true when the “family” is the family of those preparing for vocational ministry through the School of Religon and Christian Ministry (SRCM) at ANU.

On Wednesday for early morning prayers, we had representatives from Kenya, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and the U.S. We truly are Africa Nazarene University!

The Religion Student Association (RSA) is the student organization run by our religion majors. Besides sponsoring Wednesday prayers, they organize for a mission trip once per trimester.

Please pray for our female and male students as they respond to God’s call to life-long ordained ministry.

 

RSA
RSA leaders, L to R: Josophat Kalimwayi, Fadweck Tepani, Forward Muchetu (not pictured: Mercy Sopera)

 

Other prayer requests

This is Holiness Week at ANU. Remember our speaker, Assistant Chaplain Shaun Bati, as he brings the message each day. Ask that the hearts of students will tender to God’s voice, and that they will respond.

Amy just finished her second (and last) statistics class for her Ed.D. program through Trevecca Nazarene University.  She has just 3 classes remaining, and is moving ahead simultaneously on her thesis.  Pray that the Lord will help her finish well as she balances her own studies with the English classes that she’s teaching at ANU.

 

 

 

 

Nothing says “welcome” like chai

 

new students srcm
We welcomed our new ministerial students yesterday. L to R: Nathanael, Thomas, Mercy, Robinson, Joshua, and Dr Crofford

 

It’s a new trimester at Africa Nazarene University. After several weeks with a quiet campus over the Christmas and New Year’s break, it’s fun to see the campus buzzing again with the talk and laughter of students, faculty, and staff — going to class, playing sports, worshiping in chapel, attending clubs and meetings, and a dozen other activities one would expect on the campus of a Christian University.

Yesterday afternoon, in the SRCM (School of Religion and Christian Ministry), we drank “chai” (Swahili word for tea) and enjoyed a snack together to welcome our new and returning students. Around the circle, rather than having each person introduce himself or herself, we broke into pairs and introduced our partner to everyone else. It’s exciting to see who the Lord is entrusting to us for ministerial formation, and to play our part (however modest) in shaping the next generation of clergy for Africa.

Prayer Requests

Please ask the Lord to provide for financial needs for our ministerial students. It’s  always a challenge for them to underwrite their school fees.

Remember Kenyan families in a time of grief following a terrorist attack on a Nairobi hotel that left 14 dead.

Amy continues to progress in her online EdD program through Trevecca Nazarene Uninversity. Ask the Lord to help her as she balances her studies and teaching duties.

Pray for Greg’s work-life balance as he attends to his many responsibilities – teaching, administration, and required research.

 

This week

This week has been interesting for both Greg and me even though we are not spending it together.

Greg is at ANU strategy meetings. Can you find him?Strategy-34-of-47

Read more about it here and say a prayer for the group. http://www.anu.ac.ke/5289/strategy-session-kicks-off-2018-2022/

I began teaching ENG 101 at ANU today.  Pictured below are a few of my students writing the diagnostic essay that wil help me evaluate where they are starting their university journey as it relates to English.

One student after the session told me she could not hold an English conversation. After we talked for about ten minutes I noticed a tear coming down her cheek. As she wiped it away, she whispered, “Was that me just then?” I asked her what she meant and she said we had carried on a long conversation and she had not faltered or felt flustered. She felt nearly fluent. I love teaching!

Tomorrow, I start teaching ENG 102.

Thanks for your prayers for Greg and me, this week and always.

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.

 

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.

 

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).

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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.

Holiness Week!

Rev. Ronald Miller heads a team from South Africa and the United States that is leading throughout Holiness Week(s). The team includes  LoReal Burton, Makabongwe Makabee Vena, Wesley Parry, Thabang Letlabika, Jairo Maldonado , and Chrissy Maldonado. This week they are leading at the main campus. Next week, they will be at the downtown campus. The team is working well with the ANU worship and drama team.

I don’t want to write too much about the sermon topics or special presentatons because they will be presented again next week. Let’s just say that excitement is in the air. The Spirit of God is at work. As Ronald said on Tuesday, “There is no person in this place that God doesn’t want to speak to.”

Please pray for Ronald, the team, and the ANU community as we finish this week and head into next week.

On a personal note, I started my doctoral classes at Trevecca tonight. Please, keep me in your prayers as I start this journey.

To close… the beauty of ANU.