Special visitor…and our incoming VC

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(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!

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

 

 

 

“Jesus” comes to ANU

Jesus Film team

The School of Religion and Christian Ministry (SRCM) has launched an ANU “Jesus” film team. Its mission is “To reach our generation.”

In early September, team leader Rev. Fredrick Amolo and team members Chale Atikonda and Cecilia Kileteny attended a “Jesus” film three day training seminar. They will use what they learned to partner with the Christian Union and other student organizations to evangelize and disciple students both on campus and elsewhere in Nairobi and beyond, including high schools, orphanages, or churches, wherever they find an open door.

Atikonda testified: “Reaching out must be your passion, to reach out to those who don’t know Christ.” Kiliteny agreed. “I was happy that Rev. Amolo told me about this, and I am very ready to take the Gospel outside.”

For Amolo, the training was a refresher course. He has been extensively involved in the past using the “Jesus” film as a church planting tool. Amolo is also coordinator of the internship program in the Religion Department, so he saw the potential of using the “Jesus” film as a way for religion students to get hands-on ministry experience. “This is part of our students’ training. We are mentoring our ministers,” Amolo noted.

Beyond showing the “Jesus” film, the team plans to launch a Sunday evening student mission on campus. This will provide a forum for spiritual growth when students are back on campus following a weekend away.

Bring the books

books.JPGPaul asked Timothy:  “When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments” (2 Timothy 4:13, ESV). 

Today, a truck brought the books. There were numerous boxes shipped in a large container, sent from Nazarene Bible College in Colorado Springs (USA). Christian Literature for Africa (CLA) sorted and boxed the books, then sent them on their way to Kenya.

Some of these scholarly books will be distributed to area Bible Colleges. The rest will be housed in ANU’s main and downtown campus libraries, assisting the research of students from several Schools at the University, but especially the School of Religion and Christian Ministry (SRCM). In the photo (L to R), Greg, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics)  Prof Rod Reed, Librarian Elizabeth Yegon, Dr Russ Frazier,and Vice-Chancellor Prof Leah Marangu show off some of the volumes. We’re accompanied by various other administrators and SRCM faculty. Behind us are the stacks of boxes, all bursting with printed resources.

GOD HAS BLESSED US. THANK YOU, NBC AND CLA, FOR YOUR WONDERFUL GIFT!

 

Mowing in the opposite direction

Pushmower1Summer as a boy always meant cutting grass. No, our mower wasn’t as old-fashioned as the one in this photo. It was motorized. But whatever your type of mower, the conventional wisdom stands: Once in a while, change your mowing pattern. Mow in the opposite direction.

Amy and I have been doing just that during our 2-week leave. We’ve been doing things that there’s rarely time to do in the middle of a hectic trimester.

Yesterday, we went to the Nairobi National Park. It pays to go at sunrise, so at 6:20 a.m., we rolled through the gates, armed with our matching crimson Nikon Coolpix  L820’s. Since we enjoy birds, many of our photos were of various species, including this strutting Secretary bird:

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But the find of the day had no wings, and it defiantly blocked our path. A lioness lay on the road as if to say: “You shall not pass.”

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When we looked to the left in the brush, much to our astonishment, here’s what we saw:

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Not pictured were three other lion cubs, for a total of six juvenile simbas. (Fierce mother of six? This is sounding vaguely familiar…)

God’s creation is amazing. We’re glad to live so close to a game park, just a 20 minute drive. Don’t forget to take advantage of the amazing things where you are. Once in a while, slow down. Change your routine. Mow your lawn in the other direction.

Prayer requests

We’re back to work on Monday. Pray for the students who will be returning to campus or coming for the first time, that God will give them safe travels, provide for school fees and help them adjust to University life. Ask the Lord especially to visit us during our chapel times, that Africa Nazarene University can truly be a place of spiritual growth and transformation.


 

Image credit

Push mower: By GURoadrunner (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Secretary Bird and lions: Greg Crofford

Staycation 2017

What, you ask, do missionaries do on a staycation?

Look at the pictures and you’ll know our answer…

We have fun with hobbies. We joined Nature Kenya last fall, but this drizzily morning was our first chance to go birding. Fleur, the leader, has been participating in or leading the Wednesday Bird Walks since 1971! She is super fun, feisty, and knowledgeable. Most of the group were Kenyans who care about the environment. Some have been doing the bird walk weekly for years.

I am also doing some embroidery, a.k.a. thread painting. As you can see I am simply using floss to cover an already printed placemat.

Greg is having fun on NazNet which is now hosted on Facebook  as “NazNet General Discussion”, “NazNet Pastors”, and “NazNet Theology”. If you’re Nazarene, come sit at the table and join the conversation.

We read (this is just a sampling), eat chocolate, and watch DVDs.

We visit local tourist sites. The littlest giraffe (picture – top) at the Giraffe Center was only 5 days old! When one of the workers saw that we had completed the wooden puzzle, he gave us a high five. Apparently, it isn’t completed very often. The real reason we went was to hike  the forest trail. We seemed to have strayed and ended up hiking for more than an hour. We started on Ndege Trail and after following some narrow paths and pushing little tree branches out of the way we ended on Jocks Trail. It was relaxing.

We also try new recipes and bake. Generally, we hang out together. We have plans to do other local things in the days to come. Hopefully. we will be able to check off everything on our to-do list. (Yes, we even make a to-do list for staycations.)

Please, keep praying for peace in Kenya. BBC News from today.

Level up!

DSCN6959When Amy and I served at the Regional Office, the slogan for Nazarene educators across Africa was simple: “Everyone up one level.” Now that we’re at Africa Nazarene University, it’s Amy’s turn to “level up.”

She recently received her acceptance letter from Trevecca Nazarene University — see photo. She has been accepted into the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in leadership and professional practice. It’s a 27 month online program, and when complete, will qualify her to make an even greater contribution here at Africa Nazarene University, where we’re assigned as educational missionaries.

Amy begins on September 13. Already she has her study set up at the house, and is looking forward to the challenge.

In other news…

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Last week, we enjoyed a fun day at the Nairobi museum with visiting lecturer, Dr Matt Price. School children often wear colorful uniforms, like these children queuing to enter. We especially enjoyed the taxidermy collection which boasts an amazing variety of bird species found in Kenya. All-in-all, the museum is one of our favorite places in this bustling metropolis of 4 million people.

 

 

 

Learning together

One of my top five strengths is Learner. I love to learn.

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Today, ANU hosted a morning workshop about Qualitative Research. The workshop ingaugarated a series that is being facilitated in part through ANU’s Insititute of Research, Development, and Policy along with another local university.

Prof. Linda Ethangatta (for a short video about her, click here) opened the workshop with an invitation to share tea, mandazis, somosas, and sausage. After everyone had shared the food and good conversation, the session began.

Prof. Wakiuru Wamwara, sponsored by the Carnegie Africa Diaspora Fellowship DSCN6571Program, taught. She held the audience’s attention through a variety of teaching strategies. She drew the locals in with stories of her own research including the hassles and triumphs. Being Kenyan, although a long time resident of the United States, she used local examples that resonated with all present. Prof. Wamwara is on the faculty of Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

This week we also took Dr Matt Price from Mount Vernon Nazarene Universitdscn6330.jpgy on a day of tourism. First stop? The AA office so Greg and I could fill out paper work for our Kenyan licenses. Turns out that it is not all too difficult. Even so, wasn’t that exciting. It got better from there with a visit to the Nairobi National Museum – note the picture of the gourds above, a tour of the CBD campus of ANU, and a walk downtown. We finished off with a delicious meal at Urban Burger.

Please pray for ANU students this week and next as they study for finals and finish projects and papers. Also pray for the Kenyan general elections in early August.

Thanks and have a wonderful week!