When Amy and I came to Africa Nazarene University in August 2016, one of the reasons was for Greg to assist with the beginning of the PhD (Religion) program. In October 2016, we received official approval from our accreditor to begin teaching. We currently have 13 PhD students who are active and next week we’ll have our first ever student defense of a thesis proposal.
Last week, I was in class with students taking “Wesleyan Mission and Ecclesiology.” Prof Rod Reed joined me to co-lecture, and we had a wonderful time of learning and exchange, talking about both the theory and practice of church ministry in 21st century Africa.
A special treat was welcoming to our class Rev. Stephen Porter from Nazarene Theological Seminary. He works with their information technology department. He was there to observe and to consult with our IT department on how ANU can improve its educational technology.
Other news & prayer requests
ANU celebrated “Green Week” all last week with special events, including lectures, clean up activities, and a visit from the cabinet minister for the environment. Also, Greg was tasked to preach a sermon on ecotheology at University Church last Sunday. You can read his sermon by clicking on this link.
Amy has 150 students total in her two English 101 classes this trimester. Pray that the Lord will give her stamina as she has many writing assignments to mark each week. Besides her classes, she is enjoying working one-on-one with students who come into the English Resource Centre for help. Some are even budding novelists!
Greg loves choirs. He sang in ENC’s Acapella Choir and every church choir he could. When we were in Sedalia, Missouri and Albertville, France, he sang in the community chorale. He currently sings with the Nairobi Music Society. If needed he will direct the choir. In the past, he has done that in South Weymouth, MA; Grandview, MO; and the language school in Albertville.
This year, he started a choir at University Church of the Nazarene. As you can see, lots of people were interested. Today marks their first time to sing in church. I wish I could post the video here, but our blog does not support video. I will post it on our Croffords in Kenya Facebook page for those who are interested.
A big shout out to our home church in Melwood, MD for sending the choir music (a.k.a. hymnals). They are being put to good use here and with the Religion Students’ Association weekly meetings.
This week the doctoral students are in their second week at ANU for this term. Please pray for the students as they are led in the seminar by Greg and Prof. Rod Reed.
Please pray for me (Amy) as I juggle 150 composition students, doctoral work, and everything else that I do.
Holiness week has begun on the LTMarangu Campus. The praise team led in worship before the special speaker was introduced.
Flora Mwikali shared a sketch of her personal story including a brief description of hiding in the fields to avoid a father who “came home to fight.” God called her to preach soon after she prayed for salvation, but she ran from the call. God pursued her. Finally, she accepted. She felt led to help girls escape trafficking and abuse in her home area. She began with what she had – her rent. The ministry grew. Now the New Scent Centre has supporters, a school, and the New Scent Grace Chapel. Flora’s father has also accepted Christ and is a faithful attendee at the Chapel.
Flora told the ANU students that if Jesus leads, they won’t need to ask for directions because he knows the way to fullness of life.
Learn more about Flora’s ministry by clicking here.
Please pray for Flora as she shares at this campus this week and the downtown campus next week.
On a different note… I was happy to see the upgrade happening on the basketball court.
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.
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.
They say Christmas cards are a dying tradition. I guess our LINKS churches didn’t get the memo, and we’re glad they didn’t!
Today, we received a stack of colorful Christmas cards with thoughtful greetings inside. It’s wonderful to be remembered at this time of year.
Ask the Lord to help us finish well. We’re almost done marking exams.
This weekend, I (Greg) will sing 2nd tenor in two Christmas concerts with the Nairobi Music Society. It’s always a lot of fun, and gives me a chance to rub shoulders with others outside the University setting. The words of so many of the songs we’ll sing are powerful. Ask the Lord to use them to touch the hearts of those who need Him most.