AT DEDICATION CEREMONY—Dr. Ben Carson, left, and his wife, Candy, at dedication ceremonies for The Benjamin S. Carson School of Medicine and Babcock University Teaching Hospital outside of Lagos, Nigeria.Adventist education and health ministries officials say the new school signals a growing commitment by Africans to build self-sufficiency in addressing the sweeping public health challenges faced on the continent.
The launch of a medical school in Nigeria, while not an immediate fix, is “a clear start” toward a “health-care delivery system yet unrivaled in Africa,” said BU president James Makinde.
The School of Medicine operates out of Babcock University College of Health and Medical Sciences, which also includes Schools of Nursing and Public Health. Administrators say Schools of Pharmacy and Dentistry are on the horizon. The school is accredited to grant a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.) degree, the first professional degree a medical student can earn studying at a university that follows the British model of post-secondary education.
The 37 students currently enrolled in the M.B.B.S. program have been studying since January, when Babcock University administrators first requested a public inauguration for the fledgling medical school. But at the time, the official launch was prevented by yet unmet accreditation requirements and unrest after the Nigerian government lifted a gas subsidy, said Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, Education Department director for the Adventist world church.
“We needed to verify that [accrediting] conditions had been met. They have now been substantially met,” Beardsley-Hardy said. The infrastructure for the medical school is now nearly complete, she added.
Education Department officials worked closely with the world church’s Health Ministries Department to set benchmarks for the medical school.
Health Ministries Department director Allan Handysides, who has supported medical mission work in Africa for decades, echoed Beardsley-Hardy’s endorsement.
“I have seldom seen such remarkable progress in such short time at any of our other institutions. The team at Babcock has taken the suggestions and guidance given seriously, and the result is outstanding,” Handysides said.
Chairing the proceedings was Iheanyichukwu Okoro, BU senior vice president and provost of the College of Health and Medical Sciences, where the School of Medicine resides. Conspicuous among the assembled guests, and honoring the assembly with words of commendation and a commitment to continued partnership, was Kabiyesi Oba Michael Olufemi Mojeed Sonuga, king of Ilishan, the one who donated the land on which the medical school now stands.
Presenting the full endorsement of Nigeria’s National Universities Commission for BU’s new undertaking was Julius Okojie, executive secretary of the commission. His affirmation was illustrative of BU’s excellent relationship and close cooperation with its various publics, further indicated by greetings received from the chair of county local government Femi Adeniyi, the presence of the permanent secretary for the minister of labor and productivity Chief Wogu, as well as representatives of other state and private universities from around the Federal Republic of Nigeria and all across the African continent. —reported by Lael Caesar, Adventist World associate editor, and Elizabeth Lechleitner and Ansel Oliver, Adventist News Network
Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders representing 18 countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe met in Cape Town, South Africa, in June to share ways to be better stewards of the resources of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
RISK MANAGEMENT: Bob Kyte, president of Adventist Risk Management, addresses delegates at a seminar in Cape Town, South Africa.Hosted by Adventist Risk Management (ARM), a church-owned company, the 250 attendees engaged in discussions and participated in seminars on practical risk-management issues such as coverage for church employees, volunteers, and activities, as well as transportation risks, internal controls, and fire safety. The ARM leadership team also presented specialty topics on legal, medical professional, and governance and executive liabilities.
“The focus of the entire conference was centered on stewardship and Christian leadership in managing all of the church’s resources,” said William Chunestudy, an ARM resource education specialist and conference organizer. “There was a strong emphasis on the human resources of the church—how all ministries can work together to achieve the mission of the Adventist Church.”
ARM president Bob Kyte during his welcome address entitled “It’s All About Ministry” encouraged church leaders to strive to find better ways to be wise stewards of the church’s resources and to find better ways to care for their staff and property.
“We live in challenging times. Weather is unpredictable. Problems challenge the church in many ways,” said Kyte. “We must always take advantage of opportunities to learn how to better protect the resources of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”
Kyte said ARM’s ministry was to protect the ministries of the Adventist Church through resources such as the international risk management conference.
Herbert Blomstedt, Adventist Conductor, Honored by Sweden’s Monarch
Maestro Herbert Blomstedt’s home country of Sweden recognized the veteran musician for his notable career as a symphony conductor.
King Carl XVI Gustaf recently awarded the Seraphim Medal to Blomstedt, a lifelong Seventh-day Adventist. A June 15, 2012, announcement from Sweden’s Royal Palace stated Blomstedt was recognized for “highly outstanding contributions within Swedish music.”
CLASSICAL LEADER: Adventist musician Herbert Blomstedt (left) was awarded Sweden’s Seraphim Medal in June for his contributions to the country’s musical and cultural landscape. Here, the veteran conductor accepts the Weniger Award for Excellence at the church’s Loma Linda University campus church in January.The medal is one of the country’s highest civilian honors. Bestowed directly by the king, it recognizes “outstanding services of a humanitarian nature or of general benefit to society,” according to the Swedish Royal Court.
“I am of course delighted,” Blomstedt told the Adventist Church’s Swedish Union Conference, adding that while he typically downplays such recognition, this time is an exception.
Blomstedt conducted his first performance with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1954. During his career he held posts as chief conductor of the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, the Danish and Swedish Radio Symphony orchestras, Dresdner Staatskapelle, and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.
Over the years Blomstedt has generously contributed to the Adventist Church’s musical landscape, as well as its educational system. Blomstedt also used his public spotlight to share his faith in God.
“We who know Herbert personally also know how he has always seen his music as a way to bring glory to God and as a witness to the grace and majesty of our Creator,” said Bertil Wiklander, president of the church’s Trans-European Division(TED).
“He has more than once testified to how the secret of his success is his Christian faith and, in particular, the blessing of the Sabbath, which has brought him rest and recreation,” Wiklander said.
Blomstedt was unable to attend the June 15 medal ceremony at the Royal Palace of Stockholm because of a prior conducting appointment. The 85-year-old continues to maintain an active career, having led the National Symphony Orchestra, in Washington, D.C., in a series of concerts earlier this year, among other appointments.
S DANIEL EXPLAINED: Home page of www.1844madesimple.org, a Web site sponsored by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists containing Clifford Goldstein’s lectures on a key element of Adventist teaching.tudents of Seventh-day Adventist doctrine have a new online resource aimed at increasing understanding of the investigative judgment. Called www.1844madesimple.org, the Web site presents video lectures and background material explaining the Adventist understanding of Daniel 8:14, explained by Clifford Goldstein, editor of the Adult Bible Study Guide and author of 1844 Made Simple, published 25 years ago. While the book is difficult to find in print, the online site contains the essence of Goldstein’s message.
“I show how the gospel is central to the judgment,” Goldstein explained in a recent Adventist Reviewcolumn. “I contend that the only way to fully appreciate the gospel is to understand it in light of judgment.”
He added, “At the site you can watch the video online or download it, either as a whole or in sections. Besides the video, we have podcasts and resources for those who want to go deeper. Because the site is brand new, the podcasts and resources are scant, but we’re going to add more.” —Reported by Adventist World staff
Brazilian Adventist Students Join Global Entrepreneurship Challenge
Students at the 5,000-student campus of the Northeast Brazil College (known by its Portuguese acronym, FADBA) in the city of Cachoeira, Bahia State, Brazil, recently gained access to a global entrepreneurship challenge program.
Faculty contacted the headquarters of the Brazilian Enactus, the world’s largest social entrepreneurship program. Since July 2013 the team Enactus-FADBA was assembled and able to participate in events sponsored by the organization.
BRAZILIAN STUDENT, PROFESSOR:Fabio Bergamo, FADBA faculty advisor to the Enactus-FADBA team, and business administration student Taís Angels at the 2013 Enactus Brazil finals in São Paulo. Present in more than 35 countries, and reaching over 120 other nations with their projects, Enactus promotes entrepreneurship and economic empowerment, following social projects related to university studies, conducted entirely by students and supervised by teachers.
Participating institutions create “teams” responsible for the projects. The teams are trained throughout the process, culminating in a national championship celebration where projects are presented.
The best project, judged by CEOs and executives of large national and multinational companies, represents the country at the World Cup Enactus, which this year will be held in Cancún, Mexico.
Brazil currently has 30 teams. The most recent is the FADBA team, who was present, along with major universities of the country in the most recently Enactus National Championship, held in São Paulo on July 3-4.
Professor Fabio Bergamo, faculty advisor to the Enactus-FADBA team, and business administration student Taís Angels were invited to be observers of the event. There they had the opportunity to experience the exciting spirit of Enactus, a community that has more than 700 students in the country and more than 65,000 worldwide.
The Enactus-FADBA team has approximately 30 students, and they are defining their initial projects aimed at helping underserved communities of the Reconcavo Baiano area around Salvador, the Bahia state capital. —Reported by Adventist World staff
Inter-America: Church Celebrates Champion Lay Evangelists and Long-active Members
Top Seventh-day Adventist leaders of the Inter-American Division (IAD) honored champion lay evangelists as well as the longest-active members from across the territory during a special ceremony at the IAD headquarters office in Miami, Florida. Many executive committee members were present.
MEMBER HONORED: Manuel Nuñez, champion layperson from west Venezuela, shows his awards after being honored at the Inter-American Division headquarters in Miami, Florida, May 25, 2013. Nuñez was among 22 outstanding laypersons recognized for their dedication and commitment in their respective church regions as Inter-America celebrates its Year of the Laity.“Inter-America would not be Inter-America without its laypeople,” said Pastor Israel Leito, president of the church in Inter-America. Leito expressed appreciation to the notable laypersons representing more than 1.5 million members across the territory watching the online streaming of the event.
“Your division appreciates you and the work that you do in the fulfillment of the mission of the church,” said Leito. “You’re an integral part of this church, and we thank you for partnering with our pastors together as teachers, professionals, nurses, doctors, and all who join to proclaim the gospel.”
Twenty-two outstanding laypersons from each of the IAD’s church regions, or unions, were honored with a medal, trophy, evangelistic books, and funds to use towards their evangelistic endeavors.
The special event sealed a two-day leadership training summit, and was part of a busy schedule of Year of the Laity festivities.
Sergio Moctezuma, a retired personal ministries and Sabbath school director for the church in the IAD, was also recognized for shaping scores of laypersons for decades.
“The laity in Inter-America was formed by Pastor Moctezuma,” said Leito. “Because of his work and his wife allowing us to benefit from this giant of a leader, today we have one the of the strongest lay forces around the world church.”
Marva Farquharson was among the laypersons honored. She represents the Atlantic Caribbean Union territory comprised of the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos.
For 36 years she has preached, trained, and shared Bible truths in New Providence and throughout dozens of islands in the Bahamas. When she’s not working as the human resources director for the Public Hospital Authority in the Bahamas, she uses her vacation time and own funds to work with leaders at the South Bahamas Conference in church planting, community outreach projects, youth training, and reaching out to those in correctional facilities.
YEARS OF SERVICE: Lay evangelist Marva Farquaharson smiles after being awarded a special medal for being an outstanding active member for 36 years in the Atlantic Caribbean Union region based in the Bahamas.“The Lord puts elastic to my ministry,” said Farquharson, when she refers to how her money stretches as she preaches. She has not kept record of all the individuals who have joined the church through her evangelistic efforts, but it is in the several hundreds she believes.
She was the first Bahaman woman to be ordained as an elder back in 1985 and has been one outstanding lay leader among the 19,500 active laypeople in the region, bringing hundreds of new believers into the church, according to Dr. Leonard Johnson, president of the church in the Atlantic Caribbean Union.
With only four years of being a Seventh-day Adventist, Jose Puentes is all about letting God lead him in his ministry. He was among thousands of active laypeople to be chosen as the champion to represent north Colombia.
A former policeman, Puentes, age 26, coordinates citywide ministry programs such as “Jesus the Great Hope,” where more than 100 young people travel on buses throughout the city of Medellin to pray for people, offer Bible studies, and distribute literature. Puentes also ministers to the indigenous people in the jungles of northern Colombia and was inspired to continue his service during the event.
“It was a great honor to be here, to witness the unity of our church leaders within the different cultures in Inter-America,” said Puentes.
In addition to the 22 outstanding laypeople in Inter-America, long-active Seventh-day Adventists throughout each church region were honored.
Hadassa Henry Johnson of Jamaica, age 101, was the longest-standing Seventh-day Adventist featured, with 91 years since she was baptized. Following was Consuelo Cummings of South Central America, age 102, with 90 years of being an active church members, and Eligio Rosado of Puerto Rico, age 105, with 89 years in the church. —Reported by Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division
Aformer police officer in the Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan has been ordained as the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s first native pastor.
FIRST PASTOR: Talgat S. Kubegenov, on the platform with his wife, was ordained during a mission conference at the Tokmok Adventist Church in Chuy Province on June 14. He is the first Kyrgyzstani ordained as an Adventist pastor.Talgat S. Kubegenov was ordained during a mission conference at the Tokmok Adventist Church in Tokmok in Chuy Province on June 14.
Kubegenov, 39, has already been serving as a pastor of two churches and has worked as secretary-treasurer of the denomination’s Kyrgyzstan Mission since 2010.
Kubegenov is a graduate of the Academy of Home Affairs Ministry and joined the church in 2002. He was ordained a local church elder in 2005, and in 2008 the Adventist Church hired him as a Global Mission pioneer.
“It was heartwarming to see this small but successful step,” said Ben Schoun, an Adventist world church vice president, who attended the ceremony. “I’m aware that several countries in the region can be difficult for our church to work in, but God is helping us accomplish some very wonderful things.”
Kyrgyzstan, which shares a border with China, is a former Soviet republic. It became an independent country when the Soviet Union disbanded in 1991. Many citizens work in mining and agriculture. Its current population is roughly 5.5 million. A large majority of the population is Muslim, and many are also Russian Orthodox.
LONGTIME SERVANT: Kubegenov is a former police officer and has functioned as an Adventist pastor for many years.The Adventist message came to Central Asia through German missionary Philipp Trippel in 1906, said Denis Sand, director of Adventist Mission for the Southern Union Mission, based in Almaty, Kazakhstan. In 1915 the construction of the Orlovka Adventist Church became the denomination’s first church in the region, then known as Turkestan. It had 50 members.
Adventists and other Christians faced heavy persecution during the reign of the Soviet Union, Sand said. Many members buried their Bibles each time after reading them.
Today the Adventist Church in Kyrgyzstan has nearly 800 members and operates the only elementary school in the Southern Union Mission.
The church in Kyrgyzstan employs Global Mission pioneers who work in the country. At this month’s mission conference about a dozen Global Mission pioneers
graduated from a training program, Schoun said. Earlier this month the church also opened a new Adventist
World Radio studio in Bishkek, home to the Adventist Church’s Kyrgyzstan Mission. —Reported by Ansel Oliver, Adventist News Network
It was a reunion of longtime friends—Pastor Jan Paulsen, a Norwegian Seventh-day Adventist, and two civic leaders, ambassador Knut Vollebæk and Ole Christian Kvarme, bishop of Oslo for the Lutheran Church of Norway.
PAULSEN HONORED: Jan Paulsen flanked by Bishop Ole Chr. M. Kvarme (left), Church of Norway, and OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Knut Vollebæk, after receiving the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit at the Sabbath evening program during the East Norway Conference camp meeting, June 2, 2012 at, Norwegian Junior College (Tyrifjord Videregående Skole).The June 2 encounter was a joyous event: Paulsen, now-retired president of the General Conference, received the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit, one of the highest forms of royal honor given to civilians, presented by Vollebæk on behalf of King Harald V of Norway. The Order of Merit was founded by King Olav V, Harald’s father, in 1985 and is conferred on foreign and Norwegian nationals as a reward for their outstanding service in the interest of Norway or in service for humanity.
Paulsen told the audience at the Sabbath evening program during the East Norway Conference camp meeting at Norwegian Junior College that the short reason given by the royal palace for appointing him a commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit meant a lot to him: “Service for the good of humanity.”
“What matters is what we have done for our fellow men,” Paulsen said in his address. He paraphrased Jesus’ words in Matthew 25: “I was in prison, you did not visit me. I was struggling with HIV/AIDS, why did you shun me?” Paulsen then stated what may well be termed the philosophy of his ministry: “Serving our Lord is not about what we have said; it is about how we treat other people.”
Mark Finley, a former general vice president of the world church, represented the General Conference at the ceremony. He read a letter from current GC president Ted N. C. Wilson, thanking Paulsen for his outstanding leadership. “Your commitment has inspired the church in its mission to reveal the loving character of Christ to all peoples” the letter from Wilson said.
Bishop Kvarme, who was one of the people behind Paulsen’s nomination for the honor, came to know the Adventist leader during the bilateral dialogue between the Lutheran World Foundation and the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which took place between 1994 and 1998, where both Kvarme and Paulsen were part of their respective delegations.
“These consultations brought us together and formed our friendship,” said Kvarme, who noted Paulsen had been a catalyst in developing educational institutions in West Africa. Paulsen’s contribution in developing Adventist-owned Babcock University in Nigeria to become a well-respected university not only in Nigeria but the whole region is well known, he added. The bishop also mentioned Paulsen’s initiative in establishing the church’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic through the foundation of the Adventist AIDS International Ministry with an office in South Africa as well as the cooperation with the World Health Organization in an effort to reach the UN Millennium Development Goals.
“You have performed your leadership as a committed Adventist, a devoted evangelical Christian, and a distinguished international citizen of Norway,” said Kvarme. —Tor Tjeransen, Norwegian Union Conference
Kenya’s President Opens New Adventist University Library
The Seventh-day Adventist Church was praised May 28 for its leading role in promoting quality education to all in Kenya and the entire African continent. Kenya’s president Mwai Kibaki made the declaration at the opening of the Adventist University of Africa’s (AUA) Judith Thomas Library on the school’s campus in the Nairobi suburb of Ongata Rongai.
Kenya’s president Mwai Kibaki addresses the gathering at the launch of the Adventist University of Africa Judith Thomas Library. Looking on is Ted N. C. Wilson (right), president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.“I commend the Adventist University of Africa for championing one of the flagships of the social pillar by facilitating and promoting provision of education,” Kibaki said.
Ted N. C. Wilson, General Conference president, hosted the Kenyan head of state at the Advent Hill compound that is home to AUA and the East-Central Africa Division, underscored the Adventist Church’s commitment to equipping the university to enable it advance high-quality education as espoused by the universal Adventist beliefs in the context of education.
“The Seventh-day Adventist Church believes and remains committed to offering an education that is socially, morally, and spiritually enriching. The opening of this magnificent library is an attestation to that focus,” emphasized Wilson.
The colorful event was also attended by local administrators, politicians, and cabinet ministers that included Sam Ongeri, a Seventh-day Adventist Church elder; higher education minister Margaret Kamar, and member of Parliament George Saitoti, who is also minister for internal security. (Tragically, Mr. Saitoti sustained fatal injuries in a helicopter accident a few days after the event.)
The foundation stone for the Judith Thomas Library, a three-story building, was laid in 2005 by Kenya’s then-vice president Moody Awori with the initial US$1 million for the construction being a donation from Thomas, an American philanthropist. A further $1 million was mobilized through a special book project initiated by the late James Cress, then-secretary of the church’s Ministerial Association, with the General Conference providing the rest of the funding to complete the US$6 million facility.
The library will be home to an E. G. White Research Center that will house a special collection of books related to Adventist Church heritage; an African Heritage Center with relevant literature, art, and cultural artifacts as well as other related materials to aid research about Africa.
“The [library] subscribes to a number of online databases that provide full-text access to thousands of journals and books with a view to enhancing student research,” added vice chancellor Brempong Owusu-Antwi.
The library is furnished with fiber optic Internet connectivity, enabling wireless Internet access in all areas within the university campus to provide access to information and resources. —Milton Nyakundi, Adventist Media Center, reporting from Ongata Rongi, Nairobi, Kenya
In Israel, Adventist Scholars Meet to Plan New Bible Commentary Series
More than 60 Seventh-day Adventist biblical scholars came together in the lands of the Bible to integrate thought and strategy as they planned a new reference series, to be known as the Seventh-day Adventist International Bible Commentary (SDAIBC).
SCHOLAR’S PANEL: Panel members on the first day of conference planning the new Seventh-day Advent- ist International Bible Commentary, meeting in Israel’s Galilee region. From left: Ranko Stefanovic, Gerald Klingbeil, Roy Gane, Jacques Doukhan.Senior project editor Jacques Doukhan, professor of Hebrew and Old Testament exegesis at theSeventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary in Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States, identified three conference goals. The event was held at Kibbutz Maagan, on the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee, from June 6 to 11.
“We are here,” Doukhan said, “to enjoy the land where Jesus walked as we taste again of the land of promise. We are also here to think, to reflect, and to clarify our responses to the hermeneutical and methodological concerns related to our project. Most important of all, we are here, not just to meet with each other, but to reconnect with the Lord, who is and will be the fulfillment of our best dreams.”
Basing his devotional remarks on Ecclesiastes 7:8, Doukhan said notwithstanding the compelling importance of linguistics and exegesis, or prayer and the Holy Spirit, no student should disregard the compelling importance of time spent in God’s Word to a proper exposition of the text.
Davidson, who is the seminary’s J. N. Andrews professor of Old Testament interpretation, urged all scholars to respect their own finitude and the unassailable authority of Scripture, bearing in mind the words of Isaiah as they work on their commentaries: “But on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isa. 66:2). —Lael O. Caesar, Adventist World associate editor, reporting from Israel, with AW staff