Stories from Jamaica, the United Kingdom, Washington DC, Papua New Guinea, Southern Adventist University and the Island of Dominica

The keynote speaker at the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast in Jamaica last week was Pastor Glen Samuels, a conference president for the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. With Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, Opposition Leader Andrew Holness and Sir Patrick Allen, the governor general who also is an Adventist clergyman, sitting near him, Samuels challenged the assembled leaders from politics, business and nonprofit institutions. He “tackled a range of social issues,” reported the Jamaica Observer newspaper, including violence, corruption, poverty, the need to strengthen families and challenged the politicians to “restore dignity, respect and civility to Parliament.”

More British programming will be produced for Hope Channel UK this year, the Adventist denomination’s British Union Conference announced this week. The new programs will speak more directly to local needs. A warehouse near the South England Conference office will be purchased and turned into a production center. A new show produced by women for women will address issues in families, communities and the church. A weekly news magazine show is being produced, as well as The Sabbath Sofa talk show and The Hot Topic in which a conference president will dialog with young people about “issues not normally discussed in church.” Hope Channel UK is available on the Internet, on platforms such as ROKU and Samsung Smart TVs and will soon be available on Apple TV and Amazon Fire. It can also be seen on Apple and Android apps.

Adventist Community Services of Greater Washington has been given a wellness score of 84 by the Capital Area Food Bank because of the good nutrition it follows in selected grocery items to distribute to low-income families. Because of the volume of other food items that it gets from sources outside the food bank, the staff estimates that its score is actually higher. The food bank only evaluates the food items that it supplies to charities such as ACS.

A graduating class of 97 teachers were awarded college degrees in primary education at Pacific Adventist University in Papua New Guinea after completing a two-year program via the Internet to upgrade their education from a diploma. Included were teachers from both public schools and Adventist schools throughout the country. The speaker for the event was Suzanne Edgecombe from Australian High Commission for Development. Sonoma Adventist College is a partner in the program.

Southern Adventist University (SAU) was ranked number five among the ten best Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs in entrepreneurship in the United States by Best Master’s Degrees. The Web publication gathers data from accrediting and evaluation sources. The editors wrote that SAU “offers an affordable online entrepreneurship MBA degree program that is fully accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.”

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) plans to hand over the first eight homes that it is building in Colihaul and Coulibistrie on the island of Dominica within five months. ADRA will build at least 25 homes to replace those destroyed in Tropical Storm Erika. “We are providing three bedroom and two bedroom houses,” Priscilla Prevost, the project coordinator, told government officials who visited last week, according to a Government Information Service report from the Commonwealth of Dominica. “This project is a massive undertaking,” said Pastor Felix Jack, president of the Adventist Ministerial Association on the island. Much of the funding is from the annual “Ingathering” campaign conducted by the denomination and volunteers from many countries are coming into help with construction, both Adventists and those from other Christian groups.