News Briefs April 25, 2015
Adventist Today regularly provides a summary of stories that we have decided do not require in-depth reporting, but our readers may want to be aware of.
A team from La Sierra University won a national award for business students in St. Louis (Missouri) April 13-16 during the United States National Exposition of Enactus, an organization that was long named Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE). The team from the Adventist university came in second with a team from Brigham Young University Hawaii campus taking first place and a team from John Brown University taking third place. The win came from two projects that the La Sierra team implemented: Mobile Fresh, a refurbished bus that serves as a mobile grocery store in low-income neighborhoods in Riverside (California) with more than 1,000 customers who pay 30 percent less for fresh produce than what is available in the supermarkets. A cow bank which loans cows to poor women in four villages in India and has developed contracts with milk wholesalers to purchase the milk the women bring in, enabling the women to create small businesses that increase the incomes of their families.
A free medical clinic was opened April 7 by the Central Adventist Church in Choma, Zambia, offering check-ups and treatment to local residents in collaboration with the national government’s efforts to take quality health services to the people. The Adventist volunteer health professionals also invited residents to a health promotion program on the theme “Healthy in Christ.”
The top education official for Fiji spoke at Vatuvonu Adventist School when two newly-constructed classrooms were opened April 2. Dr. Mahendra Reddy, cabinet minister of education, stated that the government-funded expansion of the church school would make quality education available to more children in the Buca Bay area of the Pacific island nation. He announced that the government program will refurbish other facilities to make education more available in rural areas.
The only tomotherapy machine in Sydney, Australia, was installed recently at the Radiation Oncology Institute at Sydney Adventist Hospital. The $4.2 million machine is one of just two in Australia, according to the Daily Telegraph. It offers significant improvements over conventional radiation treatment “because of its ability to precisely target and attack cancer cells [with] less damage to surrounding, healthy tissue and patients report fewer and less severe side effects.”
The value of professional education for clergy was affirmed by Pastor Barry Oliver, president of the Adventist denomination in the South Pacific, during the dedication ceremony for the new Avondale Seminary recently. “There have been too many people employed in ministry who have not had proper theological education,” he stated. “I don’t hide my concern. If ever there was a time we needed a well-trained, educated, practical, committed ministry, that time is now.”
The first Adventist woman to get a doctorate in theology in South Korea graduated earlier this year from the school of theology at Sahamyook University. Dr. Miriam Sunmee Yun-Welch had to convince the university to change its policy which prohibited women from study to become educated as a minister. “It is my prayer that … I will help open the door for more female leaders in the Adventist work in South Korea and Asia,” she told the Adventist Review.
The Adventist university in Jamaica has contracted with the Caribbean nation’s environmental agency to conduct research and public information services. Northern Caribbean University is one of three institutions the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) has signed agreements with to conduct research, do evaluations and assessments, dissemination public information and publications, provide peer review for reports, technical assistance and training. This partnership “is in line with the … Adventist faith which guides the university,” pointed out Dr. Trevor Gardner, the school’s president, as quoted in the Jamaica Observer.
Back to school aid for Ebola survivors was launched by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Liberia last month. The goal is to help children who lost their parents to the Ebola Virus as well as poor parents who cannot afford to send their children to school, reported The New Dawn newspaper in Monrovia. Children are being given notebooks, pens, pencils, book bags, calculators and geometry sets.
Hinsdale Adventist Academy is one of the top 100 schools in Illinois in a report released by Niche.com which ranks 3,880 private schools in America. The schools is located in the suburbs west of Chicago in the same region as several hospitals operated by the denomination, including Hinsdale Hospital. The evaluation is based 60 percent on academics, 30 percent on campus culture and diversity, and ten percent on survey results stated a news release.
A new charity reporting law in New Zealand may create problems for Sanitarium Foods, a major manufacturer of breakfast cereal and other food items owned by the Adventist denomination, according to an editorial in The Marlborough Express. The newspaper complained that the company’s status as a nonprofit provides “the edge it affords Sanitarium over its supermarket rivals” and asked if it is among the organizations that “no longer meet a charitable purpose or fail to comply with the obligations placed on charities,” but admitted that this issue “does not appear to be addressed by the latest changes” in the law announced by Jo Goodhew, the cabinet minister for the community and voluntary sector.
Research related to the environment at Pacific Adventist University is being expanded under contracts with the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government, reports PNG Today. It is “developing its capacity [to] excel in research, science and technology,” the newspaper stated. One project is taking measurements of the radiation levels in coastal villages to monitor the possible radiation flow into the Pacific Ocean from the 2011 explosion at the Fukushima Dalichi nuclear power plant in Japan. Other projects focus on bio fuel and HIV-AIDS. Research is “aligned with Christian principles” that direct the university. Research is “an absolute and critical part of its operation,” stated Dr. Ben Thomas, the university’s vice chancellor during a campus visit by Malak Tabar, cabinet minister for higher education, research, science and technology.
Barak Obama, president of the United States, has named Dr. R. Rennae Elliott, chair of the communication department at Oakwood University a White House Champion of Change. In addition to her regular teaching duties on the campus in Huntsville, Alabama, Elliott has served as coach for the last 17 years of the university’s team in the Honda Campus All Star Challenge. The team has won two championships and placed in the top four on five occasions. In 2014, Honda named her Coach of the Year.
Hope Channel inaugurated a television station in Malawi in February with the nation’s cabinet minister for information and culture, Kondwani Nankhumwa as the main speaker for the event in Blantyre. Nankhumwa congratulated the Adventist broadcasting operation on using digital equipment long before the worldwide deadline on June 17 this year.
A student was found dead in her bed in a dormitory room at Southern Adventist University in late March, according to the Sentinel & Enterprise newspaper in her home town in Lancaster, Massachusetts. Kimberly Andreu, age 21, had a congenital heart condition.
Mount Vernon Academy will cease operations at the end of the school year because less than $20,000 had come in toward $3 million that had to be raised by March 10 in order to keep the school going. It has been in operation longer than any other boarding secondary school operated by the Adventist denomination. It is located in Ohio and suffered from the same issues that have caused the closure of a number of other Adventist boarding schools. Surveys have shown that Adventist parents in the United States are no longer willing to send young teens to living in dormitories.
Pastor Walter Pearson is alive and well. “Rumors of [his] death have been greatly exaggerated,” said a statement from the Adventist denomination’s North American Division. He is the retired director of the Breath of Life television ministry.