News reports from Fiji, Australia, Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Southern Adventist University and Andrews University

From APD (the official news agency for the Adventist denomination in parts of Europe) – The Fiji branch of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, ADRA Fiji, has entered into a partnership with the European Union to contribute to the fight against drought crises in the island state of Fiji in the South Pacific. On 19 and 20 March, representatives of the European Union, together with staff from ADRA Fiji discussed drought resistance projects. The visit also included the transfer of agricultural equipment, an irrigation system and water tanks to communities in Macuata and the western part of Viti Levu, the main island of Fiji. The initiative was designed to combat the effects of drought on rural communities in Fiji.

Family, friends, and former colleagues and students of Dr. Desmond Ford gathered on Sabbath afternoon (March 30) to reflect on his life and the contribution he made to, and while at, Avondale College.

About 500 people attended the service in the Griffith Duncan Theatre at the University of Newcastle. Attendees came from around Australia and abroad. Many had been students of Dr. Ford, or had worked alongside him, when he was an Avondale lecturer in the ‘60s and ‘70s. The service was a time for friends and family to reflect, to share anecdotes and to pay tribute to a man who, for many, had a lifelong impact. The service did not focus on the theological issues that later enveloped his career.

Dr. Ford was remembered as an energetic lecturer with an outstanding memory and an infectious laugh, who treated everybody with dignity and respect. He was a prolific writer who authored more than 30 books. He was also a model for good health: he ran eight kilometres every day—often joined by some of his students—and was careful about his food choices.

Dr. Ford died on March 11, aged 90. He is survived by his wife, Gillian, and three adult children and their families.

Avondale College offered a memorial service but at the last minute, about two days before, the South Pacific Division overruled and banned Ford’s being remembered on Adventist property even in death.

From ADRA: By April 2, over $220,000 of a total goal of $500,000 had been raised by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency to fund the work of ADRA emergency response teams helping victims of Cyclone Idai. The cyclone has left a path of death and destruction through the countries of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. The power of the wind and the rains ripped off roofs, tore houses apart, and swept people away into the floodwaters. The lives of at least 1.5 million people have been affected. It is being called the worst natural disaster that Mozambique has ever faced. Cities such as Beira with a population of 400,000 people are reporting devastation of up to 90% of the entire city. The extent of the damage from Cyclone Idai is enormous. People are in need of immediate assistance.

ADRA emergency response teams have been deployed and are providing life-saving food, water, and other essential supplies. The needs are great. The poor in the region have been the most affected. The floods have destroyed their homes, their livestock, and the food they were growing in their fields.

Donations to help the relief effort can be made to the ADRA Facebook Fundraiser at:

You can also donate on ADRA’s website at

Southern Adventist University congratulated alumnus Dr. Alexandria Cooke (BS Biochem 2009) on receiving an award for demonstrating outstanding character during her medical residency at University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga. The Alper Award recognizes humanistic qualities of integrity, compassion and community service in a graduating resident of the college

Two Andrews University students were part of the Michigan Colleges Alliance (MCA) team which won the 2019 Stryker Engineering Challenge on Friday, March 22. Jeremy Barrett and Devin Garcia from Andrews University, Denise Roorda from Calvin College and Joshua Cormier from University of Detroit Mercy competed against teams from University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Western Michigan University, University of Notre Dame and Purdue University. The University Recruiting department at Stryker Medical in Kalamazoo held the 9th annual Stryker Engineering Challenge from March 21–22, 2019.

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