News reports from Austria; Andrews University; the Galápagos Islands; Portland, Oregon; Samoa; Escondido Adventist Academy; and Papua New Guinea

Pastor Reinhard Schwab (age 40) was elected president of the Austrian Union of Churches, the Adventist union conference encompassing Austria, at its constituency meeting on May 13. Schwab has been the youth director. Stefan Guiliani (age 27), a church member with an MBA who is currently working for a bank, was voted CFO. Pastor Oliver Berger was re-elected as executive secretary. There are 4,200 Seventh-day Adventist members in Austria, and 64 congregations.

Andrews University sophomore mathematics major Mykhaylo M. Malakhov, was awarded the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, the most prestigious national award for undergraduates heading into careers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering. Malakhov is a J.N. Andrews Honors Scholar. According to a news story on the Andrews University website, Barry Goldwater Scholarship recipients get $7,500 per year until they graduate to help cover tuition, fees, books and room and board expenses. In 2018, 211 scholarships were given to undergraduates across the country while 1,280 students were nominated.

A science research center focused on issues of origins and biodiversity will be built on the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean about 1,000 kilometers off the coast of Ecuador, according to a news release from the Adventist denomination’s General Conference (GC). The islands were declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations because of the research done there by Charles Darwin in the 19th century which provided the basis for evolutionary theory. Construction will begin in August. The project is being funded by the GC, the denomination’s South American Division and Ecuador Union Conference.

On Sabbath afternoon, May 12, when the United States Postal Service workers conducted their annual volunteer collection of donated food items to feed the hungry, Adventist volunteers assisted the postal carriers at the Midway Post Office in Portland, Oregon. A total of 4,390 pounds of donated grocery items came in and were given to the emergency food pantry operated by Portland Adventist Community Services (PACS). This is twice as much as the amount of food collected last year, reports the PACS volunteers.

The Samoa Observer reported that Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Samoa, Habitat for Humanity from New Zealand and Samoa Housing Corporation (S.H.C.) celebrated the completion of a three-year home-building project in Samoa on May 16. The housing shelters were built for Samoans that had requested housing assistance. ADRA Samoa Director, Su’a Julia Wallwork, said the goal was to build 265 homes, but thanks to help from Habitat for Humanity the team had built 286 shelters.

According to NBC 7 San Diego, several felony charges of sexual misconduct with a minor have been filed against Angelica Eclar, a former music teacher at Escondido Adventist Academy. The 46-year-old faces six misconduct charges relating to separate events that allegedly occurred with a student from the school between December 1, 2017 and January 22, 2018 on off-campus locations while she was a teacher at the school. The school reported the alleged events to the San Diego Sheriff’s Department and has placed Eclar on leave.

Lanelle Tanangada, a teacher who studied at Pacific Adventist University in Papua New Guinea has become a Member of Parliament for the Gizo Kolombangara Constituency in the country. Papua New Guinea Today reported that Tanangada’s husband, Jimson Tanangada, recently lost the same seat.

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