Stories from Kenya, Ohio, Lebanon, Maryland, Brazil, California, Greece, Thailand, India, La Sierra University and Pacific Union College …..      

Adventist camp meetings are being scheduled earlier than past years in Kenya due to concerns related to violence which has occurred in past national elections and the upcoming general election in that country. In 2007-2008 when there was a notable outbreak of violence, Adventist members lost their lives in some places, so preventive measures are indicated. (Report from Adventist Today correspondent in Africa.)

Thousands of bikers stopped by the booth at the Easyrider 2017 Bike Show in Columbus, Ohio, operated by the Ohio Chapter of the Adventist Motorcycle Ministry and the Newark Adventist Church. The event is nationally known as “the most anticipated custom motorcycle who circuit of its kind,” Pastor Tom Hughes told Adventist Today. He is president of the motorcycle ministry and pastor of the church. About 300 copies of a special edition of Steps to Christ were given away during the two days. A biker camp meeting is planned July 7-9 in Heath, Ohio, which is open to anyone interested. For more information email tomhughes@columbus.rr.com.

Student volunteers helped to create contextualized story books for Syrian refugee childdren at Middle East University (MEU), the Adventist institution in Beirut, Lebanon. Sara Saunders, a faculty member at MEU, developed the idea for the project in conversation with Elaine Ibrahim, who coordinates schools operated for refugees in Lebanon by the Christian humanitarian organization World Vision. The children live under a unique set of conditions and have lived through traumatizing events and story books could be designed to help them deal with their experiences and situation. Saunders organized a workshop on campus that brought together student volunteers, World Vision workers and artists. It resulted in the creation of five books which were initially tested in the Learning Center operated by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Lebanon. (From Adventist News Network)

Nearly $40,000 was raised in 2016 to provide scholarships for women enrolling as ministerial students at Adventist colleges and universities around the world by Time for Equality in Adventist Ministry (TEAM). “Firsts” in 2016 included the first women to receive scholarships in Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. During the Spring Meeting of the denomination’s General Conference governing body in April, TEAM board members met with leaders of the GC West Africa Division and East Central African Division to inform them about the availability of scholarships. Dr. Delbert Baker, vice chancellor of the Adventist University of Africa, played a key role in these meetings. The goal for 2017 is to raise $50,000 for scholarships. Contributions can be made at www.timeforequality.net or PO Box 7816, Langley Park, Maryland 20787.

Adventist Frontier Missions (AFM), the independent ministry that sponsors missionaries to plant the church in unreached areas around the world, has helped create a sister agency in Brazil. The first six missionaries from Brazil were launched to five projects in February; Turkey, Benin, Cambodia, Guinea and the Philippines. The goal of the organization is to send 15 more missionaries from Brazil in 2018 and 30 more in 2019.

The new Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley hospital in California will likely not open until April of 2018, according to a report in the Tehachapi News. The community has been working to build an up-dated hospital and related health services for more than two decades, the newspaper stated. A ballot by the registered voters in the district asked the Adventist health organization on the west coast of the United States to take over the project. David Eastman, the Adventist interim president of the new hospital, has a long list of certifications, inspections and changes that need to be completed before the new facility is ready for occupancy.

A modern refugee camp made up of shipping container houses was opened in Kato Milia, Greece, at the end of last month by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA). Funding was negotiated by ADRA Germany and representatives of the United Nations, the Greek government, the German embassy, the Greek Orthodox Church and senior military officers were present for the opening ceremonies. “The average 25-square-foot container is heated, each equipped with its own power supply, and includes a shower, toilet, kitchenette, living are and separate bedroom,” reports APD, the Adventist news service in Europe. The camp initially has room for about 500 people, mostly refugees from the violence in Syria.

The highest academic title in Thailand was bestowed by the royal palace on Dr. Warren Shipton, a faculty member at Asia-Pacific International University, the Adventist institution in that country. “This is the first time the award has been given to both a foreigner and an academic from a private university in the 100-year history of tertiary education in Thailand,” reported the Australian Adventist Record. Shipton lives in Brisbane, Australia, and travels regularly to Thailand as well as teaching online. The award also noted his contribution to science and his ongoing research.

A Fulbright United States Scholar grant has been awarded for 2017-18 to Dr. Margaret Solomon, a faculty member in the school of education at La Sierra University, the Adventist institution in southern California. Solomon will use the grant to conduct an Educational Leadership Institute at three colleges in India, including Lowry Memorial College, an Adventist school. This is her second Fulbright grant. She was awarded her first in 2010 for a project to improve teacher preparation for schools that have many poor children and are located in slums. The Fulbright program was established in 1946 through legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. (Dennis D. Tidwell)

Dr. Robert Cushman is the new president of Pacific Union College, the Adventist institution in Northern California. He is academic vice president at Walla Walla University (WWU), the Adventist institution in Washington state. From 2008 to 2012, the was chairman of the biology department at WWU and professor of paleobiology. Prior to that he was chairman of the department of earth and biological sciences at Loma Linda University, the Adventist health sciences center in Southern California. He has 26 years experience in research, writing, teaching and academic administration.

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