News Briefs for September 16, 2016
Corrected: Stories from Ghana, Solomon Islands, Nigeria, California, La Sierra University, Jamaica and Australia
Ghana should make major investments in education and agriculture to build prosperity, Jonathan Duffey, president of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) International, told journalists when he arrived there Tuesday (September 13). He is in the African nation to review the many projects that ADRA has there focused on hunger, health, clean water, sanitation, economic development, environmental conservation, education and emergency response. ADRA has projects in all 10 regions of the country, stated Dr. William Y. K. Brown, the director of ADRA Ghana. Around the world ADRA serves more than 20 million people in 139 nations. The press conference was reported by the Ghana News service.
An Adventist in the Solomon Islands is unhappy because one bus line in the public transit system is popularly known as “SDA.” Aaron Olofia told the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation that for the bus conductors to use the abbreviated name of his religion was “inconsiderate [and] has taken away the religious value of his faith.” He urged them to use a local geographic name instead. The denomination’s communication department years ago urged writers and editors to not use the three-letter abbreviation in any situation because it is so easily confused with other religions that use similar two- and three-letter abbreviations. It is unclear why the bus stand at the entrance to the Vura junction in East Honiara, Solomon Islands, has come to referred to as “SDA.”
Pastor Sylvanus Ogbu, serving a district of Adventist congregations in the Emohua Local Government Area in the Rivers State of Nigeria, was taken by armed men at 2 am on Sunday (September 11), according to the Daily Post and Naij.com online news service. The latest report indicates that the abductors have yet to make contact with his family, local church leaders or denominational officials. It is unclear what is going on with this event.
A 9/11 Remembrance Chapel was held last Friday (September 9) at Redlands Adventist Academy in Southern California. The children are too young to remember what happened on September 11, 2001, but they understood that the event was about heroes when firefighters, police officers and paramedics from the City of Redlands and the City of Riverside came on campus and met face-to-face with each child. “This is one of the most exciting things that we do all year long because we know how hard they work and they are here to protect us,” said Linda Wooley, the school principal. “It is important for our children to learn that these people give their lives to keep our community safe,” said Keri Gatliang, who coordinated the event as president of the Home and School Association, reported the Redlands Daily Facts.
Saint Ann’s Bay High School, an Adventist school in Jamaica, had above average results for its graduate class despite a national decline in the 2016 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate exams, according to the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper this week. The students recorded 100 percent passes in seven subject areas. “I was confident they would have given their best,” the newspaper quoted Rachel Pyne, the school principal. “The national average has been lowered and yet our students were able to surpass the average.”
La Sierra University, the Adventist institution in Southern California, was among the top ten universities in the 15-state western region for best value in the U.S. News and World Report annual guide that came out Tuesday (September 13). It moved up seven from where it placed in the analysis last year. The best value rankings are based on academic quality and the net cost of enrollment. The universities considered must have a full range of undergraduate and master’s programs, but may have fewer doctoral programs. The Carnegie Foundation has placed La Sierra University among the top 119 institutions in the United States for involvement in community service and in 2013 it won the Presidential Award from the Corporation for National and Community Service, the highest award that a school can be given in this area.
Barbara Ward, the managing director of the San Foundation, was named first in a list of top fund raising professionals in Australia in the latest issue of professional journal Fundraising & Philanthropy, She leads the principal fund raising arm of Adventist HealthCare, the health ministry of the Adventist denomination’s South Pacific Division which owns and operates Sydney Adventist Hospital, Dalcross Adventist Hospital and San Day Surgery Center. “San” continues from the original name of “sanitarium” used for Adventist hospitals and retained to this day by Sanitarium Foods, the major manufacturing company owned by the Adventist denomination in Australia and New Zealand. Ward started working for the foundation five yeas ago, the profile in the journal reports, with the launch of a $20 million capital campaign. She negotiated the leadership of the Honorable John Howard, the former prime minister of the country, for that successful campaign and plans to start another capital campaign soon.