Stories from Kenya, Brazil, Andrews University, Cayman Islands, California, Papua New Guinea, India and Southern Adventist University

An Adventist who serves as an appeals court judge in Kenya is among the candidates being considered for chief justice of the supreme court in that country. Justice David Maraga was interviewed Wednesday (August 31) by the Judicial Service Commission, reported The Star. He told the commission that as a Sabbath-keeper he would not work on Saturday, but he would make arrangements with his colleagues to work extra hours the rest of the week if needed. He was also asked about a child custody case, the emerging issue of assisted suicide, and same-sex marriage and related topics. He was quoted as saying, “Gays and lesbians have chosen a way of life which is condemned by many religions. Marriage is between a man and a woman.” But he “seemed sympathetic to intersex people, saying they never chose to be born the way they are and need to be protected,” the newspaper reported.

In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, lastA week in the aftermath of the Olympics, some 800 Adventist young adults carried out demonstrations designed to raise awareness about child sexual abuse, domestic violence, alcoholism and addictions. The Circuit of Champions was part of the Adventist denomination’s Breaking the Silence project. Teams approached people on the streets and distributed printed materials offering more information. (Adventist News Network)

Andrews University (AU) and Bethel College were both listed among the 100 worst campuses in the United States for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, reported WSBT television Channel 22, the CBS News affiliate in South Bend, Indiana, yesterday. AU is the flagship Adventist university located in Berrien Springs, Michigan, about 25 miles north of South Bend, and Bethel is an Evangelical Christian college located in Mishawaka, Indiana, near the state line with Michigan. The list was released by Campus Pride, a national LGBT organization. Bethel came in for greater condemnation because it obtained a religious exemption to the law against gender discrimination on campus. AU administrators “want to have conversations with us,” a student from the unofficial LGBT group on campus told a TV journalist. “They want to have dialogue with us. They want to be supportive and compassionate, and that’s why I have hope.” AU was put on the “shame list” because it would not let the group become recognized as a campus club and bans same-sex relationships.

On Sunday (August 29), Adventist Community Services distributed school supplies to more than 250 families in the Cayman Islands. The project began when Angela Hall on the staff of the denomination’s Cayman Islands Conference began looking for resources to help a few children from Adventist families who faced difficulties in returning for the new school year; children of single parents and families suffering from unemployment. As Hall talked with other Adventist leaders, the group decided it was best to open up the project to all families in the country and not restrict it to Adventists. The event became a family festival with bouncing castles and slides for the children to enjoy and free massages and information for mothers educating them to send healthy snacks with their children for school lunches.

A vending machine in downtown Redlands, California, dispenses soft drinks and gift items free of charge from 6 to 9 pm on Market Night as a creative way for the Redlands Adventist Church to share the gospel, according to the Redlands Daily Facts, The first weekly Market Night saw 726 free items taken from the machine. A reporter for the newspaper quoted the surprise of local people that something free with no strings attached was offered among the streets lined with vendors tables selling all kinds of things. Pastor Todd Rosspencer said they had struggled with how to convey the Christian message of God’s grace. “People are over-solicited and wary there’s a catch,” the newspaper quoted him. “But with God, free is free. He truly paid the bill. It’s simply our choice to accept the gift.”

Pastor Kepsie Elodo is the new leader of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination in Papua New Guinea. This was announced Tuesday (August 31) and published by Papua New Guinea Today, He has been president of the denomination’s Bougainville Mission for the past three years where he focused on reconciliation “among a population still carrying the scars of a bitter civil war,” the news service stated. Elodo has specialized in helping communities, congregations and families find reconciliation, peace among differences. He was born in Efogi and grew up along the Kokoda Track in the Pacific nation, and studied for the ministry at Sonoma College and Pacific Adventist University. He has served as a district pastor and as an administrator in five the local conferences in the PNG union conference. He replaces Pastor Geoffrey Pomaleu who died in July.

METAS Adventist Hospital in Surat, India, is the first Adventist health ministry in the country to achieve accreditation by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH), announced Srikakolli Eliah, hospital president, in an email Tuesday. To achieve accreditation the hospital was evaluated on more than 600 objective elements by NABH, which is part of the Quality Council of India. (Thanks to Gnageshwarrao and SUD News.)

Southeast Bank provides a scholarship worth $28,000 over four years to one freshman each year at Southern Adventist University, The Chattanoogan reported yesterday. Last week the four students currently receiving the scholarship had lunch with executives from the local branch of the bank and university administrators to celebrate the partnership. The students gets $7,000 each year so long as they maintain a Grade Point Average of at least 3,0 or a B. “It means I’ll be graduating this coming May without any loan debt,” said senior Caitlyn Bartlett when she was asked what the scholarship meant to her. The scholarship is restricted by the bank to students from Tennessee.