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Please Remember Africa University in Your Will Issue: 01 Vol: 19

January - February 2014

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Africa University Development Office | P O Box 340007 | Nashville, TN 37203 Tel. (615) 340-7438 | Fax. (615) 340-7290 | Email:

S.C. Group Visits Campus, Returns Eager to Share Inspired by their experiences during a visit to Africa University, South Carolina United Methodists are fired up about increasing their conference’s support for the institution. “This journey to Africa University was a wonderful opportunity for our laity and clergy to experience the excitement of international mission and ministry that is so uniquely connected to South Carolina Methodism,” said Bishop Holston. “With our Conference’s support of giving 100% to the Africa University Fund (AUF) apportionment, we join with others across our Connection by investing in the hopes and dreams of this visionary institution.” The conference treasurer, Mr. Tony Prestipino, gave much of the credit for S.C. reaching a 100% investment in the AUF to Rev. John Culp, the pastor of Virginia Wingard Memorial UMC. Culp encouraged additional support for the AUF and initiated the plan to have a South Carolina group visit the university this year.

A -member group, which was led by Bishop Jonathan Holston, visited Africa University from January with the goal of experiencing the institution’s ministry and impact first-hand.

Mrs. Betsy Alexander, the wife of Rev. Dr. Mike Alexander, met Pierrette Kibanza from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Kibanza is being sponsored by Belin UMC, in Murrell’s Inlet, SC.

“We returned to South Carolina with new commitments and a story to tell of a great university,” said Culp. Africa University’s ties with South Carolina are many and date back to the institution’s inception. The university received its first major cash gift from a South Carolina couple, Dr. Jonas Kennedy and the late Mrs. Odette Kennedy of Bennettsville, SC.

The Kennedys funded the construction of a residence hall for female students. Gifts from individuals and congregations across South Carolina have endowed four student scholarships and funded the construction of the Bishop J. Lawrence McCleskey Faculty of Theology building, which opened in 2002.



Graduates Take Home Lessons from Global Mission In March, the first four Africa University graduates to serve as young adult missionaries with the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) are transitioning to assignments in their home countries. The four—Albert Otshudi Longe, Faida Rachel Bahati and Jacques Kazemb Kambol from the Democratic Republic of Congo; and Wuo Christian Zigbuo from Liberia—were commissioned in August 2012. They have completed 18-month mission assignments in Brazil, the Philippines, Switzerland and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These young leaders describe their international mission experiences as profoundly valuable and transforming. “I surely have some best practices and lessons that I hope to bring home,” said Albert Longe, who was assigned to a community development organization in the Philippines. “Being part of the Shade and Fresh Water project has shaped my understanding of the importance of accompanying

Jacques Kambol and Albert Longe, mission interns.

children, especially those who are at risk, through their childhood journey by helping them to develop good character,” said Jacques Kambol, who served in Brazil. As he prepares to return home, Longe says he is grateful to AU for shaping his view of service “I have taken with me a life of service and courage,” said Longe. “A life that I saw from all the staff on campus when they went beyond the ordinary to ensure that I had something to eat, a place to sleep, to be safe and to be successful, not just academically but professionally. That AU experience has become my reference point.”

AU Graduate Students Contribute to New Book A new book by Dr. Ed Dodge, a visiting professor to Africa University, features the stories of four MPH students from the Faculty of Health Sciences. The students include a physician, nurse and health promotion officer. They share both personal and professional perspectives on lifestyle and health in Africa. Dr. Dodge says he hopes that the stories in Be Healthy: Simple Guidelines for Lifelong Wellbeing, will persuade readers of the power of lifestyle to preserve and restore good health. The book is available in Kindle and print editions. For more information, visit: dp/B00HLTQ56Q.

The Secret to a Long, Healthy Life: The Centenarians Among Us You have heard it said that “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” This saying is attributed to the Apostle Paul as he instructed the church at Ephesus about the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. (Acts 20:35). Recent medical research confirms that charitable giving produces emotional and physiological changes in the body that positively impact our health, including longer life spans. Africa University is blessed to have many centenarians among its supporters. Miss Selma “Sally” B. Mittelstadt of Franklin, IN is one of them. Miss Mittelstadt was born and reared on a farm in Minnesota to Christian parents for whom church attendance was a neces-

Miss Selma “Sally” B. Mittelstadt celebrated her th birthday on December th with numerous family members and friends.

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sity. She committed her life to Christ at an early age and has never wavered from that commitment. Although she was unable to attend college after she graduated valedictorian of

her high school class in 1931, she has made it possible for young African men and women to attain their tertiary educational goals by establishing a trust that will eventually endow a scholarship at Africa University. For more information about the planned giving program, please call or write our Director of Planned Giving, Elaine Jenkins, Africa University Development Office, P. O. Box 340007, Nashville, TN, 37203-0007, 615/340-7428 (telephone), 615/340-7290 (fax), (email address). Or visit the planned giving website at to discover the many ways to support Africa university with a planned gift.

Celebrating African leadership shaped by Methodist schools




Though still filled with emotion at the passing of Nelson Mandela, Methodist leaders say South Africans are honoring his sacrifices and living the values exemplified

AU alumni from three countries and MCSA leaders attended the informal dinner to fellowship with SC United Methodists. Among them were educators, health and business professionals who are serving communities in and around Johannesburg..

“Dreams are larger than people can actually fathom,” noted Bishop Holston in his closing remarks. “We persevere in dreaming because we have a Lord and Savior who empowers us to be people of faith and of the dream.”

General Board of Higher Education and Ministry The United Methodist Church P O Box 340007 Nashville, Tennessee 37203-0007

Nelson Mandela and his wife, Mrs. Graca Machel, were honored guests at the meeting of the Council of Bishops in Maputo, Mozambique. Mrs. Machel is an advisor to Africa University’s Institute of Peace, Leadership and Governance and her foundation has provided scholarship funds for AU students. She was the guest of honor at AU’s th anniversay celebration in .

by leaders shaped by Methodist and other mission schools. “They expressed selflessness in an amazing way,” said Bishop Zipho Siwa, presiding bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA). “We are trying to emulate that spirit of selflessness. Those values are with us and we are living them.” Bishop Siwa and other MCSA leaders shared their insights at a January 15th dinner with AU graduates, Bishop Jonathan Holston, and members of the South Carolina Conference in Johannesburg. Bishop Peter Witbooi, the episcopal leader of the Johannesburg Area who personally ministered to Nelson Mandela said: “He showed us that nothing is impossible. That is what he left us, much like Dr. Martin Luther King did. Dreamers die but dreams live on. We will live Mandela’s dream.”

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Acacia: January-February 2014  
Acacia: January-February 2014