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Sister to Sister

“Love wisdom like a sister; make insight a beloved member of your family.” – Proverbs 7:4



Winter 2019

he African-American Clergy Women (AACW) of the South Carolina Annual Conference have reached beyond themselves to sponsor a one-year direct scholarship for a student at Africa University. “God is calling us to be in ministry with other sisters,” says Rev. Dr. Sheila Elliott Hodge, the clergywomen’s president. The effort began with a decision by the AACW’s 102 members to forego exchanging Christmas gifts among themselves and bring their resources together to help others in a connectional way. As a first step, the clergywomen provided prayers and gift cards to SisterCare, a local non-profit for domestic violence survivors and their children. Then they sought to expand the vision knowing, as Dr. Hodge notes, “the doing would stretch us.” After hosting the Africa University Choir in her Lake City, SC community during the choir’s Black History Tour in South Carolina in 2018,

Hodge reached out to the Africa University Development Office. “What is God saying to the clergywomen?” is the question AU consultant Rev. Regina H. Moore asked. “Equip and encourage a female student studying theology,” said Hodge. The clergywomen raised the $6,000 scholarship within eight months. They did it

Thank you for investing at 100 percent in the Africa University Fund in 2018. The Annual Conferences of The United Methodist Church with a 100 percent or more remittance to the AUF apportionment over the past two years are: North Central Jurisdiction Dakotas Detroit East Ohio Illinois Great Rivers Indiana Iowa Minnesota West Michigan West Ohio Wisconsin Jurisdiction Total Support

2018 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 99.37% 100% 108.99% 95.87%

2017 100% 105.32% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 105.24% 99.83%

Northeastern Jurisdiction Baltimore-Washington Greater New Jersey New England New York Peninsula-Delaware Susquehanna Upper New York West Virginia Western Pennsylvania Jurisdiction Total Support

2018 100% 100% 100% 104.01% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 98.53%

2017 100% 100% 100% 107.18% 100% 100% 102.04% 100% 100% 100.71%

South Central Jurisdiction Central Texas North Texas Oklahoma Indian Missionary Jurisdiction Total Support


2017 100% 100% 100% 88.42%

100% 85.42%

through the collection of annual dues, a special offering at a Good Friday “7-Last Words” worship service last April, and proceeds from ticket sales and souvenir booklet ads for their June 2018 annual conference luncheon commemorating the AACW’s 25 years of service. Southeastern Jurisdiction Florida Kentucky North Alabama North Carolina Red Bird Missionary South Carolina Tennessee Jurisdiction Total Support

2018 100% 100% 100% 108.76% 100% 110.35% 93.11%

2017 100% 100% 113.80% 100% 113.58% 100% 196.48% 98.15%

Western Jurisdiction Alaska United Methodist California Nevada California Pacific Desert Southwest Oregon Idaho Pacific Northwest Rocky Mountain Yellowstone Jurisdiction Total Support

2018 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

2017 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

Africa University Today — Winter 2019

AUF Well Supported in 2018


ocal churches continue to show their commitment to shared ministry and global connection in The United Methodist Church through intentional investment in the Africa University Fund (AUF) apportionment. In 2018, 32 annual conferences invested 100 percent or more of their askings to the AUF. Their generosity resulted in overall support of 93 percent for the AUF—the highest among the seven general church apportioned funds. Through the AUF, congregations help to sustain Africa University’s day-to-day operations, funding basic utilities, development activities, faculty salaries, and teaching and learning resources. “I am excited and grateful to the church for its support,” said Bishop Julius C. Trimble, chair of the development committee of the AU Board of Directors. “Thank you to the local churches and

annual conferences that support the AUF at 100 percent or higher and thank you to those that are striving to do so.” As Africa University’s chief advancement officer, James Salley notes that the churches’ faithful investment remains vital considering the ongoing macro-economic challenges in the Zimbabwe operating environment. Economic woes in Zimbabwe and elsewhere on the African continent factor into student and staff recruitment and retention as well as overall operating costs for Africa University. “The Zimbabwe economy is one of the most depressed in the world, but still we thrive,” said Salley. “We are thankful for the investment made to our ministry that produces phenomenal returns. Africa University has been prudent, accountable, and responsible to the church. God continues to do a new thing in blessing Africa University.”

Churches, AU Students Benefit from Interaction


nited Methodists in Zimbabwe are discovering the benefits of hosting students who travel from other countries to study at Africa University. As church members and students interact, hosts and visitors alike broaden their cultural understanding and sense of connection. Cesar Lodiha Akoka, a theology student from the Democratic Republic of Congo, praised the initiative. “Associating with the community,” he said, “is one of the best experiences I am having here in Zimbabwe.” Akoka served the Hilltop United Methodist Circuit for six weeks. Supervised by the Rev. Godfrey Gaga, Akoka said he learned about “people’s cultures, the way they live and interact (and) norms and values of the society.” There are more than 15 students and ten congregations currently involved in the program. Each assignment yields opportunities to touch and be transformed in community. Through the Ishe Anesu ministry at Hilltop UMC, the students

worked with underprivileged children. They helped with lessons and brought in fellow students from the health sciences department to provide health care. At the Old Mutare United Methodist Church, four students—two from Angola and one each from Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo—assisted with Christian education, counseling, home visitation, and preaching. They even donated $100 to a woman to aid her disabled grandchild. “These students come with their own expertise, which benefits the church,” said Rev. Onismo Makwasha, the senior pastor of Old Mutare UMC. The sharing of the students’ life stories spiritually nurtures both the church and community, and the students’ commitment and dedication to ministry have impressed the host congregations.

The university has a current total enrollment of 1,856 students engaged in undergraduate and graduate degree programs. This includes 359 students who are doing their studies on a parttime basis. Fifty-four percent of the students are female. This year, there are 24 African countries represented within the student body.

How You Can Help ocated at Old Mutare, Zimbabwe, Africa University is an accredited United Methodist-related educational institution in Africa, established by action of the General Conference. The university offers degree programs in three colleges: Health, Agriculture and Natural Sciences (CHANS); Business, Peace, Leadership and Governance (CBPLG); and Social Sciences, Theology, Humanities and Education (CSSTH&E). New academic programs include master’s and doctoral degree programs in migration, citizenship and refugee protection; intellectual property; public health; and entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity.


Africa University continues to be the evidence of faith, hope and belief in the visions of dreamers. Thank you for investing in changed lives and communities! Encourage your church to set a 100 percent apportionment remittance goal. Sending a portion of your goal each month makes it easier to reach full remittance by year’s end. Your church’s generosity ensures 100 percent support of Africa University’s operational budget for costs such as utilities, Continued next page.

How you can help... continued.

AU Alumni Lead and Inspire in Burundi


n the Burundi Conference of The United Methodist Church, the gifts and energies of Africa University graduates are helping to unify, revitalize, and grow congregations. When Africa University opened its doors in 1992, Zephirin Ndikumana left his native Burundi to study agriculture there. By the time he graduated in 1994, Burundi was engulfed in civil unrest. Africa University offered refuge in Zimbabwe. Zephirin, who holds a master’s degree in agriculture from AU, served as a science laboratory technician (1995-2010). “Africa University,” Zephirin said, “offered me a learning opportunity and good preparation to handle church and life challenges.” Zephirin met and married Vivian Johnson, a Liberian who holds a master’s degree in theological studies from AU. While the couple was in Zimbabwe, The United Methodist Church in Burundi experienced a leadership crisis. Daniel A. Wandabula was elected bishop in 2006, and the church divided. One faction, led by the Rev. Justin Nzoyisaba, did not accept Wandabula, a Ugandan, as their bishop. Leading the smaller group was the Rev. Lazare Bankurunaze, who supported and celebrated Wandabula’s election. “The rift resulted in a complete separation,”

Zephirin said. “Nzoyisaba’s group lived in seclusion from the global UMC for 12 years but maintained its United Methodist outlook.” When Nzoyisaba’s term ended in 2017, the Rev. Jean Ntahoturi, an Africa University graduate, was elected to replace him as church legal representative. Zephirin, who with his family had returned to Burundi, was appointed conference lay leader. “We made a team that was favorable to church reconciliation,” Zephirin said. “Ntahoturi declared the spirit of oneness. Church reunification was our priority.” In August 2017, Ntahoturi, Zephirin, and representatives of Bankurunaze’s group met in Harare, Zimbabwe with Bishop Gregory Vaughn Palmer, chair of the United Methodist Standing Committee on Conference Matters. They all signed a memorandum of understanding that signaled a new era for the Burundi Conference. As conference Christian education director, Vivian has a key role as well: helping The United Methodist Church in Burundi to enhance its evangelism capacity as it moves toward an objective of doubling membership from 211,000 to 400,000. At the United Methodist Theological Training College in Burundi, she is a lecturer, dean of students, and chaplain.

AU Dedicates BWC-Funded Campus Pool

Planned Gifts are the foundation for the long-term survival of Africa University. As you make your estate plans, consider leaving a gift or bequest to Africa University in your will. If you have already included the university in your estate plans, please let us know so we may welcome you to the Richard E. “Dick” Reeves Legacy Society. Usahwira — This word in the Shona language means “a beautiful friendship.” Encourage your local church can become a partner with Africa University by supporting one student for four years. The annual cost of supporting one undergraduate student is just under $6,000. Local churches may provide full or partial scholarships. Endowment Fund — Give to the Africa University Endowment Fund (World Service Special Gift #03-0188). The interest income from the endowment provides scholarships for our students. For more information about giving opportunities or to make a gift, visit us at support-africauniversity.org. To learn about Africa University and its impact, visit africau.edu. Let’s work together to continue the transformation of lives and of Africa. To download resources to help tell the story of the Africa University Fund apportionment, visit: umcgiving.org/auf. Current resources include: • Africa University: Where Africa Happens Every Day (video) • Africa University at 25 years: Seeding Hope, Shaping Opportunity (video)


he Africa University community celebrated the expansion of sports facilities on campus with the dedication of a new swimming pool in February. The outdoor swimming pool is a major hit with students and staff. Construction took nine months and was funded through gifts given by members of the Baltimore Washington Conference to mark Bishop Marcus Matthews’ 2016 retirement. Bishop Matthews, the outgoing chair of the AU Board of Directors, and his spouse, Mrs. Barbara Matthews,

equipment, and faculty salaries. Consider these additional ways of helping the university educate new leaders for the nations of Africa:

• This is our mission (brochure) • AU in a Nutshell (presentation) Africa University Development Office P.O. Box 340007 Nashville, TN 37203-0007 (615) 340-7438 audevoffice@gbhem.org www.support-africauniversity.org

participated in the dedication ceremony alongside Mr. Charlie Moore, an AU Board member and layperson of the Baltimore Washington Conference.

General Board of Higher Education and Ministry Africa University Development Office The United Methodist Church P.O. Box 340007 Nashville, TN 37203-0007

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it y s r e v ni ... U a c i Afr st News Late

Africa University Today — Winter 2019

Margaret J. McKelvey: A Life Dedicated to Public Service


argaret J. McKelvey has always been interested in the world beyond the United States. Born and reared in Rochester, New York, she started learning French at the age of eight. Growing up in The United Methodist Church in the turbulent 1960’s shaped her world view, she says, and set her on the path to a life of public service. Margaret earned an undergraduate degree in French from Duke University and a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. After college, she enlisted in the Peace Corps, and thus began her 43-year career. Margaret served with the Peace Corps for two years in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa. Seven years as an operations and preparedness officer with the Office of U. S. Foreign Disaster Assistance of the United States Agency for International Development followed. She spent thirty-four

years with the U. S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, where she held the title of Director for Refugee Assistance in Africa. Margaret retired in September 2017. While working, Margaret visited 34 of the 55 nations of Africa, many of them multiple times. She saw first-hand the urgent need for education and good governance. Having visited Africa University in 2006 with a Volunteers in Mission team from Foundry United Methodist Church (Washington, DC), the institution’s potential caught her imagination. In 2017, as Africa University was preparing to launch a post-graduate degree program in migration, citizenship, and refugee protection, Margaret was inspired to endow a scholarship to provide support for students enrolled in the new program who are or have been refugees. “I hope that the graduates of the migration, citizenship, and refugee protection program will

be humane and powerful leaders in maintaining Africa’s longstanding edge in hospitality and generosity, serving both at home in their respective countries and as leaders in the international community,” said Margaret. Elaine Jenkins, Director of Planned Giving The AU Today is published by the Africa University Development Office, in partnership with the Office of Communications, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM). For more information, contact the: Africa University Development Office P.O. Box 340007 Nashville, TN 37203-0007 Tel: Fax: Email:

(615) 340-7438 (615) 340-7290 audevoffice@gbhem.org support-africauniversity.org.

Profile for Africa University Development Office

Africa University Today - Winter 2019  

Update on developments in Africa University's institutional advancement efforts for the first quarter of 2019. Stories highlight the contrib...

Africa University Today - Winter 2019  

Update on developments in Africa University's institutional advancement efforts for the first quarter of 2019. Stories highlight the contrib...