Update from Africa Nazarene University

May 8, 2009 at 6:26 am Leave a comment

Good morning from Kenya!

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you” (Isaiah 60:1-2).

These are days of training for the faculty of the school. We strive to be learning a lot and seem to be sitting a lot as we prepare for the future of the university. We are looking not only at this next trimester, but the big thing for us these days is the possibility of moving into cyberspace and developing our programs on line so that we can expand the influence of our university not only across the continent but literally around the world. The world has changed drastically since the introduction of the Internet and educational communities are scrambling to keep up. It’s a continual challenge, but one that provides some far-reaching and exciting possibilities for the days ahead.

Two days ago we opened the campus doors for returning students and they are now mixing with the 125 + new students that were already here for registration. Because of the many and varied ways of marketing the school these days we are continually increasing our enrollment. I don’t have the exact figures, but when we arrived two years ago we had around 900 students and now we are somewhere in the vicinity of 1300 students. So while we feel that is a healthy increase it continues to challenge us to keep up as faculty and administration. Certainly it challenges the department I head, Spiritual Development, to look for new ways of reaching out to our ever-growing congregation. From sharing in preaching and devotional sessions, to “Golf” games at the house, to pick-up basketball games after hours, we are striving to build bridges for future ministry. Besides staying very busy in the office getting ready for our choir trip abroad, Mary Jane continues to excel in her role as “Mama Cookie” to the delight of all who sample her wares.

I am now in my final days before heading back for the US. I leave Nairobi at 9:40 a.m. (EST) on Wednesday of next week and will travel through Dubai, London, Cincinnati, and finally land in Nashville, Tennessee at 4:40 p.m. (EST) on Thursday. The world has gotten much smaller for me over the last few years, but any way you look at it this it is still a long trip and your prayer support for safe travel is appreciated. Mary Jane and the choir will follow a couple of weeks later and hopefully all will go well in my preparation for their coming so I can pick them up at the airport when they arrive.

My next newsletter will originate from the state of Tennessee and hopefully it will be out on time, but if not, you can expect to get it sometime Saturday night or Sunday afternoon after I reach my home in Indiana.

We have been having showers of blessing off and on throughout the recent days. The dry and dusty plains have turned green once again and the rains have been varied enough that we haven’t had the mud problems on the roads like we have had in the past. In fact, Maasai Lodge Road is getting more work on it than I have seen since I have been here. Some of it is so smooth that it feels like it is paved even though it is just dirt and rock. There is still a lot of work to do, but perhaps “tarmacking” is not just a far off dream after all.

I have a request for those we will meet over the next few weeks. Every twenty years or so the Church of the Nazarene has come out with a new hymnal and these days many churches have gone to screens and projections for the words, making the hymnals obsolete. If you would happen to have the older hymnal, “Worship in Song,” stashed in a closet somewhere and would be willing to donate them to a good cause, ANU could use them. That’s the hymnal that is most prevalent here on campus. We couldn’t bring back a lot of them because of the weight limits the airlines have placed upon travelers these days, but we could put one or two in each student’s suitcase to bring back with us. So, if you have some of these, are not using them, and would like to donate them, please let me know via e-mail and we will see what we can do to get them back to Africa.

We are really marking off the days now until we begin our trip. We picked up one new engagement this week, which really makes us about as full as we need to be. We will be singing in and sharing with an elementary school population where Mary Jane used to be a guidance counselor. It looks like we have twenty-four opportunities to sing throughout the country, plus five times during the General Assembly days. So once again, here we go…

May 27 – Leave Nairobi for the USA (via Dubai and New York)
May 28 – Arrive in Indianapolis, Indiana
May 29 – Pendleton, Indiana East Elementary School Convocation
May 30 – Northeastern Indiana Mission Convention (Marion, Indiana)
May 31 (am) – Anderson, Indiana Southdale Church of the Nazarene
May 31 (pm) – Northeastern Indiana Camp Meeting (Marion, Indiana)
June 2-3 – Georgia District Mission Convention (Dublin, Georgia)
June 6 – Education Foundation Meeting (Nashville, Tennessee)
June 7 (am) – Gallatin, Tennessee First Church of the Nazarene
June 7 (pm) – Louisville, Kentucky Farmdale Church of the Nazarene
June 9 – New Albany, Indiana Christ Community Church of the Nazarene
June 10 – Hartford City, Indiana Church of the Nazarene
June 11 – Rockville, Indiana First Baptist Church
June 12 – Chicago Central District Mission Convention (Kankakee, Illinois)
June 14 (am) – Kansas City, Missouri First Church of the Nazarene
June 14 (pm) – Olathe, Kansas College Church of the Nazarene
June 15 – Church of the Nazarene Global Ministry Center (Lenexa, Kansas)
June 16 – St. Louis, Missouri South County Church of the Nazarene
June 17 – Nashville, Tennessee Trevecca Community Church of the Nazarene
June 21 (am) – Leesburg, Florida First Church of the Nazarene
June 21 (pm) – Fort Myers, Florida First Church of the Nazarene
June 23 – Clearwater, Florida First Church of the Nazarene
June 24-July 1 – Church of the Nazarene General Assembly (Orlando, Florida)
July 5 (am) – Pompano Beach, Florida First Church of the Nazarene
July 5 (pm) – Venice, Florida First Church of the Nazarene
July 8 – Redlands, Florida Church of the Nazarene
July 9 – Leave Miami, Florida for Nairobi, Kenya (via New York and Dubai)

Have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Lord’s Day! I hope to begin seeing some of you very soon!

Randy and Mary Jane James
Africa Nazarene University
Nairobi, Kenya


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Update from Africa Nazarene University Update from Africa Nazarene University

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