La Sierra Students Win Sixth National SIFE Title
y simply drinking water, students at Seventh-day Adventist-owned La Sierra University help build classrooms, science labs and libraries for villagers in Kalaala, Ethiopia.
As part of the global, nonprofit Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) organization, La Sierra University's SIFE team joins others on 1,600 college and university campuses in 40 countries in using classroom knowledge to impact communities at home and abroad.
|SIFE WINNERS: Adventist-operated La Sierra University's SIFE team celebrates its recent win. [Photo: La Sierra University]
For one project, the team partnered with a bottling company to produce a private-label water bottle. They're sending 100 percent of the profits from the first 1 million bottles sold--totaling about U.S. $50,000--to the Ethiopian farming village of Kalaala.
So far, La Sierra students and other residents of Riverside, California, have drunk some 85,000 bottles of water and plan to top 1 million by the end of the year. The team hopes to eventually sell the water online.
The La Sierra SIFE team's water bottle project is one of seven similar economic and development projects that landed them a win at this year's SIFE USA National Exposition finals, held May 6 to 8 in Dallas, Texas.
Facing Heritage University, Drury University and the University of Arizona in the final round, La Sierra students presented their projects to a panel of executives from SIFE sponsoring companies who evaluated each project's creativity, innovation and effectiveness. The team will represent the United States at the SIFE World Cup this October in New York City. (Earlier, Southern Adventist University won its regional SIFE competition. See Adventist Review, May 24, 2007, p. 20.)
John Razzouk, La Sierra's SIFE student leader, credits the team's success to each member's level of commitment. "[As a member], you're able to align yourself with a specific project from start to finish, and that really brings out the passion and dedication to these projects," he says.
The village of Kalaala is a good example. There, SIFE members are involved in projects that range from developing solar-powered ovens to teaching local women to help mend an unraveling economy by sewing medical scrubs. In addition to sewing skills, the women learn the basics of supply and demand and how to attract buyers. This year, the team is establishing buyers in the United States to expand the scrubs market.
La Sierra's SIFE team is active in other places around the world, too. In Ghana, they're establishing Internet cafés and in Lesotho, they're providing new shoes for AIDS orphans. Using a new building material manufactured by the California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture (Cal-Earth), they're building durable, fireproof, inexpensive villages in Darfur, Sudan. The material's 90 to 10 ratio of earth to cement makes it ideal in areas ravaged by war and natural disasters or depleted of natural resources. "We're able to build these things fast, and basically with just dirt or sand," says Razzouk.
Razzouk says some of the team's ideas initially met raised eyebrows. "A lot of people may think, 'Oh, you're young and foolish,' but if you are persistent and committed, they will get behind you. There's an advantage to being 'young and foolish'; you can take a few more risks. Sure, you might mess up, but usually it really pays off."
--Elizabeth Lechleitner, Adventist News Network/AR Staff
Jamaica: Attacked Adventist Pastor in the 'Ministry of Reconciliation'
From a recovery room in Jamaica’s Cornwall Regional Hospital, Seventh-day Adventist Pastor Egnal Grant said he has forgiven the attackers who shot him in the abdomen during an attempted robbery on Thursday evening, May 10.
"My greatest joy will be to see [the attackers] baptized," Grant said, adding that if given the opportunity, performing the baptism himself would be "the crowning act" of his ministry. "I would love to get the privilege to see these guys and talk with them about the issues of life ... I would love to find a job for them," he said.
|ON THE MEND: Seventh-day Adventist Pastor Egnal Grant is recovering from gunshot wounds at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St. James, Jamaica. [Photo: Michael Fletcher/WIU/ANN]
Listening to Grant's words of forgiveness was "a very defining moment [for me]," said Pastor Patrick Allen, president of the Adventist church in the West Indies, after visiting Grant on May 15.
"[Grant] was most concerned, not so much for himself, but for the perpetrators of the crime," Allen said. "He is in the ministry of reconciliation, healing and forgiveness."
Allen, also a member of the Police Civilian Oversight Authority (PCOA), which monitors the performance of Jamaica's police force, reported that the investigation of the crime continues. Along with other PCOA members, Allen is currently visiting the St. James Divisional Headquarters of Jamaica's police force in Montego Bay due to increased criminal activity in the region.
Pastor Glen Samuels, president of the Adventist church in West Jamaica, suggested that reaching out to unemployed, desperate young people would do considerably more to curb crime than merely condemning the actions of such "misguided youth." He then urged the Jamaican government to help churches increase the number and effectiveness of social intervention programs.
"Many of [these young people have] no hope," Samuels said. "They don't have any leadership in their homes and [in seeking] leadership in the community, the sad thing is they sometimes attach themselves to the wrong kind of leadership. The church must continue its programs of reaching out to these youngsters." — Nigel Coke/ANN/AR Staff
Norman Wendth, AUC Alum, to Return as President
Dr. Norman Wendth, a 1968 graduate of Atlantic Union College (AUC) in South Lancaster, Massachusetts, will soon return to the school as its president. AUC is celebrating its 125th
anniversary this year, making it the oldest Adventist campus still on its original site.
According to AUC board chairman Dr. Donald King, Wendth “will provide spiritual leadership and bring strong visionary and academic quality to the College.”
Wendth, currently dean for academic affairs at Kettering College of Medical Arts in Kettering, Ohio, said, “I pray for a college whose graduates are known for their active involvement in their local churches, alumni whose daily lives are lived so sweetly and winsomely that their very existence is a testimony to Adventist beliefs.”
The new AUC president succeeds Dr. George P. Babcock, who announced his second retirement as school leader earlier this year.
— Cindy Kurtzhals, AUC/AR Staff
“Let there be DARK!” News Commentary
By DICK DUERKSEN, who writes from Sacramento, California
The best way to see the Creator may be to turn off the lights. The city of Sydney, Australia tried that during Earth Hour from 7:30 to 8:30 P.M. on Saturday evening, March 31st.
For that hour of darkness more than 2 million Sydneysiders, 57 percent of the residents, turned off their power. The city looked as if it forgot to pay the light bill.
“We are thrilled with the participation and energy reduction during Earth Hour,” Energy Australia spokesman Andy Ridley told a local newspaper. “It shows Sydney is committed to reduce the threats linked to global warming, and we hope Sydneysiders have proved by acting together we can start to make a difference.”
Fox Valley Community Church made Earth Hour part of the Sabbath morning worship when Pastor Brad called for “DARK!”
“The Creator told us to take care of all He’s given us and it’s time to take notice and get our act together,” Pastor Brad announced.
Fox Valley, along with thousands of other groups, turned the evening into a city-wide candlelight party. Women’s clubs met under a nearly-full moon. Teenagers dined with battery-operated flashlights. Pubs used environmentally sound beeswax candles. “Come on over to the church this evening,” Pastor Brad invited, “and we’ll have a candle-lit vespers and tea.”
They came; scores of teenagers hauling their parents along, and celebrated the responsibilities God gave us all during the Creation week. The message—a challenge for responsible environmentalism—brought many Earth Hour conversations back to the Creator who firstturned on earth’s lights.
Energy Australia reported that Earth Hour participants reduced the normal energy usage by 10.2 percent, equal to taking 48,613 cars off the road for an hour. Fox Valley church was full at 7:30. And DARK…except for the candles, and the warm glow of happiness.