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Four Adventist Leaders, Driver Killed in Tanzania Car Crash

our leaders of the Adventist Church in eastern Tanzania, along with the son of one leader, were killed in a head-on vehicle collision December 21, 2005. The men died while en route to the funeral of Witson Mwamakamba, former publishing director of the church in East Africa, according to regional church communication director Steven Bina.

Killed were Geoffrey Simon, East Tanzania Conference president; Loitopuak Lebabu, secretary; Mzuma Wikahi, treasurer; Joshua Kulwa, a theology lecturer at the Adventist university in Arusha; and Kulwa's son William, who was driving. Their vehicle was apparently struck by a truck approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Dar es Salaam, the national capital.

Simon had been president of the conference since its launch in March 2005, Bina said. Lebabu and Wikahi were elected to their posts 10 days earlier, he added. Lebabu had previously served as a church pastor, while Wikahi worked at the church's regional headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, as well as the publishing house in Tanzania before his election as treasurer.

"These were very hardworking people, people who have been committed to church work," Bina said. "They were at the prime time of their service in this church. They'll be missed very much."

--Adventist News Network/AR.


EGYPT: Sudanese Adventist Killed in Cairo Violence
Betty Asenzo Bernard, a member of the Adventist church in Cairo, was killed as thousands of Egyptian police broke up a protest camp outside the United Nations (UN) building in Egypt's capital city on December 30. At the time of this report, several members of the Adventist congregation are still missing. Church officials report that many families have been separated as police raided Sudanese homes and took people away for questioning.

Media reports suggest that more than 3,500 Sudanese migrants were protesting outside the UN refugee agency since September, demanding better treatment of refugees and improved living conditions. The violence erupted when thousands of police attempted to forcibly remove the protesters with truncheons and water cannons. In the process, 27 protesters were killed and 11 injured, although some unofficial reports put the figure closer to 216 dead. Some protesters were deported to Sudan because they had misplaced their identity papers.

Commenting on the event, Middle East Union president Kjell Aune said, "The Sudanese community in Cairo is grieving because of this deeply frustrating situation, having lost family and close friends. The Sudanese need our prayers as they try to come to terms with an uncertain future."

Tens of thousands of Sudanese refugees have fled to Egypt, following decades of civil war in Sudan. Approximately 80 regularly attend the Sudanese Adventist church in Cairo.

--MEU Communication Department/AR.


“Hollywood Accents” Draw Korean Language School to WWC
A group from the largest language school in Korea recently spent a week at the Positive Life Radio (PLR) studio on the Walla Walla College (WWC) campus in College Place, Washington, recording songs and stories that will be used to teach English to South Korean children.

While researching locations for the recording sessions, SeungMin Lee, chief audio engineer of the Adventist Language Institutes in South Korea, came across PLR’s Web site and liked what he heard--especially what he calls the “Hollywood accents” of the U. S. West Coast. The modern facility on the WWC campus also best met the institute’s technical needs. The project leaders, Lee and children’s textbook writer InHe Shim, recruited students from WWC and Rogers Adventist School in College Place, Washington, to serve as the voices that will help millions of young Koreans learn English.

“We sing a lot,” says fifth-grader Sophia Rich. “My voice gets really tired!” And although they spent many hours in the studio, the students agree that the experience has been “lots of fun.”

“The songs add authenticity to the English lessons,” says Shim. “They also give the students a break from the difficult lessons. There is no pressure or stress, but by singing songs they feel happy and learn better.”

The language school, founded in 1969, teaches English, Japanese, and Chinese at more than 30 branch schools across South Korea, serving approximately 45,000 students.
                                                                                                                --Walla Walla College Media Relations/AR.


BBC Features Adventists at Christmas
Adventist musicians will be high profile this Christmas season on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Representatives of the Croydon Adventist Gospel Choir, including conductor Ken Burton, will be part of the choral group featured on the national television quiz show Test the Nation and shown on BBC on Sunday, December 18. The program, hosted by Anne Robinson of The Weakest Link, and Philip Scolfield of This Morning, has a nationwide following, both on television and the Internet.

Adventists are also prominent in the BBC schedule for Christmas Day, when the London Adventist Chorale will be one of the guest choirs on Radio 4’s Christmas morning program. Later that day the Adventist Vocal Ensemble will perform from Royal Albert Hall. The London Adventist Chorale will also feature in “Howard Goodall’s Christmas Programme.” --British Union Conference Communication Department/AR.


ALBANIA: Adriatic Union Commissions
First Woman as Associate in Pastoral Care
In a November 2005 ceremony at the Ali Demi Adventist Church in Tirana, Albania, Adventist Church leaders representing the Adriatic Union and Albanian Mission commissioned Felicia Jean Phillips to serve as an associate in pastoral care. Phillips is the first woman in that region to be commissioned in pastoral work, and the second church leader to be given credentials for pastoral ministry in Albania.

“Pastor Felicia has clearly shown her calling to serve as a spiritual leader and a preacher of the gospel,” said Adriatic Union president Branko Bistrovic during the service, “but [the commissioning of Phillips] will also send a message to our field that our union is open to women in ministry.”

Responding to the charge given by Adriatic Union secretary Stretko Kuburic, Phillips said, “I wish to see the miraculous power of God manifested here in Albania, and I want to have a part in it.” Phillips has served as a union Women’s Ministries director, a hospital and academy chaplain, and an academy and college religion teacher. She had also led out in several series of evangelistic meetings. Besides pastoring the Ali Demi church, Phillips is also mentoring other pastoral interns in the greater Tirana area.

--Trans-European Division Communication Department/AR.


ADRA/UK Strives to Improve Literacy Rates in Sudan
ADRA/UK has made girls’ education a priority in southern Sudan, which has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the statistics regarding education are particularly disturbing for women, with 90 percent being illiterate, and only one in 100 girls likely to complete her schooling. ADRA/UK, however, is working to change this.

ADRA/UK and the British government’s Department for International Development (DFID), which distributes money that the government earmarks for charities, jointly fund a project in southern Sudan that focuses on girls’ education. The three-year “Raising Awareness of Girls’ Education” project started in 2004 with a mission of promoting girls’ education through working with the local community and partnering with the local government.

At one school in southern Sudan, a 10-year-old named Grace said, “I want to be a nurse when I grow up.” She added that she longs for a better life and wants to be able to help her parents after completing school. ADRA is helping Grace and her parents reach this goal.

--British Union Conference Communications Department/AR.


European Publications Undergo Contemporary Transformation
During the summer of 2005 students from around the world sold more than $600,000 worth of literature in Norway, indicating the continuing need to print contemporary titles dealing with the relevance of the Adventist lifestyle in today’s world. Plans are in place for the Safeliz Publishing House in Spain to print at least two church publications in the Danish, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, and Swedish languages, as well as a Greenlandic-Danish version of Steps to Christ, within the next 18 months.

--Adventist News Review/AR


FLORIDA: Former GC Associate Secretary Dies
Roy F. Williams, associate secretary of the General Conference from 1970 to 1985, passed away at his home in Deltona, Florida, on December 3, following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Williams is survived by his wife, Pauline; three children; nine grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. He was 84.

--AR.


 
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