News Headlines: Andrews University Comes Tantalizingly Close to Guinness World Record

Andrews University Attempts Guinness World Sit-up Record. Wednesday, over 520 participants at Andrews University tried to break the Guinness Book of World Records' one-minute sit-up record. To achieve the record, participants needed to correctly do sit-ups for a full minute. The group's two attempts at the record fell just shy of the record, set by 503 people in England last year. Several participants were disqualified by judges for failing to correctly perform sit-ups for the duration of the two one-minute attempts. University Health & Wellness Director Dominique Wakefield said she wasn't disappointed that they fell short. "Everyone tried," she said. "The point was to get people out and thinking about fitness." The event was part of the university's first annual Health & Wellness Fest. From the Herald Palladium, "Short of milestone, but long on fun."

Kenya Adventist Schools To Use Qualification, Not Church Allegiance, in Choosing Staff. Seventh-day Adventist-sponsored schools in the South Kenya Conference will employ teachers and managers based on "ability and professional qualifications as opposed to their allegiance to the church," according to South Kenya Conference Executive Director Julius Bichang'a. The decision resulted from complaints regarding poor education standards and student outcomes on national examinations among learners from Adventist-sponsored schools in that region. From Kisii County News, "SDA sponsored schools to be run by professionals - director."

Placer County Adventist Pastor Ministers at Funeral for Homeless Woman. Dan Appel, pastor of the Auburn, California, Seventh-day Adventist Church, provided comfort and care to 60 mourners at the Grange hall funeral of a homeless, drug-addicted woman to whom he had ministered. He assured them that her suicide was not a sin. “You’ll never find that in the Bible,” he said. “There’s always a better choice, but I know that God loves her, just as he loves all of you." She had stopped using drugs for about 16 months then relapsed. From Auburn Journal, "Homeless community pays respects."

Norway Church Provides Bibles to Syrian Refugees. The Vadso Seventh-day Adventist Church in Norway partnered with the Norwegian Bible Society to distribute Bibles in both Arabic and Farsi to Syrian refugees who recently immigrated. Elias Samer Nema, a refugee who arrived in Norway last year, started attending the Vadso church and wanted to tell other refugees about Jesus and help them to get Bibles. He was aided by local elder Hilde Huru. The church has also given the refugees smartphones to help them communicate through Google Translate. From Christianity Today, "Norwegian church shares gospel with refugees through Google Translate and Bibles."

Western Australia Bush Fire Claims Two Lives, Many Structures. A bushfire in Western Australia’s southwestern region killed two people and destroyed more than 140 buildings, including several structures at a Seventh-day Adventist Church campground. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has set up an emergency response team at the Leschenault Leisure Centre in Australind, and is working with other aid organizations to help find accommodations for those displaced by the fires. From Adventist News Network, "Bushfire claims lives, Adventist Church campground in Western Australia."

Photo: Heidi Ramirez/Andrews University

Pam Dietrich taught English at Loma Linda Academy for 26 years and served there eight more years as the 7-12 librarian. She lives in Redlands, California.

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“Kenya Adventist Schools to Use Qualification, Not Church Allegiance, in Choosing Staff.”

I read the full article in the Kisii County News dated January 16. What struck me was this last comment in the news article:

"As the administration of the South Kenya Conference take this opportunity to assure our members and the general public that from today henceforth all the SDA sponsored schools across this conference will be headed and run by professionally qualified heads as opposed to who is who in the SDA denomination,” stated Bichang’a

When does an SDA school cease to be a SDA school? Can non-SDAs teach the fundamentals of Adventism to young people?

We know the Adventist education system in this country (USA) is in serious trouble. Perhaps, what Kenya is doing could save the schools here. However, at what price?

Troubling times for the church and its educational institutions…


It all depends on whether the church wants to provide education that is accredited by the nation where it is located; or whether it will choose to merely be a religious institution accredited only the the denomination.

If a school is unable to maintain accreditation and loses it accreditation, it will lose both students and further support by both the church and government. If an institution is unable to survive it should not continue to drain funds from those who support it.

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There are certain learnings that do not depend on one’s religious or non-religious beliefs.
Reading and writing
Good grammar.
Math – add and subtract through calculus.
Any Health Sciences.
Really only need an SDA teacher for Religious Education.

And how long would it be before it ceased to be an Adventist school? This is like shooting oneself in both feet, and then swallowing a slow-acting poison. If this phenomenon is occurring elsewhere, it’s no wonder our schools are declining. I would rather hire someone less qualified from a worldly standpoint, but who is committed to present truth, and willing to learn. God can and will increase the talents of those who are loyal to Him.

This is unbelievable. Can you imagine Chrysler hiring people who knew nothing about Chrysler products, except for maybe the mechanic in the shop?

We’ve reached a low state when we care more about what the culture around us or the country in which we live thinks about our system of education than we do about upholding Biblical standards. Formal education is overrated anyway. With all the resources available in so many places, one can almost teach themselves the basics. We homeschooled our kids and they never sat in a classroom until college. They got good grades in the basics at the local community college, and they continue to get good grades at one of our colleges. If I were a parent faced with situation described in the article, I would do everything I could to homeschool, or get my child into an environment where SDA beliefs are upheld.

You’re comparing plums with pomegranates. One can learn all there is to know about physiology, disease, and medicine, without ever entering a church. But we’re talking abut SDA Schools, which used to be committed to teaching our youth the tenants of our faith.

If I had a severe heart condition and could choose between a highly competent secular physician and a mediocre Adventist physician … My choice would differ from yours. Yet the issue of “how long would it be before it ceased to be an Adventist school” is legitimate. Perhaps we need more Adventist teachers in secular schools as “salt of the earth”, rather than building “salt shakers” with a questionable quality!? Just a thought.

As for the other news - I am glad for the report about Norway. Similar stories can be found in some German churches as well. Syrian refugees more often are thankful and open than not. Media usually focusses on the few exceptions among refugees who are abusing (or even threatening) the system. Hence this kind of information is important for balance. Thank you.

There is not one simple answer to why SdA schools are closing. But the one that is correct: they are not supported financially! Whether from parents or church leaders, it doesn’t matter, does it?

Hoping that they will continue is not a solution. When any institution is losing clients, it must either make drastic changes to please the customers or die. This goes for schools, congregations, and all businesses. Thousands of long-time retail stores have either changed or accommodated to changing buyers’ habits. Online access for consumer products, education, and many things have become real competition for “brick and mortar” establishments.

Nearly 20 years ago I completed college and graduate studies online at far less cost than attending the local university. Not all subjects can be adequately taught, but many are no different than sitting in a classroom with hundreds.

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The trouble Kenya e is an inevitable result of croneyism—this is probably a short-term result of nationalizing “The Work” in what had been the mission field. Let’s hope it’s not long-lasting, but in an undeveloped nation, it might be.

Kenya has every reason to eradicate poor or putrefy imperialism religious or non-religious educational institutions and educators. They’ve suffered from the uninvited western nations secular or religious puritans. Kenya learnt and continuing to fight back put away lifelong romance with teaching obsolete make it a required course is not Kenya interest. As a nation Africa the sharp employs the sharp. They, returning the same old bad medicine they have taught to taste from their old imperial masters. Africa sovereignty all foreign countries must respect. It has long done with good riddance the imperial bad masters and why would filial ingratitude a hard subject to swallow. Simple. Stay out of the Kenyan kitchen (country politics) if the heat is unbearable!

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