April 18, 2007

Adventist News

PUC Raises Almost $19,000 for Work in Africa

capF 7ollowing a presentation on March 15 concerning the human rights violations of prisoners in Guinea-Conakry, West Africa, Pacific Union College (PUC) students, faculty, and staff donated $18,745 to aid a prisoner advocacy program.

FIGHTING FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: PUC graduate Kimberly Osborn describes inhumane conditions for prisoners in Guinea-Conakry, West Africa. [Haley Wesley]

Kimberly Osborn, a social activist who graduated from PUC in 2004, described for attendees her former work in the western Africa country and her decision to return after hearing reports about further violations in the prison system. Osborn said the International Committee of the Red Cross recently stated that about 27 percent of the 800 men in the prison system, most of whom, she says, have been illegally detained, are severely malnourished.

“If things continue at the rate they are going, one in ten men entering this prison [in Guinea-Conakry] this year will die because of starvation,” said Osborn, who helped to establish the prisoner advocacy program in Guinea-Conakry. Osborn encouraged the college students and faculty to donate toward medical aid and court-processing fees.

It costs $50 to hospitalize a malnourished prisoner and save their life, and only $15 to put someone through the court system so they can be released, Osborn says.

“If everyone here donated the amount that you spend on one Giugni’s sandwich [from a deli in St. Helena], think of the amazing thing that PUC could do,” Osborn said. “I’m here to challenge you to realize that you can never give enough. And that ultimately, in the giving, you are blessed beyond all measure. This is a privilege.” 

Osborn, who left for Africa in late March, plans to work as a volunteer in Guinea-Conakry for four months before beginning a graduate program in International Relations with an emphasis on African studies at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.

CALIFORNIA: Adventist Health CEO Announces Retirement

Donald Ammon

Donald R. Ammon, president and CEO of Adventist Health, has announced his retirement. He will conclude his 42-year career with the health system by the end of the year.

“Adventist Health is a dynamic organization that has seen many changes during Don’s lengthy tenure,” said Thomas J. Mostert, Jr., chair of the Adventist Health board. “He has made a tremendous contribution to Adventist Health and has assembled an accomplished leadership team to continue this legacy of service.”

                                                                     —Adventist Health Corporate Communications/AR.

ALABAMA: Oakwood IT Manager Wins Award

AWARD RECIPIENT: Karen Smith (left) was presented the Adventist Ministries Award by Nancy Lamoreaux. [Photo: OC]

Oakwood College Certification Program manager Karen Smith recently received the North American Division (NAD) Adventist Ministries Award for faithfulness to vision and excellence in ministry in technology ministries. Nancy Lamoreaux, NAD director of Information Technology Services, presented the award to Smith at the 2007 NAD Adventist Ministries Convention in Tucson, Arizona, in January.

As manager of the college’s Certification Program, Smith has helped numerous college students and Huntsville residents acquire Information Technology (IT) certifications leading to technology positions in the Huntsville area. She also encourages women to pursue careers in the IT industry, and is in the process of establishing a Girls Get IT (Information Technology) program at Oakwood.

For more information about Oakwood College, located in Huntsville, Alabama, click here.

                                                                                                              —Oakwood College Public Relations/AR.

Maryland Adventist Celebrates One-hundredth Birthday
C. H. B. Williams (also known as Veeraiah Chedalawada) recently celebrated 100 years of life as all centenarians should—with a great party. Williams, a native of India and a member of the Southern Asian Adventist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, turned 100 on January 13.

C. H. B. Williams
[Photo: SUD]

Williams was born in a Hindu home in 1907, but converted to Christianity while in high school. He married his late wife, Shanthamma, in an Adventist ceremony in 1929. The couple, however, had actually first married as children in a Hindu union, remaining in their own homes until they were old enough to begin a life together. Their family grew to include seven children.

In India, Williams worked as a teacher and principal, and also began a health magazine for the Adventist Church in his native Telugu language. Later, he came out of retirement to run the cafeteria at Spicer Memorial College, Pune, for two years. He and his wife emigrated to the United States in 1975 to join their seven children.

“I do not feel like I accomplished something great by reaching the age of 100,” Williams says. “I did not work for it and I did not expect to reach it. I am, however, very grateful to God for blessing me with a long and very healthy life . . . and [allowing me to] still enjoy my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.”

Williams keeps fit by walking 10 miles a day, and spends much of his time reading and studying his Bible.


Former GC Personnel Director Dies

James Harris [Photo: Harris]

James H. Harris, a former General Conference (GC) Personnel director as well as GC Youth associate director died March 19 at his home in Sonora, California. He was 83.

Harris served the Adventist Church for almost 40 years as a pastor, a conference and division Youth director, a GC associate Youth director, and then as GC Personnel director until his retirement in 1990. During World War II he served as a technical sergeant in the U.S. Army Air Corps, and worked as a flight engineer on B-17 bombers flying out of England. On his forty-sixth mission Harris was shot down over Berlin. He was a prisoner of war and held in five different prisons, including Stalag Luft IV in Poland.

Harris is survived by his wife, Dorothy, two daughters, two granddaughters, and three great-grandchildren.                                                                                                                                                     —AR. 

Canadian Couple Saved by a Dog

After finding a note on the door of the British Columbia Conference office on March 5 telling of a husband and
wife in Abbotsford who had just lost everything in a house fire, regional ADRA coordinator Frank McMiller
visited the couple. McMiller later described the story Rick and Rosslynn Froese told as miraculous.

THE FROESES: Rosslynn and Rick Froese credit their dog, Lucky, with saving Rick’s life. [Photo: BCC]

“The lives of these people were saved by a dog,” McMiller said.

The Froeses lived in a mobile home. Rick was home alone, asleep on the couch and unaware that flames were licking the ceiling in the room in which he lay sleeping. But his dog, Lucky, although old and almost blind, sensed danger.

Lucky at first was unable to rouse his master, McMiller says, “but the persistent pet again went over to Rick, and this time nipped him.”

The bite worked.

Rick woke up and escaped the trailer just in time to see his home completely destroyed. Lucky was a little singed, but also alive. Rick says he has no doubt that his dog saved his life.

McMiller then took the couple to the Chilliwack Adventist Church Community Services director, Richard Matzele, who provided them with clothes and other basic necessities. Church pastor John Gilbert and the church board members agreed to let the family use the parsonage until the couple could make permanent housing arrangements. Other community churches and the local Emergency Social Services also provided help.

Rick and Rosslynn now describe the Adventist Church as “their faithful friend.” “We’re just glad we were able to help,” McMiller says. “And we’re thankful for a faithful God—and a faithful dog.”

                                                                        —British Columbia Conference Communication Department/AR. 

News Note: 
Tourists in Yosemite National Park this summer can join Adventists from around the world for Sabbath school, worship service, and a potluck May 26 through September 1, except July 21. Sabbath school begins at 10 a.m. and worship service at 11 a.m. in the Lower River amphitheater. Access is by footbridge across from the Housekeeping Camp or by shuttle bus stop 19; private cars may drive into the gated area across the river from Camp Curry. The services are sponsored by the Central California Conference (CCC).

For more information call Ray and Edie DeFehr at 209-586-4325, or e-mail [email protected].

                                                                                                                 —CCC Communication Department/AR.