In this week’s Adventist news round-up, stories from Colorado, Ghana, Trinidad, and Oregon.
Colorado Adventist Students Create Birthday Party Boxes for Needy Families. The Fort Morgan Times reports that students at Lighthouse Seventh-day Adventist Christian School in Fort Morgan, Colorado, want birthday celebrations to be joyous occasions with cake, candles, and gifts, even for struggling families. The idea of helping make this possible for some local families started in February when the Lighthouse students were talking about homelessness and other difficult situations that kids face today, according to Lighthouse SDA School Principal Pennie Wredberg. The students asked, what if a needy family could receive in a box everything needed to have a small party? “Soon a note went home to the parents telling them about the idea, and announcements were made,” Wredberg said. “Donations for the boxes came pouring in from parents, church members, and even the students, themselves.”
Overall, the students decorated and filled 11 boxes to be donated to Morgan County Family Center. “I hope that this makes someone happy,” a student said. “It would be so sad to not have a party for my birthday.” Each box had a unique theme and contained everything to throw a small birthday party, including plates and decorations. Mary Gross, executive director of Morgan County Family Center, accepted all of the birthday boxes and said that her staff would make sure the boxes would go to the families that needed them most. From The Fort Morgan Times, “Lighthouse SDA students create ‘birthday boxes’ so some struggling local families can celebrate birthdays.”
Ghana Adventist Teacher Paints Her School’s Exterior Using Her Own Funds. Joy Online reports that Gifty Twumwaa, a young female teacher, recently painted the entire school block of Wenchi SDA Basic ‘A’ with her own funds. Twumwaa, who is only in the third year of her post at the school, stated that she is passionate about the development of the school children and wanted to do something for her Ghana school.
Thanks to her, the hitherto unkempt school block of the Wenchi SDA Basic ‘A’ is now much more attractive. Twumwaa wants to make a positive impact wherever she goes. “When I came here, I realized the school building was not attractive to me. So, I decided to do something that will make our school beautiful, and that was why I painted the school,” Twumwaa explained.
The pupils are confident that if their school is more attractive it will encourage others to enroll. They applauded their teacher for giving the school a facelift. “We felt reluctant to come to school previously, but now we are happy about the fresh look of our school building. Our madam has done well,” one pupil said. From Joy Online, “Young teacher paints Wenchi SDA Basic ‘A’ school building with personal funds.”
Trinidad Adventist Churches Hold Motorcade Rally Protesting Violence Against Women.
Newsday reports that members of five Seventh-day Adventist churches in Moruga, Trinidad, held a motorcade recently to protest violence against women. Since the kidnapping and murder of court clerk Andrea Bharatt, various organizations nationwide have held rallies, candlelight vigils, and protests calling for an end to gender-based violence. Bharatt was kidnapped on January 29 after she boarded what she believed to be a taxi on her way home from work. Her body was found on February 4. One man has been charged for her murder and investigations continue into the deaths of two other suspects in police custody.
Bharatt’s death has hit and touched a nerve in people in a marked way, the pastor said, causing church members to plan the motorcade. Pastor Robert Castle, head of the La Lune and La Ruffin churches, said once a person is hurt, the entire nation is hurt. He said society is suffering and going down a negative path. In this path, hatred is trending, and nobody cares about or loves one another. “If we give our lives to God and allow Him to change our hearts, we would see a difference in the world. We would realize that we can love one another and work through,” Castle said. From Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, “Seventh Day Adventist churches urge domestic violence victims to speak out.”
Oregon SDA Students Help Plant Memorial Garden. The News Guard reports that on a sunny March afternoon, young students from Lincoln City Christian School in Oregon helped to plant colorful blooming perennials and a seven-foot tall Autumn Full Moon maple tree at the nearby Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital. Part class project, part memorial, the planting was done Tuesday, March 16, in remembrance of Mica Ward, a registered dietitian at the hospital who recently passed away following a short illness. Her children, Callen, age 11, and Hailey, age 5, were among the students who walked from the school to the hospital with trowels in hand, ready to dig into the dirt.
“Callen and Hailey are such a great addition to our school family, and they have been troopers as they process the loss of their mom,” said school principal John McCombs. “We jumped at the chance to support them with a lasting project to honor the memory of their mom.”
The planting was organized by the hospital’s resident landscaper, Bob Riffle, who works in the Plant Engineering Department. Consulting with Blake’s Nursery in Gleneden Beach, he selected plants such as Persian Buttercups and Grape Hyacinth that would bloom each spring, hardy coastal grasses, and the elegant Autumn Full Moon maple tree, which will grow slowly while putting down strong roots. As it continues to grow, the compact tree will display yellow-chartreuse leaves in the spring and turn orange-red in the autumn.
Ward had worked at SNLH nearly 13 years before her passing on Feb. 21 at a Portland hospital. During her work in Lincoln City, she used her expertise to help countless people in the community with diabetes management and diet counseling. From The News Guard, “Students plant blooming perennials and maple tree to honor hospital employee.”
Please note: Spectrum news round-ups are an aggregation of regional, national, and international publications around the world that have reported on stories about Adventists. As such, the accuracy of the information is the responsibility of the original publishers, which are noted and hyperlinked at the end of each excerpt.
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 Yucaipa, California.
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