Rwandan Adventist Starts Plant-based Food Business — And More News Shorts

Rwandan Adventist Starts Plant-based Food Business — And More News Shorts

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Jane Nshuti, Adventist Vegan Chef
Written by: 
Published:
July 18, 2021

Rwandan Adventist Starts Plant-based Food Business

Jane Nshuti, the owner of Tamu by Jane, launched her plant-based meals business recently after taking a four-month intensive training program equipping her with business know-how. Nshuti says she always loved cooking, but it was something she did on the side. When the hard lockdown came last year, she did not have a permanent job and turned to cooking to earn an income.  She now has a growing social media following, featuring her creative, healthy, and delicious food. Nshuti says she strives to influence a culture of healthy eating through plant-based foods. She strives to create awareness around African plant-based food.  “When you tell people you are vegan and you are black, they go into this shock mode. Our ancestors didn’t necessarily live on meat, they actually lived on plants. Meat was just for special occasions and ceremonies,” she says.

At a young age, Nshuti and her siblings fled from Rwanda to a refugee camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where she learned to cook to feed her two brothers and one sister even though she was the youngest. She explains that her siblings went out to look for food while it was her job to cook. After moving to Kenya to live with her uncle, she became a Seventh-day Adventist, a religion that emphasized personal health and exposed her to vegan cooking.

She began cooking plant-based meals for her family members and friends to convince them of how delicious healthy eating could be. To introduce people to food from different African countries, Nshuti hosts plant-based African feasts on Sundays. Besides South and East African Sunday lunches, her product offering includes gluten-free superfood wraps, home-made plant-based proteins and desserts. Her goals include creating a plant-based eatery with strong African food influence; developing a retail line of her current home-made products, including gluten-free wraps, meat alternative, and cheesecakes; and becoming a social and ambassador presence for plant-based living.  

She is currently writing a story-type recipe book focused on African regional food. “In the book, I look at the food that our ancestors used to eat. When my family and I first got to South Africa, we saw Amaranth (a leaf vegetable) growing wild everywhere in Mpumalanga.”  She says she was surprised to learn that even though this leafy vegetable is eaten across Africa nobody in South Africa saw it as food.

“This is when I realized it is not so much about food security but more about food knowledge. That’s why I highlight different African foods which we can add back in our diet.”  She adds that Amaranth is gluten-free and extremely healthy.

From News24, "Starting an African Food Revolution."

New Guinea Adventist Church Burned After Religious Fight 

Two churches were razed at Kilenge village in the Kandrian-Gloucester district of West New Britain, New Guinea, during a fight between youths from the Catholic Church and other churches, deputy governor Joseph Naipu says. “Catholic youths fought with youths from other churches and burnt down the Seventh-day Adventist and the Revival Center churches,” Naipu, Gloucester local level government president, said.

“I don’t know what caused the fight. This is a chronic problem in the district where churches are always destroyed whenever a fight breaks out. It is an ongoing situation that people just accept—incidents of churches being damaged—they don’t report such allegations of arson to the police. Usually it’s the relatives taking sides in such fighting causing damages to the churches, and so after all the fighting and destruction, they make peace and continue with their normal lives.”

“The former conflicting party also gets involved in rebuilding the destroyed church and the situation is back to normal as if nothing has happened. But then, when a fight breaks out, churches are once again targeted and destroyed.” Naipu said the district was dominated by Catholic and Anglican churches, and people disliked the establishment of other churches there.

“So other churches like Pentecostal are reluctant to enter the district because the people are very hostile against other Christian churches.  We, the community leaders, have tried all our best in vain to make awareness to make the people accept new churches in the district. But we were always unsuccessful.”

From The National, "Youths Raze Churches."

Florida Adventist Church Certified Dementia Friendly

The Homosassa Seventh-day Adventist Church in Homosassa, Florida, is now a certified Dementia Friendly congregation. The church completed a workshop on dementia care and awareness to achieve this certification. Twenty-five members of the congregation attended the workshop on Saturday, July 10. They are currently the 30th church in Citrus County to become certified Dementia Friendly. 

From the Citrus County Chronicle, "Homosassa Seventh-day Adventist is Dementia Friendly."

Las Vegas Adventist Food Pantry Aided by Local LDS Organization

A flyer for a small food pantry in local church caught the attention of volunteers in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They tracked down the Seventh-day Adventist pantry’s leader, Wyleaner Springfield, to give her some good news: they could provide a pallet of food to her once a month. It upped what she could serve to 20 families weekly at Abundant Life Community Church, a Seventh-day Adventist church in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“They have been so loving to me,” Springfield said. “It brought tears to my eyes because we just latched onto each other.”  The effort was part of the church’s push to reach more food pantries over the last 15 months, regardless of community or faith affiliation. In Las Vegas, it typically receives food donations from the church’s charitable arm in Salt Lake City about once a month. In the past, the food was mostly donated to large food banks or pantries such as Three Square. But the pandemic’s impact on food insecurity made church leaders reconsider.

“We wanted to target small pantries,” said Joyce Haldeman, director of the Greater Las Vegas Communication Council for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “We know that Three Square and Catholic Charities do a wonderful job and they have a big footprint, but we were worried about those small neighborhood pantries: Do they have enough food?”

“It’s really fun to work shoulder-to-shoulder with people of different faiths, of different styles in their life and find out we all care about the same thing,” Haldeman said. “We don’t want anybody to suffer; we don’t want anybody to be hungry. I really think it’s a great marriage when you have faith working within the communities to take care of the needs of whoever’s there, and whoever they are.”

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Interfaith effort has helped fill food pantries in Las Vegas Valley."

 

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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