Kenyan Adventist Thanks God for Winning Mega Jackpot
El Aden Wambita, 35-year-old Kenyan Adventist, won the Sportspesa Gfrand Jackpot worth Ksh. 12,499,283 [$84,000]. Wambita, a student at the Langata-based Amref University, said he was delighted to win the elusive mega Jackpot, according to Fred Maingi reporting for The Daily Whistle.
'First of all, I thank the Almighty God for rewarding me with this mega Jackpot. I have been betting before where I have won 5,000, and perhaps the highest has been 10k, but this time I was not expecting to win the Jackpot. I have passed through major challenges, but I thank God for taking me where I am today,' he observed after receiving the check at the Greenspan Mall in Nairobi’s Dornholm Estate.
His wife Effie Wambita was all smiles . . . She said top of their plans is to offer tithe to God through their church. 'God has been very faithful to us. My husband has passed a lot of challenges considering his dad passed away some years back. Our late father left us with seven siblings, and my hubby as the first born was left with the challenge of taking care of the siblings. It has been tough, but we thank God for everything,' she said.
From The Daily Whistle, "Cheers as Adventist Faithful Wambita Wins Sporspesa Jackpot."
Celebrity Tattoo Artist Renounces the Occult and Witchcraft, Chooses Adventism
Celebrity tattoo artist Katherine von Drachenberg "was baptized recently at an Indiana church. Drachenberg is widely known in Hollywood as Kat Von D from the TLC reality show 'LA Ink," writes Jeannie Ortega Law for The Christian Post.
Drachenberg, whose gothic style has gained her much popularity, renounced the occult and witchcraft last year. Now, she has taken the next step in her walk with Jesus by following the biblical ordinance of baptism.
The reality star and Nuevo León, Mexico native shared a video montage of her baptism on Instagram Tuesday. Footage also showed the artist singing in the church choir throughout the service. The clip shows her family and friends proudly looking on as she was baptized at a local Indiana church service. It is not immediately clear in what church the baptism took place.
'I don't know if any of you have been going through changes in your lives right now, but in the last few years I've come to some pretty meaningful realizations—many of them revolving around the fact that I got a lot of things wrong in my past,' she wrote in an Instagram post shared in July 2022.
Her father was a missionary doctor in Montemorelos, Mexico, and the [family] lived a very humble life as he made it his mission to build a hospital there. Drachenberg told her millions of followers at the time she wanted only 'love and light' around her family now.
She also assured her followers that a 'spiritual battle is taking place. In no way is this post designed to put anyone down if you're into this stuff, because I think we are all on our own journey, and I love everyone regardless of where they might be at. But right now, it's never been more clear to me that there is a spiritual battle taking place, and I want to surround myself and my family with love and light,' she wrote.
Drachenberg hopes others make 'meaningful changes' in their lives also. One of the changes the mom of one made was to relocate her family to Vevay, Indiana, from California. Her move resulted in Drachenberg closing her popular shop, High Voltage Tattoo.
From The Christian Post, Kat Von D gets baptized 1 year after renouncing witchcraft, the occult.
Adventist Robot 'Adam' Bible instructor assistant, teaching the Bible and the 28 Fundamental Beliefs
" 'How should we, at Seventh-day Adventist schools, prepare for the future?' Joo-hee Park, president of Sahmyook Health University, asked at the beginning of his presentation at the Global Adventist Internet Network (GAiN) Asia conference in Jeju Island, Korea, on September 15, reported by Marcos Paseggi for the Adventist Review. 'How do we make people come to our churches and schools?'
"Park, an Adventist church elder who has a doctoral degree in engineering and taught medical information systems for 21 years, shared a project that as leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, he said, 'We should give deep thoughts and provide answers to.'
"Park introduced Adam, an AI robot that can serve as a Bible instructor assistant. Park says he named the robot Adam after the Sahmyook Health University digital strategy, which he has named 'Digital Eden.'
"He explained that he has tried this second-generation robot for some time now. 'I made this robot learn the Bible,' he said, 'including the 28 fundamental beliefs of our church in several languages.'
"Park explained that Adam can learn every doctrine and belief because he is programmed to do so. To test him, Park asked the robot if he could share one representative Bible verse that talks about love. A few seconds later, Adam 'recited' John 3:16 — 'For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son.' Then he added, with what participants considered 'a very realistic human voice,' 'This verse highlights the immense love of God for humanity.'
"Park emphasized there is an important caveat. With AI, 'there is a possibility to misinform,' he said, 'because robots will trust what AI says. When AI robots like this one become available all over the world, we must make sure that he has been trained to teach our fundamental beliefs and present it in the right way. It is a mission that we have for the future, to learn how to use it and ask the robot the right questions.'
"Park shared that a few days after his presentation, the robot would be taken to his office at Sahmyook Health University. 'I will spend the next year training him,' Park said. 'So, when students eventually ask questions of Adam, he will answer based on the training that I’m planning to give him.'
"He added, 'If you come to our university in a year, this robot will give you a tour of our campus. Adam will also work as a campus guard. He will be able to work 24/7 and will always be kind.'
"Park also announced that the idea is that every student gets a small robot, which may answer the questions they might eventually have. 'Right now, Adam is not fully ready, and [what I’m sharing] might sound like something that will happen in the distant future, but this will be around sooner than you imagine.'
"'I know that all of you are leaders and specialists in certain areas,' Park said. 'Let us work together and study how we can make this happen.'
"According to Park. 'New generations of children are getting used to VR [virtual reality], and they toy with AI [artificial intelligence]. Our challenge is now how to bring those new generations into the church. And if we don’t experience it before them, we cannot introduce it to them,' he said.
"The meta-church Park created — a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on connection—opened just one week before the GAiN conference, he reported.
"'We set up a place we called Global Vision Missionary Center, where we will run studies with individual congregations. So, if you come back to our university campus in a couple of years, you will be able to see the results of our pilot run,' Park shared. He added that he brought 64 universities in South Korea together and put them in one platform called Metaversity 2.0. 'There are professors giving lectures through this platform. It was the first metaverse lecture—first in Korea, first in the world,' according to Park.
"He shared that for his installation as the new university president in July, the ceremony was livestreamed through this platform. 'So, all the alumni of our school were able to follow the installation ceremony if they wanted to,' Park said. 'Within this metaverse world, the plan is to have other buildings and local churches built into our metaverse platform.'
"Park explained that this is still a very expensive technology, beyond the reach of a local church. 'That’s why we must work together. Somewhere in the world, someone has to start producing VR content and make it available to all the world,' Park said. 'And this is something we can achieve if we work together. For instance, what could happen if we could create content on the creation days in VR? There are churches from other faiths which are already doing that. Just another reason why we must put these materials together. And at Sahmyook Health University, we are doing exactly that.'"
From Adventist Review, "The Robot That Can Teach The Bible.
PUC Biology Professor Spots Rare Butterfly and Plant in College Forest
Aimee Wyrick, a longtime Pacific Union College biology professor and dean of the school of sciences, spotted something [in the PUC Forest] she’d never seen before—a black and yellow butterfly with a peach silhouette on both wings. It was a California dogface butterfly. Not only is it rare, but in 1972, it was officially named the California state insect, writes Laura Gang on the PUC website.
She also spotted a rare plant, the Napa false indigo, a subspecies of the California false indigo with a regional taxonomy. Growing only in a few coastal woodland or chaparral areas around San Francisco, the Napa false indigo is officially ranked 1B.2 — 'a California plant that is rare, endangered, and fairly threatened in the state.
Wyrick observed the butterflies feeding on the nectar of this rare plant. With her curiosity piqued, she did some additional research at home later that day. She learned that mature California dogface butterflies rely on the nectar of the Napa false indigo blossoms and exclusively use the plant to lay their eggs. It is dependent on the plant’s leaves to nurture its larva.
Wyrick said, 'the Napa false indigo is protected on the federal and state level, but the California dogface butterfly is not.' Providing a habitat for these plants was never intentional, she said. But because PUC has left the wildlands intact, the plants have found a home.
Wyrick always knew the PUC Forest was a special place.But until now she did not realize just how special it was. Wyrick had been surveying the PUC Forest, documenting rare native plants as part of a state-funded grant program. Last year, the state awarded a $5 million Cal Fire Forest Health Grant to the Napa Communities Firewise Foundation with PUC as a primary partner. Nearly $3 million was given to PUC Forest for wildfire mitigation—namely fuel reduction.
In the process of forest thinning, it is important to preserve certain trees and plants that may be threatened. 'We have this special area where the Napa false indigo thrives,' Wyrick said. 'It’s not throughout the property but in certain locations. Because the property is accessible, people can come and see not only a rare plant but an even more rare species—the last of its kind.
Wyrick has become somewhat of an evangelist for protecting the plants that rare butterflies rely upon for food—not just the California dogface butterflies. "The migratory monarch butterfly has been experiencing population declines since the 1950s and was put on the IUCN Red List last year. A reduction in milkweed plants, which are larval host plants for monarchs, is likely a major factor in putting the beautiful orange and black butterfly at risk.
Dunn Vineyards owner Randy Dunn, who is committed to low-impact agriculture, contacted Wyrick about a milkweed project they could take to nearby schools. They knew there was an effort to help save these threatened species, so they decided it would be helpful if they could help plant milkweed throughout the Angwin area.
In April 2021, Wyrick took several PUC conservation biology students to visit second and third-graders at Howell Mountain Elementary School to teach them about monarchs and milkweed. A year later, in the fall, she took more students to PUC Elementary School, and they planted seeds as well.
Dunn donated the seeds for the effort. Quite by accident, he discovered that he could use a ShopVac to help separate milkweed seeds from the surrounding white fluff. Last November, Wyrick also taught a class about milkweed to a small class at Rianda House Senior Activity Center in St. Helena.
Community partnerships are important to Wyrick and crucial in environmental conservation efforts. 'Collaboration is one of the underpinnings of conservation, and it is done best when a diverse group of stakeholders work together, she said. People want to do something. They want to be part of the solution and answer to environmental problems. If you can make it easy and doable, barriers are removed, and more people will join the efforts.
On her walks and in her work, Wyrick is reminded of the natural beauty of California and the uniqueness of the PUC Forest. There's a trifecta, of sorts, for rare and endangered species here: Napa false indigo, northern spotted owls, and some of the easternmost coastal redwoods in the state.
It makes me appreciate that there are still these places like this,' she said, 'and thank God for PUC.'
Read More here.
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.
Title Image: Mega Jackpot Winnder El Aden Wambita with his wife.Via The Nation
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