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British Adventist Grandmother Miraculously Receives Donor Liver — and More News Shorts


In this week’s news round-up, a British Adventist grandmother miraculously received donor liver, a deacon’s past disturbs his fellow Jamaican citizens, Australian Adventists argue over plans for church-owned land, a pastor speaks out against same-sex ruling in Trinidad & Tobago, an Adventist administrator in Florida and a teacher in Maine both accused of sexual assaults on students, and the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education expresses concerns about Atlantic Union College closure.

British Adventist Grandmother “Miraculously” Receives Donor Liver. Nina Jaggers, a Seventh-day Adventist grandmother whose family was told she would die from liver failure, survived after miraculously finding a transplant donor in just 24 hours. She said she was so yellow that she “looked like Marge Simpson….My whole congregation went into our church and prayed for me at 1 a.m. for it all to go fine.” But with just hours left, her distraught family got the call saying a suitable organ had been found, and surgeons performed the life-saving operation. “The doctors told me my recovery had outstripped all expectations. Dr. Sharma said, ‘You’re not supposed to be alive.’” Jaggers hopes to find her donor to be able to thank them. She said: “I’m just so grateful that I was given this chance to live. My daughters were told I was going to die, but there’s always hope.” She added: “I feel like an old Ford Anglia. Nobody wanted to take it out because it was rusty and embarrassing, but now it’s got a brand new Porsche engine. From The London Economic, “Grandmother miraculously survives liver failure after finding matching donor in 24 hours.”

SDA Deacon’s Murderous History Disturbs His Fellow Jamaican Citizens. Linton Stephenson, a 59-year-old Adventist deacon of Mandeville, Manchester, Jamaica, was being sought in connection with the recent murder of 25-year-old Khyhymn Campbell. Jamaicans across the island were questioning how a man with a deadly criminal past was allowed to become a Seventh-day Adventist deacon. Pastor Everett Brown, president of the SDA Church in Jamaica, said that the Church “must not give up on the people who are in need of healing and salvation….We must not shrink back…because some of our leaders and members have failed God and the Church….Let us not allow our failures in the past or the unwarranted criticism being levied at the Church sidetrack us and cause us to lose our focus and dilute our message and thwart the mission.” Though he did not make direct reference to last week's events, Brown's comments were coming on the heels of the suspected suicide of Stephenson. It is believed that Stephenson, who was also known as “Jaw Bone,” murdered Campbell at his Manchester home on August 28. Stephenson was on parole following his release from prison for killing a woman in St. Mary previously. He was also wanted for illegal possession of a firearm. He was found dead at his home last Friday. From The Jamaica Gleaner, “Adventists Won't Shrink Back – Church Leader Urges Members To Stay True To Mission Despite Distractions.”

Australian Adventists Argue over Plans for Church-owned Land. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is at loggerheads with members of its own congregation and other locals over a proposed residential development around the Wahroonga Adventist School. The church plans to build up to 175 apartments in four buildings, six stories high, which pastor David Swain and church clerk Coralie Batchelor said would have “irreversible adverse impacts” on the school and two churches on the Wahroonga Estate. In a strongly worded letter to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, they also labelled the proposal “a gross over-development of the site.” However, Pastor Glenn Townend, president of the church's South Pacific Division which has jurisdiction over its work in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and other nations in the region, said the development must proceed. “We are deeply disappointed this proposal has caused our community so much concern, especially as so much effort has been invested over the years to ensure the very best outcome for everyone,” he said. A large parcel of land owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Wahroonga Estate, was purchased in 1898 and features the Sydney Adventist Hospital (the San), an aged care facility, church administrative offices, and bushland. Pastor Townend said the residential component of the plan, which also includes upgrading the hospital, was designed to provide housing for workers and to raise money to offset the expenses of the rezoning, infrastructure, and maintaining bushland. From The Sydney Morning Herald, “Church at war with itself and locals over residential development.”

Trinadad-Tabago Same-sex Ruling Defies God’s Plan, Says Ad­ven­tist Pas­tor. Tem­po­rary Indepen­dent Sen­a­tor and Sev­enth-day Ad­ven­tist pas­tor Clive Dot­tin yes­ter­day ex­pressed deep con­cern about the rul­ing that sex be­tween con­sent­ing male adults was no longer il­le­gal, say­ing it goes against God’s plan. While Dot­tin ex­pressed un­easi­ness and wor­ry, the T&T Guardian learned that sev­er­al re­li­gious lead­ers were en­gaged in a closed-door marathon meet­ing to discuss the de­ci­sion hand­ed down. Weigh­ing in on the is­sue, Dot­tin said such a de­ci­sion will open the flood­gates for im­moral­i­ty and wrong­do­ing because it would go against God’s will. “It’s a God­less pack­age. I to­tal­ly dis­agree with it. I am sure there will be a re­sponse from dif­fer­ent re­li­gious groups, in­clud­ing mine, as we in­tend to meet short­ly.” Dot­tin said his church, which has a spe­cial task force, will ex­am­ine the rul­ing while two in­ter-re­li­gious groups will give their re­spons­es next week. “We would def­i­nite­ly be look­ing at dif­fer­ent strate­gies. I have al­ways been con­cerned that our ma­jor re­sponse should be a more bib­li­cal mod­el for the fam­i­ly…which means that a mar­riage should al­ways be be­tween a male and fe­male. Go­ing against this would have se­ri­ous con­se­quences.” He called on “right-think­ing” peo­ple to stand up for what is right, not­ing such a rul­ing can de­stroy the fab­ric of our so­ci­ety. From Trinidad & Tobago Guardian, “Ruling goes against God’s plan—Dottin.”

Adventist Administrator in Florida and Teacher in Maine Both Accused of Sexual Assaults on Children. A former Ocala school principal is accused of repeatedly trying to kiss a 16-year-old student, even offering to "buy her" so he could kiss her, according to Ocala police. Murray Ramnarine, 67, is the former principal at Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Church School in Ocala. He was working at the school as an administrative assistant when the victim told detectives the behavior occurred. Ramnarine is charged with lewd or lascivious conduct and sexual offenses against a student by an authority figure. From Click Orlando, “Seventh-day Adventist school administrator offered to 'buy' student to kiss her, Ocala police say.”

Derek Michael Boyce, 37, a teacher at Pine Tree Academy, has been charged with gross sexual assault for having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old female student, Lisbon police say. He admitted to police that he had a sexual relationship with the student after her mother caught them having sex. Boyce has been placed on leave by Pine Tree Academy in Freeport, Maine, a private Seventh-day Adventist school owned and operated by the Northern New England Conference that has 126 students in grades K-12. According to the state Department of Education, Boyce is not a certified teacher with the state, but private schools are not required to hire certified teachers. From Press Herald, “Teacher at religious school in Freeport charged with sexual assault.”

Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Voices Concern about Atlantic Union College Closure. A representative for the Department of Higher Education this week said staff in her office were concerned about how Atlantic Union College’s shutdown played out over the past year. According to Katy Abel, a spokeswoman for the state’s higher education department, Atlantic Union never finalized a closing plan with the state. While the school did submit a plan, the state was never completely satisfied with it, she said. Some instances of Atlantic Union’s handling of the shutdown worried department representatives assigned to oversee the process, she added. ″(They) were concerned about the lack of clear communication with students about the closure, and the fact that AUC did not seem to understand the Board of Higher Education’s statutory authority regarding institutional closures in general,” Ms. Abel said in a statement. As of Wednesday, however, it was not clear what repercussions Atlantic Union’s operators would face. From, “State voices concerns about Atlantic Union College’s closure.”


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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