January 30 – Africa University Fund

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A Moment for Mission

“For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. Upon you I have learned from my birth; ... My praise is continually of you.” — Psalm 71:5-6, NRSV

Thirty years ago, Africa University opened its doors in Mutare, Zimbabwe. This year, along with marking that milestone, AU is celebrating its newest graduate-degree program in military chaplaincy, designed for Africa.

Supported by a multistakeholder partnership that includes the United States Army Command – Africa, and Wesley Seminary, Africa University's Doctor of Ministry degree program launched two years ago.

Ten prospective students – chaplains from Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe – attended a preparatory symposium on the Africa University campus in August 2020. They shared their experiences, explored the key challenges and knowledge gaps facing military chaplains in Africa, and helped to shape a curriculum that is fully responsive to African realities.

One symposium participant was Chaplain (the Rev.) Donald Kgomokhumo of the Botswana Defense Force. He described Africa University's new program as a timely intervention for a region where military chaplains are needed, but the vocation is uncommon and somewhat misunderstood.

Africa University is the first fully accredited, United Methodist-related educational institution on the continent. One of United Methodism’s seven apportioned-giving opportunities, the Africa University Fund transforms Africa by educating and empowering students from across the continent. Total enrollment for 2021-22 is 3,060 students from 28 countries. The student-retention rate is 95.8%.

Now, more than ever, Africa University needs your faithful investment in the future of the church and the African continent. Your gifts through the Africa University Fund are essential. Thank you!

Adapted from “Africa University to launch D. Min. program in military chaplaincy,” Andra Stevens, Feb. 17, 2020. Used by permission.

Children’s Message
Do you plan to go to college? Perhaps you dream of becoming a doctor or a nurse, an engineer, a lawyer, a teacher, a writer or a pastor.

Like you, young people in Africa’s 54 countries dream of sharing their God-given talents and serving their community by continuing their education beyond high school. Did you know that The United Methodist Church started and supports a university in Africa?

Located in the country of Zimbabwe, Africa University opened its doors 30 years ago. This year, 3,060 students from 28 countries across Africa attend Africa University. They are doing great things such as finding new ways to treat diseases like malaria and other health problems. How exciting!

Our church supports Africa University through the Africa University Fund.

Offertory Prayer
Loving God, we praise you. Thank you for the opportunity to offer hope and an education to your children through the Africa University Fund. In your name, we pray. Amen.

From Discipleship Ministries: Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany — Loving God, we have been blessed with so much through your goodness. As we bring our gifts in gratitude this morning, you remind us that it doesn’t matter what we have in our lives, if we do not have love, we have nothing. This love is not the love of Valentine’s Day cards, and not even the love we feel among families, which are both rich blessings. You long for us to experience agape love – the love of the world, the love for those we don’t even know. Open our eyes and our hearts. In Christ, our teacher, we pray. Amen.

Newsletter Nugget
Despite being preventable and curable, malaria continues to ravage Africa. In 2019, according to the World Health Organization, the region accounted for 94% of malaria cases and deaths.

Africa University is determined to change that statistic. Thanks to two new grants, it may succeed.

“We were fortunate to receive the USAID Zimbabwe Entomology Support Program in Malaria and the National Institutes of Health K43 Emerging Global Leader Award,” said Dr. Sungano Mharakurwa, dean, AU College of Health, Agriculture and Natural Sciences.

Mharakurwa is excited about the implications of the new grants for addressing malaria and other health issues. The ZENTO program aims to establish a malaria entomological center of excellence at Africa University. This, he noted, “ushers in a new hub of research, surveillance and innovation for combating malaria, including new training programs for leadership health cadres in malaria entomology from certificate and diploma to postgraduate level.”

Through the Africa University Fund, United Methodists support life-changing opportunities for students from 28 African countries. Thank you!