On Washington Adventist University (WAU) Ministry Department’s “Cruise with a Purpose,” January 5-14, Brittany Bower proved the perfect example of Christian humility and compassion. Moved by the plight of a young girl, who arrived at a mission event in the Dominican Republic without shoes, Brittany, a junior biology major from Baltimore, promptly removed hers and handed them to the teenager. She spent the rest of the afternoon in her socks until a group member loaned her a pair of size 13 flip-flops.
“It actually began with a little boy who kept tugging at my clothes. I had given him a shirt and some pants but he needed some shoes. I looked around and this one boy, who already had shoes, had got another pair. I felt badly that I did not have an extra pair for the little boy, so when I saw this girl, who was about 12 or 13, without shoes, it was a chance to make up for it.”
Bower, an aspiring dentist, was one of 17 WAU students who sailed aboard the Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas for the 9 days and 10 nights trip, led by Chaplain Kaneil Williams, and sponsored by Zack Plantak, Ph.D., chair of the religion department.
While they thoroughly enjoyed life aboard the cruise liner and the adventure of travel, it was the opportunity to serve that beckoned and fulfilled them most.
“As an active member of the United States Air force National Guards, I have said the words, “service before self…” many times before. This trip brought new meaning to these words, as I went on my first mission ever; only that I was a soldier in the Lord’s army,” said Chenelle Chichester “The experience really changed my life and I look forward to Cruise 2014. “
The La Perla community in Puerto Rico, known as one of the islands most notorious neighborhoods for violence and drug trafficking, was the first stop for the group. Undeterred, the group played a friendly basketball match with residents before moving to the local community center for worship and distribution of clothing, toys, and health and food supplies, all donated by the students.
On their second stop, St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, the group led devotion and played volleyball with students from St. John St. Thomas Seventh-day Adventist Academy, handed out bags of toys and supplies to students at Nanna Baby Care, a state funded orphanage and played games with troubled young people at Sea View Adolescent Center and encouraged them to make the right choices for their future.
The last stop was Samana, Dominican Republic. Students led worship with members of the community in Downtown Wilmore and painted a local church.
“The distribution in Wilmore was the highlight of our mission trip,” said Chaplain Williams. “ In the midst of rain showers, students passed out pain medicines, vitamins, and supplies to residents. None complained and everyone worked together to make sure that everyone got something”
It was here that Bower gave away the shoes off her feet and gave real meaning to Jesus’ teaching: “Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.”
“That experience was worth the whole trip,” Williams said.
“Cruise with a Mission 2013” has helped to redefine what mission work looks like in a post-modern context, he added.
“Cruise ships can me more that floating resorts if we let them. Though we could not omit the pleasures of the setting, we found a way to make that experience peripheral to our purpose, which was to serve those whom we met,” he said.
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19 March 2012
In 2008 when I accepted the challenge to provide the leadership of the then Columbia Union College, some individuals offered their congratulations while others said they were not certain if they should offer condolences or congratulations. Four and half years later, I can testify that when we establish a committed partnership with the Lord, success is guaranteed. Columbia Union College is now Washington Adventist University; we experienced this year the largest enrollment ever and on April 14, we dedicated the first new building on campus in forty years – The Leroy and Lois Peters Music Center..
The success we are experiencing is clearly due to the partnership with Jesus and a talented committed team of leaders, faculty and staff. I want to use this medium to give thanks to the Almighty and to the dedicated board of trustees, faculty and staff for their commitment to the mission of Washington Adventist University. In the book Prophets and Kings, 486, Ellen White writes: “True success in any line of work is not the result of chance or accident or destiny. It is the outworking of God’s providences, the reward of faith and discretion, of virtue and perseverance. Fine mental qualities and a high moral tone are not the result of accident. God gives opportunities; success depends upon the use made of them.”
In the introduction to his book Leadership Prayers, Richard Kriegbaum speaks of a leader’s relationship to God: “Leaders do not pray to inform God of what is happening. He already knows. And they do not pray to get him to do what they want. He already wants what is best for everyone involved.” According to 1 Peter 5:7 God wants our worries and cares. So as we close out another academic year, our prayer of thanksgiving is: Thank you God for blessing us with talented individuals and for your desire to accept the worries and challenges of WAU. God grant us humility and the tendency to put you in the spotlight on the journey toward institutional excellence. Help us God to keep in daily focus the needs of our students. We recognize you as the Master Teacher and we give to you the honor and glory, Amen.
This is Washington Adventist University
19 March 2012
The stated vision for Washington Adventist University is to produce graduates who bring competence and moral leadership to their communities. An essential aspect of this vision is character building. In the book Education (p.225) by Ellen G. White, she states: “True education does not ignore the value of scientific knowledge or literary acquirements; but above information it values power; above power, goodness; above the intellectual acquirements, character. The world does not so much need men of great intellect as of noble character. It needs men in whom ability is controlled by steadfast principle.”
Further, Sister White said, “Character building is the most important work ever entrusted to human beings; and never before was its diligent study so important as now. Never was any previous generation called to meet issues so momentous; never before were young men and young women confronted by perils so great as confront them today.”
My friends, please continue to pray for the administration, faculty and staff that as we impart knowledge in business, science, arts and technical skills, that we will model the life and teachings of Jesus to our students and coworkers. Our task is not only to prepare our graduates for the world of work, but also for the new world, eternity.
Office of the Provost
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Rusticus nulla autem zelus bis premo. Hendrerit vicis tation patria luptatum, tamen. Ex odio te scisco lobortis imputo ventosus nisl obruo facilisi in ullamcorper conventio. Rusticus nulla autem zelus bis premo. Hendrerit vicis tation patria luptatum, tamen. Ex odio te scisco lobortis imputo ventosus nisl obruo facilisi in ullamcorper conventio