Africa University Breakfast
Indiana Friends of Africa University look forward to this time year, not only for the opportunity to gather for a meal and learn about developments happening at Africa University, but to also connect with people from around the world, some who have never traveled to the continue, that share a love for the ways God is bringing light and life to Africa through the work of AU students and faculty.
AU alumni Rev. Kalaba Chali served as this year’s keynote speaker. Born and raised in Zambia, Rev. Chali serves as Mercy and Justice Coordinator for the Great Plains Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. While at Africa University, he received degrees in both agriculture and theology. He continued his education at Perkins School of Theology.
His love for AU and Zambia remain strong as he continues to share his message, as well news from the University, across the US, to help encourage giving to support the work of the University in its mission to create leaders for Africa.
“Heaven for me is a place where we bump into people from different cultures, who speak different languages, and have different accents, and Africa University gives you a taste of that. After studying at AU, I felt like I was ready to be deployed into the world, and I am grateful for that opportunity.”
During his time at the podium, Rev. Chali shared about his commitment to making personal contributions to the University, as well as providing monetary support to one of the students. His motivation for continuing to give back is credit to the unique educational experience that helped to place him on his current life path.
“Africa University is not just about education and knowledge. It’s about the transformation of lives and I have been transformed in a personal way in experiencing heaven here on earth living with people from different cultures and countries, all in one place. Not of the same mind but in the same spirit.”
Mission and Justice Luncheon
Rita Gaither-Gant, INUMC Secretary of Global Ministries, opened the Mission & Justice luncheon with encouraging updates about ministry happening all over the world. Cindy Garver, INUMC Disaster Response Coordinator, introduced our guest Christy Tate Smith, UMCOR Disaster Response Consultant.
Christy spoke passionately about the many ways we can be in ministry throughout our communities after a disaster as well as the need to encourage guests to donate to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) in its mission to support our neighbors around the world in times of need.
Christy asked luncheon guests one simple question, “Should the Church be involved in disaster ministry?” They replied in unison “Yes!” She proceeded to ask why and one guest responded, “God is there.”
Christy responded, “I was born into plenty. But when I work in a disaster area, I meet the God of tolerance, the God of forgiveness for system in justice. So you are absolutely right. God is there and more importantly, God’s people are there.”