“Working, O Christ, With Thee”
The Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, no. 582
Superintendent or Sabbath School teacher
“Holding Up Their Hands”
While the offering is being taken, ask the children to sing one or more of the songs that they have learned this quarter.
“Lift High the Cross,”
The Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, no. 362
Participants and Props:
Participants: Two or three speakers who alternate speaking parts. [Note: participants do not need to memorize their parts, but they should be familiar enough with the material that they do not have to read everything from the script. Practice so that participants can feel comfortable adding inflection where appropriate.]
Props: A map of the East-Central Africa Division. (Scan the map on the back page of the quarterly and project it onto a screen, or draw a map on a large piece of paper.)
Speaker 1: This quarter we have focused on the East-Central Africa Division. The countries featured are Kenya [point to Kenya], Tanzania [point to Tanzania], and the Congo [point to Congo]. Let’s begin with Kenya.
Speaker 2: The first Adventist missionaries to Kenya arrived in 1906 and settled near Lake Victoria in western Kenya. Work was difficult and dangerous. But the missionaries persevered, and the work grew. Today one out of every 61 people in Kenya is an Adventist.
From the beginning education was an important arm of the mission work. Simple primary schools opened, then a few secondary schools. In 1978 the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton, was established with 20 students. This school was the first private university in Kenya to be officially recognized by the Kenyan government. When it obtained university status in 1993, enrollment mushroomed, and today more than 1,200 students pursue degrees in theology, education, business, science, medicine, and numerous other courses.
The university attracts students from across Africa as well as Asia and the Americas. The school’s rapid growth has stretched its resources. The university needs married student housing and staff housing in order to maintain its high standard of education.
But a successful university must also provide for its younger students. One of the most urgent needs is to replace an aging and dangerous elementary school classroom block on the campus. Teachers and university students alike hesitate to send their children to a school that poses health and safety concerns for their children. Some university professors have declined calls to teach at Baraton because the elementary school is unsafe.
Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help build a new classroom block for the primary school that will provide a safe and comfortable learning environment for the youngest students.
Speaker 3: Tanzania lies south of Kenya and Uganda. Arab traders settled along the coast and began mixing with the local people and spreading their religion, Islam. Today about one third of the people in Tanzania are Muslim.
Medical clinics are an effective outreach tool to reach the diverse people of Tanzania. In 1972 a small clinic was set up in the living room of a missionary working in Mwanza, a city on the southern shores of Lake Victoria in northern Tanzania. The little clinic has grown to include a 15-bed inpatient ward, a laboratory, maternal and child health-care services, emergency outpatient care, and health education services. The clinic serves a population of more than 1 million people.
Every day about 100 people visit the Adventist clinic. They come with confidence, knowing that Adventists care about them and their health. As the clients receive medical treatment, they accept the loving service that the committed medical staff provides them. When they see how much Adventists care, they are willing to listen to God’s message of love as well.
For years the government has encouraged the Adventists to build a hospital to enlarge their medical services to help meet the needs for quality medical care in the region. The Adventist believers in Tanzania have taken up the challenge to build a hospital on land adjacent to the medical clinic. They have made significant progress, but they can’t finish the job alone.
Part of today’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help finish this hospital so that lives can be saved and souls can be led to the feet of Jesus.
Speaker 4: The Congo is the second-largest country in Africa. It lies in the heart of the African continent and includes steaming tropical jungles and cool mountain forests. Its population is as diverse as its landscape.
Although the Congo contains significant mineral wealth, its people are among the poorest in the world. Years of inefficient governing and sporadic fighting have uprooted people from their land and robbed their children of quality education.
In spite of the difficult lives people have been forced to live, the Adventist Church in Congo is flourishing. About one person in every 118 in the Congo is an Adventist.
Lukanga Adventist University is a small but growing university in the highlands of northeastern Congo. As with most Adventist educational institutions, it began with a theology school and grew to include diplomas and degrees in education, business, and a number of other areas. The school is struggling to keep up with an increasing enrollment. New dormitories will soon be completed to house the growing enrollment, but the school also desperately needs additional classrooms. Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help build a lecture hall/auditorium and classrooms to accommodate the growing student body.
Speaker 5: The capital city of Congo is Kinshasa. [Locate Kinshasa on a map.] While the country as a whole has one Adventist for every 118 people, the region of Kinshasa has only about 5,000 Adventists among its 10 million residents, or one Adventist for every 2,000 people. Global Mission pioneers work in some of the least served regions of the city and its outlying areas where few or no Adventists live.
The country’s unstable government has made it difficult or nearly impossible for some workers to obtain training for the ministry. There is no money to send pastors to Lukanga Adventist University to upgrade their training. Lay workers as well as pastors need training to stand in the gaps and reach those who haven’t yet heard the message God has given Adventists to preach. Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help build a lay training facility in Kinshasa, where pastors, lay workers, Global Mission pioneers, and youth can be trained to share God’s love with others.
The children of Kinshasa love God and love to share His love with others. But few churches have classrooms in which children can meet on Sabbath morning. Most children who attend Adventist churches in Kinshasa meet under a tree or on a porch. These areas are not conducive for children to focus and learn. The special children’s offering this quarter will help provide two lamb shelters, worship centers, for two of the largest congregations, where the children can be trained to become disciples of Christ.
Speaker 6: Today’s offering has a lot to accomplish: It will help build classroom blocks for a university and an elementary school, a hospital, a lay training center, and children’s worship centers. Let’s ask ourselves, “What does God want me to do to help hold up the hands of believers in East-Central Africa so that they can finish the work in that great area of the world?”
Next quarter the Inter-European Division will be featured. Special projects include a church for the Romani (Gypsy) people in Bulgaria, a church and community services center for immigrants outside Lisbon, Portugal, and outreach to university students in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Fourth quarter 2013 will feature the Trans-European Division.