May 2020 Updates

May 2020 Updates

Pictured: Akupa Deng and Peter O’Bang – Two recent graduates who are continuing their mission work in Ethiopia

Greetings to all of our CLA-NEGST friends. I trust this note finds you well and safe from any effects of COVID-19. I have been asked many questions about the status of the school and specific individuals. The following is what we have received via email, conferences, and notes.

COVID-19: The country (Kenya) has been spared for the most part. As of Saturday, May 2 the reported number of cases totaled 435 with 22 known deaths. For the AIU campus there have not been any reported cases. The school remains closed with virtually no one in or out.

AIU-NEGST: The school closed in early April and will remain so until late June. Second term classes were completed on line with a new and revised method of final exams for Masters students. Undergraduate exams have been postponed until June. Graduation scheduled for July 4 has been postponed. The Governing Council meeting for June 25 will be held via video conferencing. The third term starting on May 4 will be on line only with approximately 400-500 students.

FINANCES-TUITION: There is an expectation for a decrease in tuition associated with on line learning but will most likely be offset by increased costs for internet bundles. Many students connect via their phones and internet video feeds eat up time fairly quickly. The net from our US point of view since we primarily provide scholarships is our budget or expectations for our giving will remain the same.

FINANCES: Housing and Food: The pandemic has disrupted the food chain with everyone facing spiraling costs for food. Some students were unable to go home at the end of their term and were expecting to graduate in July. Covering the costs of the unexpected housing has been an unplanned burden. CLA has thankfully received a number of donations specifically designated for benevolence for help to offset the food costs and the unexpected housing due to the school shutdown. We are thankful for these donations and would welcome any further assistance as the need is always greater than our treasury. If you are also a donor for scholarships or other annual giving and want to designate an amount for benevolence make certain to note your designation. When undesignated we apply your gift to the person or specific where you last indicated.

FUTURE: It is too soon to fully understand the impact both financially or organizationally to our school. Finances were not adequate prior to the pandemic so we can only imagine that this shutdown will not help. On the brighter side, this shutdown forces new thinking about curriculum, staff levels and sustainability. Our new GC chair, Nelson Kuria, is already thinking about new and different ways to bring about sustainability. While we wish no harm to ever come from this pandemic, we are confident that our Lord and our God will use this time for a mighty purpose.

CLOSING: Many have asked about the locust problem in Kenya. The issue is significant in the northern areas and less so in and around Nairobi. Where the locusts have landed crops have been ravaged. The good news recently is a strong wind has been blowing the locusts into Somalia and out to sea. Numerous prayer chains have been in play praying for these winds. As mentioned above God does have a plan.

As you consider how you might help or what you plan on giving for this next academic year, remember those pictured here. We have pictured students who have returned to their native countries to fulfill the Great Commission, professors who are being supported by CLA and your contributions, and last but not least, Chet and Dolores Wood-our patron saints.

Pictured: Jeff Schultz, Pastor Faith Church Indianapolis, Dr. Caleb Kim-Chair Institute for the Study of African Realities-NEGST, and Yohannes Tesfaye, NEGST Professor and Wood Endowment Chair recipient.

Pictured: Prof. Caleb Kim visiting with Chet and Dolores Wood

Prayer Request

  • Please pray for the virus to stay at bay and not come to the campus
  • Pray for the financial resources to lessen the unexpected burdens
  • Consider and pray that CLA meets its next year budget