A peep into life in Africa, through the eyes of an African Reformed Baptist pastor.

Water, water, water, everywhere. What else do you expect? I am a Baptist, and I live in the land of the mighty Victoria Falls!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The ACU—A university that transforms character

The proof of the pudding is in the eating
My speech at the ACU 2017 Annual Chancellor’s Dinner

"Yours truly" giving the annual chancellor's speech
I am mindful that it is now two years since we opened doors for the training of students at the African Christian University. We have seen two sets of students go through our Scholars Program. Listening to parents of these students who have been trained by our faculty convinces me that we are on the right track. A few parents gave these unsolicited remarks about their children on the social media site Facebook earlier this year.

Parent 1: “Thank God for ACU! This boy has really changed and become helpful at home and great blessing indeed! l am a proud and blessed mother!”

Parent 2: “Awesome program at ACU! It has completely transformed my ?Simbi Uwishaka?. No need giving instructions for chores at home.”

Parent 3: “When I look at what my son is learning, I wish I had that privilege at UNZA.”

A parent sharing about the transformation in her son while studying at ACU
Evidently, within months of students being trained at ACU they become hardworking and very responsible individuals. We are not only passing to them head knowledge. We are working on character development—and the results are showing. Which other university in Zambia is having parents saying such words about their students when they return home?

In case you think the parents are biased, here is what one student wrote to me upon graduating from our Scholars Program this year: “My year has been phenomenal mostly because of my time at ACU. It is the best school year ever. Honestly, if I got a chance to go to Princeton or Stanford I'd choose to stay at ACU. I've gotten the chance to learn from a point of view that I hardly knew even existed. I really want to learn more because not only do I get fed intellectually, I also get to grow socially and even more importantly, spiritually.”

Dr Voddie Baucham explaining ACU's philosophy
How are we managing to produce such results? Of course, it is by the grace of God. However, we must also state that from the angle of human responsibility, we are teaching students to integrate their faith with their studies.

(1) All our courses are being taught from a God-centered biblical worldview. All truth is God’s truth. He made the universe and our role as humans is that of “mining” its potential so that we subdue it for the good of God’s world and for the glory of God’s name.

The musicians who kept the guests entertained all evening
(2) All our students are divided into small mentoring groups where they are allocated to members of the faculty who meet with them regularly. In these life-on-life meetings, they are helped to become the kind of individuals God wants them to be at a very personal level.

(3) Then we have our flagship, the student labour program. Our students not only study but also participate in the maintenance and development of the university. They begin to see work as a joy and not a burden, and immediately see the application of what they learn.

Guests listening to the presentations at the dinner
As we go into 2018, we want you to join hands with us in investing into these young lives through the sponsorship of scholarships. Let me end with an appeal that I got recently from one student that I would certainly want to see get such a scholarship:

“I had been given a scholarship for the ACU Scholar's Program and I thank God for that. However, that scholarship doesn't extend to the Degree Program. I've applied for one for next year but it is not guaranteed. I was hoping that maybe, somehow, you could help me find someone willing to sponsor me next year from KBC or anywhere else because mum and dad are not really financially equipped to do so. It would mean a lot. I am also promising to do my best academically throughout because I am tremendously eager to learn from the ACU.”

...and then, finally, what our guests came for!
I hope that after reading this you will realize that some youths in Africa have begun to taste the pudding of the ACU through actual eating and they want even more of it. Consider helping us remove the financial barrier by participating in sponsoring student scholarships. Together, we can transform Africa for the glory of God!

(PS: The ACU annual chancellor's dinner is an event at which the ACU says thanks to those who have supported us in various ways and to also raise funds from well-wishers. If you would like to financially help us provide scholarships to students write to prashant.thakkar@acu-zambia.com)

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