SNU and BFC join together in The Swaziland Partnership

Eleven Southern Nazarene University (SNU) administrators, professors and one SNU student will head to Swaziland, Africa on Tuesday, July 29 through Saturday,
August 9
. The Swaziland Partnership is a cooperative effort between the Swaziland Church of the Nazarene, Bethany First Church (BFC) of the Nazarene, and Southern Nazarene University.

The goal of the Swaziland Partnership is to reduce the incidence of HIV/Aids in Swaziland through the development of key spiritual, compassionate and educational resources.

Brad D. Strawn, Ph.D., Dean of the Chapel, Vice President for Spiritual Development at SNU is serving as the Swaziland team Go Leader.

“My role as leader of the educational team is to oversee the delegation and to facilitate SNU employees meeting with appropriate Swazi leaders. I will be with a special delegation meeting at the U.S. Embassy to discuss government funding for these projects,” Strawn said.

The following make up the Delegates from SNU to Africa: Dr. Davis Berryman, Vice Provost for Professional and Graduate Studies, Dr. Beverly DeVries, Education Professor, Dr. Carol Dorough, Chair, SNU School of Nursing, Dr. Tom Herskowitz, Chair, School of Business, Rev. Jason Hubbert, Associate for Spiritual Development and SNU Adjunct Professor, Paul McGrady, Assistant Athletic Director, Prof. Nancy Rizkalla, Director, Morningstar Institute, Dr Brad Strawn, Vice President for Spiritual Development, and Team Leader, Kendra Thomson, Director of Operations and Outreach and Megan Vickers, SNU student, President, Acting on Aids Chapter.

Dr. Beverly DeVries, will be participating in discussions on HIV/Aids curriculum and graded Sunday School material in partnership with nursing and theology.

“My specific goals as representative of the Education Department include: meeting with the College of Education and the Board of Governors. Evaluate their library, IT, and textbook,” DeVries said. “I’ll visit the Nazarene elementary and high schools to evaluate for potential internships for SNU students. I’ll also meet with an individual about housing possibilities for these school internships as well as check on the possibilities for SNU faculty to do sabbaticals.”

Over the last decade, many Nazarenes have invested in missions. In looking at the Swaziland and the HIV/AIDS crisis, we now have more knowledge and increased compassion for the Swazis. The Swaziland Partnership allows us to gain hands on knowledge in search to reduce the HIV/AIDS crisis through spiritual, compassionate and educational resources.

Overall goals, some short-term and some long-term will be prioritized, consolidated and refined following the summer trip. Included in the list of overall goals are: Health and Nursing, Harmonizing of the three Swazi Colleges, Pastoral Care Curriculum, Teacher Training College/SNU Education, Morningstar, Spiritual Development and Compassionate Ministries.

Professor Nancy Rizkalla, who recently joined SNU as the Director of Morningstar Institute, will join Dr. Tom Herskowitz to explore options for our SNU students to do possible international internships with the Morningstar Institute in Africa.

“We will be meeting with area leaders in microfinance and vocational training. They will include practitioners from Non Government Organization’s (NGOs), ministries and universities, both in Swaziland and South Africa” Herskowitz said. “We will be visiting two universities that offer training in microfinance.”

In communicating with several of the SNU faculty and staff, they have asked that we join them in praying for the team and for The Swaziland Partnership.

For more information on the SNU GO team, contact Dr. Brad Strawn at the SNU Office of Spiritual Development by calling 405-717-6216, or through email at bstrawn@snu.edu.