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Protests in Africa won’t deter Christian college, leaders say


Students study the Bible at African Christian College in Swaziland. (Photo by Erik Tryggestad)

Reporters from around the globe poured into the tiny southern African nation of Swaziland recently to cover protests there. Demonstrators in the country’s largest city, Manzini, called for democratic elections in Swaziland, the continent’s last absolute monarchy, the BBC reported.
Church members in Swaziland have contended with multiple police roadblocks, but otherwise it’s business as usual at African Christian College, said president Larry Carter.
“To put your concerns to rest, all is well at African Christian College,” Carter said in a recent e-mail from the college, located near Manzini in Tubungu, Swaziland. “We have not been affected by the unrest that has occurred in Swaziland and everyone here is safe and going about their normal daily routines.”
The college, which trains students from about eight African nations for ministry, is moving ahead with plans to construct a 3,600-square-foot library on its campus, said Ira Hill, a church member in Texas who teaches at and raises money for the college. Construction is slated to begin in July.
The new library is the dream of general contractor Tom Wolfe and businessman Ron Butler, members of the Camelback Church of Christ in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“This is a Kingdom project, not a Camelback project,” Butler said. “Many Christians from congregations large and small will come to build. Many others will provide funds for construction materials.”

Librarian Misozi Mhango stands in the current library at African Christian College in Swaziland. (Photo by Erik Tryggestad)

I was blessed to visit African Christian College in 2010. (See a story in which ACC students discuss the pitfalls of American support, and a related feature on the marriage ministry of ACC instructors Fielden and Janet Allison.)
I visited the school’s current library, which rapidly is running out of space.
The new facility “will provide more than enough space for an outstanding library collection and help facilitate the accreditation process now underway,” Hill said. “It has been designed to facilitate the transformation of the minds of the students in a study environment that encourages reading and reflection.”
Despite the free labor volunteered by church members, the cost of the facility is estimated at about $250,000, Hill said, adding that “there are a number of opportunities to honor those to whom honor is due by funding major areas of the new library.”
E-mail Hill for more information. Contributions may be sent to African Christian College, P.O. Box 70033, Albuquerque, NM 87197, Mark checks “for New Library.”
Here’s a video I shot at African Christian College last year.
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTtXzU5LXBI&feature=player_embedded

  • Feedback
    What a thrill to learn about the new library coming together. Even more thrilling is the hand of God keeping dear friends and our brothers and sisters in Christ safe and secure in Swaziland despite unrest. Thank you gracious Lord for their protection!
    Karen Bruce
    April, 15 2011

    I pray that God will protect all the families from Camelback Church of Christ and Phoenix, Arizona who have worked so hard in the planning for this library and are planning to travel there this summer to actually build the building. They are a dedicated group that believe in Christian education, not just in the United States but in Africa also.I pray the God will bless the people of that country with peace and the students at the college with the opportunity to grow in wisdom and in favor with God and man.
    Tom Trimble
    April, 16 2011

    I pray that the ACC library giving will continue long after the builders return home.
    Taylor Henry
    April, 19 2011

Filed under: Breaking News News Extras News Links Travel Reports

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