Thursday, May 8, 2014

Alumna News

Hali Brook ('13)

We have two boys and two girls homes in the Chiang Mai, Thailand area.
This is our whole family including 150+ children, Thai workers,
and American workers
In May 2013, I graduated from AU with a double major in Criminal Justice and Religion and a minor in Spanish. I had known for several years that I wanted to work with human trafficking and missions so when I heard about Remember Nhu (www.remembernhu.org) the organization was a perfect fit. 

We work against the sex slave trade by intervening in the lives of children who are at risk for being sold in the trade. They are welcomed into our children’s homes where their educational, physical, spiritual, and emotional needs are met--probably for the first time in their lives. Currently we have 32 homes in 9 countries and we are continually expanding as the Lord leads.

In Thailand I had the privilege of being able to live in the children’s home. I taught English to the children and Thai workers, organized activities for the kids, and assisted the house parents and American staff in whatever they needed.

Two of four sisters who live in our home
Posing for a picture
Most of our children come from homes with only one parent, drug and substance abuse, poverty, a new step-parent who doesn’t accept the children from previous marriages or in many cases a combination of few of these.  The typical age range of the children is 5-19 years old. For most children, learning English and completing high school is a huge success and a guarantee that they will be able to find viable work and not fall prey to the sex trade after completing school and leaving our home. Children are also able and encouraged to go to college if they desire. However, not all people are able to succeed in school. Some of our children come to us late in their childhood with never having consistently attending school. If they are so far behind, eventually they may not be able to pass the exams that some countries require to pass onto the next grade level. Therefore, Remember Nhu has started to open doors for vocational training. I was asked to move to Cambodia in January for three months to help open the vocational training center in Phnom Penh. I served as director of the center as well as an English and Math instructor and a Jewelry instructor. The center opened in January and we have had five girls so far come through and start to learn jewelry making, card making, and sewing. Having a trade and skill to fall back on will be a life preserver for those who can go onto college or even finish high school.  Products will soon be sold on the Remember Nhu website and the proceeds will be invested back into vocational training.

Learning for the first time how to sew on a machine
I am currently home on furlough; however, in August I will be moving to work with Remember Nhu in Bolivia. I will continue vocational training development and teaching English and Spanish. If you would like to learn more and follow my ministry you can check on my blog: http://followhali.tumblr.com/

Peace and Blessings,
Hali Brook

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Upper Level Courses -- Fall 2014

As you are putting together your fall schedule, please consider the following upper level religion courses being offered this fall:

REL 208 Exploring Christian Theology (12:15—1:30 TTh)  Dr. Hovey
An introduction to central doctrines of the Christian faith that is both respectful of classic theological traditions and open to the new voices and emphases of recent theologies.  A required course for religion majors and one of the best ways for religion minors to fulfill their Christian thought requirement. 

REL 213 Life and Letters of Paul (10:00-10:50MWF)  Dr. Aune
An examination of the life of Saul/Paul, author of much of the New Testament and arguably the most important figure in Christianity after Jesus.  We make a careful study of relevant sections in the Book of Acts and the letters attributed to Paul, aided by useful secondary sources.  We consider not only theological and social concerns addressed by Paul but also the ways in which his teachings apply to the contemporary world.

REL 233 History of Religions in America (9:25-10:40 TTh)  Dr. Slade
Focuses on the history of religions in America from the mid 16th century to the present.  Emphasis will be primarily on the social context within which American religions developed and secondarily on American religious thought during this period. Meets Core credit for Historical Reasoning. 

REL 301 Topics:  Theology and Practice of Worship (10:50-12:05 TTh) Dr. Dickson
Christian Worship is a source of great joy and inspiration for Christians. It is also a source of conflict. Is there a ‘right’ way to worship? How much creativity is too much? Can worship be culturally relevant and also grounded in tradition? In this course we explore these and other questions about the meaning, purpose, practice, planning, and contextualization of Christian worship around the world today. The class includes student experiences of representative worship services from various traditions and cultures.

REL 497 Religion Thesis Seminar (8:00-9:15 TTh)  Dr. Hovey
Designed to give religion majors (and minors who are choosing to write a thesis) a guided opportunity to research and write a paper on a topic of interest.