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First Container of Books Headed to Kenya

Evangel University recently shipped the first of four containers containing more than 19,000 books to two schools in Kenya - the schools will now have the largest libraries in the country!

Last summer, Evangel University announced that more than 50,000 books would be donated to several African libraries.

The first of four shipping containers was loaded in February and is now on its way to Kenya.

"This first container of books is going to two schools, one in Nairobi and one in a new school that is going into Kitengala, that the government has asked the Assemblies of God to build as a liberal arts school," said Stew VanArsdale, director of library services for Africa's Hope.

Africa's Hope is a training ministry launched by African AG leaders in 1989. VanArsdale has been with the Springfield-based organization for eight years. He served as a missionary for 21 years before that.

The books are duplicates and other titles that are not needed following the recent consolidation of Central Bible College and the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary with Evangel University.

There were 19,337 books in the first shipment.

"What we are sending represents more books than the University of Kenya has. So literally, the two schools that [we are] sending books to, will be the two biggest libraries in Kenya," said VanArsdale.

Also packed into the containers are 100 sections of library bookshelves -- 300 linear feet of steel shelving. According to VanArsdale, the organization purchased a semi-load of shelving from a university in Oregon. They have been using those shelves and sending sections to schools for many years.

Convoy of Hope, also based in Springfield, Missouri, is partnering with Evangel and Africa's Hope for shipping.

Convoy provided the trucks and manpower to get the CBC library relocated to the Africa's Hope warehouse and then transferred the container to the docks, ready to ship to Africa.

Evangel is currently raising $10,000 to pay for shipping through Africa's Hope.

"This will be an immense treasure for the continent," said John Easter, Africa's Hope director. Printed, quality, theology resources are in short supply in Africa, and these titles will be used over and over again by many thousands of students.

 Shipping container image used in accordance with Creative Commons license. Photo credit: Lauren Manning, Flickr