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Economics Professor Teaches for UN  

Date: October 10, 2006
Phone: 269-471-3322

Andrews University students are not the only ones on campus who have the opportunity to help change the world.  For one month this past summer Leonard Gashugi, associate professor of economics and finance, participated in TOKTEN Rwanda - Transfer of Knowledge Through Expatriate Nationals - a program funded by the United Nations Development Programme.

TOKTEN seeks to bring successful professionals who have gone abroad to study or work back to their home nations as volunteers, contributing to the training and development of their citizens. Gashugi, who grew up in the Congo and whose parents are Rwandan natives, was asked to share his skills as an economics professor in the TOKTEN Rwanda program.

Gashugi checked out the program's website and decided, "why not?"  So for the month of July 2006, Gashugi taught economics to a class of 273 students for four hours a day, four days per week, at the School of Finance and Banking in Kigali, Rwanda. He also helped with curriculum revision for the Department of Finance. During his time in Rwanda, Gashugi was able to meet several foreign dignitaries, including Rwanda's Minister for Labor and Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Science and Technology, who he met on a visit to the presidential compound.

However, it was not the meeting of dignitaries that was the most meaningful for Gashugi, but rather the several opportunities for sharing his faith that he experienced. Gashugi recounts the first day of class when he asked the students if it would be okay for him to begin the day with prayer. "They said yes," he remembers, "and after I finished praying, they clapped. This is a government school; it was unbelievable." Gashugi has several other similar stories of the Lord opening doors for him to share his faith.

"The Lord opens ways to minister to people if He knows we are willing," Gashugi states. "Having the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young people overseas was rewarding."

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