Connections Archive

Award-winning Avondale students show true character


08 February 2008

Correspondence from two award-winning Avondale students illustrates the quality of young adult who chooses to study at the college.

Stacey Hetherington received $1000 for winning the Avondale College Alumni Association Community Service Award this past year but donated half the money to help build new a duplex house at the Wat Preah Yesu Children's Home in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Ms Hetherington served as co-leader for 35 Avondale students who served at the home for two weeks during their summer holidays in 2006/07.

"Over the past year, it has been a great pleasure to be part of where God has been leading the students of Avondale College," writes Ms Hetherington in a letter to the college. "Perhaps the biggest blessing was allowing God to use me to . . . minister for two weeks [at Wat Preah Yesu]."

Ms Hetherington returned to the home as one of 41 volunteers this past summer. The team, comprised mostly of members of the Kellyville Seventh-day Adventist Church, raised more than $60,000--$10,000 more than it needed--for building materials, reports Ms Hetherington. "I pray that this experience will have a similar impact as the trip that I assisted with at the start of the year had on the lives of young people here at Avondale College," writes Ms Hetherington.

She concludes, "I thank God for the opportunity to serve in the community and the manner in which He has blessed me undeservingly for it."

Kent Kingston received the Adventist World Radio (AWR) Award of Excellence in Radio Production and Public Relations, also worth $1000. "This award came at the perfect time for me," wrote Mr Kingston in an email to AWR senior vice-president Greg Scott. "The night before the awards ceremony, I had been doing some research and thinking about volunteering for a role in media ministry. . . . For someone with a wife and children, this is daunting. I was feeling fearful and frustrated at the prospect of supporting a family on a volunteer stipend or even in a 'faith-based' situation. . . . When I received the award, it was as if God tapped me on the shoulder and said, 'See, you don't have to worry about money--I've got it all under control.'"

Mr Kingston is now completing a six-month professional internship at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific's Adventist Media Network, based in Wahroonga. "Thank you for the encouragement you have shown me through this award," concludes Mr Kent in his email. "Thank you for the money, which has gone towards my children's education. Thank you for being an agent of divine communication in my journey with God."

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Last Updated:20th April 2010
Updated By: Brian Greentree