Summer Adventure in Zambia

By Rachael Davies & Louisa Fandrich
Students and Faculty in Zambia

This summer we had an adventure. No, we didn't climb Mount Everest or walk across the Sahara Desert. But in a very profound way, 13 of us, students and teachers, experienced the power and reality of God. On Wednesday, August 27, we arrived in Lusaka, Zambia and the next day we were preaching. This was a unique evangelistic event sponsored by Global Evangelism and the Voice of Prophecy. Lonnie Melashenko spoke for the main satellite series, reaching all of Africa and parts of Europe, and we students preached our own meetings in the surrounding villages and compounds.

Our venues varied. At some sites, there were thousands of attendees who came to hear our messages, and at others we had smaller numbers. Chris Clemons had roughly the most people at his site by the end of the two and a half weeks spent preaching. He had around 5,000, but as he put it, "There were just too many to count."

Each of us had the humbling experience of sharing with those precious individuals God's sons and daughters, people who are so beautiful, so rich and full of spirit, love, and culture. In exchange for that humbling experience, they shared with us, and lives were richly blessed and changed all around. It was a joy and a privilege unlike any other to see people invite God into their lives and make decisions for baptism. Over and over again, He made it clear to us and to those to whom we spoke that He is an intimate God who loves and longs for each of us.

In the midst of the preaching, the singing, and the sickness, lives were changed for God. We heard moving testimonies from locals and even came away with our own new testimonies. One group cast a demon out of a woman. Dave Thomas was struck by an amazing conversion story of a layevangelist who worked with him. After preaching, Matt Vincent helped a dentist extract teeth. Children were enthralled with stories from the Bible told by the "White People" and were eager to learn new songs. We even learned to have more faith when things did not go as planned. Chris Clemons learned that lesson from his dear friend Lewis (pronounced LAYwees) when the electricity went out one night.

There is no way every experience could ever be fully captured and relived, for each of us grew in such meaningful ways. We went to Africa to be of service, to do something lasting, and maybe even to test our speaking skills. Through a variety of ways, God brought each of those purposes to reality. But He did even more than that. Through seemingly insurmountable obstacles and unexpected, sometimes difficult surprises, God revealed himself to us and gave us the gift of his presence and help. We cannot out-give God. And that's a lesson all of us learned this summer in Zambia.



Theology   62
Religion   24
Biblical Languages Majors   3
Freshmen   24
Sophomore   19
Junior   14
Senior   32

2004 Graduates


James Akers (and Melissa)

Tyrone Bryan

Bryan Cafferky

Christopher Clemons

Melissa Erbenich (SPCM)

Caleb Foss (and Calista Comstock)

William Frei

Tina Guldhammer

Brian Hart (and Erin Jones)

David Lounsbury (and Gena & Bailey)

Treye McKinney (ENGL)

Jared Spano

Howard Vandermark (MUSI)

Matthew Vincent

Janelle Cobb

Steve Cochran

Joshua Daarud

Tim Dunston (and Laura)

Jacqueline Gifford

Mark Janke

Lemasaniai Lauama (Lau) (and Peggy)

Donald Mansell (BUAD)

Jamie Schoepflin

David Ward
Biblical Languages
Bryan Cafferky William Frei Matthew Vincent  


Cuneiform Tablets on Campus

By Matthew Vincent
Cuneiform Tablets

Recently I had the pleasure of going through our Assyrian Cuneiform collection at the Archaeology Lab in Bowers Hall and beginning the work of translating what we have. The collection is made up of a handful of tablets and a dedicatory cone. The tablets recorded some sort of transaction between two parties, much like a receipt, and most likely were inscribed using a small wooden or metal stylus that created wedge-like impressions in the clay. The clay would then be baked, essentially turning it into a rock with an inscription.

The dedicatory cone is of a slightly different nature than the temple receipts. This style of writing was usually made by a person to remind a deity of who was responsible for building a temple, or for repairing one, or adding onto it. Our cone is no exception and is dedicated to the Sumerian god Nin-dar-a when a temple was built to him in the city of Lagash.

One might ask what relevance, or even what attraction, might a receipt hold for us today. I admit I am not particularly riveted to receipts, but with each receipt translated and published, we understand that much more about the ancient world. We might imagine that 4000 years down the road, not much is known about present-day civilization, yet for some reason many of our receipts were in museums. The people would begin to understand what we bought and sold, what was of value to us. They would understand that in our modern society we were not individual producers, bur rather corporate consumers, buying our food rather than growing it.

The study of these ancient languages and the writings left behind runs deeper than just receipts, however. While the standard temple document makes up a large quantity of what we have today, there are many tablets that are epic poems, mathematical instructions, astronomic calculations and logs, and historical documents. Many of these latter documents are of particular interest to us as Christians as they give the other side of the story, mention people in the Bible, or even, as some speculations go, make references to the Hebrew God, Yahweh.

The need for Assyriologists (those who study Akkadian and Sumerian Cuneiform) is clear, as there are today thousands of tablets in many museums around the world that have not yet been translated. There are very few places where a person can learn Akkadian or Sumerian, and we are privileged at Walla Walla College to have an emeritus professor, Dr. Richard Litke, who teaches these languages and many more.

Student/Pastor Mentors

WW Eastgate
Pastor Cary Fry
  James Akers
  Dayv Loundsbury
Milton Spanish
  Pastor Jorge Tenorio
  Chris Clemons
  Pastor Roger Johnson
  Tyrone Bryan
  Dennis Wicklund
Tri-Cities Plant
  Pastor Keith Hanson
  Erik Kort
  Nadia Neil
WW City
  Pastor Rick Bowes
  Jered Kostenke
  Pastor Troy Fitzgerald
  Will Frei
  Kris Loewen
  Matthew Vincent
CP Village
  Pastor Dan Solis
  Tim Peters

Student Missionaries/Taskforce

Lindsey Bauer New Zealand
Boris Brajnikoff   Papua New Guinea
Brooke Spiva   Micronesia



Theology Club

By Jay Melashenko

This year the Theology Club started off in excellent fashion. We have approximately 40-50 members with a full year of events lined up. In December we held a "Faculty Home Night" at Paul Dybdahl's house, and then on January 30, we will have a "Bible Character Banquet." Attendees will dress up as their favorite Bible character and feast on fun Mediterranean food. Another retreat is tentatively planned for January 28 at Camp Touchet. If that is successful, we may venture a camping trip in the springtime as well.

Earlier this school year the Theology Club had a booth at the Welcome Back Bash, a Haystack-in-the-Park Picnic, and led a group project on Service Day involving theology faculty and students. But our most successful event is the weekly Theology Club worship in Heubach Chapel, Wednesdays at 6:00pm. Students and faculty come together and participate in several types of worship services, some of which involve prayer, singing, personal devotions, Bible study, Ask-the-Professors Night, Dean's Hour, and also Colloquia. After worship, special treats, such as donuts or pizza, are provided to encourage interaction and fellowship. These weekly meetings have truly helped our club members bond together and with our teachers.

The club motto is Tekna Qeou which is Greek for "Children of God." We are all God's children, trying to do his will no matter who we are or what our major or profession. God is our Father and we are his children, so we worship and fellowship in his name.

Theology Retreat: A Mountaintop Experience

By Paul Dybdahl

At the start of each school year, the School of Theology hosts a retreat for departmental majors. This year's retreat took place October 10-11 and was held at Camp Elkanah, located along Meadow Creek, high in the Wallowa Whitman National Forest about 90 minutes from College Place. According to Doug Clark, the coordinator of the weekend, there are two main purposes for the retreat away from campus. First, it provides a time away from school when new Theology and Religion majors can get acquainted with returning students and with the Theology faculty. Second, the retreat sets a positive spiritual tone for the rest of the year.

The theme for this year's retreat was "Maintaining Balance." The retreat began on Friday evening with a devotional by Dave Thomas, Dean of the School of Theology. The rest of the evening consisted of supper, getting-acquainted activities, small group discussions, singing and sharing around a camp fire. Sabbath began with an early devotional followed by good music, student reports on their summer ministries, and a message on "Balance" delivered by Pastor John Cress of the Walla Walla College Church. In the afternoon, faculty shared their views on maintaining balance and also opened the floor for students to ask questions on whatever topic they desired. The retreat concluded Sabbath evening with foot washing (in Meadow Creek) and communion. In keeping with a School of Theology tradition, the final moments of the retreat were spent gathered around Pedrito Maynard-Reid at the keyboard as he led in a rousing rendition of the song, "Never Part Again." This final moment cannot be adequately captured with words on paper. Suffice it to say that when the last note was struck, vocal chords were strained, faces were beaming and hearts were full.

If student evaluations of the retreat are to be trusted, the two purposes for the weekend were met. When asked what they especially liked about the retreat, many responses included words such as "community" and "fellowship." One student mentioned "the time I got to spend with other theology majors, getting to know them and seeing how God has chosen such a wide variety of people to do a particular kind of ministry." Another student appreciated "the openness by the teachers. They became friends rather than appearing too distant." Still another mentioned: "Meeting many new people, not being afraid to pray. Having it where it was just our group, talking, learning, praising together." Finally, this student, after wishing that the weather had been warmer, said, "I really enjoyed the bonding exercises both getting to know the students and the faculty. The foot washing and communion were a huge blessing for me, and singing with Pedrito will stick with me forever."

IBCC Seminar Schedule - 2004

Date Church Topic / Presenter(s)
30 Jan - 1 Feb Portland Christians & Islam
Bruce Johanson
27-29 Feb Portland Letting Daniel Speak
Zdravko Stefanovic and Gudmundur Olafsson
24 April WWC Current Issues in Adventism
Adventisits and the World
March (TBA) Boise Archaeology
May (TBA) Bend The English Bible
May (TBA) Tri-Cities Passing the Torch

Excavating Bible Lands - 2004

By Doug Clark

The Madaba Plains Project-`Umayri (MPP-`Umayri) is mounting archaeological excavations in Jordan this summer. A long-time consortium member of MPP- `Umayri, Walla Walla College has played a large role in these excavations and invites interested people to apply for the experience of a lifetime.

The 2004 season (23 June-4 August) will be the ninth year of excavation at this site of importance to the past 5,000 years of human history, including especially the time of the patriarchs and matriarchs, the judges and Jeremiah. From 3000 B.C. comes a dolmen memorial tomb, rare for the fact that among thousands of dolmens from Palestine to Great Britain, it is one of only a handful with any remains still intact. It illustrates nicely the biblical practice of gathering one's bones to the ancestors.

At around 1600 B.C., the inhabitants of `Umayri constructed a massive defense system which lasted until about 1200 B.C. when an earthquake destroyed it. In the meantime, at around 1350 or so, a fine palatial building was constructed, providing one of five to ten buildings preserved from this period in all of Jordan. We will continue uncovering this "palace" in 2004.


Some of the best finds come from the time of the judges (1200-1000 B.C.). One of the oldest and by all counts the best preserved "four-room" house anywhere in the world has been excavated here. It represents the type of house plan used for centuries by ancient Israelites, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites and others, and provides all kinds of information about how the common people actually lived in Bible times. Many of the artifacts from this house can be seen in the Archaeology Lab at WWC.

From the time of Jeremiah and thereafter (seventh-sixth centuries) comes a major administrative center which controlled a vast small-farm network, producing mostly wine for shipment to places around the Persian empire. Lots of seals and seal impressions were found, one of which identifies the name of the Ammonite king who sponsored the assassination of the governor (Gedaliah) whom Nebuchadnezzar placed in Judah after he destroyed it. The Ammonite king's name (Baalis in Jeremiah 40:14) was Ba`alyasha`, or Baal Saves!

Please visit the MPP-`Umayri website at www.wallawalla.edu/mpp and click on "`Umayri." There you will find everything you ever wanted to know about the project and the forms to complete if you wish to join us. A handsome National Endowment of the Humanities grant for a summer teachers institute (middle and secondary teachers, take note!) will cover all the expenses of teachers who are accepted (deadline of 1 March).

In addition, the consortium has grown to include: La Sierra University, Canadian University College, the Division of Architecture at Andrews University, Mount Royal College in Calgary, Pacific Union College and Walla Walla College. This means that people from all over the place will be part of the team this year, including many students, specialists and others looking for adventure.


School of Theology Faculty

Dave Thomas, Dean Theology
Darold Bigger   Pastoral Administration
Doug Clark   Old Testament
Paul Dybdahl   Missions
New Testament
Bruce Johanson   New Testament
Biblical Languages
Susan Bungard   IBCC Guest Lecturer
Pedrito Maynard-Reid   New Testament
Zdravko Stefanovic   Old Testament
Biblical Languages
Alden Thompson   Old Testament
Adventist History
Larry Veverka   Pastoral Counseling


Dean's Report

By Dave Thomas

Although it is now well past summer (well into winter, actually) I thought to write about an experience that unfolded last summer. This past summer, it was my privilege and responsibility to accompany 13 Walla Walla College students on an eventful evangelistic excursion to the African country of Zambia. This evangelistic endeavor was sponsored by a number of different organizations, Global Evangelism and the Voice of Prophecy being the primary ones, all in conjunction with the local governing church entities in Zambia.

Over-seas evangelistic trips are quite common nowadays and, to be quite frank, I have some serious questions about how some of them are run, so I am not usually attracted to them. But the opportunity to go to Zambia interested me because it was set up so the students themselves would be the ones doing the speaking. All around Lusaka, the capital city, various venues had been prepared, and we were to come and occupy those podiums to speak to the people evangelistically.

In many ways, this trip proved memorable. We were very warmly welcomed by the local leaders. Then, very quickly, we ran into considerable adversity. Some of us started getting sick! Some found their speaking venues not quite ready. We also discovered that the speaker systems had not yet arrived. Then the power failures began, several every night, starting just prior to the advertised meeting starting-times, and ending just after the advertised ending-times. In many cases, the power failures involved only the actual evangelistic location. This was a real trial. But we all persevered and pressed on to see triumph out of adversity. On the final Sabbath of our stay, we all watched as, for two hours, people streamed into a large swimming pool in the city, were baptized, then streamed out the other side radiant with joy.

Several memories remain powerful in my mind. Perhaps the greatest was the reminder that God can use almost anything evangelistically. Then, I will long remember the way the students rose to the occasion and, in spite of difficulties, pushed on. It was also a joy to witness student reactions as many, for the first time, invited people to come to Christ for salvation and saw some respond!

We are blessed with a wonderful group of students here who are keenly interested in doing something for Jesus. I came home rejoicing that it had been a good experience for us all. This kind of stuff is formative for those interested in ministry!


Maranatha: A Word Study

By Zdravko Stefanovic

An important characteristic of the text of the Bible is that its terms and concepts are rich in meanings. For that reason it is essential to do word studies whenever we interpret a biblical passage. As we do that, we realize our limitations to communicate all the richness of a given biblical word by using a single corresponding word in the translation. This certainly is the case with the Hebrew words shalom ("peace"), hesed ("lovingkindness"), torah ("law"), Amen ("may it be so"), etc. In order to convey all the meanings of one of these terms within its semantic range one literally has to write an article if not a book. In this brief article I would like to look into the three basic meanings of a well-known Aramaic word, Maranatha.

When the first-century Christians met one another, their greeting was either "Shalom!" in Hebrew or "Chairein!" in Greek. An even more likely type of greeting that fostered their Christian identity was "Maranatha!" This Aramaic word is found in the Greek text of 1 Cor 16:22, and it may also be demonstrated that it is alluded to in 1 Cor 11:26 ("until he comes") and that it lies behind the Greek words in Rev 22:20 ("Come Lord Jesus!"). In 1 Cor 16:22, the Apostle Paul first utters a plea for Christ's parousia in judgment on those who do not love the Lord. The context here is one of cursing and of judgment, hence Paul uses the Greek word Anathema, saying that the coming of Christ in judgment will be bad news to those who refuse to love him. Yet that same event will take place in answer to the faithful who love the Lord. Their longing, prayer, and proclamation are best expressed by the word Maranatha. What is the meaning of this word?

When we analyze Maranatha, we see that it is a composite term in which its first part is the noun mar meaning "lord," qualified by the first person plural pronominal suffix an or ana "our." The second word is a form of the verbal root atha, "to come." Since it is impossible to convey all the richness found in this term by using one word or phrase in English, at least three different translations may be proposed for Maranatha. Rather than viewing these translations as mutually exclusive, we should consider them as complementary:

  1. Maran-atha: Our Lord has come! This is the first meaning of the term that places the verb in the past and qualifies it as an accomplished action. The statement that Christ came to earth has been the raison d'Ítre of Christianity as well as the subject of the early Christian proclamation (kerygma) of the Gospel. Christians were emphatic in claiming that God had fulfilled his promises because Christ came "according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor 15:3-8). For the early Christians, this coming was a fact that could not be denied. They were ready to give all they had including their own lives in confirmation of this truth.

  2. Maran-atha: Our Lord is coming! The second meaning views the verb atha ("is coming") as a participle that places the event in the immediate future. Often in the Bible, the inspired writers used the past or present forms of verbs to speak of God's involvement in future events. This was done in order to stress the certainty of the events that were bound to take place according to God's plan. The fact that Christ has already come becomes the foundation on which our hope in his Second Coming rests. A Bible scholar once wrote that Christianity must be eschatological or else it will not be Christianity at all. Early Christians were very much "adventist" in their lifestyle, teaching and the proclamation of the Gospel.

  3. Marana-tha: Our Lord, come! The third meaning views the verb as an imperative and places the word in the present. It is a believer's response to the statements that Christ has already come and that he is coming again. Thus, Maranatha becomes the prayer of Christ's followers: "Come, our Lord!" This prayer is not just expressed in words, but in the everyday life of those who pray it "without ceasing." They long for the moment when they will see their Savior face to face and exclaim, "Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation" (Isa 25:9).

In conclusion, the Aramaic word Maranatha is an original biblical term that is rich in meaning. It can be translated in the past as "Our Lord has come!", then in the immediate future as "Our Lord is coming!" and most importantly it becomes our timeless prayer "Come, our Lord!" The three meanings are not mutually exclusive, but they complement one another.

WWC Archaeology Lab Among Largest Around

By Doug Clark
Archaeology Lab

The Archaeology Lab at WWC, located on the ground floor of Bowers Hall just across from the new theology offices, is one of the largest archaeological reconstruction labs anywhere. At nearly 2,400 square feet, it provides space for the reconstruction of a huge collection of collared pithoi, large threefoot- high ceramic storage jars with a clay collar or ring around the jar just below the neck. It is a characteristic mark of such vessels from the time of the judges (1200-1000 B.C.) and they derive from ancient Israel, Gilead, Ammon and Moab.

The lab boasts between 60 and 70 collared pithoi, all from the four-room house excavated at Tall al-`Umayri between 1984 and 1996. The largest collection anywhere else in the world consists of about a dozen, those from Shiloh in Israel. Like trees in a forest, they are growing and taking shape in the lab as volunteers and students work to reconstruct them from thousands and thousands of broken pieces collected from counters all over the lab.


Debates have surrounded these large storage vessels, some scholars saying they were used for liquids, others for dry goods, some that only Israelites utilized them, others a variety of peoples from ancient Palestine and Transjordan. At least some of the 60-70 found at `Umayri stored grain and legumes, as carbonized remains demonstrate. The barley found in one of them was sent to a new 14C lab at the University of California, Irvine, and found to date to the time of the judges, precisely the time we determined from pottery analysis. The jars (averaging 135 liters of capacity) weighed 60 pounds each and held 184 pounds of barley or 230 pounds of wheat. This means that the 30+ vessels in the second-story storeroom (when full) would have weighed between three and four tons total. Adding the weight of the 30+ jars located on the first floor, the jars and their contents total nearly eight tons.

A facelift of the lab space, still in progress, has turned old chemistry labs, painted with a sickly two-tone green, into a totally new sandstone light brown. Much more archaeological! Once the new Administration Building is completed in five or six (or ...) years, the lab will be on the lookout for new digs of its own, hopefully sufficient space for the lab and a museum in which to display artifacts.

New School of Theology Digs

Main Hallway of new office

The School of Theology was the last holdout in the Administration Building before it went down this fall. And it was the top of the south wing of the building, where theology once lived, which took the first hits from the wrecking ball. It was hard to watch. But progress demands change and now the School of Theology has found new quarters in the recently renovated ground floor of Bowers Hall. Enjoy the photos of the main hallway (right) and the dean's office (below).

Dean's Office

Scholarship Shortage

The School of Theology is constantly on the lookout for funds (thousands of dollars!) to help theology, religion and biblical languages students meet financial obligations. The next generation of preachers and religion teachers, not eligible for a number of grants, will rise and call you blessed if you can contribute to this year's fund-raising project.

Thank you for:

  • praying about this


  • locating your checkbook or charge card


  • completing the enclosed funding form


  • sending it to the School of Theology in the self-addressed, stamped envelope.


Page maintained by Heather Huether
Last update on August 3, 2010