Posted: September 7, 2016
A beloved Assistant Professor of Science at HIU, Karen McReynolds cares deeply about her students and helping them see the divine connection between God and His creation. Her passion to teach God’s children stewardship of God’s creation led Professor McReynolds and her husband to volunteer with A Rocha International (ARI) and Suba Environmental Education Kenya (SEEK) over the 2016 summer break, working with two non-profit organizations in South Africa.
Karen’s involvement with ARI stems back to 2010. ARI is a Christian organization engaging communities in nature conservation. She volunteers in the community conservation program Arabuko-Sokoke Schools and Ecotourism Scheme (ASSETS) which provides sustainable sources of income to the families that derive directly from the local environment. By paying school fees for village kids and engaging entire families in conservation efforts, ASSETS both addresses the root causes of the local poaching problem and makes further education possible for the children in the region. “When we care about creation and look for ways in which both humans and the habitats that sustain them can thrive, we begin to move toward the stewardship relationship with the natural world that God originally established for humans back in the Garden of Eden,” says McReynolds.
Karen also is involved with another Christian environmental education group, SEEK. They operate a beautiful 13-acre camp on the shores of Lake Victoria in western Kenya. SEEK pursues the transformation of greater Suba by providing opportunities for young and old to know God through the wonders of His creation, becoming environmentally literate and able to address environmental issues in a biblical way that cares for both humans and the earth. The link between environment and people is very clear: healthy humans are dependent on a healthy lake, and lack of environmental stewardship in this area has brought devastation to many.
SEEK and ARI both exemplify the undeniable connection that humans have with the natural world. “I get to help students see for themselves the harmony between the two revelations of God: the Word and the world. These two “books” written by the same heavenly Author that have so much to tell us about who He is,” McReynolds states.