Ubuntu Retreat Center Opens

The 24-room Ubuntu Retreat Center at Africa University is open and it is receiving great guest reviews. A 12-person mission group, made up of students and the chaplain from the Wesley Foundation at the University of Michigan, was the first to be housed at the center. A second group of volunteers in mission from the Baltimore Washington Conference, led by Mr. Charlie Moore, also stayed at the center in early March.

The Ubuntu Retreat Center is a gift from the West Michigan Conference, where a campaign co-chaired by the former Grand Rapids District Superintendent, Rev. Dr. Laurie Haller, and Mr. Ed Edwardson generated more than $500,000 to fund construction.

Africa University, guest housing, conference center, volunteers, West Michigan Conference, United Methodist Church, gift, campus, ZimbabweCampaign leaders reached out throughout the conference with the invitation to participate, and all six districts responded with significant gifts. The generous outpouring of support among United Methodists in the West Michigan Conference, during a period of intense economic difficulty for the area, moved an anonymous donor to make a matching gift.

The campaign proceeds and matching gift provided funding of more than $1 million for Ubuntu Retreat Center.

The facility offers ten (10) double occupancy rooms and fourteen (14) single occupancy rooms, all with air-conditioning and ensuite bathrooms. Africa University, guest housing, conference center, volunteers, West Michigan Conference, United Methodist Church, gift  Africa University, guest housing, conference center, volunteers, West Michigan Conference, United Methodist Church, gift

It is located on the hillside that overlooks the Kwang Lim Chapel and the central area of the Africa University main campus in Mutare, Zimbabwe. Members of the AU Board of Directors, attending their first meeting for 2016 (February 10-12), toured the center. They hope to welcome leaders from the West Michigan Conference to the campus for a formal opening event later this year.