Dr. Fred Shively has touched lives both near and far. Not only is he a professor of religion and ministry education at Anderson University, but he also has led more than 50 Tri-S trips. Shively has led students to countries such as Jamaica, Costa Rica, Greece, Mexico, and Italy.
Tri-S is AU’s unique international and cross-cultural program that allows students to integrate service, travel, and learning throughout the world. Shively began leading Tri-S trips in 1974 and continues to enjoy the opportunity to help others and to show students the world as it is.
“We do not go as tourists. We live in the homes, we sleep on the ground in sleeping bags, and we eat their delicacies,” said Shively. Students get a real-world experience by living a day in the life of the citizens. This experience allows students to understand the need of the people in that particular region, allowing them to serve better. “Not only do the students see the world as it is, but they also serve, giving themselves for a better cause,” said Shively.
[Photo: Dr. Fred Shively (pictured at right) during a Tri-S trip with AU students.]
Shively’s most recent trip to Uganda was memorable one. This past May, Shively led a group of students to East Africa for 12 days. During this time, the group worked closely with the Tumaini AIDS Prevention Program (TAPP), visiting families affected by HIV. TAPP supports women in Uganda who have been affected by AIDS, either personally or due to a loved one having the virus. These women create beads using recycled magazines to sell for jewelry making. “These people have very little, but yet they open up their arms to you and give you the very best that they have,” said Shively.
The missions group advocated for orphans and children who were raised by their grandmothers. “Oftentimes, grandmothers are left to raise children because grandfathers and fathers are either dead or they have left,” said Shively. To help these children and their guardians, the students organized school libraries and painted the walls of the grandmothers’ houses.
The group also held conferences for men, women, and youth. They played games and taught Bible stories to the children, and they shared testimonies and spiritual discussions with the youth. Women were taught how to use interpersonal skills and how to budget, while the men were challenged to become the leaders of their homes.
Sarah Russell, a senior secondary education major and a student of Shively’s, participated in the trip to Uganda. While there, she was overcome with deep compassion to serve families. One incident she recalls was a woman with HIV not being able to move, stand, or talk. “She was curled into a ball on the floor, and she did not have the money to see a doctor,” said Russell. The cost of a doctor’s appointment in Uganda is only $35 in U.S. currency. “We gathered the money and gave it to her, not knowing if she would be healed, but we still had deep sympathy,” said Russell.
Russell not only learned from the citizens of Uganda, but she also gleaned knowledge from Shively. “Dr. Shively blew me away with his intelligence in conducting some of the men’s groups,” said Russell. Shively led a men’s Bible study during which several of those in attendance posed questions. “It is apparent that Dr. Shively has studied the words and life of Jesus, because he always had a timely answer,” said Russell.
Shively is overjoyed with the community at AU and the opportunity to share that community abroad. “If I had to choose one word that embodies the AU family it would be ‘service,’” said Shively. “Students and faculty at AU are noted for their willingness to serve each other in and out of the community. My greatest achievement has been gaining openness through these trips and teaching it to students.”
— Kelli Webster is a senior from Indianapolis, Ind., majoring in communication arts. Webster is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of about 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.