A Hero For God Carl Wilkens Receives Outstanding Achievement Award
Carl Wilkens has been awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award by the Alumni Awards Foundation for his selfless demonstration of God's love during the Rwandan genocide and for his untiring efforts since then to help Americans understand what really occurred and how it can be prevented in the future.
Wilkens is dedicating the associated grant to the Milo Elementary School and Milo Adventist Academy.
Wilkens was the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) director in Kigali, Rwanda, when the genocide began in 1994. His family, his church and his government all asked him to flee to safety, but Wilkens felt that staying behind was the right thing for him to do. He was the only foreigner who was able to move to certain parts of the city to bring water, food and medical aid to the suffering Rwandans, saving countless lives. With unfailing courage, he constantly risked his own life in order to minister to the great needs surrounding him.
This is not Wilkens' first award. In recognition of his efforts to increase the dignity of all people, the Saint John's School of Theology honored Wilkens with the Dignitas Humana Award in 2004 for demonstrating a life of compassion, service, respect and kindness.
He also received the Medal of Valor from the Simon Wiesenthal Center for his bravery and individual acts of heroism during the genocide. Additional awards include LaSalle University's Diplomat-in-Residence for his lectures on the Sudan Crisis, the Honor Award for exceptional love for humanity from the International Religious Liberty Association, the Education Award for outstanding ministry from the Oregon Conference, and the Outstanding Service Award from the Upper Columbia Conference for so faithfully representing the Adventist Church in Rwanda.
Today, Wilkens pastors at Milo Adventist Academy in Days Creek, Ore., where he lives with his wife Teresa and their three children, Mindy, Lisa and Shaun. After graduating from Walla Walla College, Wilkens received his MBA from the University of Baltimore.