Living a life of service to God and humanity: Olivet alumni Addison and Katrina Newell

Illuminating the mobilization and impact of Olivet’s mission.

November 8, 2018 Uncategorized

Addison ’15 and Katrina (Holm) Newell ’13 are teachers at Pfunanane Academy in Modjadjiskloof, South Africa.

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Katrina teaches grade 2. Addison teaches grade 4 mathematics and grade 7 life orientation, creative arts and Bible. They are also missionaries doing street evangelism, preaching, discipling, equipping churches and leading a soccer outreach ministry for village children. 

Addison is also a graduate student in an online Master in Public Administration degree program through Indiana University.

Katrina also coaches and mentors high school girls, leading a Bible study and worship nights for them.

And one more detail. Addison and Katrina are foster parents of a four-year-old and nine-year-old brother and sister. 

More about Addison

At Olivet, Addison majored in economics, finance and business administration.

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After graduating from Olivet, he served for two years with Teach for America, teaching mathematics at a middle school in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was promoted to department head and chosen for New Educator of the Year. Now, he is passionate about providing a quality mathematics education to South Africa’s underserved children.

Addison accepted Christ as a freshman at Olivet. He has preached across the U.S., in Japan and now in South Africa. Currently, he is learning to read and speak the Sotho language so he can better explain the gospel. He and a local pastor are creating a series of video teachings to help equip a new village church.

“I’m thankful to my Olivet professors for challenging me to think deeper, be a problem-solver and push the envelope of my limitations,” he says. “At Olivet, I matured in my faith in Jesus Christ through chapel, courses and the amazing community.” 

About Dr. Glen Rewerts, professor and dean of the McGraw School of Business at Olivet and one of Addison’s mentors, he says, “Dr. Rewerts taught me about spiritual discipline while providing a godly example and speaking God’s truth over my life.”

His advice to current and future Olivet students: “Serve now. Share the Gospel now. Learn from the exceptional wisdom around you. Practice what you are learning. You are never done learning.”

More about Katrina

At Olivet, Katrina majored in elementary education and was a member of the Olivet Tiger women’s soccer team. 

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Bill Bahr, head coach of the team, made a lasting impact on Katrina’s life. “Coach Bahr outwardly puts Jesus first,” she says. “He taught me that soccer has a greater purpose.” 

During their team’s mission trip to Kenya, God called Katrina to use soccer in building His kingdom. Today, soccer is giving her opportunities to pray over and share the gospel with hundreds of children in South Africa.

“As Christians, we are called to live a life that reveals the Father,” Katrina says. “Be excited about that. God thinks you are wonderful, and there is no changing that.”

“I believe my calling is to love on children so they know how special and important they are in God’s eyes,” she adds. “For the past five years, God has given me the opportunity to teach His sweet children in South Africa. My students have so much of my heart.”

To learn more about Olivet’s areas of study and Tiger athletics program, contact the Office of Admissions at or 800-648-1463.

Reprinted from Olivet The Magazine, Fall 2018 issue.

Published: 11/8/2018

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