"to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faithin me." Acts 26:18

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Knox Theological College Graduation

We praise the Lord that Knox Theological College was able to celebrate a graduation.  The men that passed 10 or more courses received a certificate, the men that passed 20 or more courses received an advanced certificate and the 3 men that passed 30 or more courses received a full diploma.

All of these men have made great sacrifices.  For 1, 2 or 3 years these men have attended class instead of finding a job.  Their wives are able to have gardens to provide for most of their food and a few of the wives were able to do some type of trade, but for much of the year, while their husbands were studying, they went without extra cash...the cash that would normally be used for school fees for children, clothes, and medical needs.

In addition, all of these men and their families have made these sacrifices with no hope of earthly payoff.  In America, we may choose to "suffer" for a time while we attend school (I put that in quotation marks because never can I recollect a time when Eric and I did not have three meals, were not able to take our children to the doctor or did not have a car to drive...our suffering was not eating out quite as much, getting state sponsored health care and all squishing into a small car).  But at the end of our school years, we can usually guarantee that, God willing, we will have a job and we will be able to earn an income.  As it stands right now, these men will not earn an income for their work as a pastor.  They will all have to find other employment and write their sermons and do their pastoral visits in their spare time.  There are several reasons why this is...a cultural idea that the pastor is the "big man" and is to always be giving the congregation gifts, the fact that most of the village churches have only 1 or 2 families where someone is employed and the fact that many of the people in the congregation are widows and orphans.

But these men have suffered with joy...they long for the day when God will say to them, "Well done good and faithful servant!"  They live radical lives of obedience to Christ's high calling.  Many of them have already begun serving in churches, where they eagerly proclaim the good news of Christ Jesus every week.  May God give them much strength in the days to come.  May he give them much joy and much wisdom in their labors.  Pray for these men as they labor the fields that are ripe for the harvest.

It was such a joy to see them come to this moment!
John Omoke, valedictorian
When we first arrived in Uganda, this student's wife had left their home and returned to her parents house.  She had not done this in anger or because they have a bad marriage, but simply because they had no food for the children.  With a little bit of financial help, they were able to start a salon...she does ladies hair during the day with her children happily playing near her and when he is not studying, he is able to do men's hair.  It has generated enough income to allow her to move back home and him to continue his studies.  He is one of two students who have come to us from a Pentecostal back ground and have come to see the beauty of the doctrines of grace.
We pulled these boys away from their lunch to take the picture.  They weren't too pleased...lol! 

Talitha "helping" out with pictures

This is one of three Kenyan students that attended KTC.  For three years these wives said good-bye to their husbands while they would come to KTC for two to three weeks at a time to take courses.  During their commutes on local taxi-buses to and from Uganda (just this year), these men were robbed and were involved in an bus accident.  They often were not home to care for sick children, to help their wives through pregnancies, or to help feed their families.  We are praying that God will raise up a seminary in Kenya where the reformed churches of Kenya can send their men to train, but in the mean time we praise the Lord for their faithfulness and their hard work.  It was such a blessing to meet their wives and children!  What women of faith!  And I can't wait to tell you about what these three students did after graduation...check back here soon! :)

1 comment:

  1. It is true, Dianna. In college, not having a job for us only means that we can't spend outrageously, but we still have the basics and more, including, but not limited to; school healthcare, food, extra money for eating out on occasion and for things like movies or shopping. There are also a lot of jobs in downtown Portland, and there are jobs on campus for students'. There is also a career center, and a bunch of career resources for students' having a hard time finding a job. Plus, the skills that you can get in the city (like the skills I earned working for the Computer Action Team in the College of Engineering and Computer Science Departments) are beyond valuable. Even with the student debt we have it will be easier for us to get jobs to pay it off. I never realized how rich we really are until I started reading this blog. The success of these men probably means so much more because of the obstacles they (and their) families went through to make it through school.