Graduation: Closing One Chapter and Opening Another

Our work with the Andrew Connally School of Preaching has been rewarding. I am especially thankful to have been the teacher for such vital classes as Homiletics I and II, The Preacher & his work, Personal Evangelism, Marriage & Family, Romans & Galatians, Missions, and Minor Prophets. Other classes I have taught to previous graduates have included: Isaiah, Luke, and Greek I. The eight men, who came to us from various places in Tanzania and Kenya, have studied with great diligence.

Following my last instruction day with these students, they all filed into the Land Cruiser, and came to our home. Joy and Lindsey had prepared a wonderful meal to honor their upcoming graduation. We enjoyed a nice visit while the meal was receiving final preparations. It is interesting to know that depending upon where a person was raised will largely determine what foods are considered special versus what is usual. For some of the students the rice was what would be more special since their usual was ugali (corn meal dish), while for others it was the opposite.

Saturday was the graduation ceremony. Decorations, diplomas, caps and gowns were all in readiness. Joy, again this year, made the special Bible shaped cake as well as the cupcakes. The graduates were: Tom Alusula, Richard Aroko, Mahiga Buriet, Charles Mwakalonge, Odede Obimbo, Phabian Onyan’go, Charles Otoyo, and Eliya Samhenda. Each student was presented with their diploma, a leather bound English Bible, and $200. Roger Shepherd, who just finished teaching a short course, was the guest speaker. His address to the graduates was: “Proper preparation prevents poor performance.” It is our sincere prayer that these men who go forth will serve the kingdom in a great way. They are closing a chapter in their lives, and opening another.

In a similar way, our family is also closing one chapter and opening another.  This concludes our work with the school of preaching.  We are working towards a transition  to a new location in Tanzania – Iringa.  We are excited about the possibilities that lie before us.  To be honest, we dread the moving part -a lot.  Moving, particularly in Africa, is exhausting.  But we are looking forward to relocating and focusing our energies.

George and Joy

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