Thursday, September 2, 2010

Glorious Graduation!

Chris "hooding" Frans, the student who graduated top of their class...

Some of our current students singing...

Chris speaking to the graduates and telling them how proud he is of them!

Principal Chris leading the processional into the sanctuary. He is so official here!

Graduates posing before the ceremony began in front of one of the classrooms.

What a day of CELEBRATION!!! This was the very first graduation at GST NW where the students received an official Global University diploma...this was a monumental event. It is difficult to describe the amount of joy that was experienced; I think it was equal to the difficulties that were experienced by the guys that finally finished.

When Chris arrived at GST NW as the Registrar, he quickly uncovered a mountain of paperwork that revealed many problems. He realized that much of the work that the students that were currently there and that had attended in the recent past had done, was not done properly or at least was not recorded. So, he did his best to remedy the situation with the help of several GU missionaries. The school had experienced some extreme financial difficulties (like they had NONE) and so many parts of the school began to deteriorate. The school suffered physically and academically as a result of these financial hardships. Therefore, the students were the ones to suffer the consequences. They told us that they spent hours...6 to 8 at a time fasting and praying and crying out to the Lord for some sort of relief. They often went without food, electricity, and even water. The school became a target for robbery since there were no lights on campus and at one point the chairs, dishes, and stoves were stolen from the kitchen. The students went out and found these things and brought them back from the enemies' camp! When Chris told these committed guys that although they would have to do some extra work to remedy the academic issues, they would be able to finish, they began to cry and rejoice all at the same time. They told him, "Maruti (pastor), we had no hope, and now you have come and brought hope to us". These guys were dedicated; they stayed faithful through the most difficult of circumstances and were humble and had great attitudes. When I had the opportunity to stand on the stage and watch the different national church officials hand out their diplomas and Chris put their hood on their shoulders as they knelt before him, I sobbed. I was so proud to have been a part of their Bible School experience. Something that was hopeless and satan tried to keep them from, ended in the most positive and powerful way. What could have been disaester, became glorious...that is exactly what God does! He is so good! We didn't deserve to be a part of the solution, but we were more than honoured to have been. It only takes one day like this to motivate us to live through ANY struggle and fight hard for what we know God has called us to do. I will share a few of the graduates' testimonies sometime in the future so you can hear first hand what God is doing in their lives as they are now out serving him in full-time ministry all over South Africa and one student is in Zambia. Thank you to those of you who support us both in prayer and finances to be a part of this amazing school! No place we would rather be...

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