After 3 years of hard work, a group of 18 trainees fulfilled all course requirements and were awarded a certificate of completion. But the certificate represented much more than just completed courses. The certificate was a symbol of the opportunity for theological education, the learning and growth that was otherwise unavailable to these students. One graduate gave this touching address at the graduation ceremony:
“As pastors, we need to be equipped with His truth. It is not easy for us to get theological training, because of our age and education level, because we just cannot leave our families and churches to attend school. Higher education is a dream that will not materialize. However, our Lord has called us and we cannot give up preaching. He has put this burden on our shoulders and in our hearts. Although we do not have any theological training, we are willing to place ourselves on the altar and get into the pulpit and preach. It is so difficult for us to prepare a sermon. It is like fighting our way in the mist, yet we continue on. It is God’s protection that we have not fallen. It is also His work to have this result. Today we are different. Now we are equipped. We know the method, we mastered the skill, we learned His truth, we own the baton, and we must pass it on.”
Pray for this group of graduates as they use new knowledge and new skills in their ministries. Pray that the year 2017 will see more believers equipped to shepherd the growing flocks throughout Asia!