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Known to God from eternity are his works

Written by Jim and Jayanthi Wilson
May 12, 2008

"Known to God from eternity are his works"   -Acts 15:18

We never fully know the paths that we will take; nor how we will be influenced by the countless people who come "in-and-out" of our lives; but we have reason to give thanks to God, whose knowledge is whole and complete.

Our older daughter Shanthi, who resides in Fargo, North Dakota, has been visiting with us over the last few weeks. Separated for "years at a time"- our family relishes opportunities like these to laugh, to play Scrabble, to talk about a little of this and that, and to commune in each other's presence. Anyway, in the midst of that visit while in the local marketplace, a woman approached my wife and me and said that we looked very familiar. In the conversation that followed, we discovered that this woman had been a student at the same school where Jayanthi and I had worked more than 27 years earlier in Mussoori, India (Woodstock School- a Christian boarding school in the foothills of the Himalayas). This woman couldn't have been more than 10 years of age at the time. What a memory! Not only that, her mother was the doctor who brought Shanthi into this world. It is not only a small world; it is also a blessing to have had our lives touched in such an unexpected and mysterious way….."Known to God from eternity are his works."

Kgolagano College of Theological Education (where I work) has been experiencing tremendous uncertainty and change as it attempts to revise its curriculum and work towards national accreditation as a tertiary institution. It has been made to face all kinds of hurdles. One of those has involved attempting to find sufficient academic resources to facilitate that learning. Through a recent gift from Global Ministries, we have now found ourselves a little closer to making that new curriculum a reality. It has allowed us to purchase much needed books for the library in key areas.

Nonetheless, we are still faced with the task of attempting to find ways to put books directly in the hands of our students- many of whom are located in remote villages scattered throughout the country; books that are prohibitively expensive and beyond the reach of those from disadvantaged backgrounds. In response, we have located books and journal articles freely available on the internet and made available by the author/s and/or publishers or which are no longer bound by copyright laws.

Gutenberg Project and the World Public Library amongst others have become familiar internet sites frequented by Kgolagano's academic faculty. It has yielded a wealth of material which can be used as resources by our students. That is to say, once collected, it can be placed on a CD/ DVD and accessed on a computer by the student or photo copied for personal use. In cases where students don't have access to either (approx. 10 percent of our students come from the prison) other arrangements have been put into place. This approach to theological training was not the path that we had intended to take when we began this endeavor more than a year ago. Nonetheless, we have reason to thank God for what has unfolded before us- an abundance of materials; some of which can now be incorporated into the new syllabi.

While traveling by car in the northern part of the country, three immense elephants crossed the road in front of us (Botswana is home to one of the largest elephant herds in the world). When something like this occurs, it is wise to be patient and wait until the elephants have crossed to the other side.  Because of their size, they are the ones who determine when car can come and go. While waiting,   it is wise not to be impatient and not to honk one's car horn…..or to shout for them to get out of the way. It is really a prudent thing to wait! In the same manner…as we can only wait….to see what unfolds before us by the grace of God. There is no way to imagine what will happen next.

Our younger daughter Priya will graduate from the Bachelor of Social Work program at William Woods University in Fulton in the early part of May of this year. It is path that we thought she'd never take. And nonetheless, while visiting and working as a volunteer here in Botswana- she made a decision to make social work her life's work. It was a path no one could have contemplated at the time. Nonetheless, we are thankful for it happening in the way that it has.

We also give thanks to the many people and churches that have touched our lives over the last 19 years while serving as missionaries in Africa.  Yes, "Known to God from eternity are his works."

Jim and Jayanthi Wilson

James & Jayanthi Wilson are missionaries with the Kgolagano Theological College in Gaborone, Botswana.  Jim serves as a teacher of theology at Kgolagana Theological College.  Jayanthi serves as seconded staff to the Mabogo Dinku Advice Centre in Gaborone, Botswana.  She works in community development at the Mabogo Dinku Advice Centre. 

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