“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”
-Psalm 119:105 (NIV)
Between the valleys and the mountains, and the panoramic glimpses that we sometimes receive from life’s journey, is the everyday chore of placing one foot in front of the other, kilometer after kilometer- praying and hoping that we are on the right path, and doing what needs to be done. It is sometimes said that what may seem chaotic on a micro level, is ordered on a macro level. In many ways, I believe that is reflective of life at the Theological Education by Extension College (TEEC) in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Oftentimes, it is a mad rush at TEEC! Approximately 3000 students, representing more than 7 denominations, from all over Southern Africa engage in distance education with this institution, each and every year. Some are training to be pastors, others to be lay pastors, and yet others are doing it out of a desire to enrich their understanding of the scriptures, the Church and their own Christian faith. For example, the college successfully completed another academic term in October with 990 students writing exams in 1530 subjects spread out over 6 educational programmes; under the care of 13 TEEC staff and 130 support staff members. It really is a beehive of activity.
At the same time, the college is moving full steam ahead with the hope of introducing a new Higher Certificate programme in Christian Leadership and Management next year, along with the ongoing need of revising current course textbooks, as well as the need of developing new ones. As mentioned earlier, at times it is a mad rush of activity at TEEC, and yet, we are reminded of the those words from the book of Psalms, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path,” that God, through Christ Jesus insures that we are headed in the right direction… with each and every step.
One of the things that is exciting about the work that goes on at TEEC is how it is impacting the lives of so many people in Southern Africa, enabling individuals to become effective and able church leaders who would be unable to pursue their studies otherwise due to jobs, family commitments, limited financial resources, or living in communities where there is little or no access to higher education.
The college’s major focus has always been “to develop and deliver quality educational programmes within the Southern African context to serve the training needs of the Church.” Rushing to and from academic meetings, revising and writing textbooks, preparing and marking exam papers sometimes keep us from seeing the greater picture. However, God, through Christ Jesus does. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”
Jayanthi and I give thanks to all the tremendous support that we receive from churches all across North America. Your prayers and words of encouragement are greatly appreciated. God bless.
James & Jayanthi Wilson serve with the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA), seconded to the South Africa Synod and assigned to the Kuruman Moffat Mission. Their appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.