Lectionary Selection: Acts 9:1-6 (7-20)
Prayers for South Africa:
Lord God, We thank you for the opportunity to worship you today. Show us the path you have for us and give us the courage and strength to follow it.
This week we pray for our mission partner, the Theological Education by Extension College in Johannesburg, South Africa. Be with the College in this time of adjustment as new staff members are appointed to the library, dispatch, and academic departments. We pray for the students as they reflect on their assignments and for the students that graduated last weekend as they contemplate how best to be stewards of your Word. We are grateful that we are able to grow in our relationship with You through study and meditation onYour plans for us. Guide us in the way to best serve you.
In Jesus' name, amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from South Africa:
Many of our students at the Theological Education by Extension College (TEEC) are eager to tell us about their "aha" moment during the registration season. This seems to be especially true of the students in the award program.
In 1976 the South African government declared a state of emergency and many South African students left their schools in a protest that lasted 13 years. Some never had the opportunity to go to school at all. The award program is one of five programs offered by the College and is meant to be completed by students with an elementary school education. It is offered in five languages: Afrikaans, English, Sotho, Xhosa and Zulu. Like all of the programs offered by TEEC the award program has a heavy emphasis on community involvement and preaching. The students are always excited to enroll in the preaching course. They have a drive to share stories of how God has worked in their lives.
Most of the students in the College's prison ministry are enrolled in the award program. Each year we receive letters from new prisoners requesting enrollment. These letters are memorable because each tends to start the same way, with a confession. Most of the prison ministry students are in maximum security, many have received life sentences. Many claim that prison is where they were able to reconnect with God and have a passion for helping others to do the same. These students feel a strong connection to Saul of Tarsus, who had to acknowledge his past and move forward on the new path that God had planned for him.
A South African prison isn't the easiest place to be a follower of Jesus; gang activity and violence are rampant, but these students are committed to their call and they're making a difference. Prisons with TEEC students regularly report a decrease in violence as compared to years before the students began studying.
All of our students are grateful to have an opportunity to study theology and to grow in their relationship with God. They are able to do so in part because of the support of Global Ministries. I want to thank you on their behalf.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Kristine Tisinger)
Mission Partners in South Africa:
- Related Institution: Wola Nani
- Related Institution: Ons Plek
- South Africa Synod, United Congregational Church of Southern Africa
- South African Council of Churches
- Theological Education by Extension College
- United Congregational Church of Southern Africa
Video Resources about South Africa:
More information on South Africa:
Global Ministries Missionary in South Africa:
Kristine Tisinger, a member of University Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Fort Worth, Texas, serves the Theological Education by Extension College (TEEC) in Johannesburg, South Africa. She works as an administrative assistant in the Academic Department and Library.