Students Giving Their All
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” Ecclesiastes 9:10
The students at the Kuruman House of Ministerial Formation (KHMF) often face innumerable hardships – long periods of time away from their families and friends, limited academic resources to do their assignments, issues of health, a lack of financial support and…….yet, those very words from the Book of Ecclesiastes comes to life through the words and actions of these students. That is to say, they show amazing fortitude and determination in the pursuit to become pastors and to do God’s work. They methodically conduct worship services twice daily during weekdays at the historic Moffat Mission Church as well as involve themselves in varying programmes of community development; a pre-school for the mentally and physically challenged, a senior citizen’s home for those either abandoned by their children or who are unable to care for themselves, as well as those working with NGOs to help empower communities being made to deal with alcohol abuse. Of course, they are also found at the Moffat Mission library, often working long hours on their academic assignments. Most of our students are either in their 2nd year or 3rd year of a diploma in Theology (3 year programme). Additionally, one of our students is in the last year of a B.Th. programme in Theology and there are several students who have completed their formal studies and are now placed in churches throughout Southern Africa as a part of an internship with the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) as the last step on the road to becoming pastors. Although faced by innumerable obstacles all along the way, these students give their all – through their words, actions, prayers and decisions.
Near the end of June, Jayanthi was in the hospital for surgery in Upingtom (approximately 300 kilometers from Kuruman). Yes, we give thanks to God that everything went well with the operation. But, we also give thanks to God for having come into contact with one of the students of the KHMF, who was doing an internship at a local church in the area. She visited with us in the hospital, praying with us and giving us words of encouragement. Again, Jayanthi and I were reminded of those words from Ecclesiastes, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it will all your might.” That student pastor helped to make an ordinary day into one complete with hope under the loving guidance of God.
We also would like to give thanks for those churches back in North America that have helped in our work at the Kuruman Moffat Mission, including the donation of 4 study bibles and a printer for the Mission library to help enable the students to successfully do their work, as well as the purchase of a flip chart to help with issues of teaching. We also give thanks for your many prayers and words of encouragement through emails.
From time to time, I’ve had opportunities to preach and conduct the worship services in one of the area UCCSA churches, which is an Afrikaans speaking congregation. Although, I often find myself a bit unsure as to what I am doing and what is needing to be said, these people have opened their hearts to us and have helped to remind us again and again – that in God’s house we are truly one.
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. Jim serves as an instructor at the UCCSA House of Formation. Jayanthi serves as librarian at Kuruman Moffat Mission.