Victoria Peagler, Global Service Co-worker
Serving with Kgolagano College (KC):
KC is a Christian ecumenical college that was founded in 1975 by a federation of Churches and various Christian organizations in Southern Africa, primarily to equip pastors, lay-ministers and those interested in biblical studies, theology, and ethics, for pastoral ministry. Although the focus of the college remains theological in its orientation, KC currently offers a broad-range of board-certified courses in the Humanities, Professional counseling, and Leadership Development in additional to the theological focus to enhance the critical thinking of our students, expressly, those who aren’t interested in becoming pastors or seeking careers in fields directly associated with Christian ministry. However, these are students that wish to study with an institution whose underpinning remains Christian.
Describe the mission of our partner where you serve.
The college’s mission is to provide distinction and professional development as it serves the broad array of church leaders, the learning population, and the general citizenry of Botswana by offering diversified, and relevant academic programs of excellent quality. Furthermore, Kgolagano’s purpose is rooted in the African philosophical way of life (Ubuntu) in which care, reciprocity, acceptance, openness and equality are its core values.
What is your role in their mission?
I serve as the Deputy Principal and oversee the academic mandate for Kgolagano College. In this role, I chair the Academic committee; supervise the Registrar and the Dean of Academics offices; oversee and liaise with the quality assurance board of Botswana as regards the courses we offer; and I serve as a senior lecturer.
This position affords me the opportunity to nurture and expand my call to missions, while simultaneously be openly involved in shaping the scholarship, the literary views as well as to have a degree of spiritual influence in the lives of Botswana innovators, Christian ministers and lay-workers, and people who work in government, and the private sector.
What led you to want to serve?
I firmly believe that the core message of the gospel calls us to live our faith in ways that bring greater peace and understanding to our world. I have been an educator for 15 years and have always treasured an opportunity to serve in the field of education in a Christian environment, particularly on the continent of Africa. For years I have felt led to deposit from my life’s treasures that which God has given me so that I might be a blessing to others. Moreover, by serving as the deputy principal of Kgolagano College, I am learning afresh – lessons of endurance and resoluteness, and above all what it means to genuinely love my neighbor from every corner of the globe.
Is there a passage of scripture that carries special meaning in your daily work?
It is very difficult to narrow what carries special meaning in my daily work because my responsibilities are diverse and with said responsibilities often comes challenges where there is need for me to encourage myself. In this regard, David who found the strength and valor to encourage himself became one of my role models. With that being said, the scriptures that carry special meaning and keeps me focus in times of challenge, in times of exasperation and weariness, and in times of need are: Luke 4:18-19; John 10:10; Philippians 4:13,19.
What are some of the challenges facing the people where you serve or our partner?
There are two areas of ongoing concern:
1) Kgolagano College, by God’s grace, is experiencing exponential growth, but our staff is very small. Therefore, we need additional qualified lecturers and staff personnel to alleviate the overly stressed conditions that we are experiencing. Also, pray for financial support as regard our daily operations and for other resources necessary to continue the production of quality work as educators.
2) There are many political and economic issues, confronting Botswana. There is a growing concern from the locals regarding many of the government policies as they seem to enhance the lifestyles and pockets of the rich whilst the poor continue to struggle for jobs, food and housing. Additionally, there appear to be evidence in misappropriation of public funds by government officials and an ongoing collusion between these officials and various churches leaders often to the detriment of the less influential citizens and church members, as these officials garner votes, especially during times of lections. Please pray for the economy, jobs and unemployment among our young people.
What is a lesson you have learned from our partner that should be shared with churches in the U.S.?
Our American churches should do their best not to allow Sunday worship to become predictable and rigid to the extent where fellow-believers forget what it is like to enjoy being in the presence of God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit during worship. Moreover, I have witnessed how churches around the global share their resources with one another. American is a very rich country and it is my prayer that our American churches will seek to know more about their sister churches across the globe and accordingly, will pray and share their church resources, freely.
Which books have influenced your understanding of your country of service, work, or theology?
- My interest in and developing a love of Africa was sparked by reading the fiction novel When Things Fall Apart by - Chinua Achebe, and Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission, by David Bosch.
- I was and continue to be influenced and theologically challenged by the works of liberation and contextual theologians such as Gustavo Gutierrez’s On Job: God-Talk and the Suffering of the Innocent, Jesus and the Disinherited, by Howard Thurman, and the works of the late professor, James Cone, God of the Oppressed; Black Liberation Theology, The Spirituals and the Blues.
Concepts of God in Africa and The Biblical Basis for Present Trends in African Theology, by well-known scholar, Professor John Mbiti.
- A Postcolonial Feminist Interpretation of the Bible, by Musa W. Dube and Grant Me Justice! HIV/AIDS & Gender Readings of the Bible, edited by Musa W. Dube and Musimbi Kanyoro.
Which films have influenced your understanding of your country of service, work, or theology?
Shaka Zulu Story: Shaka kaSenzangakhona (1787 – 1828), also known as Shaka Zulu is a true story about a 19th century warrior who led the Zulu empire and was one of the most brilliant, and influential monarchs, but was a ruthless military strategist of the Zulu Kingdom.
- Black Panther (2018): T'Challa is heir to the hidden but advanced kingdom of Wakanda. T’Challa must step forward to lead his people into a new future as king and as Black Panther, but is drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people.