Friday, May 02, 2008

The Classes

We are three days into our first month long session at All Nations Theological Seminary, also known as ANTS. Our professor for this first session is a brilliant Malawian man that learned to speak English from Texan missionaries and so he talks with a twang, sort of like John Wayne and Charles Wesley rolled into one.

The class we are currently enrolled in is meant to explore current trends in missions and how those trends might affect the future of missions. We are looking at things like short-term teams and their increasing frequency and how they can be made more effective.

We are also discussing the issue of who’s vision do we pursue in missions? Do we have a right to dictate to a national church what they ought to be doing and how they ought to do it? As Dr. Chakwera put it, “You shall receive power when the Americans have come upon you.”

I get up around 5 each morning, not because I’m particularly a morning person, but because every day we’re expected to read something like 27 books, write a couple of papers and then teach ourselves how to make baskets out of porcupine hair (because you just never know!).

But when I climb out of bed feeling rather proud of myself for having accomplished such a monumental task as actually getting up before sunrise (as though God were at that moment placing a gold star next to my name for a job well done), as I make may way to the showers I am slapped with a good dose of reality.

I hear coming from the chapel just a short distance away, the voluminous cries of students at the undergrad school here calling out to God in passionate and fervent (which I think in the Greek means “really, really loud”) prayer. Every morning at 5 am they are already at it. Now, it could be due to the fact that they are in the midst of finals and final exams tend to make the most heathen among us lift a cry to heaven. But I think it’s more than that.

I think here in Africa people really depend on God for nearly everything (sort of like we in America depend on Wal-Mart). They know what it means to trust in God, to seek God, to have Him meet their every need (and they never have to worry about not finding a parking place!).

And so I am finding that here at seminary, my classes begin long before the teacher arrives and never really seem to end.

And I can’t help but think that the Lord would have it no other way.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go pluck a porcupine.

1 comment:

Tim Noble said...

What an amazing blog. And what an incredible life you lead! I'm very envious.