After a long summer break, the old students are finally back, and the new ones have arrived too.
It’s always exciting to get to know the new students, to learn about them, what they want to study, and what drives them. I look forward to finding out where they come from, why they’ve come to Pretoria, and what kind of homes they’ve left behind.
The new semester began a bit under the shadow of the protests from 2015 and 2016. This meant again this year that we couldn’t participate in the Open Day. These kinds of security measures are all over the place, but they seem to be working well. So far, things have been peaceful. I only hear good things from the students, and even my own access to campus is working well. I’m able to go onto campus regularly.
This year started out with a whole group of new students. Right away, we have five from KZN, Mpumalanga, and Namibia who’ve joined our English-language work, at least for now. I’ve learned to not get too excited about initial interest from students, but still, I’m always really pleased to see the old students and the newcomers mixing well. It’s surely still a bit early, but I think my hope that they’ll find a home with us isn’t unfounded.
One of the new things this year is a workgroup made up of students and representatives of both congregations in Pretoria. The idea is to strengthen the connections to the congregations and to draw in more support from them for the student ministry. After a number of preliminary discussions, we finally had a first meeting, and there are more to come. It looks hopeful.
Finally, I’ll mention the topics we’re going to be working through in bible studies this semester, because I’m personally looking forward to them. We’ll be learning about other religions and other Christian churches, and inviting people to come speak to us. The students and I are hopeful that those guest presentations, together with my studies in between, will make for an interesting and educational semester.
So the new year is getting going. I’m interested to see what awaits us in 2017, and pray for the individual students and for the future of the whole student ministry work. I’d ask you to join me in carrying this work in your prayers. There’s nothing more important that we can do as God’s children than to pray for His blessing.
Of course, the work still depends on your gifts. If you’d like to know more or have more regular glimpses into the student ministry, I’d invite you to sign up for the monthly e-mail newsletter. You can find this by going to www.uplutheran.co.za and clicking on the link “E-Mail-Newsletter.”
Missionary Jacob Corzine
Pastor Jacob Corzine, Pretoria