Thursday, October 22, 2009

One more terrible thing to waste ....

by Harvey

This year, the seminary has 54 International Students from 22 countries. That’s impressive. According to the Dean’s office, 25 are from Africa, 18 from Asia, 5 from North America, 4 from Europe, and 2 from South America.

Personally, I find this mix very exciting. I am one of those people that will always try to find ways to engage with other cultures. And the privilege of having 22 different countries plus the US represented at the seminary is a terrible thing to waste. Not only is it a preview of where the global village is going. Lets face it, who has not heard that in the next two generation, the demographic make-up of North America will look very different. But this cultural mix is also of great educational value to the seminary as a whole. Hastings Banda, Malawi’s first president coined a phrase that soon became a proverb in Malawi; kuphunzira sim’kalasi mokha, komanso kuyenda. Literally translated, education is not only in the classroom, but also travel. It suggests that education is not only achieved through the classroom learning, but also through travel and exposure to other cultures. What a privilege we have here to get education and exposure at the same time! Yes, it needs patience, and deliberate effort, but it is not something we should waste.

The “Taste of the Global Church” hosted by the GMI gives us all a chance to hear and learn from what God is doing in the wider world. I may have to emphasize here that the “Taste” is not necessarily meant to be gathering of international students, even though that is what it turns out to be. Don’t our American friends want to hear of what the church is going through in Malawi? Burma? Nigeria? South Korea? Believe you me, you would have enjoyed Denis Gelinek last Friday. I still can’t get over his question, “What would Luther say?” [to the German Lutheran church today.]

As an addition, the International Students’ Association at Luther Seminary is now in operation under the leadership of Sekenwa Briska as chairperson. The vice chair is William Obaga. I serve as secretary with the help of Woongdon Joshua Choi. Jacob Kanake is treasurer, and Denis Rakotozafy is the Events Coordinator. We appreaciate Joeivan Kataraia’s help as the Spuoses’ coordinator.


Anonymous Sarah Ruch said...

Thanks for your comments Harvey. I have also heard that the number of ordained international students is extremely high this year, somewhere around 26 I believe. I hope that these students get chances to preside in our morning chapel services so that the community has that opportunity to see and experience a presider from another culture.

10/27/2009 11:52:00 AM  

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