Saturday, July 24, 2010

Graduating Class of 2010.

July 24, 2010
Thirty-six students (34 men and 2 women) received their diplomas.  Students took 33 different courses during their three years of studying Theology and Christian Religious Education at the CASA Bible School.  These students are remarkable because they doubled their course load in order to get this diploma. They have committed themselves for three years to study the word of God seriously on top of their university study.
These remarkable students inspire me and challenge me in many different areas of my life. 

An average age of university students in Rwanda is around 25 years old, and their secondary education takes longer to complete then American education.  Especially for this generation of students (in the photo), their education was interrupted by the war and poverty.  Some of CASA students I talked to grew up in refuge camps where there is no school. 

University students take their education seriously, only about 3% of the population enters university.  Students who are in this CASA graduation picture have gone through the 1994 war when they were around 10 years old.  I am guessing that this generation will be the one who will work hardest to build their country, if the Korean history is applied to Rwanda.  I often see the CASA students approach to life is quiet different then many young people of their age from developed countries.  They express frequently and loudly their gratitude to God for their life, they often express that they are grateful and they are guilty at the same time for a fact that they have survived when many of their friends didn’t.  When you have seen the darkest evil in the humanity’s heart at a tender age, I am sure, there are lots of issues that have to be sorted out.  Then where do you go?  Who do you go to?

These students turned to God for answers, and dig deeper for the truth.  That is where CASA comes in.  Our goal is to create an environment where serious students can come together to discuss, to study, and to grow in the knowledge of God and themselves. As I talked to the graduating class of 2010, I am convinced that they found answers: they know whose they are, they have a clear purpose for their life, therefore hope for the future.

As they are being trained to be a leader, they are also being trained to be a servant.  When they soar as a leader for their country, they will have two wings to balance them.  They will become a servant leader.  I am honored and humbled to take a part in their life journey.  My husband and I  along with Pastor Paul and Pastor David are handing a diploma to each student at the graduation ceremony at NUR, on July 24th, 2010.