Yesterday at the Seminary’s end-of-academic-year-function we did not only celebrate the abundant blessings and mercies of our Lord, who has provided for yet another good year with lots of opportunity for learning, growing, living, praying and tasting how friendly our God is. No, we also said good-bye to the students from Liberia – our sisters and brothers in the faith, friends and members of our Lutheran family – who will not come again to the Seminary due to lack of financial funds and means. Students have come from Liberia to South Africa even in the previous century and when the Seminary was still in Enhlanhleni. The student T.Doe Johnson from Liberia was the first student who did his post-graduate studies in Old Testament at the University of Pretoria through support from this Seminary nearly 10 years back. Not coming back to Seminary is very difficult for them as you probably can imagine, but we don’t have any alternative at this stage. Lots of hopes are dashed, lots of faiths are sorely tried.
Even though the LTS in Tshwane (Pretoria) is running its operations on a shoe-string and doesn’t cater for any exorbitances we don’t see a way to support these students presently. At a annual cost of $5, 000 per student including return air flights, tuition, accommodation, food and support, medical aid our program here at LTS is quite competitive if you compare it with similar institutions on this continent and abroad.
This is the issue that weighed heavily on my mind in the past weeks and dominated my farewell yesterday. Read here, what I had to say (Message of the rector 2012) and also the regular rector’s report on PPP (RR at Prizegiving 2012).