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Friday was the high point of the week here in Yangon. It was our fifth and final day of class work, testing, and finally in the afternoon, our first class graduation. My day started around 5:30 am. I got up and continued praying for Grace to get on all of her flights back to North Carolina to attend our sister in law’s memorial service. Nearly all of the family is gathered there for the Saturday funeral. After dressing and devotions I went downstairs to the Hotel restaurant which is a small side room with several tables and chairs to eat the standard breakfast they serve Westerners here consisting of two pieces of white toast, margarine, a dab of jam, a glass of Tang, one egg fried in abundant amounts of Palm oil, and a cup of coffee. It usually sits well in the stomach, and despite the palm oil, it tastes ok. The main thing is that it starts the day and gets a person going. For lunch, I am served a hot meal at the church compound which usually consists of rice, cooked cabbage with other vegetables, fried fish or pork, (today we had boiled fish). I try not to eat any fresh vegetables or fruit. Then for dessert we eat a banana. This is ok because it has a thick skin which protects the flesh well enough to not make you sick.
After getting picked up and driving out to the village church, I met with our fifteen students for their final lecture and quiz. Many of them look as excited about the week as when they started. They have not had an easy week. Although the modular style class meets most of the day, their spirits were high knowing they were finishing the first of the four levels for their Global Certificate today. Graduation services were scheduled at 2:00 p.m. We also had two guests in class this morning. They were two young men from the local Baptist churches who heard about the class and came to sit in for the last lectures. I am told by Pastor Siama that the next class will be much bigger because of the advertising of the pastors who have attended this week. Because we are also teaching church leaders and teachers, there will be considerably greater numbers for each returning class we schedule from this point on.
They want us to return in February of 2013, but this will depend on the resources to do it. Yesterday, I got two more invitations from Africa to begin classes in 2013. One was from Liberia, and the other was from Kilgali, Rwanda. I am beginning to see that the African sector of Global Baptist Training Foundation is going to be significant. Please ask God to supply the finances for all of these classrooms. I do not want to turn any legitimate Baptist groups down. We are beginning to realize each day the tremendous desire for training many pastors in the 10-40 window and beyond have.
Well let me get back to our last day. After lunch we gathered in the church for our graduation service. With as much dignity and pomp possible to us amidst our humble surroundings, we had our first graduation commencement service here in Myanmar, Adoniram Judson’s land. Fifteen men of various backgrounds, age, and calling, walked to the front to receive their certificates of completion of Level One in Hermeneutics. It was truly a sight to behold. Pictures will be coming soon.