Monday, July 2, 2012

Exalting God Among the Nations


God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God. The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High, God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted. — Psalm 46:1-6
 
By Kathleen Curto
GPTS Registrar

Just a few months ago Dr. Pipa read Psalm 46 to us during our staff meeting devotional. He mentioned that the first three verses are a description of the world of chaos and discord in which we live, but then reminded us that verse 4 contrasts the chaos of the world with the peace that can only be realized as it comes from the God of peace to His children. As he spoke, I was struck with that contrast, that though we live in the midst of the confusion and bedlam of this present world, we are at peace, because we serve the God of Peace. How we rejoice in that truth here at Greenville Seminary! 

It is with joy that I report to you that this past year we have been able to assist two foreign students who would otherwise not have been able to attend Greenville Seminary. The first, Isaac Koko from Nigeria, applied twice to procure a student visa to come and study here in Greenville, but his application was rejected for no apparent reason. However, that did not stop Isaac from studying. He completed one course in the Spring of 2012 and is eagerly awaiting the start of the Fall semester in order to take another course. He does also plan to apply once again for his visa, so please pray that God will open the doors and allow the necessary approval for him to move to Greenville. In order to be prepared for when God may open this door, we are raising approximately $5,000.00 to cover his tuition and fees, and an additional $5,000.00 for his living expenses per year.

Our second foreign student, Mr. Xing Liu, is living in Greenville and studying diligently. He came to us from the Minnesota area, but is originally from mainland China. Mr. Liu moved with his wife and two children to Greenville last August, and he and his family have been a wonderful addition to our student body. He has done very well in his classes and has exceeded our expectations in terms of his class work and involvement in seminary life. His home church in Minnesota continues to assist him with his living expenses, and so we have once again agreed to waive his tuition this year in the amount of $4,500.00.

Our last need in the area of foreign student support is to help pay expenses for faculty members to minister in churches overseas that are unable to afford to send their students here. This summer Dr. Pipa has had the opportunity to minister in Belgium and Italy with current Greenville students and alumni. He hopes to be able to travel to South Africa in March 2013 to teach and to travel once again to Belgium next summer. The value of these trips is critical, and we have once again set the faculty travel support at $4,500.00.

Why do we feel constrained to help these young men from other nations to receive the training that they desire? What is our confidence as we continue to train men for the gospel ministry? Psalm 46 concludes with verses 10 and 11 that give us the answer to those questions: Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us, The God of Jacob is our refuge.
 
We praise God that Greenville Seminary can have a small part in that work. Thank you for your faithful support, and may God bless you as you consider these needs once again as part of your giving to our scholarship funding for international students.
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NOTE: GPTS is able to receive tax-exempt contributions directly for support of international students. However, if donors wish to receive a tax benefit, the donation cannot specify a designated student. If you wish to make an anonymous donation, a good mechanism is our International Student Scholarship Fund administered by the PCA Foundation. Specify GPTS Fund #4075. For more information, read the article on scholarships below right.