Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sheep Without a Shepherd

The GPTS International Students Support Program

By Kathleen Curto

In his devotional, Come Ye ApartJ.R. Miller writes on the compassion of Christ. In Mark 6:30 and following, the disciples were gathering around Jesus to tell him of all that they had been doing. Jesus calls them aside to a quiet place and tells them to rest awhile. Soon afterward, Jesus sees a great multitude gathered, and the text says, “He was moved with compassion for them because they were like sheep not having a shepherd” (vs. 34). Miller reflects on this, stating:
“It is worthwhile to notice what kind of trouble it was that so stirred the compassion of Jesus at this time. It was because he saw the people as sheep not having a shepherd. It was not their hunger, nor their poverty, nor their sicknesses, but their spiritual need that so deeply touched his compassions. There were no wise, gentle, thoughtful pastors watching over the higher interests of their immortal natures, feeding them with heavenly bread, protecting them from the wolves of sin and lust and leading them in right paths.” 
As I read Dr. Miller’s thoughts on this passage, I was struck by the fact that this truly is the mission of Greenville Seminary. We state in our catalog, “…Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary stands firm in its conviction that the world needs not new methods, but old Truth; the world needs to know the Person and work of Jesus Christ; the world must hear of God’s holiness and His grace and goodness to his people. And so we press on, training men to be gospel preachers, who proclaim with accuracy, authority, and passion the unfailing Word of God.”

We not only train men to serve in our own country, but also throughout the world. One of our key goals is to help those who would otherwise be unable to attend GPTS to come and prepare to be shepherds, to watch over, feed, protect and lead God’s sheep in other lands. Will you help us?

We have four students that are planning to study with us in the coming academic year. Two of these students you have heard of before.

Isaac Koko from Nigeria has still not been able to obtain a visa to travel and study here in the states. He has though, with great vigor and faithfulness, taken three classes so far. After his most recent class, Old Testament Introduction, Dr. Shaw congratulated him on fine work with a grade of A. He was quite encouraged and has registered for another class this fall. He is persevering and still hopes to attend on campus when God allows him to travel. We are requesting $5,000 to provide not only for his tuition and fees, but for the books and shipping costs incurred in sending textbooks to him for his studies.

Edward Liu from China will begin his third year of training.  He and his family continue to be a delight to the seminary. They are faithful servants in the seminary community and Edward is a diligent student. He is feeling comfortable enough to take a full load this semester. His home church in Minnesota is assisting with his living expenses, and so we have once again agreed to waive his tuition this year in the amount of $4,500.

Santosh Bardhan is a Master of Arts student from India.  He has studied at Greenville Seminary for a year, and he has one more year to complete. His plans are to return to India to serve in his home church. Santosh was raised in a devout Christian family; his father is a senior pastor in the Utkal Baptist Church in India. His testimony of God’s saving work in his life is quite remarkable, and his testimony states that he desires to “…be well grounded in the word of God to bring the uniqueness of Jesus Christ among Hindus and other religions…and that is my burden to reach India with his love and compassion.”  Santosh is a fine student, and we hope to provide tuition, fees and partial living expenses which would amount to about $10,000.

Dr. Paul Hoole, a medical doctor from Singapore, has applied to Greenville Seminary with a desire to complete a Master of Arts degree. In his own words he says, “I will be very grateful for an opportunity to be trained, and return to see a seminary established that will produce godly and learned ministers of the Gospel while continuing to help the church in preaching and sowing the word of God in the hearts and lives people.” Dr. Hoole plans to be laboring in Sri Lanka and to begin his studies at GPTS in the spring of 2014 as he uses the next few months to finalize plans to relocate with his wife and children. We have agreed to waive his tuition and fees in the amount of $5,000 and to help with living expenses in the amount of $5,000.

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 pay the transportation of professors to come to teach. Just this past spring and summer, Dr. Pipa traveled on behalf of the seminary to South Africa and Italy. The value of these trips is critical and we have once again set the faculty travel support at $4,500.

Dr. Miller closes this devotion with the exclamation, “Happy are those people, old and young, who are safe in the Good Shepherd’s keeping!” We pray that Greenville Seminary will continue to have a small part in that great work of the Good Shepherd. Please consider helping us in the training of these young men for Gospel ministry.

To make a tax-exempt donation to our International Student Scholarship Fund, send your check to:

Greenville Seminary International Student Scholarship Fund #4075
PCA Foundation
1700 North Brown Road, Suite 103
Lawrenceville GA 30043

Note: Be sure to designate Fund #4075 on your check. You may request that your donation be marked as anonymous.

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