Syrian Students Graduate
A joyous graduation ceremony was held in Lebanon when a group of 27 Syrian students graduated with the Veritas accredited Cert IV in Biblical Ministry at the end of March.
Syrian graduates who received the Australian accredited Certificate in Biblical Ministry. In the front row from left to right: Amin and Safa Khalil who lead the Veritas ministry in Syria; Pastor Edward Awabdeh, President of the Syrian Alliance Church and his wife Rana; Dr Bennie Wolvaardt, CEO of Veritas College International; Dr Mounir Youssef, Veritas College International manager for the region.
Since Veritas started its training in churches in Syria in 2007, the training has continued uninterrupted in spite of the war in the country. Syrian Veritas staff run the training, supported by Egyptian Veritas staff. A spectrum of churches is served with training, including Alliance, Baptist, Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches.
The majority of the students who completed the Cert IV, have already started with the Diploma training. The first intensive training period for the Diploma was combined with the graduation ceremony in Lebanon - the students and staff having travelled from Syria. Foundation training is also running in Syria with some 120 module enrolments expected this year.
Help children to find answers
Children under the age of 15 make up 25.6% of the total world population. For Mexico this figure is 27.6% and for Uganda it is almost 50%. These high percentages of children challenge the church to ask questions about our effectiveness in reaching them and ministering to them.
Every year thousands of Sunday school teachers and others ministering to children receive Veritas training in how to interpret Scripture. In module 2 training is provided on how to bring a message for children. In a church in the state of Nayarit, Mexico some Sunday school teachers are doing the Veritas training. One of them was asked difficult questions from the Bible by his class of 9 and 10 year olds. The teacher was worried because he did not know all the answers. After praying and asking for wisdom, he decided to teach the children some of the Veritas competencies on how to interpret the Bible.
A Sunday school class in Mexico.
To the teacher’s relief the children were able to grasp the basic skills so that he could work with them through biblical passages that are relevant to their questions. This became a process of self-discovery for the children. He also explained to the children the importance of obeying the Biblical message in order to grow in maturity in one’s relationship with the Lord.
This is one example of many where children have been taught to interpret the Bible using the Veritas material. Perhaps as believers we should be careful not to underestimate the abilities of children to interpret and apply Scripture.
We are grateful that the matching grant of $20,000 was met. The grant was provided by a charitable foundation to support the Veritas indigenous training in North Africa. We want to thank everyone who helped to match this grant and those who have so generously donated over so many years for the ministry of Veritas around the world. We appreciate your partnership without which the extensive training of church leaders every year would not have been possible.