Wednesday, March 19, 2008


1) A busy streetcorner with a familiar sight... 2) The Union Building (capital buildings for South Africa) 3) Downtown Pretoria 4) The neighborhood around the seminary

Things aren't so different down there...

Yes, we did travel 9,000 miles to see pivots and tractor dealerships...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Churches in South Africa: 1) A German congregation in Zulu-Natal (a town called Luneberg) 2)The church at the boy's school in Themba, where we went to church the first Sunday 3) St. Paul's Lutheran Church- the German congregation down the street from the seminary 4) All that remains of a mission station (I thought the sheep were very appropriate) 5) The remains of another mission station. At the last two churches, the mission has continued, only because of various factors the original buildings are in poor or non-existant shape.

Monday, March 17, 2008

try this link...

Theoretically, this link should take anyone to my facebook album, where I will hopefull in the next few days post most of my pictures... Someone without Facebook should try it out and let me know if it works

I figured that I would start with just a few pictures to actually prove that I was in South Africa. 1) Me with the Itala Game Park stretched out behind 2) Class (no, I am not sleeping) 3) The entire seminary faculty, student body, and American visitors 4) Dr. Rast and myself on one of the lookouts of the Vorntrekker Monument 5) Me and Roy with a couple of other future pastors (my roommate Bongani is second from the left. Hopefully more to come tomorrow! Check out facebook if you are able, I am planning to put some up there as well.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Back home

After a long day (more like a day and a half!) in transit, we have all arrived safely back in Fort Wayne. Keep an eye out for pictures, depending on how far behind I am in my classes.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Heading out...

This is probably my last post before we return. It has been an amazing trip, and now we are getting ready to leave this beautiful country and these great people. It sounds like the students will miss having all of us Americans around. Tomorrow we will play them in soccer (30-1 in favor of the Africans is my prediction), and then we get ready to go. I plan to post Monday night at some point just to let everyone know that I made it back alright, and then start watching for pictures. I will try in the next few weeks to give you all a flavor of what we experienced here in South Africa. Please pray for these men as they study to serve Christ's Church in Africa, the Lutheran Church in South Africa as it deals with challenges both without and within, and this group of Americans as we travel back home. God's blessings on your weekend!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

One more test!

Things are starting to wind down over here- we have our final tomorrow, so today is a study day. I am also trying to gather as much footage and photos as I can. Hopefully, I will be able to photograph each of the twenty some students, and provide even more film of the chapel and worship services. On Sunday we will attend the English speaking church here on campus (served by a German missionary- only in South Africa!), and the Ft. Wayne students will be singing- our second choral experience of the trip, as we also sung for the students at the boy's school in Themba.

The fluid nature of this campus is very intriguing. On Monday, more Ugandans will be arriving, replacing the Americans. When new students come, they are just plugged into classes, meaning that Greek and Hebrew has to move very slowly to accomidate students arriving on campus at different times. The classes and professors are also very fluid. Dr. Rast is done on Friday, along with Dr. Arkilla from Finland. We will all leave, leaving just one guest professor, who will stay until another LCMS theologian arrives. The students and staff have to be very flexible, but this flexibility allows them to bring in students from all over Africa and instructors from all over the world. For an organized American (of German descent), this was very tough to adjust to, but I think I have done it, only to return to the structured seminary life in Fort Wayne in less than a week. My time has been great here and I have learned so much- thank you for your support, thoughts and prayers!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I thought I might talk a bit about our food situation here in South Africa. It really is quite similar to the U.S. We've eaten at a couple of fast food restaurants (even a McDonalds) and a couple nicer restaurants, and the menus are not very different at all. They have burgers, steak, and even pizza. The other night, a couple guys ate antelope and ostrich, but that has been the biggest difference. One of the more 'local' things we have had is a corn meal dish that is very popular amonst the students. They cook the ground meal and then put a beef sauce over it. They also eat a lot of rice and veggies. It looks very good, and they spend a lot of time cooking.

During the week, the nice people at St. Paul's Lutheran Church down the street (a German-speaking congregation) have provided hot lunches. We have had a few more 'South African' casseroles, but a lot of it has been similar- stroganoff, lasagna, etc. In the evenings we cook for ourselves, but even that isn't too terribly exotic (we will probably have hamburgers tonight). One thing that I have really liked has been 'borwors.' This dish is a seasoned sausage that is popular around the country, and is especially good for cooking out- mmmm!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Missions in South Africa

This weekend we traveled toward Botswana for a few hours (I'm not sure how far- the roads were bad and we made several stops) for a mission education trip. We had along with us the CEO of a mission society in Germany, who gave several presentations about some of the first mission work done in that region. Not only did we talk about the mission work, we actually visited the sites and saw what they are like today, then we went to a cemetary and saw the graves of many of the first missionaries. Overall, the sites are not too impressive. A church built by the missionaries at the turn of the century is falling apart, and of another mission church all we found was a steeple. However, these missions were not failures, because even if the original buildings were in bad shape, there were churches around the area still living and thriving due to that early work. It was very interesting to learn about the lives of these brave missionaries who labored hard in difficult times to spread the Gospel. Because of their German ancestry, they were imprisoned in concentration camps twice (during the Boer war and World War I), but they came back and continued the work. The main lesson I took from the lectures is that missionaries must prepare pastors amongst the people they work with, because they do not know how long they will be around. Those missionaries did not plan to be imprisoned due to war, but because they prepared the church, it continued even during tough times.

We brought along with us several of the ''senior'' students, so it was great to get to know them a bit better throughout our time together. Especially interesting are the Ugandans. The future of the Lutheran Church in Uganda is literally here at the seminary, as they are training between 10 and 15 students to go back and serve. This is a very young church (established in 1994) with few pastors, so the work of the seminary is especially vital for the spread of the Gospel in that central African nation. We spent the night at a game lodge, which was very neat for both the American and African students, as we took a safari drive together. So much of South Africa is 'tame' that even the students from around here don't get to see the wildlife very often. All in all, a great and informative weekend. Now it is back to class. We have a visiting professor from Germany with us now, and I am sitting in on two of his classes in addition to our required class. Very intersting, and it will make for a great last week down here.