There was an air of anticipation and nervous excitement in the air as the Graduates of the Class of 2015 began to gather and register for their graduation ceremony in just a short hour or two. They came in all shapes and sizes and in all types of “Graduation” dress style, from the ultra-conservative graduation formal wear to casual, but classy casual fashion that’s prevalent in Durban in 2015.
The annual, and sometimes bi-annual Durban Bible Education Graduation Day ceremony was a must attend event for these Bible students graduates, and nothing was going to stop them from attending and stepping up to receive their Graduation Certificate. With the new Lamontville Bible Education Centre students joining this ceremony for the first time, this day promised to be something special, and it didn’t fail to deliver. Months of work had gone into the study and preparation of their various Bible Correspondence Courses and today was their special recognition and certificate day.
The Community Outreach Program Trust (COPT) team had contacted and invited hundreds of graduates from the past twelve months, and today, all their planning, preparations and effort would be rewarded by the smile on the steady stream of graduates arriving and then later receiving their certificates.
Having been brought up in a Sunday School, Youth Group and Church environment all my life, it is easy to take for granted your knowledge and awareness of bible stories and messages over the years …….. but when you see the genuine excitement and passion on the faces of these mainly Zulu and coloured people about their recently acquired knowledge, you suddenly realise how special our understanding of God words is, and how easy it is to take it for granted, until you see how hard and diligent these people have been in learning some of the bible lessons. Their attitude, their passion and their excitement for some basic knowledge of the word of God is both humbling and inspiring.
My role was a simple one this time …. I just had to take a few photos and a few video clips as a memento of the occasion. The hard work and planning had been down by the rest of the team while I was enjoying some family time back in Australia.
The event was another outstanding success with over 70 people in attendance and a fantastic program which included a short play by a group of “Township” children from Inanda performing a production recitation of scripture about “The Passover” to all the attendee’s.
Enthusiastic singing by the whole congregation was followed by some thoughts on the Passover by Bro Barry van Heerden and then the Certificate Presentation. The Graduates, forty in all, were all looking so proud and distinguished at their personal achievements and were all encouraged to continue in the very good work they had started.
The afternoon finished with more enthusiastic singing, a graduates group photo and then a sumptuous afternoon tea for everyone. The chitter chatter over tea and coffee was amazing, with stories shared by many of the graduates of how much this study and this ceremony meant to them, together with their new found bible knowledge. Some told of changed lives and the hope for better days in the harsh townships of Durban, while others related their stories of greater love and patience in their lives.
For the students the day was a significant day in their lives. Many told how they had never passed or finished school and how this certificate was their first successful achievement. Congratulations Graduates on your outstanding achievements and your new found knowledge of the word of God.