What a joy last Saturday to be at the London Theological Seminary thanksgiving. In a packed Kensit Evangelical Church in Finchley we were chaired by Bill James from Leamington Spa and with the prayer, reading and hymns came the three traditional components of this annual event - report, interviews and sermon.
The report was given by the principal Robert Strivens and though very positive reflected the need for more UK students (the need is greater than the supply) and flagged up the continuing difficulties that bringing in visa students now involves.
The interviews were conducted by Vice-principal David Green and were with the leaving students. There were only six this year as some have opted for the new third year course. Benjamin Mallari is from the Philippines and Uma Kanta Sharma from Nepal. Both are heading back home to carry on their ministries there. Brian Pe Kee may spend another year in Britian studying but will eventually return to Myanmar to carry on his work. Pascal Rivoire has a mixed background (Swiss, German, Argentine). he is planning to be involved in ministry in Germany. Both UK students (Darren Graham and George Platt) are unsure of the future but we pray that they will know God's leading. One interesting sidelight here was the role that Google played for students in locating the LTS in the first place.
Thirdly, there was the sermon and what a blessing it was to hear that. Taking the shortest verse in the Bible (John 11:35) Barry King of Grace Baptist Partnership warmly and winningly urged us to consider Christ's humanity, his humility and his victory. he especially applied it to those entering the ministry but it was a powerful sermon for all present. it was the sort of sermon I'd been longing for all week after the "almost there" character of the EMA.
All this was followed by tea on the lawn. Always very nice. I was dragged off at some point to record a snippet for a promotional video they are making about LTS.