From the 5th until the 10th of March the TEC Principal Mr. Galgalo Karre, the Mission Department Dean, Mr. Getachew Gelebo and Advisor, Ms Ruth Osmundsen travelled to 6 of the 8 synods in the southern part of Ethiopia to promote Tabor Evangelical College.
The trip took us to Dara Synod where we met with synod leaders. The synod is almost a year old, but though it is a young synod there have been Mekane Yesus congregation in the area for the past 60-70 years. The synod does not have a bible school, but we discussed different options for theological training to be given for parish and congregational leaders, and also encouraged the synod to send more students to TEC.
From Dara we continued to Dilla town where they have the synod office for the South Synod. Here we met with the synod leaders and were given a guide tour on their compound seeing the bible school. When the buildings at TEC were ready to be used in 1968, it was the teachers and students from the Dilla Bible School that were moved to the TEC compound in Hawassa. The South Synod opened later a new bible school in the old building and the work is continuing until today.
Continuing further south we spend the night in Bule Hora before visiting the South Ethiopian Synod and the bible school the next morning. We first were shown the bible school. The synod is building a new bible school building and the two class rooms are ready, but still working on the library. The bible school has been given its own big plot of land within the synod compound and there is a lot of potential for new facilities. Most of the work with the new bible school building has been done by support given locally.
After a long five hours drive on a bumpy road, we arrived in Adola and came to the synod compound. Here we had a meeting with the synod and bible school leaders. In Adola they are planning to upgrade their bible school and also give theological education at diploma level. For us at TEC it is very encouraging to see the synods developing and upgrading, and we also discussed together how we can secure high quality at these educational institutions.
Next morning we got up early to drive all the way from Adola to Amaro past Aleta Wondo and Dilla. In Amaro, like in most of the synods we had visited, we were received by former TEC students. It has been such a great joy for us to meet TEC graduates who are now serving as synod leaders and bible school teachers. Seeing that they are putting into practice what they learned at TEC and also to witness their commitment to expanding the Kingdom of God each in their place of ministry.
From Amaro we continued to the South West Synod and visited the parish leaders in Konso and the bible school in Gidole on our way to the synod centre in Arba Minch. In Arba Minch we were taken first to the Arba Minch Parish Bibel School and later taken to the Mekane Yesus Technical Training Centre where we saw the seminary that now offers a Diploma in Theology. After seeing these we also visited the Geresse Bible School. There are a total of five parish bible schools in the South West Synod and we visited all except the ones in Gofa and Jinka. What impressed us the most in the South West Synod was their number of female students, bible school teachers, and also a female bible school director. We hope that more women in the future will be given the opportunity to study theology and also come to TEC for the B.TH.
It was very encouraging to visit the synods and the bible schools here in the southern part of Ethiopia, and we will together work to secure good educational quality and better opportunities for theological education in the years to come.