Guest Post: Pray for VSM Africa!

A guest post, ripped wholesale from an email I recieved (sign-up link at the bottom!) with a call to prayer…

 

A season of prayer and discernment regarding our future

Dear Thomas

Greetings from the VSM Africa team!

Wherever you are, in whatever season of life you are in, we pray that you would know the sure and steady presence of the one who calmly assures us “behold, I am making all things new” (Rev 21:5).

The last six months at VSM Africa has seen our team responding to two major events: first, like most educational institutions globally, we have had to shift quickly to online learning due to the shutdown of both local and international travel. This has required change and challenge for both our students and our lecturers, but has largely been a success in terms of continued learning and student engagement. Speaking for myself as a lecturer, it has been tremendously challenging, personally, as I deeply miss the student interaction and relationship that comes with physical presence.

The second major event has been a change to the Government of Kenya’s laws governing education. VSM Africa has been hugely fortunate since our inception to receive accreditation and academic support from Daystar University in Nairobi. This has allowed VSM to deliver our unique African contextual theological curriculum under the academic auspices of Daystar–meaning our students receive a Diploma in Theology from the prestigious Daystar University when they finish our courses. This partnership has been a blessing, and we are thankful for it.

However the Government of Kenya, seeking to crack down on fake university degrees, has changed the law and made it impossible for Daystar to continue to accredit our unique curriculum from December 2020. This is a significant moment for VSM Africa, as one of our key strategic objectives is to provide an accredited diploma, allowing our graduates to have formal recognition by their respective countries of their education and ministerial preparation. This accredited diploma, combined with VSM Africa’s contextually African theological approach, has made VSM Africa unique.

These two major events–the pandemic plus impending loss of our accreditation–has had the effect of significantly reducing our new student numbers, creating a budget hole which has resulted in not being able to pay our staff or lecturers for some months. These events have presented a major challenge, and an opportunity to prayerfully seek the Lord’s guidance and wisdom for the way ahead.

As a friend and partner of VSM Africa, will you join our Board and Management Team in prayer for what VSM Africa should do after December 2020? At the moment, our team is focussed on graduating our current cohort of students before this date, and we need your prayer and support to do so.

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