Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Meeting Students with Families

I have been doing a lot of running lately. Literally and metaphorically. I run from one place to another. From Ranau to Namaus and back again. I run from my room to my office separated by a river in our beautiful 28 acre big Campus. I run from Hostel to the Dining Hall this morning. I was told that the electricity bill of the College had ballooned to an unacceptable sum. I saw 8 lights left on in the Hostel when the male students went for breakfast. I told one student to turn off the lights and made an announcement at Chapel just now. First I must reduce wastage. Yesterday I was at College from 6am to 9pm. I attended all three meals with students and last night together with my colleague, the chief warden we met with the students who have families resident in College.
Not all turned up but we had a good talk with 14 families that came. Besides the Bangi student getting a scholarship, a Korean doctor told us that he would sponsor another student with family. This morning another student came to see me and told me his story. His youngest is with them, Primary 4 but three older children all in Secondary school are in Nabawan, about 4 hours' drive away. He wanted to bring all his children and school them near Namaus (Lohan secondary school is about 5 kms away) but he needed funds. All these families stay in old buildings and we need to build quarters for families real quick if we want families to enrol in the College. One pastor who enrolled asked permission to leave the College at weekend as his family lives in his wife's village about 40 mins' drive from College. He told me that he would need to find weekend work to supplement his income. Some have genuine needs but not a few did not make sufficient preparation to pursue theological education. I shared with one student that I saved up more than RM100,000.00 in 1992 before taking the step to study theology overseas. I did not rely on anyone and none of my theological education was sponsored by churches or institutions except for the Otago University PhD scholarship awarded to me on merit.

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