On 31 August, Rev. Dr. Al Collver, Assistant to LCMS President Matthew Harrison, called me up and asked if I would be willing to travel to South Africa and teach a class on Luther's Catechisms at Lutheran Theological Seminary Tshwane, the seminary of the Lutheran Church in Southern Africa. A matter of church relations necessitated them finding teacher different from the one originally scheduled for this class. After some initial praying, pondering, and planning, a unanimous blessing given by the Board of Elders at my congregation, and gracious support from many members at Hope, St. Louis, the decision was made. Yes, I would be happy to travel to South Africa to teach one of my beloved and "specialty" topics: Luther's Catechisms.
|Flag of South Africa|
After the usual passport, collection of checked bag, and customs routines, I finally made my way to the new Gautrain, a high speed rail, for the final leg to Pretoria. That train is quite a nice ride, even if it did mean more sitting and traveling. The seminary student assigned to pick me up was there in Hatfield (in Pretoria), with a fellow student, and then we took the short drive to the guest house at Lutheran Theological Seminary.
|Segoe Guest House|
After a night of restful sleep (the SA climate and cool nights must be agreeing with me as we head into Spring here), I began teaching on Thursday, 15 September. The class of seven students (two more to join later) proves to be very interested in learning God's Word and, specifically, how to teach the Catechism when they reach their future congregations. Now if they can just get their American teacher to pronounce their names correctly!
|LHF Hall (Classroom)|
|St. Timothy Church|
The Rev. Dr. Wilhelm Weber, Bishop of LCSA and Rector of LTS, preached at Vespers on 15 September. After the service the good bishop invited me to his home for a delicious dinner, cooked by his gracious wife Angelika, and some great conversation. After returning to the guest house at about 9:00 p.m., my first full day in South Africa was complete.