Arise and shine

Celebrate

Cries of “Ese” greeted the visitors as they arrived in Numba village. Ese is the name of the language and also means both hello and goodbye.

Earlier, the activity increased dramatically as a small plane bringing visitors from around the world circled the village. Another great day had arrived for the small village of Numba in Oro Province. It was graduation day and 63 graduates of the Ese Bible Institute were making preparations along with hundreds of villagers, family members and friends.

This graduation marked the end of two years of hard work for students from all over Oro province and beyond. The coursework is led by a variety of international Bible teachers. For many of the students it was the first formal training they have had in the Bible. Classes were usually held in 2-3 week sessions with time off in between for study. This was the fifth graduating class.

Jim and Jaki Parlier, who completed the Ese (Managalasi) New Testament in 1976, started the Institute in 1995 to help church leaders understand the Bible. Jim, now 78 years old, still helps teach and was there for this ceremony. The theme of the graduation was “Arise and Shine for Your Light has Come” and Jim challenged the students to work with their churches and communities to bring the “Light” into the remote areas from which they came. The celebration ended with a large feast with plenty of food for the several hundred people in attendance.

Several graduates spoke at the graduation and challenged their peers to go back to their churches and strengthen their communities with the truths that they had learned. One graduate, an elementary teacher, shared “Teaching the Word of God at an early age is best. That’s why I came to the institute, so I can effectively teach religious education classes.” Another graduate said, “I learned that we (churches) have to work together … don’t think about our differences but focus on the needs of the ministry.”

As the graduation came to a close and the visitors and graduates left, cries of “Ese” were again heard, heralding that indeed, “the Light”, was going out to communities throughout the area.

Graduate!

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