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By the grace of God, we have successfully completed the academic year 2016 – 2017.
Rhema Revival Bible College aims to bring “Everyone perfect in Christ Jesus” (Col 1:28) by providing ample theological and ministerial training, thereby preparing people to fulfil the Great Commission of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The college re-opened on June 7th 2016 with one week Admission process and orientation with an enrolment of 7 students and a total strength of 11 students. There are 12 Extension students, 8 in M.Div and four in B.Th degrees. The degrees that were offered in this year are:
- Certificate in Theology - One year course
- Diploma in Theology - Two years course
- Bachelor of Theology - Three years course
- Master in Divinity - Two years course for Theological Graduates / Three years for non theological graduates
With the reduction in students from the prior year, we reduced the number of full time faculties to 4. Mr. Jeyenatha V. Anbarasu – Registrar, Mrs. Vasthi Gold – Academic Dean, Ms. Demitriya – Girls Warden and Mrs. Deva Anbu – Librarian. We had 2 guest faculties The Rt. Rev. Dr. S. Gnanaprahasam – Principal & Mrs. R.M. Sugantha – Chief Administrator and 2 visiting faculties Pastor Simson came for two weeks and Dr. Jeyapalan came for one day every month and taught our students. We started regular classes from the month of July.
The extension students had their seminars every month except December. In the month of August they were taught Person and Work of Christ and Christian Cults. In the month of September they were taught Pauline Theology. In the month of October they were taught Christian Ethics and Preliminary Hebrew. In the Month of November they were taught Research Methodology. In total, our extension students completed six subjects.
Independence Day Celebration
On August 15th Rhema family celebrated the country freedom day by hosting the Indian flag and respecting it. We had little time of prayer. Praying for the nation and for all our politicians.
College Day Celebration
We celebrated our 16th year of College Day on Sep 16th 2016. We had various events such as Lemon & Spoon, Water Filling, Musical Chair, Bricks Walking, Breaking the Balloons, Volleyball, Carom Board, Needle & Thread, Observation Capacity, Singing Songs, Drawing, Cheese, Draw eye on the elephant, speech competition, Shuttle Cork, Hide & Seek, Breaking the Pot, Ring Ball Bible Quiz and Debate on The Need of Today’s Servants of God: Academic Knowledge Vs Spiritual Knowledge. After the sports event, we had cultural events in the evening of 16th sep. 2016 with special meals. Prizes were distributed for the winners.
Bible College Retreat for Faculties and Students
On 22nd October we had Bible College Retreat for Faculties and Students. On the same day we had Church dedication service of Pas. Simson who is a visiting faculty in our college, at Shrivilliputhoor. We as a family went to the church dedication service & participated in it. Our students performed a dance. After the church dedication, we visited Kuttralam waterfalls for sightseeing, where the students enjoyed the evening bathing in the waterfalls. On the way back we visited an old sponsored student Pastor Jeeva who is ministering as youth leader we prayed for him and encouraged him to do ministry for the glory of God.
First Semester Examinations for the Students
The first semester exams were conducted in the month of December from 5th to 9th 2016. Students enjoyed writing their examination for the week.
During Christmas season our students engaged in song practice for local carol rounds, and we shared the good news of Christ’s birth in Cumbum and in surrounding villages and it was a memorable and Joyful event in the month of December. On 18th of December 2016, we had Christmas get together at Rhema Garden for the Rhema Family. We had wonderful service at the Church & a lovely community lunch at the Garden followed by cultural events & the students enjoyed.
Christmas and New Year Holidays
The students were sent to Christmas and New Year holiday from 19th December to 3rd January 2017. Our Lord has been so gracious to us in leading us in all our endeavors throughout this first semester 2016-2017. We hope that the Lord would continually lead us to fulfill His great commission for His glory.
New year 2017 Second Semester
The students have come back from their Christmas & New Year vacation. We had spiritual orientation for the faculty & students along with all the Rhema staff members in which every single students had opportunity to share their vacation ministry experience. The faculty and staff members were rejoiced by the achievements of our Bible College students.
In this second semester the faculty members felt that some students were finding it difficult to capture the lessons taught in the class so the faculty members decided to offer some basic subjects to all the students such as Bible Stories (Through Bible Movies), Bible Verses, Prayers, English & Tamil Language. It was a great success for the faculty members to teach these subjects to our students. The students enjoyed learning these subjects.
Republic Day 26th January
On this day we as a college were invited for the wedding of our visiting faculty member Pr. Simson’s Younger Sister. The Marriage was held at Shrivilliputhoor. We as a family went to the marriage function and enjoyed the marriage function. Our Archbishop Samuel led the worship. After the marriage function we visited the famous Hindu temple at Shrivillipudther as part of educational tour. The students enjoyed visiting the temple and learned many things. The school going children at the Rhema Garden celebrated Indian Republic day by hosting an Indian flag and singing national anthem.
Seminar on Islam & Christianity: A Comparative Study Special reference to Bible and Quran
We had two day seminar for the Extension and Regular students at the conference hall on 22nd and 23rd. We had resource person from Madurai. Pastor Hudson Tylor taught this subject for our students. Hudson is a Muslim who is converted into Christianity & his testimony and the many challenges he faced in his ministry among the Muslim was an inspiration to all the students. He has authored some Books. One is 333 Answers to our Neighbours (Muslims). The students enjoyed his class and learnt many practical lessons to do evangelism among the Muslims. Some of our staff members also eagerly participated in it.
Seminar on First Peter/ English Languages
We had one day seminar on First Peter. Mrs. Collen Glendening from U.S.A taught how to read the Bible, meditate it and understand it for ourselves. It was wonderful experience for all our students. The students enjoyed the seminar and learnt to read and understand the Bible as God gave to us in a much better way. The students were privileged to learn English language from Mrs. Catherine and Bruce and Ms. Alic who visited us from U.K in their holidays and taught English language and some english choruses to the students for one week. The students were enriched in the English language.
Second Semester Final Examinations April 24th to 28th
Students were encouraged and motivated to prepare for their final examinations. The students prepared well and they all wrote their examinations well.
For this semester we had chapel service differently. Every participant had the privilege to read the Bible. Every staff members had privilege to share something from the read passage the Gospels. In the month of January we read the Gospel of Luke, in the Month of February we read the Gospel Matthew, in the month of March we read the Gospel of Mark, in the month of April we read the Gospel of John. By this new system some of the students who had difficulty in reading the Bible learnt to read the Bible efficiently.
Summer Vacation for the Students
The faculty members decided to have summer vacation for the Students the whole month of May. The students were sent for their summer vacation on 30th Sunday after the Sunday service. The students were asked to return to the college on 1st June 2017 morning.
College Scholarship Activities
By the grace of God we trained more than 20 candidates through our Bible College. We sent Mr. Viswanath for Librarian Training in Bangalore. Through a generous donation from a UK Trust we were able to purchase furniture and stationery for our Bible College students. We sent Mr. Martin to Kottayam in Kerala FFRRC for Master of Theology Course in Church History. Through a generous donation from our friends in the USA, God has enabled Rev. Vasthi and Gold Milan to go to Israel on Biblical Exposure Tour.
Sadly this year, we have experienced terrible weather conditions which has led to the collapse of our chapel. We are seeking local funding to fund the restoration of the foundations and floor and seeking funding through our friends in the UK and US for the restoration of the walls and a more secure roof. Previously we had a straw roof, but we are aiming to fit an iron roof.
The Lord has been so gracious to us and we pray that He will bless you in your giving to the Bible College students at the Rhema Garden.
With warmest wishes and heartfelt thanks,
Rev. Ruban Rao,
Communications Director, Rhema Gardens