Asia Lutheran Seminary has been blessed to start our 13th year of operation in Hong Kong!
This August, the school year began with about 15 students taking part in a 3-week introductory immersion course in Hebrew. This year we welcome 4 full-time students in Hong Kong, 1 in India, and 10 other Chinese-speaking students outside Hong Kong. In addition, we still have almost 50 other students taking classes part time in Hong Kong, and another 60 taking courses via our online program. Thus, we are running four separate programs — a Bible Institute level program and an upper level Bachelor of Theology and Master of Divinity program both in Hong Kong and as extension degrees.
A fifth program to train translators had its first graduation class in June. Students from almost a dozen countries in South and East Asia participated in that program.
For the Bible Institute level courses, we now have native Hong Kong pastors teaching or co-teaching almost all of our courses in Cantonese. Our online Bible Institute courses are all being taught in Mandarin Chinese, mostly by native pastors. All of these local teachers are graduates of Asia Lutheran Seminary or our online programs.
What’s even MORE exciting, this past school year one of our Chinese graduates was called and installed as the first full-time Chinese professor at Asia Lutheran Seminary. Angus Cheung is a member of our sister church, South Asian Lutheran Evangelical Mission (SALEM), here in Hong Kong. He is currently teaching Bible Institute level courses for us while pursuing his Ph.D. in Theology. With the Lord’s blessing, he will be ready to take over my position when I retire, and join President Steve Witte, and Professor Aaron West on our faculty.
My wife Beth and I had a wonderful and restful furlough this summer, spending several weeks with each of our 2 children and their families. Because of these summer visits (and regular Skype chats), our daughter’s five- and three-year-old in Milwaukee, and our son’s five- and two-year-old in Ottawa, Canada all know who their grandpa and nanita are. This was a blessing my parents didn’t have when our two children were born in Zambia while we were missionaries there 1977-1983. We thank the Lord often for this blessing!
We are also blessed to have our son, Pastor Luke Thompson, come for a visit. He gave 2 presentations to the local church here on apologetics, and he preached at our Sunday English service on September 24th. That service will thank the Lord for blessing me with 40 years of ministry, as well as thanking Him for the 15 years that Rob Siirila spent with our mission field.
We are also excited because Beth and I will have our first chance to return to Zambia 35 years after we left. I have been asked to teach an advanced course at the seminary in Lusaka next April, and we are eagerly looking forward to seeing our old stomping grounds and hopefully some of our old colleagues and parishioners.
Please continue to pray for us and our work. The government in the mainland has just passed a new and much more stringent set of laws intended to discourage religious activity of any kind. But we know our Lord has all in control, so we will allow him to show us the way forward.
God’s richest blessings to all of you.
Dr. Glen Thompson, Academic Dean of Asia Lutheran Seminary in Hong Kong
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