We have just returned from a short trip to
Main library of the University of Potchefstroom
During this two week period we visited three universities, North-West University (NWU, with four campuses, including Potchefstroom and Vaal Triangle), the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein (UFS), and University of Stellenbosch (US). There we made presentations, gave lectures and led seminars or workshops. We also talked with deans, faculty members and deans. Everywhere we went we not only received a very warm welcome but also an excellent reception for our request for help.
Seminary of the Reformed Churches of South Africa
Wendy speaking in the Department of Philosophy
We arrived on Tuesday, May 1, a public holiday, and were picked up from the Johannesburg airport by a member of the Department of Philosophy of the Potchefstroom campus of NWU, Prof. Michael Heyns, whom we had met a number of years earlier in Toronto. That evening Prof. Bennie Vander Walt (emeritus professor of philosophy), who is a friend from way back, and Michael and his wife welcomed us with a lovely supper.
Wendy with Prof. Viljoen in front of church that is on the grounds of the seminary of the Reformed Churches
Wednesday May 2 was spent with the Faculty of Theology, NWU, representing the theological school of the Reformed Churches in
On Thursday May 3 we visited the
The two of us with Profs. Rabali and Van Deventer
We spent Friday May 4 at the Vaal Triangle campus of NWU, about an hour’s drive from Potchefstroom. Our hosts were Prof. Hans Van Deventer and Prof. T.C. Rabali, both of who attended the NABIS in Ekpoma, Nigeria, last July. The campus is more modern than that in Potchefstroom, and the proportion of black students is also much higher. Here we made our main presentations on "Building Bridges" and "Hellenization."
On Saturday, May 7, Prof. Pieter Potgieter drove us to
Entrance to the University of the Free State
Monday May 7 was spent at the University of the
The next day we left for the airport and took a flight to
Emblem of the Theological Faculty of the University of Stellenbosch
At the University of Stellenbosch (US) we had accommodation on campus at a guest house of the faculty of theology. Our stay there was quite different from that in Potchefstroom and
It is called the "Mother Church." It was founded in 1686 and is the second oldest church in South Africa
We attended Prof. Xolile Simon’s class in missiology on Thursday morning, May 10. We enjoyed interacting with his presentation on African religion. After that we joined Johan Botha for a brief lunch at a student drop-in center connected with one of the oldest churches in Stellenbosch. Johan expressed appreciation for our efforts in building bridges. We spent much of the rest of the afternoon in conversation with Jonathan Weor.
Wendy with Jonathan Weor, a Tiv doctoral student from Nigeria
We started the next day, Friday, May 11, with a brief conversation with the Dean of the Faculty of Theology, Prof. Elna Mouton. We had lunch with Prof. Hendrik Bosman at a lovely spot some distance outside of Stellenbosch. We took Jonathan out for supper that evening – he enjoys pizza! – and had a final discussion yet with Johan Botha on Saturday morning, before Hendrik Bosman took us to the airport, and we headed back to Johannesburg.
We spent what we thought would be our last evening in Johannesburg with a former colleague at Unijos, Dr. Rosie McNeil, who is at present working on her doctorate in anatomy at the University of Witwatersrand. On Sunday morning she had barely dropped us off at the airport before we discovered that the flight to
If there is one impression that remains with us from this two-week visit it is that of good timing for the reception of our message about building bridges between Nigeria and South Africa, and more specifically, our request for cooperation on the future of Christian education, especially in theology and philosophy.