Dear Ones:

Yesterday was all about the ABU Senior Banquet!  Marg spent much of yesterday helping Cheri with flower arranging and decorating for the occasion at a near-by restaurant that caters big events.  In the evening, about 80 of us we were privileged to attend the banquet, including the seniors, their guests, the faculty, staff, and other speakers here for next week's conference.  This event was a big deal for the students.  As you can see, many of them were attired in the equivalent of our prom dresses.
It was hard at first for us to grasp why graduation and its surrounding activities would be so important to them.  For some of us (like Marg), we didn't even go to our own college graduations.  But for them, it is a major event.  First off, most of them have had to make enormous sacrifices to attend ABU for four years.  Many have had to leave their spouse and children for almost the whole year, every year.  They have to have their families "do without" to come up with tuition money. And to physically get here is, for many of them, a huge ordeal.  Graduation and the events surrounding it are therefore, big.
Student representatives were chosen to speak last night from each of the available academic disciplines available at ABU.  They can receive BA degrees in either Biblical studies or Christian Community Leadership. As well, they can minor in Business, Education, and Communications.  As we heard each of these students speak, we were impressed with the quality of education that they are receiving here, the dedication of the faculty, and the enormous growth for some of them in developing a Christian "world and life view".  While ABU has been here for seven years this is the first class to go through the now offered four-year degree.
We rejoice in God allowing and your sending to be a special help to both Tim and Cheri Hoke and ABU at graduation.  Please pray for Jerry as he prepares for preaching tomorrow night at the Baccalaureate Worship Service.
Thankful to be serving with you,
Jerry & Marg
May 31, 2012; 5:18 pm EAT (Uganda time)