I never gave much thought to my passport. This little book full of stamps was not difficult or even expensive to obtain. There is plenty of paperwork needed to live overseas that causes my blood pressure to rise a bit, but it’s never been my passport. It was always a given that because of where I was born I could obtain such paperwork without much to do. So, when God called Katrina and me to this work we could easily reply “Yes!”.
What I am painfully aware of now is that it isn’t as simple for many people around the globe to cross borders as it is for Americans. Some passports aren’t as easily accepted as ours. Some have stipulations, some are cost prohibitive. Some people will never be granted a passport no matter how hard they try.
Imagine being born without a state or nation that claims you as their own. Imagine having no birth certificate, no documents that record your official name or date of birth, no one willing to provide you with the information even needed to apply for a passport. Imagine living your entire life encircled by a square mile of walls. What do you do if God calls you to become a pastor?
In the case of Dr. Wado and his team, you build a seminary right where it’s needed. The Kawthoolei Hope Theological Seminary was dreamed up by Dr. Wado and his team to serve their people who could not otherwise attend seminary elsewhere because of their stateless status. Without a country, they cannot receive passports or obtain other vital paperwork necessary for travel and school entrance. What is so easy for us in the US is near impossible for them.
Currently there are 3 programs at the seminary. Each program has 10-15 students attending. Students that attend the bible college physically situated in Mae La ((a camp of about 40,000 people) are now able to continue their education without the burden of trying to navigate nearly impossible hurdles of attending seminary in the Philippines or elsewhere.
Our office has been leading various topics since September, almost all of which have been online due to COVID restrictions. I have had the privilege and honor of spending a little time learning and sharing with two groups of students from KHTS. I have been so impressed by their dedication and their eagerness to learn. Classes are mostly taught in English, which is many of the students second or even third language. I am amazed by this as I struggle in all but English. I find hope when I see how leaders like Dr. Wado and his students are responding to the challenges they face and their eagerness to answer God’s call on their lives.
If you would like to learn more about KHTS please visit their website here KHTS or reach out to us and we would be glad to share. We are working on some avenues to allow for direct financial support to KHTS as well and will keep all informed.