Merry Christmas! This is the season when we remember the coming of Emmanuel, the Messiah. It’s also the coming of winter in the northern hemisphere. Here in the tropics below the equator, it’s sunny and 31°C (88°F) today. Snow is a distant memory, or perhaps more of a bad dream from which we’ve finally awakened (Genesis 3:17). In fact, the girls have been able to go swimming at a friend’s house nearly every day for the past few weeks. It’s strange listening to Jingle Bells when you’re floating sunburned in your friend’s pool!
News from TCCA
The term at the Theological College of Central Africa ended last Friday. The past term was quite eventful. I’ve been trying to get to know the students and have started to develop good relationships with a number of them. I’m hoping to post some interviews on the website soon so you can get to know them and hear their amazing stories. During the term I encountered a serious problem with plagiarism involving more than half the students in one class. The problem of plagiarism is not unique to TCCA – a lecturer at another bible college found that 14 of 16 students had plagiarized. Please pray for wisdom in dealing with this issue.
Next term will be busy as I teach three courses: the book of Genesis, New Testament Exegesis (how to interpret the Bible), and a New Testament elective on the book of Galatians. I am already busy preparing for next term. Please pray that God will guide me in how best to teach these subjects.
Meanwhile, things remain busy at home. Anna, Sarah, and Katie are spending time doing crafts and playing games with the TCCA students’ children. Kristina and I were approved for our Zambian driving licenses (a long story). And since the rainy season has started (very slowly), we’re about to plant our garden. A missionary had come to TCCA to teach the wives how to farm using biblical principles. The mission has developed a program called “Farming God’s Way”. Kristina had the brilliant idea of inviting someone trained in that program to spend several days at our house teaching our workers how to plant our garden. Now the garden is being prepared and we are praying for a bumper crop (Psalm 85:12)!Support Update
As always, we give thanks to God and to each of you who support our ministry. We know that our ministry here in Zambia is only possible with the prayers and financial support of our partners. As we reach the year’s end we are faced with two urgent needs:
- $11,000 short in our ministry account
- $600/month short of our ongoing budget
A few months ago we had requested help with a significant one-time need, and that need was graciously met. Since then we have received a bill for renovations on our house. This, combined with several other unexpected one-time setup expenses leaves us with a deficit of $11,000. This should be the end of our one-time setup and moving expenses. Please pray that God will provide for this need (Genesis 22:14).
At the same time, we remain $600 per month short of our ongoing budget. Please pray that God will raise up support for this need as well.
- Pray for our family:
- For we all, and especially the girls, won’t be too homesick over the Christmas break. This is our first Christmas in Africa, and our first apart from John.
- For John as he finishes exams.
- Pray for TCCA:
- That God will provide financial support for incoming students.
- That God will provide new faculty and staff, as a number of people will be leaving TCCA early in the new year.
- For me as I prepare my courses for next term.
Blessings in Christ,
Tim & Kristina Churchill