Dear Friends and Family,
Greetings in the name of the Lord! Here in Zambia the new academic year, which begins in January, is well underway. Kristina, Anna, Sarah, and Katie are back to (home)school, and Kristina has started teaching an English course at TCCA for the students’ wives. I’m also busy teaching. In this month’s newsletter I’d like to share more about what I do at TCCA so you can see how God is using your prayers and gifts.
Ministry at TCCA
We’ve come to Zambia in order to train pastors and teachers at the Theological College of Central Africa (TCCA). This term, my main ministry will be to teach three courses. Let me give you a little flavor of each. In a course on the book of Genesis, we’ve spent the first few weeks on Genesis 1-4, and have considered topics such as the existence of God, the origin and age of the universe, and the origin of life. In each case we’ve looked at what science says, as well as the major Christian views. We discussed in detail how science may be used to undermine faith in God and confidence in the Bible. One of my students shared how he is wrestling with his double vocation of teacher and pastor. During the week he must teach that life evolved without God, but on Sunday preach that God created everything. I gave the students lots of resources to help them both in the church and the classroom. We’ve also considered the origin and effects of sin, and the relationship between husbands and wives.
My second course is New Testament Exegesis, which explains how to draw the meaning out of Biblical passages. The first topic was Textual Criticism, which helps us understand where the the New Testament comes from (lots and lots of ancient manuscripts!), how to make choices when all the manuscripts don’t agree, and why some of our translations are different. The next week we looked at how translations are made, the philosophies behind the translations, and how to explain the differences in translations. This week we explored the historical and cultural background of the New Testament. We discussed how different the cultural contexts of the New Testament are from today’s Zambian culture, and the tools that we can use to help us understand these cultural differences.
I’m also teaching an elective on the book of Galatians. For the next few months I have the joy of digging into this epistle with my students. We meet three mornings a week. Even though we only consider a few verses each morning, the class always seem to end late because no one wants to leave! There is so much to discuss and so much to learn from what the Apostle Paul wrote to the churches in Galatia under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
In addition to teaching, I have been active in the lives of my students outside the classroom. Here are some extra-curricular highlights from just the past week: spent time with a student who would like to improve his Bible Study skills beyond what he’s learning at TCCA; helped a student get proper attention for a serious medical issue; spoke at a TCCA chapel service; prepared to preach this Sunday morning service at a church where several of my students worship; gave encouragement and financial assistance to a student who is trying to upgrade to a degree program; prepared a video presentation for a student who will be speaking at numerous events across the United States this month; set up new e-book resources for the library; set up a digital projector and sound system so that students and their families could watch Zambia’s soccer matches at the Africa Cup of Nations (unfortunately Zambia was eliminated after the opening round). So you can see that life at TCCA is very busy! But we are thankful that God is blessing our ministry here.
January was an amazing month! God has heard your prayers and provided for us in many ways. We welcomed several new prayer partners and financial supporters this past month. It appears that we are now very close to full monthly support – this is indeed an answer to prayer! In January we were also welcomed a new partner church: North Quabbin Bible Church in Athol, Massachusetts. Thank you to everyone at North Quabbin Bible Church for your commitment to partner with us, and to each and every one of you who continues to support our ministry.
- Give thanks to God for our new partners in ministry and for providing for our needs
- For our family’s health, for safety and protection in Ndola, and for John as he is apart from us
- For our ministry at TCCA:
- For me as I teach and minister to students
- For Kristina, Anna, Sarah, and Katie as they work with the TCCA wives and children
- For TCCA students and family members who are sick with malaria
Blessings in Christ,
Tim & Kristina Churchill