Dear Friends and Family,
Greetings from Ndola! First, we would like to thank all of our supporters for the gifts given over the past month. By God’s grace our needs are being met, and we are very grateful for your generosity in helping to meet those needs. We are also thankful for your prayers. We know that our heavenly Father hears and answers your prayers, so please continue to pray for us.
The Country of Zambia
It’s been a while since we shared about the country of Zambia, the needs of the Church in Zambia, and how our ministry is helping to meet these needs. Let’s begin with Zambia itself. If your geography is as rusty as mine, you may need some help in finding Zambia on a map! But it’s not hard to find. Zambia is right in the middle of sub-Saharan Africa, and it looks like it’s been pinched in the middle. We live in Ndola, a city of about 500,000 people located near the top of that pinch. Zambia has a growing population of 13,500,000. More than 70 languages are spoken throughout Zambia, but the official language is English. Zambia is rich in natural resources, especially copper and other minerals. While the country has great potential, Zambia rates 164 out of 182 countries in the UN’s Human Development Index.
The Church in Zambia
The Church in Zambia experienced exponential growth during the 20th century. Nearly 90% of Zambians now identify themselves as Christians, and more than 25% are evangelical. More than 200 evangelical denominations and organizations work together as part of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ). While the Church has experienced tremendous growth, it has also brought significant challenges. Operation World (2010) identifies two primary challenges facing churches in Zambia:
- Superficiality and lack of biblical understanding and teaching. Too few know the Word of God or how to live a Christian life. Good teachers and trained pastors are greatly needed.
- Imported forms and structures of worship cause a disconnect between African culture and the gospel, but syncretism with indigenous beliefs and practices that are not biblical is no improvement.
The Need for Leadership Training
According to Operation World, leadership training is “urgent need, the natural outworking of sustained church growth. This is a massive priority in a land where nominalism and syncretism are common. The EFZ has sponsored the Theological College of Central Africa in Ndola – the first evangelical, degree- awarding theological institution in Central Africa.”
Helping to Meet the Need
As Operation World rightly points out, the Theological College of Central Africa (TCCA) plays a strategic role in helping to meet the need for training leaders. As a ministry of the EFZ, TCCA helps to train church leaders from many different denominations. Since TCCA is accredited, our students receive high quality teaching that is recognized around the world. TCCA’s graduates now serve not only as pastors and teachers, but also as denominational leaders.
God called us to Zambia last year so that I could serve as a lecturer at TCCA. Since then I have also taken on the role of Academic Dean, which gives me the opportunity to help shape the academic program of the college into the future. I count it a a privilege to have the opportunity to prepare students for ministry at TCCA.
Here are some prayer items for this month:
- for my teaching ministry at TCCA
- for Kristina, Anna, Sarah, and Katie’s home-schooling
- for John’s studies and his continued spiritual growth
- that God will meet our financial needs according to the riches of His grace
- that God will give wisdom to TCCA’s leaders, especially our Principal, Dr. Lazarus Phiri
- that God will continue to bless SIM Zambia, especially our Director, SungSik Park
Blessings in Christ,
Tim & Kristina Churchill