September 2014 Newsletter
Dear Friends and Family,
Greetings from St. John’s! I wrote our July newsletter in Zambia as we were preparing to leave, and our August newsletter in Hungary as we visited with Kristina’s family. Since then we returned to Canada, stopping first in Toronto for several days of debriefing at SIM Canada’s head office before finally arriving safely back in St. John’s! It was strange to experience “reverse culture shock” in finding our old familiar surroundings somehow different, but we’ve quickly re-adapted and are settling in for the next few months. While some things haven’t changed much, others have. For example, Anna now has a driving permit and enjoys taking me for a ride!
First and foremost we thank everyone who has been praying for us and given to support our ministry. As the angel said to Cornelius, your prayers and gifts have come up as a memorial offering before God (Acts 10:4). After more than two years of ministry in Zambia we can joyfully affirm that God has provided for all our needs, often in miraculous ways. Even our prayer for a vehicle was answered in an unexpected way as we were gifted a van by some very generous supporters! However, I soon encountered a problem in purchasing insurance for the van. The agent explained that according to the regulations we would need to pay triple our previous rate. While she was checking with her supervisor I prayed, “Lord, I know you wouldn’t provide us with a vehicle without also providing insurance.” The agent soon returned with a big smile – her supervisor had waived the regulations and given us the much cheaper rate!
As we prepare to return to Zambia we once again find ourselves with financial needs. But we are confident that God has called us to train leaders at the Theological College of Central Africa, and that he wouldn’t give us this calling without providing for our needs.
As part of our meetings at the SIM Canada office we did a detailed review of our finances. We found that we have some significant needs that must be met before we return to Zambia in January:
- $800 per month in on-going support. There are several reasons for this shortfall. We recently lost a number of supporters for various personal reasons. Our budget was also adjusted for inflation, and we increased the budget for ministry expenses to reflect our actual ministry expenses, which have been consistently higher over the past few years.
- $15,000 in one-time support. We are currently $4,000 short in our ministry account. We have exhausted the $8,750 reserve in our support account. We are also anticipating other one-time costs related to our home assignment.
Our time in St. John’s will be busy. We’ve already started working our way through many appointments with doctors, dentists, and optometrists (thankfully no serious problems have been found). We’ve prepared videos and slideshows for our supporting churches, and have already made several presentations. We’re trying to meet with as many of our supporters in as many places as we possibly can. And of course we need to spend time with our family and friends that we’ve missed so much over the past few years. Here is a schedule of churches where I’ll be preaching over the next few months:
- September 14, 21 Calvary Baptist Church (St. John’s)
- September 28 Emmanuel Chinese Church (St. John’s)
- October 5 Faith Bible Chapel (St. John’s)
- October 12 North Quabbin Community Church (Athol, Massachusetts)
- October 19 Ardsley Bible Chapel (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
- November 2 West End Baptist Church (St. John’s)
- November 16, 23 Calvary Baptist Church (St. John’s)
- December 7 Northern Cross Community Church (Goose Bay, Labrador)
- Pray that our time with family and friends will be meaningful
- Pray that God will bless our many meetings with churches and supporters
- Pray that God will work in the hearts of each of our children
Blessings in Christ,
Tim & Kristina Churchill