October 2014 Newsletter
Dear Friends and Family,
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus! We’ve been on home assignment for a few months now. It’s been a busy but rewarding time of renewing old friendships and forging new ones. We have shared our stories so many times now that it’s getting hard to remember who has heard what! But we pray that through it all God would be glorified in us and in you (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12).
Massachusetts and Pennsylvania
Last week we returned from a two-week visit to the eastern United States. We had a busy schedule of visiting with friends, family, and other supporters from Maine to Maryland. Our first weekend was spent with North Quabbin Bible Church in Athol, Massachusetts. This church joined us as a partner while we were in Zambia. In fact, we had never met anyone from the church, but were brought together by God’s grace through mutual friends from our old home assembly in Philadelphia, Ardsley Bible Chapel. So the girls especially were a little nervous on Friday evening as we drove up to the home of the family where we would be spending the weekend, a family we’d never met. But by Monday morning we were sad to leave, as we’d been welcomed in with such warmth that we quickly felt part of their family! We even took part in the square dance at the church social on Saturday. I wore a cowboy hat and do-si-do’ed with my partner (Katie) all afternoon. On Sunday we did a presentation during the Sunday School hour, and I preached during the service. Our host family invited the whole church to their house in the evening for a bonfire. Throughout the weekend we were able to get to know many people. We pray that God will help these relationships grow over time as we partner together in ministry.
On Thursday I spent the entire day in meetings arranged by Christian Leadership Development Africa (CLDA), a new organization dedicated to supporting theological education in Africa, and at TCCA in particular. In the morning I met with CLDA’s board, then over lunch did a presentation for a group of potential donors. In the afternoon I met with the chair of the board, whom I had first met at last year’s TCCA graduation. That evening I did a second presentation for another group of potential donors. Please pray that God will bless the efforts of this dedicated group of believers who care about the Gospel and want to see His kingdom grow in Zambia.
Our final Sunday was spent with our dear, dear friends at Ardsley Bible Chapel. This was our church home when we lived in Philadelphia from 1993 to 1998, and it continues to have a special place in our hearts. It was encouraging to see many new faces since our last visit just a few years ago, but especially to see so many brothers and sisters we’ve known for many years. I was able to preach during the morning meeting, and also to do a presentation during the Sunday School hour. In the afternoon everyone met at a nearby home to share lunch and fellowship together.
This trip was such an encouragement to us. We found a new church home in Massachusetts, returned to our old home in Philadelphia, and spent a day with others who share the vision of raising up church leaders in Zambia. We also got to visit many others along the way. God is good!
Upcoming Ministry Opportunities
This coming Sunday, November 2, we will be attending West End Baptist Church in St. John’s, NL. The church has been a key partner in ministry for us. Having already met with men’s and women’s groups and the missions committee, we are excited to present our ministry to the whole church during the morning service. I will also be preaching during the service.
Later that day I will be traveling to represent TCCA at the Overseas Council (OCI) Institute for Excellence conference in Nairobi, Kenya, November 4-7. As Dr. Lazarus Phiri, TCCA’s Principal, recently wrote to me, “We are grateful to God and to you for representing us in Kenya. We would not have picked a more suitable person than you brother. This consultation is in line with the Academic Dean’s role and responsibilities. We hope you will also find it fulfilling and equipping for the future development of TCCA.” I have two main objectives for this conference: first, that the content of the sessions will be helpful as we plan TCCA’s future; and second, that I will begin to develop a network of peers from other African theological institutions that will grow over time. Please pray that God will bless this conference, and that it will be a time of learning, networking, and vision casting for the future of TCCA.
As I wrote in our last newsletter, we have some significant support needs that must be met before we return to Zambia in January. Please pray that God will “equip us with everything good for doing his will” (Hebrews 13:20-21). Here are our current support needs:
- $800 to $1000 per month in on-going support. Several supporters seem to have dropped out since our last newsletter, while others who have committed to support our ministry have not yet contacted SIM. Please pray that this need will be met soon, since this shortfall is accumulating every month.
- $15,000 in one-time support. Although we did receive some additional gifts since our last newsletter, we continue to have a significant deficit in our SIM account that must be addressed. Please pray that God will provide for this need soon so that our outstanding ministry expenses can be reimbursed.
Please contact us know if you have any questions about our support needs. If you would like to contribute to our ministry, please contact SIM Canada at 800-294-6918, or SIM USA at 800-521-6449. Our missionary number is 033186.
Blessings in Christ,
Tim & Kristina Churchill