October 2015 Newsletter
Dear Friends and Family,
Greetings in the name of Jesus! We give thanks for your prayers and for the many gifts that have been given to support our ministry. May God richly bless you for your faithfulness!
In this month’s newsletter we have some big news to share with you. Please read the story of how God has been leading us to a new ministry opportunity and pray with us as we prepare for a significant transition. As the Apostle Paul was “compelled by the Spirit” we also seek to be obedient to God’s call. “I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me” (Acts 20:22, 24).
God’s Call To A New Ministry
Our family came to Zambia in 2012 in response to God’s call to serve at the Theological College of Central Africa (now Evangelical University, or EU). We have faced many difficult challenges, but we persevered in the knowledge that God had brought us to this place in His service. God is clearly at work at EU, and my ministry has been very fruitful and personally rewarding. Our family has been happy and content in Ndola.
Yet God is calling us to a new ministry in 2016.
The story began about this time last year while we were on home assignment in St. John’s. As our return to Zambia drew near I realized that I had been praying that God would provide for our needs, but I hadn’t been praying that God would reaffirm our calling to serve in Zambia – I had taken this for granted. So I prayed, confessing this oversight and asking God to reaffirm our calling.
We returned to Zambia early in January. Just a few days after our return I had a strange experience. As I was walking along the street to my office I heard a voice in my head saying “Your work here is done.” I was surprised, disturbed, and confused, since I didn’t understand where this message was coming from, and I didn’t want to accept it.
A few weeks after this I had a vivid dream that I was teaching at a new school. Immediately after this dream I woke up, very much confused, and shared the dream with Kristina. What I didn’t know at the time was that another Bible college was already considering me for the position of Academic Dean. Just a few days after this dream I received an e-mail from the Principal of the Bible Institute of South Africa (www.bisa.org.za) in Cape Town asking if I would consider joining them. If I hadn’t had the dream I would have deleted his e-mail without a second thought. But I believe that God gave me the dream so that I wouldn’t ignore this request.
I immediately consulted the pastor of our home church, the Deputy Director of SIM Canada, and several other mentors. I received unanimous counsel that I should pursue this opportunity. After submitting a formal application and completing a detailed theological questionnaire I was asked to visit BISA for a formal interview in July. During this visit I met with BISA’s Principal, faculty, and Board members. Following this visit the Board asked me to accept the position of Academic Dean.
After much prayer and reflection, our family is persuaded that God is calling us to leave Zambia for South Africa.
We are now entering a period of significant transition. I will remain at EU until next Spring in order to give time for a proper handover. We are planning to leave Zambia in May 2016 for a brief home assignment, during which we hope to meet with many of you and share more of our experiences from this past term. We will then travel to South Africa in August to begin a new chapter of ministry.
We ask that you would pray for us in this midst of these many changes. Leaving Zambia will be difficult, and there have already been many tears. Although we are leaving Zambia we will remain with SIM, and will transition from SIM Zambia to SIM South Africa. We value your continued support of our ministry as we will remain dependant on your prayers and gifts.
- Pray for our family as we prepare to transition from Zambia to South Africa, and for John as he finished his last year of studies in St. John’s
- Pray that God would raise up new leaders for Evangelical University
- Pray that God will provide for the shortfall in our ministry account and ongoing support
Please send us a message if you would like to hear more about what’s happening or if you have any questions – we really appreciate hearing from you!
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Blessings in Christ,
Tim & Kristina Churchill