January 2016 Newsletter

Dear Friends and Family,

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

New Year Greetings from Zambia! As we begin this new year let us be reminded of God’s great love and affection for us – regardless of the circumstances of life. Let us this year strive to rely on God and his mercies rather than on our own strength. We give thanks to God not only for his faithfulness to us, but also for your faithfulness in supporting us as we minister at Evangelical University in Ndola, Zambia. We are so very grateful for your many prayers and for the financial gifts given in support our ministry, and especially for the special gifts received last month.

Itinerary for 2016
As we announced in our October newsletter, God has called us to leave Zambia this year for a new ministry as Academic Dean at the Bible Institute of South Africa (BISA) in Cape Town. The reality of this move is starting to set in, as this week I begin my last academic term at Evangelical University (formerly the Theological College of Central Africa).

Earlier this week as I was walking across the street to my office I met a friend who pastors a large Baptist church in Ndola and also serves as an adjunct lecturer at EU. He is also well known in South Africa and familiar with the state of the Church there. As we discussed our move to South Africa he made the shocking claim that the need for Christian leadership training is greater in South Africa than it is in Zambia. Given what I know of the Church in Zambia I found this to be unbelievable, but he insisted, and I have no reason to doubt his claim.

2016 is going to be a year of many changes for us:

  • We will finish in Zambia at the end of April.
  • We will return to St. John’s for a brief home assignment from May through July. During this time we hope to visit most of our supporting churches and meet with as many of you as possible.
  • We plan to arrive in South Africa in mid-August. I hope to begin at BISA in mid-September.

Update from the Masters Module at EU in December
Last month I asked for prayer as I prepared to teach a one-week Master’s module. The week went well but was very intense as I compressed 22 weeks of teaching into one week. I tried to give the students notes, tools, and assignments that will be helpful as they seek to understand God’s word. Here is an encouraging note I received from one of my students after the week had ended:

On a personal note: Wish to express my deep gratitude for the very fruitful time we had last week. Your passion and the background effort put into the lectures were very evident. It was so motivating sitting under your feet….so much to learn! It was time well spent – no regrets! May the Lord grant you more and more understanding;  may He richly bless your equipping ministry.

Prayer Requests

  • Please continue to pray for Sarah as her neck is still not better. We are continuing to seek medical attention and may need to travel to South Africa for further assessment.
  • Please pray for John and Rebecca. One day during the Christmas break John sent us a text that he had bought an engagement ring but was going to wait for a while before he proposed. Later that same day we received another text, “She said yes!” Apparently he couldn’t wait any longer to ask! Please pray for John and Rebecca as they begin to plan for their wedding and the rest of their lives together.
  • Please pray for our family as we prepare to leave Zambia at the end of this term. Pray that we will be able to finish well at EU, and for the many logistical details that need to be taken care of as we leave.
  • Pray that we will be granted a work visa for South Africa. We will be making the application during our home assignment.

From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psalm 61:2)

Blessings in Christ,

Tim & Kristina Churchill