March 2016 Newsletter
Dear Friends and Family,
Greetings from Ndola! We are constantly reminded that we are not alone, but we rely on your prayers and support each day as we serve God here at Evangelical University. As you help to carry our burdens you are fulfilling the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2). Therefore we are so thankful for your faithful prayers and support through the past month.
Teaching through 1-3 John
Many of you may be wondering what happens in the classroom at EU, especially if you’ve never been to Bible college or seminary yourself. This month I’d like to share a little about a course I’m currently teaching on 1-3 John.
Since this is a class for more senior students, much of our class time is spent in group discussions. It has been rewarding to hear my students discuss the topics such as John’s use of light as a metaphor, the meaning of “antichrist” (you may be surprised to learn that the term “antichrist” only occurs in 1-2 John), the importance of loving one another, the confession of Jesus as both Messiah and Son of God, and how this confession may be applied to evangelism in Zambia today.
For this course I didn’t assign a specific term assignment, but allowed students to create their own project. Some students are writing exegetical papers on key passages from 1 John, while others have chosen topical papers on themes from 1-3 John such as love, and light and darkness. Several students have been even more creative. One student, who is also an active pastor, has chosen to prepare a Bible Study series for his church on 1 John. Another student, whose husband is a pastor in Ndola, is developing a questionnaire related to the teachings of 1 John. She intends to survey church members and report on how well they understand some basic Biblical doctrines, and how they are applying those truths in their lives.
I have also assigned my students to write a weekly journal entry on what God has been teaching them from the passages we have been studying together. It has been amazing to read some of insights that these students are having, and also how they are already applying the truths of 1-3 John in their lives and ministries.
Teaching 1-3 John in Greek
Many of our students are gifted in languages. One of the students in my class is already working on a Bible translation project with Wycliffe Bible Translators, while another told me he now preaches straight from the Greek text and only brings his New American Standard Bible with him to the pulpit in case he has a momentary lapse. For those students who have an interest in developing their Greek language skills I scheduled an additional hour each week to read through the Johannine epistles in Greek. By the end of the term this group of students will have translated 1-3 John from Greek, and also memorized the entire vocabulary of these letters.
- Pray for the ministry at Evangelical University.
- Praise that Sarah’s neck seems to be better now. Sarah is now much more careful not to over-exercise or to remain in one position for too long.
- Pray for John and Rebecca as they near the end of their studies and prepare for marriage.
- Pray for Anna as she studies by distance, and for Sarah and Katie as they home school.
- Our time in Zambia will soon be drawing to an end. Please pray for our preparations to leave Zambia at the end of April, for our home assignment, and for our plans to begin ministry in South Africa in August.
“If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.” (1 John 3:20)
Blessings in Christ,
Tim & Kristina Churchill