April 2016 Newsletter
Dear Friends and Family,
This is our last newsletter from Zambia. After four years of service at Evangelical University (EU), God is calling us to a new ministry. During our time here we have seen God at work in many ways, and we can testify that God has been faithful to us and has blessed our ministry. Even though we have been called to leave, it is still hard for us to say goodbye. Just as Paul wept when he met the Ephesian elders for the last time (Acts 20:37), the past few have been emotional for our family.
We will be leaving Zambia at the end of April for a brief home assignment. We hope to see many of our supporters in Canada and the United States during this visit. Lord willing, we will return to Africa in August to begin work at the Bible Institute of South Africa in Kalk Bay near Cape Town.
Visitors from Canada
In the past six weeks we were blessed with two visitors from Canada. Kathy spend a week (not long enough!) with us in February, and Magda was with us for two weeks in March. It was so good to spend time with friends we know and love. I know Magda and Kathy enjoyed their time in Zambia, but their visits were so encouraging for us during our season of change.
And for those who had planned to visit us in Zambia: I regret to inform you that you have missed your opportunity – but South Africa awaits!
Farewell Tea at Evangelical University
After Chapel during the last week of classes, the EU family had a farewell tea to say good-bye. My dear friend, fellow lecturer, and Dean of Students, Pastor Mweemba Mwaanga, gave a moving farewell address:
Dr. Churchill, we would like to sincerely express our deep-most appreciation to God because of you… You have been a gift, or you are a gift to us to us. And we’ll continue to treasure that. And even as you go to serve and begin ministry where God is taking you next, may the Lord remember your labour. May the Lord remember all the good things that you have done. You may forget but the people whom you served, they will not forget. We are very grateful. May the Lord watch over you and give you success, fulfillment…
My administrative assistant, Mrs. Kaonga, said afterwards that she was crying so much during the farewell, she hid behind someone so I wouldn’t see her tears. Many of my students have also shared how much we will be missed. We will dearly miss each of them as well.
The South African Theological Seminary (SATS) is offering a Masters program in partnership with Evangelical University. This past week I taught the another module to the current cohort. This is the second time I’ve taught this group. It is such a pleasure and privilege to be with these students. Many in the class are senior ministry leaders, even at a national level.
On Friday, our last day together, we finished our classroom time in the morning and went out for lunch together at a local restaurant. The afternoon was set aside for students to work on their term papers. Around 3 o’clock I noticed that most of my students had snuck out of the library together. After a few minutes the two remaining students asked me to join them back in the classroom. I was a little confused, but when I got there I found everyone seated, waiting for me. They shared how much they had benefited from the time we had spent together in the two modules. They presented me with a parting gift, a painting to remind me of Zambia. It has not been easy to say goodbye to so many people that we’ve come to know and love.
We know that our upcoming transition from Zambia to South Africa is not without cost. At this point we estimate that we will have a need for one-time ministry expenses (moving, visas, setup, etc.) of approximately $16,000, although this will likely change as our plans become more certain. Please pray that God will provide for this need as He calls us to a new field of ministry.
- Praise for God’s faithfulness during our time in Zambia;
- Pray that God will continue to raise up leaders and students for Evangelical University, and that the ministry at EU would continue to grow and impact lives for the kingdom of God.
- Pray for our family as we prepare to move:
- That we will be able to sell our vehicle and furniture before we leave;
- That God will give us peace as we say final farewells to our many Zambian friends;
- That our journey back to St. John’s will go well.
- Praise for John and Rebecca as they prepare to graduate from university this May.
As our time in Zambia draws to an end, we once again express our deep appreciation for all the prayers offered on our behalf. It is so encouraging to know that you are praying for us, because the work is never easy. We also thank each of you who have given to support the ministry. In doing so you have affirmed the teaching of 3 John 7-8, which calls believers to support those who are sent:
For they have gone out for the sake of the Name…
Therefore we ought to support people like these,
that we may be fellow workers for the truth. (3 John 7-8 ESV)
We can testify to your faithfulness in meeting our needs as we have ministered here, and so have in truth been fellow workers with us for the truth.
Blessings in Christ,
Tim & Kristina Churchill