August 2016 Newsletter
Dear Friends and Family,
Greetings from Hungary! Over the past few months we have created wonderful memories with many of you as we visited with supporting churches and partners. We are truly thankful for the many prayers and gifts offered in support of our ministry. We seek to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us, which is why the wait for our FBI checks to be returned and the disruption in our travel plans has been so frustrating.
Waiting for South Africa
We are preparing to begin our new ministry in South Africa, where I will be serving as Academic Dean of the Bible Institute of South Africa. As we reported in last month’s newsletter we are now waiting on our FBI background checks, the last remaining piece of documentation for our South African visa application. We submitted our application to the FBI shortly after our return to Canada, but are still waiting to receive the reports. The good news is that the FBI did charge our credit card on August 2, so we expect that the reports will arrive any day.
We are now in Hungary, visiting with Kristina’s family. As soon as we receive the reports we need to travel back to Ottawa to apply in person at the South African embassy, then wait for the visas to be granted before continuing on to South Africa.
As we wait for God to open the way for us to South Africa we are reminded of the words of the Lord to the prophet Habakkuk: “For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:3).
Ongoing Ministry in Zambia
Although we have gone for Zambia, I continue to work with the current group of Masters students at Evangelical University. They students all successfully completed the Biblical exegesis module last month, and are now working on papers for the module in Biblical theology. One of the students is a mature Christian leader among the Christian Brethren. Despite a hectic schedule he completed his assignment on Paul’s Miletus speech (Acts 20), part of a larger thesis related to strengthen the discipling ministry of the local church in the Zambian context. Another student is a Bible school teacher who is interested in developing an effective mother tongue discipleship strategy for rural Zambian churches. His exegetical paper on Luke 10:25-37 received a grade of distinction. After completing this module he wrote a kind message to me: “Thank you for the update regarding our program of study. It is really a very involving race; I thank God for your hard-work in teaching and guiding us all the way. Pray for us as we grapple with [the next module].”
I also continued to assist with the Hebrew course at Evangelical University (EU). A former student who completed Hebrew two years ago is tutoring the Hebrew students in my absence. I just reviewed the final exam from the second Hebrew course, which involved translating Genesis 15:1-6 without the aid of any reference books. One of the students was sent to EU by Wycliffe Bible Translators. This student passed the final exam – and the course – with flying colors!
Even as we are absent from Zambia it is still a blessing to be able to have a small part in the lives of those we know and love who continue to serve God in that part His kingdom.
Our budget for the fiscal year beginning in October has been finalized, so we have a much better picture now of our financial needs. As of now, we have an ongoing need of $600 per month, and an estimated one-time need of about $13,000 to cover the anticipated travel costs to Ottawa and Cape Town, as well as setup costs after we arrive in South Africa.
Please pray that God will raise up supporters to provide for these needs. If you would like more information about how to support us, please contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Pray that our FBI background checks come soon
- Pray that our South African visas will be granted quickly after the FBI checks arrive
- Pray for cheap tickets to Ottawa and South Africa
- Pray for peace in the nation of Zambia following recent national elections
Blessings in Christ,
Tim & Kristina Churchill