October 2017 Newsletter

Dear Friends and Family,

Greetings to each of you, whom we love in the truth (3 John 1)! Thank you for your faithfulness in supporting us in our ministry in South Africa. We are your fellow workers in the truth, and we rely on your support and generosity to do the work that God has prepared for us to do here (3 John 5-8).

Ministry Update
In two weeks I will be giving a lecture on 3 John. Verse four is perhaps the most famous portion of this small epistle: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (NIV). Just recently two of my “children” have come together in ministry at a rural Bible college in Zambia. Not only are they walking in the truth, they are training others to do so.

My first “child,” Brian, is a graduate of Evangelical University in Ndola, Zambia. Brian has been teaching at Evangelical Bible College (EBC) in Chizela for the past two years, and is in the second year of a three year Masters degree in Christian Education by distance from London School of Theology (LST).

My second “child,” Tshepo, is from South Africa. She recently completed a Bachelor degree at the Bible Institute of South Africa, and will be graduating next month. Just a few weeks ago she moved to Zambia where she will also be teaching at EBC. She has also begun the same Masters programme at LST. Earlier today I received this report from Tshepo about her transition to life in rural Zambia, teaching at EBC, and studying through LST:

Evangelical Bible College (EBC)
The college has a farming component, in addition to the academic side the students are taught farming skills. They also run a women’s programme which at the moment is completely in Kiikaonde. Chisela campus of EBC is like a little village on its own, with huge farms and various farming activities, a river, residences for students and their families and on the other side houses for staff and the Main office block.

I spent time last week doing observations in all the classes. The college then asked me to give my first lecture last week Thursday to the 2nd and 3rd year class. It is only through the Lord’s help that it went well! The students were interactive and engaged with the content. I received encouraging feedback from the Principal and [Brian] who sat in. I will be teaching Apologetics for the next three weeks and then Christian Education is the next course I will teach after graduation.

LST (MA Theological Education and Practicals at EBC)
I am enjoying my LST studies so much! It is an intensive programme with a lot of work. All which is of great interest to me. The nature of my programme requires me to be engaged in lecturing. I’m now on Unit 3 of Philosophy and Practice of Higher Education.

Life in General
I’m slowly making sense of everything here, learning and observing a lot! My Kikaonde is coming along I am able to use a few common phrases. Though judging from the responses my pronunciation is not so good.

Despite the workload with my studies and lectures i’m trying to overall take each day as it comes. Internet is a major challenge for me as I depend on it for my studies. Besides, with other things just learning and seeing how others cope and then know to do the same. The Lord who knew that I would be here guides each step.

I thank the Lord for the training I got at BI, everything I learned is proving to be a good foundation for the work I’m doing here and my studies. I am grateful for how the Lord used you to get me on this journey with my work and studies. Thank you Sir.

So you can see why I have “no greater joy” than to receive these reports from my former students about how God is already using them in ministry.

Prayer Requests
Here are our prayer requests for this month:

  • Praise for God’s sustaining grace in our lives
  • Pray for the ongoing drought in Cape Town
  • Pray for the Bible Institute’s application for accreditation, which is still pending
  • Pray for students at the Bible Institute as final exams are only three weeks away
  • Pray for Kristina, Anna, Sarah, and Katie’s work at iThemba Christian Pre-School, and also as they often prepare meals and show hospitality to my students at the Bible Institute
  • Pray for John and Rebecca as they hope to visit us in South Africa but have not yet been given time off from work

Peace be to you (3 John 15),

Tim & Kristina Churchill