November 2018 Newsletter

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:16–17)

Dear Friends and Family,

Greetings in the precious name of Jesus! Since the beginning of July we have been immersed in the difficulties at the Bible Institute. One lecturer has already been dismissed. Our campus is in turmoil while other serious issues remain unresolved.

  • Please pray for the Board and leadership of the Bible Institute in dealing with sin on our campus.
  • Please pray for wisdom as we seek God’s will for our family’s future.
  • Please pray that God will uphold and protect our family in the coming weeks and months.

Divine Initiative Now Available for Kindle!

My book Divine Initiative and the Christology of the Damascus Road Encounter has finally been released for Kindle! As I write, the price for the Kindle edition is just US$7.61 / C$9.99, compared with US$37.00 / C$34.78 for the paperback edition. Here’s a review from Professor Steve Walton:

This clear, lucid, and readable book approaches the Pauline and Lukan accounts of Saul/Paul’s Damascus road encounter from the perspective of the one who appeared to Paul. This is a fresh approach, since previous studies have focused on the effects of the encounter on Paul himself, but with little attempt–if any–to consider what we learn about the one who appeared. Churchill’s approach adds to our understanding of the early Christians’ beliefs about Jesus, and also contributes to our understanding of how the early believers came to those beliefs.

I should warn you that the book is a revision of my doctoral thesis so it’s not easy reading, but if you’re adventurous or just want to see what it’s about then the Kindle version should make it easy for you to take a look.

ICETE C-18 Conference

Every three years the leaders of evangelical theological colleges from around the world gather for a conference to share ideas, network, and participate in various workshops and sessions. Three years ago in Antalya, Turkey I represented Evangelical University (Zambia), while Gideon Beukes (Anna’s future father-in-la) attended from the Bible Institute.

This year’s consultation was in Panama. We were blessed to have three representatives from the Bible Institute: our Principal, Daniel Simango, Gideon, and myself. We traveled together from Cape Town to Panama via Istanbul, and had many opportunities to discuss the current situation at BI and our hopes for the future. It was also good just to spend some time together away from BI, including a twenty hour layover in Istanbul that gave us an opportunity to explore that beautiful historical city.

We are already starting to see fruit from the conference. On the last night I met with an online education consultant who assists bible colleges from around the world in training more than 5,000 students. I shared some ways that I could assist him with his work. After he saw what I had to offer he said that our meeting alone made the entire trip worthwhile. I had at least half a dozen similar meetings during the week. Please pray that some of the connections we made at ICETE will produce lasting results.

Support Update

We give thanks to God for providing for our needs. In fact, shortly after we sent out last month’s newsletter I received the following response from one of our supporting churches:

Just a quick note to let you know that beginning in January, [we] will be increasing our monthly support of your family by the [amount] that represents your current gap. We pray for God’s blessing on you and your work and for his care for you, knowing that things have been particularly tough these last few months.

I cannot express our gratitude to God and these faithful supporters who have responded to our need in such a generous way. At moments like that we know that God is confirming the work we have been doing and have been greatly encouraged to persevere despite the difficult circumstances. I am reminded of Paul’s words to the Thessalonians:

As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honoured, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. (2 Thessalonians 3:1-5)

We remain with a $5,000 shortfall in our ministry account. Please pray that our current need will also be met.

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. (2 Thessalonians 3:16)

Blessings in Christ,

Tim & Kristina Churchill