Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. (Psalm 136:1)
Dear Friends and Family,
Greetings in the precious name of Jesus! In Jesus we see the goodness and love of God revealed. Goodness is my favourite of all God’s attributes, because it allows me to trust in his love, mercy, and grace even when I doubt. As Psalm 136:1 reminds us, we can be thankful to God because he is good. It is also interesting that when Moses asks to see God’s glory, God responds by showing him all his goodness (Exodus 33:18-19). The goodness of God’s glory as revealed in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6) gives us hope in the midst of difficult circumstances (8) so that we do not lose heart (16). My prayer is that we would always remember to give thanks to God because of his glorious goodness no matter our circumstances.
We also give thanks to God for each of you who have partnered with us in ministry, for your prayers sustain us and your gifts allow us to continue to serve.
Update from the TEFL Consultation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
As reported in our December newsletter, I was invited to travel to Addis Ababa in January to learn more about an ongoing Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) project. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I was hoping that the Bible Institute could possibly benefit from the TEFL materials, and I also hoped that BI might be able to help the TEFL team by converting the curriculum to our online learning management system so that more people could benefit. Therefore, BI’s Educational Technologist, Mr. Louis Barry, joined me on the trip to Ethiopia.
The trip turned out to be more valuable than I had hoped. On the first day I participated in an unrelated SIM consultation for theological educators. I did share perhaps more than I should have, but the organizer at least did value my contributions: “Your part in the theological educators’ consultation was also something I appreciated. What you said I think crystallized what others were thinking.”
For the next three days we participated in the TEFL consultation. Leaders from fifteen English-speaking KHC bible colleges met in Addis to evaluate how the curriculum was being used in their schools and to receive training on new curriculum. It was apparent from these meetings that the project is having an enormous impact on the students. During the week we also met with the person who developed the curriculum. She has made several courses available to the Bible Institute as a pilot project to see how we are able to benefit from making them available in an online format (that’s Louis’ job!). We don’t know where this will lead, but we pray that there will be benefit for BI and the TEFL team.
Another possible ministry opportunity opened up during the week when I was able to share some of the things I have developed with the KHC school leaders. They were very interested and actually requested to meet on Friday, the day after the TEFL conference ended. Many stayed behind to hear what I had to say, including the KHC’s director for theological education. During that meeting I was asked to return to speak at a national conference later this year. I also met separately with the Academic Dean of a college with 500 degree-level students, who told me at the end of the meeting that he was literally “salivating” to have access to the system I would like to share with them.
Please pray that God will continue to open doors for ministry as a result of this trip, especially as we hope to use the TEFL curriculum to benefit BI students who are preparing to serve in missions and would benefit from having an EFL qualification, as well as potential BI students who need to upgrade their English language proficiency.
One of the unfortunate outcomes of the trip was that at least three of us, the Canadian team leader, Louis, and I, returned home with bronchitis. For the past three weeks Louis and I have had to work day and night (literally) to get everything up and running in all the residential and distance courses for the new semester. At first we thought we both had a bad cold, but eventually we heard from the team leader that he had bronchitis and had been laid up for a week. So early last week I finally dropped myself to my doctor and was also diagnosed. Please pray for my recovery as I think I left it a little too long before getting treated.
Update from the Bible Institute
Please continue to pray for the Bible Institute. I hope to share more soon.
After much prayer and many generous gifts, it appears that our ongoing monthly support is now nearly full and the deficit in our ministry account has been reduced to about $3,000. We are very thankful for all the gifts that have been given to support our ministry and we pray that God will continue to provide for our needs – as he always has!
- Please pray for Anna and Hannes as they prepare for their wedding this May!
- Pray for Sarah as she has returned to BI to begin another year of studies (Anna is taking a break this semester in preparation for the wedding), and for Katie as she continues to homeschool (the battle is real!)
- Pray for me as I need wisdom to know how to proceed in the midst of a difficult situation, and also for God’s continued healing after my recent illness
- Pray for Kristina since, as you can see, she has lots on her plate with everything that is going on!
Blessings in Christ,
Tim & Kristina Churchill
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (2 Corinthians 4:7)