April 2019 Newsletter

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. (Psalm 57:1)

Dear Friends and Family,

Greetings in the precious name of Jesus! Once again we would like to say thank you to each and every one for your prayers, especially during that past few difficult months, and for your gifts that support and sustain our ministry here in South Africa. May God be glorified by your faithfulness in partnering with us for the sake of the gospel of Jesus!

Update from the Bible Institute

An important meeting of the Board of Directors has been scheduled for tonight (April 15). I will be attending this meeting to share my perspective on recent events. Please pray that immediate action will be taken to begin to deal with longstanding institutional deficiencies. I intend to share more details soon on what has been happening at BI recently, but due to the sensitive nature of a number of these issues I cannot share more at the moment.

Last week was “Ministry Week” at BI. No classes were held during the week so that students and faculty could devote themselves to ministry. This year my students and I worked with our home church in Fish Hoek, St. Peter’s. I chose St. Peter’s not only because of its proximity, but because it is a large, growing church with a high view of Scripture and an obvious heart for evangelism and discipleship. My students were able to participate in a variety of ministries, including children and youth groups, a day with a church plant at a nearby black township (Cape Town is still largely divided along racial lines), door-to-door evangelism, Moms groups and Dads groups, and even a staff meeting (which I hope was interesting for students to see as this is a side of ministry that is rarely seen by students until they graduate and are faced with leading a church themselves).

OCI Consultation on Online Learning

Last month a conference for leaders from theological colleges across eastern and southern Africa was held in Cape Town. It was good to reconnect with people I know from across Africa, most especially with my dear friends from Evangelical University in Zambia. The photo at the top is from this conference. I could clearly see God at work during the conference, and a number of new ministry opportunities across Africa are opening up in irresistible ways for me now. Please pray that God would give me wisdom as I will need to make some serious, possibly life-altering, decisions in the near future.

Support Update

We are currently faced with a rather large financial challenge related to serving outside our home country. At the moment our visa situation in South Africa is quite complicated. In order to make sure that everything is done correctly, we will be working with an immigration consultant who has helped a number of other colleagues at the Bible Institute. Anna will be soon switching to a spousal visa. Sarah is in the process of switching to a student visa. Both of these can be done from within South Africa. However, Kristina, Katie and I are required to re-apply for our visas at the South African embassy in Ottawa. This will require additional travel expenses as well as fees for the visa applications and supporting documents, as well as the fees for the immigration consultant. The good news is that we should be able to apply for permanent residence in South Africa after our visas are updated. Once this has been approved we would no longer need to apply for visas, which should save us considerable time and expense in the future.

However, at the moment I expect that all this may leave use with a deficit of about $10,000 in our ministry account. Please join with us in praying that God will provide for our needs. I believe that we have done our best to be good stewards of the gifts we have received, and my hope is that our current plans will result in significant long-term savings.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for our family as we seek God’s leading regarding how to proceed with new and existing ministry opportunities
  • Please continue to pray for Anna and Hannes as they prepare for their upcoming wedding
  • Pray for Kristina as she continues to serve at iThema school while also ministering to the students at the Bible Institute in many ways, as well as taking care of things at home

Blessings in Christ,

Tim & Kristina Churchill

My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. (Psalm 57:7)