May 2019 Newsletter
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. (Psalm 40:1)
Dear Friends and Family,
Greetings in the precious name of Jesus! This has been a difficult message to write, although if you have been reading between the lines of our recent newsletters you may not be surprised at what I am about to share. Please keep this message confidential as we are in the middle of some difficult personal and potentially legal situations.
Resignation from the Bible Institute
From the time I arrived in Cape Town until today, the ministry at the Bible Institute has been difficult. I would prefer not to discuss everything that has happened, but I believe that I did everything I could given the circumstances. However, recent events forced me to conclude that my time there must come to an end (Acts 15:39a). I recently consulted with close spiritual advisors who have been familiar with the situation, including immediate and close family members, the pastors and elders of our home church in Canada, the deputy director of SIM Canada, the director of SIM South Africa, the recently acting director of SIM Southern Africa, my academic mentor, a Christian counsellor, a labour attorney, and a medical practitioner. They individually expressed their unanimous support for my decision to leave BI with immediate effect.
Therefore I have submitted my resignation from the Bible Institute, effective at the end of this semester. I do believe that God used our time at the Bible Institute over the past three years to shine a light on the problems at BI and to begin a cleansing process. I was also able to continue development of an administrative software system that is already in use at institutions in several countries. And of course, our arrival in Cape Town has culminated in bringing Anna and Hannes together in marriage.
Plans for Future Ministry
As you know, my role at BI involved administration and teaching. I would like to continue to exercise these gifts in an African, and more specifically South African context. God is already opening up new opportunities for ministry in South Africa that will allow me to exercise my gifts.
Shortly after submitting my resignation I contacted the Principal of a large South African seminary that I have had a relationship with for the past four years. He had recently expressed a desire for me to work more closely with his school. Just a few minutes after I wrote him I received a favourable reply. I will be meeting with the leadership of this school over the next few days.
At the same time God is opening up ministry opportunities that would have been impossible if I remained committed to BI. I have invitations from institutions in several more African countries, and from another organization that is working in dozens of countries around the world, to help in the development and delivery of online and distance learning programmes. This is a unique and growing opportunity, one I intend to pursue as long as God continues to open new doors for ministry.
Along with all the uncertainty related to our future ministry and our visa status, we also face a significant deficit of approximately $8,000 in our ministry account. Please pray that God will provide for this financial need. We have already seen God at work over many years, and especially in recent days, so we are confident that He will also provide for this need.
- Please pray that God will give me the strength to finish well at BI
- Please pray for wisdom as we pursue new ministry opportunities
- We will be returning to Canada in June to apply for new South African visas:
- Pray for strength as we have much work to in preparation for our application.
- Pray that our new South African visas will be granted.
Blessings in Christ,
Tim & Kristina Churchill
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. (Psalm 40:3)