June 2019 Newsletter
I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me. (Nehemiah 2:18)
Dear Friends and Family,
Greetings from St. John’s! It has been so good to be back in Newfoundland with family and friends. We have already shared many special moments with loved ones, and look forward to spending the next few weeks together before we return to South Africa (Lord willing).
We would like to express our deep thanks to everyone who has been praying for us over the past month. We know your prayers have been heard and that God is at work. We also give thanks to God and to each of you who have given gifts in support of our ministry.
Encouragement from a Former Zambian Student
Just a few days ago I received this encouraging e-mail from a former Zambian student:
I am glad to hear that you have accepted a position at [another theological college in Africa]. This news reminds me of the first conversation I had with you in your office at EU [in 2012]. What I picked from that meeting is your commitment to equip us Africans for ministry. I mean you have other options to consider, but your commitment is an encouragement to me.
When we moved to Zambia in 2012 I really had no idea what to expect, other than that I wanted to serve God and be faithful to the call to minister at Evangelical University (EU; then the Theological College of Central Africa). Since then our family has developed a deep and enduring love for the people among whom God has called us to minister. In fact, I am not sure that I would be able to leave Africa now.
As I wrote in our last newsletter, I have resigned from the Bible Institute of South Africa with the full support of the leadership of our home church, SIM Canada, and SIM South Africa. Please let me know if you have any questions about this so that I can respond privately. Due to the sensitive nature of the situation I would prefer not to put much in writing.
The timing of recent events could not have been worse, as we had to return to Canada to renew our visa less than a month after I submitted my resignation. In fact, we would not be able to return to South Africa if God had not opened up a new place for ministry there.
In the months leading up to my resignation I spent many hours in prayer asking God for wisdom and praying for a new ministry opportunity. When the time came to resign I had no idea if we would need to leave South Africa, or even possibly move back to Canada. However, it is amazing to see God at work in times of need, and within days God had already shown us the place where I will soon be serving.
Given the circumstances of my departure from BI I will wait to share the details until everything is settled, but we hope to return to South Africa soon to resume life and begin a new phase of ministry there.
Encouragement from a Former South African Student
Shortly after I announced my resignation from BI, Kristina received this kind message from a former South African student who is teaching at another theological college:
Dear Mama Churchill. Thank you for the message you sent. I thank the Lord for you and your family. You served at BI wholeheartedly even under very painful circumstances. I have been in much prayer for you Mama Churchill and I will continue to do so. I especially pray that the Lord might give you a strong sense of his presence and guidance. May his peace fill your minds and hearts. I pray that he may give Dr Churchill peace in how he made him stand in his truth, how he showed that he is principled and his integrity has shined for all to see. As you make decisions about your next step please do so in full confidence that some of us have been inspired by your character and from you learned Christian leadership values. I am continuing to pray for you and family. Psalm 46. Give me my regards to all
Application for New Visas
We are now in Canada waiting for the last few documents to be settled so that we can apply for new South African visas. My resignation from BI complicated this process enormously and has caused significant delays, but by God’s grace nearly everything is now in place. I have no idea how everything could have fallen into place as quickly as it has – apart from God’s hand on our lives! Please pray that we will receive the remaining documentation soon, and that the South African consulate in Ottawa will grant our visa (this should not be taken for granted).
Along with all the uncertainty related to our future ministry and our visa status, we continue to face a significant deficit of approximately $6,000 in our ministry account. This could rise depending on the cost of travel related to our visa applications. 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.
- Pray that God will remember Bible Institute
- Pray for Sarah and Anna as they will likely resume their studies at BI next month
- Please pray that our visas will be granted quickly so that we can return to South Africa as planned and begin a new chapter of ministry!
- Pray that we will find rest in the remaining time in Canada
Blessings in Christ,
Tim & Kristina Churchill
“Remember me with favour, my God” (Nehemiah 5:19)