November 2019 Newsletter

Dear Friends and Family,

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord Jesus! We thank you for your prayers as we waited in Canada for our new visas and recently returned to South Africa begin this new phase of ministry here. We have seen God’s grace over the past month as we resumed our lives in Cape Town. We continue to be amazed at God’s provision for our needs, and so we also thank all of you who have given in support of our ministry here.

Ministry Update from the South African Theological Seminary

My first month at SATS has been very eventful, as I have already seen God’s hand at work in many ways. I will share two of those stories now.

The first story began when I visited SATS’s main office in Johannesburg a few weeks ago. I spent the first two days in meetings with the technical team. I had intended to sit back and observe for a while before starting to change things too quickly. However, during the first few hours of meetings we discussed a number of different issues that were causing problems and taking time to resolve. I realized that these issues could all be eliminated by making one rather large organizational change. I resisted as long as I could, but finally jumped in and proposed that we consider an alternative approach. My suggestion was well received, and I spent much of the following week researching and writing a proposal for the senior management team (SMT). The proposal was accepted, and now we are about to begin an exciting transition that I pray will greatly improve how SATS equips students for ministry.

I had been praying throughout the day as the SMT met. After the meeting the Principal wrote to share the good news. He said that while the decision was made to move forward in faith with the proposal without knowing where the money would come from, at the same time God had also provided a source of funding that should cover the implementation costs. We can clearly see how God was at work in affirming the SMT’s decision by providing the means to make all the required changes.

Now we have a big project ahead of us. Please pray for wisdom and strength as I help to manage the required technical changes over the coming months.

The second story shows how God is directly our lives in ways we may not even remember. While I will need to focus on the IT aspects of my role at SATS for a while, I am still involved in teaching and supervising students. I will soon be supervising a new research student. Even in this I can see God’s hand at work. Here is what the student wrote to the research coordinator when told that I might be supervising his research:

[Tim] probably won’t remember, but I met him when I visited BISA for a presentation…  I was introduced to him by an old friend there and we actually had a (very brief) chat about my proposed research and he was very encouraging. If he’s able to take me on I’d be delighted!

It is so affirming to see God working alongside us in the tasks he has prepared for us to do (see Ephesians 2:10 at the top of the newsletter)!

Support Update

This past year has been filled with many unexpected expenses, yet most of those needs have been met. As we near the end of the year we remain with a shortfall of nearly $6,000 in our support account and an ongoing need of $250 per month. Please join with us in praying that God will provide for these remaining needs. I pray that we will be able to report good news in next month’s newsletter!

Prayer Requests

Please continue to pray for expectant mothers Rebecca and Anna (and also for John and Hannes)
Please pray for the students, faculty, and staff at the South African Theological Seminary
Please pray for grace as I prepare for a significant project at SATS
Please pray that our remaining financial support needs will be met shortly

Blessings in Christ,

Tim & Kristina Churchill