March 2020 Newsletter

May the Lord bless you from Zion; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life. May you live to see your children’s children — peace be on Israel.

Psalm 128:5-6

Dear Friends and Family,

Grace and peace to you from our Lord Jesus Christ! Even though the world around us is in turmoil, we remember God’s goodness to us in the past month. William John George Churchill was born two weeks ago to Rebecca and John, and a week later Mia Kristina Beukes was born to Anna and Hannes. It’s been such an exciting time in our family despite the distance. We are so thankful that God protected Rebecca and Anna during labour, and has blessed both of our grandchildren with good health. Now Kristina and I need to adjust to being grandparents despite our young ages (well, at least Kristina is still young). As a wise man once said, “Children’s children are a crown to the aged” (Proverbs 17:6). I have included some pictures of William and Mia but if you’d like to see more I’m sure Grandma would be willing to share!

COVID-19 in South Africa

Like most nations of the world, South Africa has been affected by COVID-19. The number of confirmed cases has climbed quickly over the past few days to 150, including 46 in the province where we live. On Sunday President Ramaphosa declared a State of Disaster so that government can begin to deal with the situation. Most churches are not able to meet since gatherings of more than 100 have been prohibited. The Principal of the South African Theological Seminary (SATS) has issued a statement to explain how our seminary is responding. SATS hosted a special online symposium this morning to discuss how schools, pastors, and denominational leaders are responding to the crisis.

By God’s grace we are doing well. Since I am able to work from home, and Sarah and Katie also study from home, we are able to practice “social distancing” more easily than many others. Please pray for us and for South Africa as you remember your own families and communities.

Ministry Update from the South African Theological Seminary (SATS)

Work has been able to continue at SATS despite the state of emergency that was recently declared in South Africa. There is still much work to be done as we prepare for a major transition to a new online learning management system at the beginning of May. Please pray that all the necessary changes can be completed in time so that students won’t be interrupted in their studies.

Support Update

We continue to be amazed at how God has always provided for our needs through the faithful giving of our dear supporters. Thank you so much for all of the gifts we received to support our ministry over the past month. Thank you for all the prayers offered in support of our ministry. I believe that all of the progress we have made over the past few months will pay enormous dividends over years to come, so that I can return focus to working more closely with students soon.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray God’s mercy during the current global pandemic
  • Praise God for safe deliveries and healthy babies!
  • Pray for William and Mia as they grow, and for their parents as they care for the new arrivals
  • Pray for Sarah (SATS) and Katie (grade 12) as they continue their studies
  • Pray that Kristina will be able to rest over the break as iThemba school has closed for this term
  • Pray for wisdom as much programming remains to be done at SATS over the next few months
  • Pray for our health and safety as we are now unable to travel out of South Africa

Blessings in Christ,

Tim & Kristina Churchill