Newsletter (September 16, 2010)

Dear all, We are very pleased to know that the church has extended a call to Rev Mark Wheat. We pray that God will guide the family as they seek our Lord’s will and decide whether to accept the call or not. We certainly hope he will.

Not long after we sent our last newsletter out, the big earthquake struck Canterbury. At first we thought it was just a minor one, but then as the day went by, it became clear that it was a very powerful one. Never did we realise how much damage it has caused, until we saw some of the pictures taken around Christchurch. We sent messages to the Watsons and  two other Chinese friends and they quickly replied and said they were well, so we were relieved. We might be living too far away to fully understand how people feel but our hearts go to the people in Canterbury. It must be a time of much anxiety and worry, especially when there are so many aftershocks and many people will be scared. We pray that in this time of difficulties and uncertainties, hearts will be turning to our Lord.

Our worker’s wife gave birth to a baby boy recently. He is their fourth child. We went to visit the family soon after the boy was born. The house was in a township not too far from our house. It is good to see the wife with the newborn baby, both of them looked very healthy and well. Although they own the house, they do not have money to have a power connection, so although that area has power supply, they do not have electricity in the house. Maybe very few foreigners would go to that part of the township, or very few vehicles would go that way, so our appearance generated lots of interest among the children in that area and a small crowd of them gathered around to watch us and see what we were doing there.

From time to time churches will have TCCA Sundays and TCCA will send staff and students to the churches and do some promotion work. Normally part of the service will be handed over to TCCA people and several students will give their testimonies and the sermon will be preached by either an alumnus, a fulltime or part-time staff member, or a senior student. Last Sunday there was one in Kitwe and we went along to sell books as part of the programme. The pastor was a TCCA graduate and we have SIM missionaries attending the church, so we are not total strangers, although this was our first time there. In the end we sold quite a lot of books and Bibles and we were all very pleased with it. One of our students who gave the testimony was from Burundi and he spoke briefly about his experience during war times in Congo. We haven’t heard him speak about his life before, and as he spoke about how God preserved his life through that time, his words created a lasting impression upon all of us. God is so real that from that time on he committed all his life to Him.

At the chapel service two days ago, the principal dropped a bombshell by announcing the resignation of one of our long-serving lecturers. He is our education expert and with him going, there is hardly anyone who could teach in this area. The principal himself will be retiring at the end of 2011. Another lecturer, who was from Rwanda and stays in Zambia as a refugee, will most likely be sent back to Rwanda after 2011. So TCCA is in crisis right now, not enough students, not enough staff, not enough money …. Please pray for us, and please earnestly pray for TCCA. With Christian love.

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