Monthly Archives: March 2011

Support Raising for Zimbabwe

A recent support raising email for our upcoming trip to Zimbabwe:

Hello Friends and Family,

I wanted to write you all to let you know how the fundraising and preparations for our Zimbabwe trip are coming. We have raised $2200 of the 6300$ we needed. This is a great start, and we are so thankful for the many of you who have already given very generously!

That said, the seminary recently told me that there is a bit more flexibility with the timing of the funds. I had set the date in the letter at March 20th because I was under the impression that we were going to buy the tickets a few days afterward.

There is still time to send in your support. We need, at the very least, $2200 more in the next couple of weeks. The other $2000 will be needed by the end of April. I’m sorry if this has been a bit confusing. Getting details nailed down has been difficult.

Thank you all for your continued support. Please pray for all of our preparations (immunizations, passport coming in time for Lazarus, school and work in the meantime). Pray that the Lord would help us to see if this is where he would have us long-term.

I would love to chat with you about this trip, or answer any questions you might have; please feel free email me at dfrobbins at gmail dot com.

UPDATE: We now have $3000 of the $6300 total needed! This means we still need at the very least another $1000 to come in soon for plane tickets.

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Suffering, Paul and Ministry

I’ve been reading Tom Schreiner’s Paul: Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ. These quotes were helpful and encouraging to me:

“The manifest power of the kingdom, therefore, is expressed in and through the weakness and suffering of Paul. The manner in which Paul preaches, then, replicates the cross of Christ, for the message of the cross is foolish and weak in the eyes of those who are dazzled by human wisdom and signs and wonders (1 Cor 1:18-25)” (93)

“The Corinthians conceived of high status and success as an indication that they were under God’s favor. Paul counters that the oppositie is the case; those who are condemned by the world and rejected as nobodies are God’s genuine messengers. Paul’s suffering does not undercut the legitimacy of his message; it testifies to its authenticity and truth.” (93)

Want confirmation that you are in Christ? Does your service to the Lord earn you disregard or disdain from some of those who don’t submit to the Lord? It seems that if the answer is yes, then you can be overjoyed that you are indeed in Christ and counted worthy of the name. This brings to mind the way the Apostles suffered at the hands of the sanhedrin, and what they took from it:

"when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name" (Acts 5:40-41).

At the very least all of this taken together is a reminder that to follow Christ is to follow the way of the cross, the way of the suffering servant. Increasing ignominy is the pattern; we can take on shame because the Lord himself will give us his glory.

DFR

Two Proverbs

Considering the upcoming work week:

Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean
but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox (Pr. 14:4)

In all toil there is profit,
but mere talk tends only to poverty. (Pr. 14:23)

The first gives me consolation as I look at my desk littered with mail, books and to do lists. The second is a reminder to stop thinking about working, and just do it.

Zimbabwe

An exciting opportunity has come up.

We have decided to join the team from Covenant Theological Seminary going to the Theological College of Zimbabwe this summer. The trip is basically a six week internship in theological education; 2 weeks learning and absorbing, 2 weeks researching and writing, 2 weeks teaching.

Below I have posted our support letter:

Dear friends and family, 2/28/2011

First of all, thank you for your many years of support and prayers both while we were in Malawi, and now in St. Louis. We are humbled and honored by the overwhelming support poured out on us by you all. We are indebted to the Lord who has joined us all to Christ. We have sent out periodic email updates about our lives, kids, seminary etc. If you would like to receive these, please email me at dfrobbins@gmail.

I am writing you today because of an opportunity that has come up which we are very excited about. Covenant Theological Seminary (where I am studying), is partnering with Theological College of Zimbabwe (TCZ) to offer a six-week internship in theological education. The first two-weeks is spent learning; attending classes, getting to know students and faculty. The next two weeks is spent researching and writing a piece of curriculum in line with some of the classes already in session. The last two weeks is spent teaching the curriculum I will develop in one of the classrooms.

For a long time we have been passionate and committed to joining in the theological education of the African Church. Yet, of the many locales where theological colleges are, Zimbabwe has been ravaged by the harsh economic and political circumstances for the last decade or more. Many have fled the country to find stability, reestablish their life, or to avoid political persecution. This, in turn has meant that the church there has lost many of its people. Without exaggerating the situation, the needs of the body of Christ there are pressing. You can see why we think this opportunity to partner with the faculty of the TCZ is amazing. We not only get to grow and learn, but can actually begin developing relationships with the body of Christ on the ground. TCZ’s mission from the beginning has been to provide biblically-rooted theological education for the local church; this is our passion too.

One big reason we want go is that we may want to come back and teach there long-term after seminary. Right now we want to develop relationships, investigate the culture and work of the college, and see if we would be a good fit. I was able to meet with one of their faculty members, Rev. Craig Jones, while he was traveling the US. His humble spirit and desire to see the church built up were very clear and encouraging. It was also great to hear that the college was founded by and for the benefit of local churches (it is a non-denominational college). These are all things we are looking for.

Of course, (you guessed it), in order to get all of us there we need to raise funds. Airfare is going to be around $6300. We will need to purchase three tickets (Lazarus is free still), each costing about $2100. The living expenses for our family while in Zimbabwe, lost income (and ever present bills for our St. Louis lives) come to a total of about $4400. We, however, are only fundraising for the airfare. If you, our lovely family of supporters, can help us to raise that $6200 we should be able to go, and join with the team Covenant is sending.

The only caveat is that we need to buy the plane tickets real soon. “If you need to buy the tickets so soon, why are we just now hearing about it?” My thoughts exactly; the details have not come together as promptly as I have wanted. Nonetheless, if you are interested in partnering with us, we would ask you to consider how much you would be able to give as a one time gift by March 20th. If you do want to partner with us, please send a check written out to Covenant Theological Seminary, with “World Mission Office – Robbins” in the memo line, to:

Attn: Joshua Hall
World Mission Office
Covenant Seminary
12330 Conway Rd.
Saint Louis, MO 63141

Thank you for your consideration and care for us throughout the years. We would love to chat with you about this if you have any questions or want to hear more. We are very excited about this trip, and hope you will be too.

Warmly yours in Christ,
Dan Robbins (for Bethany, Elijah and Lazarus)