Dear Friends and Supporters,
We had a wonderful time visiting the Theological College of Zimbabwe, and the fellow Presbyterian churches in Bulawayo. Bethany has done a great job giving some color to the stories of our time there at her blog Still in St. Louis. Please visit there to get a glimpse of our daily life there and the ministry and relationships she had.
In an effort to keep things brief, here is an executive summary. Over the five and a half weeks we were there, I was able to:
– Teach on Romans 12-16
– Teach on Philippians 2
– Teach on Amos 5-6
– Teach two lectures with KJ Drake on Covenant Theology
– Teach on Episcopalian Polity
– Teach one chapter of Greek Grammar
– Lead one session of an advanced Greek reading course, looking at Romans 8
– Tutor 2 Greek students a handful of times
– Preach twice; once in the TCZ chapel and once in City Presbyterian
I feel quite blessed not only to have been able to go and visit the school, but also to have been able to participate and teach as many sections as I did. It was quite encouraging teaching. I had a great time doing it, and realized how much more I need to learn to teach well (pedagogy is difficult).
There were 3 guys and 1 girl from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and 2 of us from Covenant (myself and KJ Drake). The guys from Gordon-Conwell were all there without their wives and children. All the guys stayed on campus and ate PB & J and Ramen noodles. I had the sweetest gig of all; I got to teach and research all day long, and then come home to a wonderful meal and my wonderful family. I got to spend time with my wife and kids every night of the week (a bit rare in our home during the semester while working at the restaurant!)
We are praying for wisdom in how we spend the next two or more years here in STL. We would love to go back to Zim, and especially TCZ. It would be great if they could use us as well. It was quite exciting to meet the Presbyterian ministers there, and very encouraging to here their hearts for the church and vision to see the Lord continue his work among them and among the city. It would be a life well spent partnering with the church there and serving along side these wonderful brothers.
If we were to go and work with the church there, an M.Div would be sufficient. But if I wanted to teach, I would need to get a Th.M or an equivalent research Masters. This is not because I haven’t studied enough to teach at a Bachelor’s level, nor is it a requirement of the college. Rather, it would be a good degree to have to bring some higher credentials to the table for the college’s sake. They want to eventually offer an MA in theological/biblical studies. but in order to do that it seems they need a certain number of faculty with Ph.D’s or Th.M’s. At this point, a Th.M (or an S.T.M. at Concordia Seminary) seems like the best option. It, ideally, would only take a year to complete after finishing my M.Div. It would allow me to teach at a higher level, and wouldn’t take the next 5 or more years to complete (like a Ph.D would; if I could be accepted to a program).
So, please pray for us. Pray for our wisdom in deciding how to go about the next few years in terms of study, but also in terms of continuing relationships with those in Zim. It would be lovely if the Lord had a place for us in Zim at the end of our studies. At the end of the day, though, we don’t want to go anywhere if the Lord isn’t there as well.
Thank you to all of you who were praying for us, and especially to all of you who prayed for us and gave us the money we needed to get there! It was amazing to see all of the support come together so quickly; that in and of itself is a testimony to the Lord’s kindness and our continued partnership.