Table of contents
Russell at Lanka Bible College & Seminary [LBCS] in Kandy
Zarephath Bible Seminary [ZBS], Pakistan
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus our Lord
Greetings from Pakistan,
We are thankful to God for the wonderful opportunity He has provided to ZBS for training and teaching men and women for the work of the Lord in our land.
We want to thank our brothers and sisters who have been faithful in prayer and support.
ZBS board gave me the charge of principal for a short period after Rev. Shahbaz Boota resigned and moved to the USA with his family for his PhD studies.
- Last year ZBS staff, Ms Maryam Daniel, Ms Sahar Kharr, Mr. Javed Morris, and Mr. Amjad Masih worked hard for more than six months to get ready for the ATA accreditation renewal process. ATA VET did the evaluation last December and we received the news that ATA has renewed ZBS accreditation for the next 5 years! This is heartening to know and we are thankful to God and to all our friends who have stood beside ZBS and helped in many ways to maintain the standards and values for the theological education and training programs. Our Diploma, B. Th, MDiv, and MA OL (a joint program with DAI and FC college) is accredited. Along with this one-time accreditation is granted to graduate diploma in counselling and MTh. We are thankful to the ATA VET members; Dr. Bennet Lawrence (ATA Regional Secretary Designate), Dr. Nativity Petallar, (Program Director AGST Manila), Ms. Lubna Younas (Principal St. Thomas Theological College, Karachi, Pakistan) for making all the efforts to conduct the evaluation process.
- We are thankful for the new deep tube well at the new campus. Now the campus is self-sufficient in water supply.
- After the MTh course, our national teachers are have become qualified to teach MDiv classes. (MTh was conducted in the leadership of Dr. Allan Harkness and with financial support from Overseas Council Australia)
- After the completion of the graduate diploma, our national teachers taught the counselling course to MDiv class. These trained teachers who obtained the graduate diploma (taught by Ms. Jean Brand) will be available for counselling services and teaching.
- As the year 2023 started, we as staff and students pledged to ourselves to make ZBS “paper free”! We found that it was easier to say than actually doing it. But we started it and we are getting used to it. Now a number of WhatsApp groups have been created for various communication areas. Students are encouraged to use smartphones for many things they are able to do related to life and work at ZBS. Our photocopy and printing expenses have greatly reduced. There are no notice boards anymore. Cell phones are notice boards! Teachers are encouraged to use laptops/USB and make use of smart screens in the classroom.
- Our teachers are getting training along with teachers of Bethlehem Bible College, Bethlehem, Evangelical Theological Seminary Cairo, Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary for online instruction/education. We are planning for online education in the near future. Thanks to OCI regional director Dr. Magdi Gendi and Dr. Paul Clark for providing these wonderful training sessions.
- A lot of minor maintenance work (including the repair of chronic roof leakage in the library) is completed at the both campuses, a research and study room is set up at the new campus, a conference room, gym/exercise and indoor Ping-Pong room for boys and gym/beautify room for girls, two guest rooms, record/history room and outdoor 5 swings for children (various types).
- Beside regular classes and intensive courses at the campus, a successful six days summer schoolwas held at the Camp Mubarak located at the 7000 ft high Murree Hills for MDiv students who numbered 42. There were 5 female students. We are thankful to Camp Mubarak for providing a very economic package of US$2.5 per day per person for boarding and lodging. Boarding, lodging, tuition and travel expenses are paid by the students themselves. Students learnt much from the teacher Mrs. Corien Waheed. They enjoyed a lot including a walk on the famous Mall Road and watching hail storms, monkeys, peacocks, wild boars, and many Himalayan birds including cuckoos.
Prayer Items and Needs:
- Please pray for the new appointment of a person, chosen by God for the position of principal.
- Please pray for ZBS students who are now busy with the summer field work which will last till late August. Students will work under experienced church leaders and evangelists. There will be some students (about 13) who will teach their first TEE (Theological Education by Extension, it is known as OTS in Pakistan) class. This will be considered as part of their field work. Pray that this experience will bring a lasting impact on their vision and call.
- Please pray for the coming family camp at the camp Mubarak Murree for the families of evening class students. We expect about 70 plus people including children. Pray that families will grow in the knowledge of the Lord and also learn to lead a Christian family life in a Muslim context.
- As ZBS has moved along during many transitions and challenges, it is almost 24 years since the seminary (institute then) was shifted from Attock City to Rawalpindi. Many of our equipment are ageing or getting obsolete. Our equipment and vehicle are 10-30 years old. If a major replacement project is done, it is fairly safe to say that ZBS will be more than adequately equipped for the next 15-20 years or till the years 2035-40! Beside replacement there are a number of new initiatives for which we need one time help. These projects will also reduce our energy bills (as fuel gas and electricity is becoming increasingly costly) and help us to be more efficient and make us a blessing for Muslim neighbours.
- Please pray for God’s provision for an ambitious 15 -20-year (2023- 2035/40) equipment replacement/addition project (details to be shared soon).
With much appreciation and regards,
Ashkenaz Asif Khan, principal
The ZBS family
Christian Leaders’ Training College [CLTC], Papua New Guinea
Since committing to rebuilding the CLTC Poultry programs in May 2022, the third visit to CLTC in June 2023, by Gordon, David and Garth has seen the following progress for which every one is sincerely grateful.
- The chairman of the PNG Investment Promotions Authority travelled to the CLTC highlands campus to present Certificates (which were applied for in October 2022) to the CLTC staff and students gathered in the CLTC auditorium on Tuesday 6th June 2023.
- The Principal Dr Maxon Mani gave a homily on Sunday 11th June from Ps. 136 in a dedication and thanksgiving service for Farm Fresh Limited, its four Directors, (Principal, Gordon, David and Garth) and the sixteen Papua New Guinean Staff.
- Every aspect of the poultry business, that CLTC has previously managed has now been rebuilt, with table egg sales reaching, almost 20% of CLTC ‘s past peak production, day old meat chickens now being produced and sold weekly since May’23 and meat birds having been hatched, raised, and processed through the CLTC abattoir for the first time in two years, were sold in June through CLTC ‘s store to CLTC residents for significantly less than the retail market in Hagen.
- There are more birds being reared at present, than are producing saleable products, to provide the number of future flocks to produce the long term sales and income for CLTC. As a consequence, the income from the present sales, is still funding the hatching of those future flocks and the feed to grow them for the six months, before they lay their eggs.
- Please pray for the process, which now uses a certificate to obtain the Tax Identification Number (TIN) for Farm Fresh and its own Bank accounts. Garth created in June, with CLTC’s PNG Finance Manager, Daniel, recruited in March’23 the Chart of Accounts for Farm Fresh and its own Reckon accounting software system.