Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Missionary Spotlight: Paul & Laura Chinchen ~ African Bible Colleges (Malawi & Uganda)

Paul and Laura Chinchen have been missionaries with African Bible College in Malawi and Uganda for 17 years. Paul is the Director of the college in Lilongwe (Malawi) and oversees the operations of the mission's four support ministries--the ABC Community Clinic, the ABC Christian Academy, Radio ABC with stations in Lilongwe and Mzuzu, and the college's Evangelistic Outreach Program, which mobilizes students and faculty into ministry teams that reach out to local hospitals, orphanages, villages and schools. Laura is the college's Dean of Admissions and also teaches typing to incoming Freshmen students.

Paul and Laura have 5 children--Ashley (17), Annabelle (15), Levi (7), Bess (4), Vanndel (2)--the last three children were born in Malawi.

The Chinchens met at Biola University in Southern California. Laura is from San Diego, and Paul grew up in Liberia, West Africa, where his parents were missionaries.

After ministering with African Bible College in Malawi for 15 years the Chinchens moved to Kampala, Uganda, in August, 2004, where ABC was in the process of opening its third Christian college. Paul's job was to oversee construction of the 12 buildings needed to open the college in September of 2005.

The purpose of African Bible College is to train Christian leaders for the evangelical missions and churches of Africa. The unique vision of ABC is to train Christian leaders at the university level on the African continent and in the African context -- offering African church leaders quality Christian education in their own countries.

Laura earned a BA in Speech Pathology from Biola University, while Paul did his undergraduate work in Intercultural Communication. Paul completed a Masters in Missions at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1992, and later earned a Th.M in Missiology and a Th.D in Theology from the University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town, South Africa.

During the Chinchens' home assignment in Jackson, Paul is putting in place an Office of Planned Giving and Development for African Bible Colleges. The mission's partnership with churches and Christian friends in America is an important part of making the vision of African Bible Colleges fruitful in Africa -- equipping African leaders to train their own pastors and church leaders -- II Timothy 2:2.

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