Wednesday, October 05, 2005

News from African Bible College-Uganda

Dear Prayer and Support Partners of our Outreach to Africa:

So the COUNTDOWN HAS BEGUN! Can you believe we will begin our first classes at the College in only two months?? We have been in Uganda for seven months now, and how time has flown. So what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen, by the grace of Christ alone.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED. We have gotten reasonably settled in our new home on the new campus of the new African Bible College in Uganda. All Palmer's books are on the shelves, his study is operative, and he's functioning as Director/Principal of the College. Joanna's happy as can be with her home-schooling classroom, Murray is finishing kindergarten, learning to read and write, Elliot is listening in on the lessons, and Daniel is happily occupied with his parallel play. The National Council for Higher Education has sent a Visitation Team for two days, and the preliminary response has been very encouraging. PRAISE THE LORD WITH US FOR ALL THESE BLESSINGS.

WHAT IS HAPPENING. The construction of the campus is moving right along. Two faculty houses and a faculty duplex have been completed, as well as the first dormitories for men and women. The communications building that will house our radio station is all ready and waiting for the tower and the broadcasting equipment to arrive. The administration building that will house the office of the registrar, the business manager, the deans and the director only needs a little trim. The dining hall is well on the way, but the kitchen needs to be built. The two "biggies" yet to be completed are the library and the second faculty duplex. It will take quite a push to get them done by mid-August. PRAISE THE LORD WITH US FOR ALL THESE BLESSINGS.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN. By the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, many things will happen before the beginning of school.
1. Qualified applicants will be tested in the areas of English language and Bible knowledge on Saturday, July 9. Pray that the right students will show up and do well.
2. Faculty will arrive in July and August. Paul Austin, our librarian from England, has already come. Pray for John & Ali Wiltbank and Bill & Marilyn Kooienga, that they will have safe travel and good adjustment to big-city African lifestyle before they take up their teaching responsibilities. Pray also for Scott & Laura Sheffer, that their remaining support will come in, and they may arrive as soon as possible.
3. Our first students will arrive for the first semester on September 1. Pray that everything will be ready in time for the College to begin smoothly.
4. We should be hearing a report from the National Council for Higher Education sometime in August. Pray that their report will be as encouraging as the initial responses of the Visitation Team.
5. Many helpers will be coming for two-week periods to finish up the carpentry/computer/broadcasting work. Pray that they will be able to book their flights and complete their work in good order.
6. We will be hiring cooks for the kitchen and farmers for our farm. Pray that the Lord will bring us just the right people for these critical works.
7. Our classes will begin on September 4, but our official opening convocation will be held on Friday, September 30. At that time, the College, the campus, and the radio station will all be dedicated to the Lord's service and glory. We have extended an invitation to Mrs. Janet Museveni, the First Lady of the Republic of Uganda, to address us at that time. We also will be inviting the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda to participate, as well as other dignitaries. Pray that just the right people will accept our invitations, so that Christ will be greatly magnified as the King of the Nations.

One further matter for your prayerful consideration. We have so much in terms of material goods in the West, and the people over here have so little. Many of our workers come to the campus with unmatched shoes, and shoe-soles flapping. They live in unhealthy circumstances where their children are constantly exposed to malaria from mosquitoes and tuberculosis from dampness. One of our workers named Umaru was converted from his Muslim faith, and was kicked out by his family. His wife had a new baby boy just a couple of months ago, and he asked me to name the child. I named him Luke, after Dr. Luke of the New Testament. But just a couple of weeks ago, his wife was bitten by a snake while in the fields, and she died. So now his little Luke has no mother. These kinds of things happen constantly over here.

Many of our first students will come from similar circumstances. Some will come from the war-torn districts of Northern Uganda, where masses of people live in refugee camps. They have nothing. We do our best at keeping our fees as low as possible. We charge $1,000 a year for room, board and tuition, but it costs us another $1,800 for every student.

Could you or your church help us by underwriting the costs to the College for one, two, or more of our students? We anticipate between 30 and 40 students for the first year, and a gift of $1,000 per student for the year would be extremely helpful. A slip is enclosed, and an envelope for your convenience.

May the Lord bless you richly as you continue to join with us in this ministry for Christ's sake.

Yours in the name of the King of the Nations

Palmer, Joanna, Murray, Elliot and Daniel Robertson

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