Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil; for Thou art with me. Ps. 23:4
We are so thankful to the Lord for His consolations and indeed to all of you who have stood with us over these last few testing months of adjustment since the Lord took Charles to Himself. Your cards, emails, letters, gifts and prayers have been a source of much encouragement and comfort to us in this ‘new life’ without our beloved Principal, father and friend. We still don’t begin to understand our Lord’s ways, but we know He is faithful and He is working out His plans for us all in the Baldaeus (and Hoole) family.
Many precious friends and family members attended the Thanksgiving services for Charles which were held in Colombo (November 15th), at the college (November 27th) and in Jaffna (December 27th). Charles’ family spent their Christmas in Jaffna, with his brothers, Jothy's, Jeevan's and Noel's families. There were so many cousins around that it was like one long enjoyable party for the children, they made all the decisions about what they would do, including midnight firework parties!! After the Thanksgiving service the family went on to Colombo with Jeevan's family. The children think it was one of their most enjoyable holidays in Sri Lanka!
Mini Bible School
Following the success of the Mini Bible School in Hatton during August, another had been planned for the December break. Despite the apparent difficulties, the college community decided to proceed with another MBS at the Smyrna farm in Hatton, from 9th – 11th December. Pastor Masilmani, Newton Jeyaraj, Pastor Sivakumar, Jeyaseelan and Jaqui Hoole taught on various subjects from the Biblical, Theological and Christian ministry areas. About 20 attended from the surrounding districts of Nuwara Eliya, Hatton and Nawalapitya. It was a precious time of learning and sharing for both participants and leaders alike.
It has been very heartening to see the amount of support that has been offered to the college not only in terms of finances but also personal, following Charles’ homecall. Two of our main financial supporters, Rivendell Steward’s Trust and Swiss Missionary Alliance, have promised generous grants for the coming year and our church friends at New Horizon URC in Canada, Every Nation Gospel Fellowship and Gosen Evangelical Church in UK have pledged their continued support. With these encouragements we were thankful that we could enter 2004 confident that He who began this work would continue with us, faithfully providing for all our needs. Our eyes are upon Him.
New Term, New Year, New Faces.
The new term and year began with much encouragement as we welcomed 6 new students, two from Batticaloa, three from up country and one even coming to us all the way from Galle!! All are staying in the college hostels and bring our student number to 21. We are thankful that we have been able to offer our students a full timetable this term. Pastor Masilamani and Pastor Priya Handy are teaching regularly alongside Newton Jeyaraj. We also have the addition of a new faculty member, Satyendra, who studied for his B.Th. under Charles. His lectures have been greatly appreciated by many of the students.
It has also been a delight to welcome Sarah Cowen, a trainee accountant, from one of our supporting churches, Gosen Evangelical Church in Wales, who has come to help us out for 3 months. She has been working with Celin, going through all our finances, making changes where necessary as well as adding her own personal input to college life, it has been an enriching experience for all to have her amongst us. The Hoole children have particularly enjoyed having an older sister around to dance and sing with!
There are also few new faces in the hostel. Sivakumar, a final year BTC student who is working thesis, has come with his family for a term, to join us as Hostel Warden. We are thankful for his willingness to come and take on this responsibility which not many seem to enjoy!!
The landlord of our male hostel recently informed us that he wants to sell part of the property. He has offered the college use of his upstairs residence, but it is not sufficient to meet all our present needs. We are endeavouring to find a new place as soon as possible, but large properties such as we need are in very short supply.
A chance to celebrate!
On 5th February the college family joined together for a special Thanksgiving service and fellowship breakfast to celebrate BTC’s 4th Anniversary. Pastor Jothy Hoole came as our speaker along with a number of our friends from around the country.
UK here we come!
The Hoole family are looking forward to spending April in UK visiting their grandparents and as many of you as we can!
We are truly thankful to the Lord for his faithfulness to us over the past months. We continue to look to Him to provide and lead the college in His way. Jaqui Hoole continues as Acting Principal but we still need someone to fill our leadership and pastoral vacuum that Charles’ sudden departure has left.
Thank you for upholding BTC in your prayers and having a part in the lives of our students as we prepare them for service in God’s kingdom.
The Hoole’s contact address in UK:
Tumby Woodside, Sandgate Lane, Storrington, W. Sussex, RH20 3HJ,
Tel: 0193 - 743467
This letter is sent out by:
Mr & Mrs Ian & Ann Day
49, Crosslands Ave, Norwood Green,
Southall, Middx, UB2 5RA.
Please inform them of any change of address.