Baldaeus Theological College,
News update, May 2005
‘May the God who gives perseverance and encouragement...’ Rom.15:5
Paul’s words state a clear fact, which has been our testimony over the past months, but it is also a promise for the future: God will continue to give us perseverance and encouragement. What a mighty, wonderful God we serve...all praise and thanks to Him!
The global response to the Tsunami was amazing as people reached deep into their pockets. We received many generous tsunami donations, which enabled us to supply immediate needs to a number of camps in the local district. Five months on the tsunami remains a daily painful reality in many lives. Recently I heard of one man who committed suicide, unable to come to terms with the loss of his two sons; another man never knew whether his sons were alive or dead until he found their decomposed bodies five weeks later; still another man lost Rs.300,000 worth of hardware goods he had acquired to start a new business, yet he is not interested in receiving help, ‘What’s the use when I will only die anyway?’ The trauma and suffering continues, with many still living in the sweltering heat of the camps. They have been promised more comfortable temporary and even permanent shelter but it takes time and organisation. With your gifts we are hoping to provide a temporary shelter for a school which now only operates under the trees, and provide some families with the means to generate their own income again. A big THANK YOU! Let us all continue to cry to God, bring these precious people before His throne of mercy, for only He can comfort and heal their broken, painful lives and hearts.
It was a great joy to have a number of friends from the Swiss Alliance Mission visit us in February. Between them they covered a broad ranging modular course on physical, psychological (trauma counseling) and spiritual healthcare. We were all enriched through their visit and able to experience more of the real meaning of ‘partnership’ in the gospel, fellowship with the worldwide family of God.
Looking to the future
Our board meeting in April marked a watershed as we look to the future of the college. Priya Handy was appointed as Vice Principal with the anticipation that he will become Principal once he is free to take up the position full-time. We are very thankful to Priya for accepting this position, he is a very able and gifted Bible teacher and has been involved with the college since its inception, having studied under Charles at CTS. The board also decided to go ahead with the purchase of a seaside property 3 miles north of Trincomalee. It is a major undertaking, but very urgent and necessary as our present rent lease expires in 2006. A number of affirmations of support for the college have greatly encouraged us to take this step of faith. There is much work to do but great anticipation as the Lord takes us ahead into this new phase of the college’s life.
An Open Door
Life for our extension worker, Sivakumar and his family is never easy. At one time last term they were awakened night after night as their roof was bombarded by stones, yet the door for ministry in Hatton seems to be opening ever wider. The recent Mini Bible School in April had a record 36 participants. Pastors Jothy Hoole and Sureshkumar are now regular teachers and many local pastors are exhibiting a real hunger for fellowship and Bible teaching.
Old/New is better?
The plaster may crumble off the walls but the thick walls, higher ceilings and spacious layout of the older buildings certainly give more relief from the heat and lend themselves well to the requirements of a college hostel. Wesley House is now greatly appreciated by all the college, not just the boys who live there. Regular fellowship meals, hostel fellowship times and modular hospitality have all been greatly improved. The only remaining requirement is a door on the bathroom, but if that doesn’t cause offence you and your friends/family/church are all welcome to come and stay!
We had mixed emotions as we bade a fond farewell to four students in April. Lazarus and his wife, Kalajothy have moved on to Jaffna to pioneer a church planting ministry; Jeniphet has joined her uncle (and our previous hostel warden) Jeyaseelan, in a church plant in the densely populated urban area of Kochchecade in Colombo North; Augustine has been sent to help Pastor Dorairaj in his church ministry in Galle for a year, after which he hopes to be able to return and complete his B.Th. New students from upcountry and Kandy have recently joined us in their place. What a joy it is to send out, what a joy it is welcome in, what a privilege it is to be part of the ministry of training and equipping these saints for service.
Alexander returned in May, having replaced the 25lbs he lost on his first three months with us, but he has already begun to lose it again! We need to find creative ways to help him maintain his weight, health and strength. We are all looking forward to Newton’s return in September, but none more than his wife and two children. It has been a tough time for them all. Thank you all for your prayers and support for Newton. Please continue to uphold him during these last few exacting months. We have all greatly appreciated Sathyendira’s fellowship and teaching over the last two terms. Please join with us upholding him up in prayer as he moves on to pursue his studies in UK.
As the children get older the reality of being a one-parent family becomes starker. Decision making and relationships within the family all become more exacting. Recently the church family we have been part of for the past two years, split, effectively also splitting our family and for the last 3 weeks we have been attending separate churches. Such events are tough; the children are now young adults with their own minds, yet still needing guidance and direction. Balancing the time between the family and Baldaeus remains a constant struggle, with both demanding attention, yet surely the children are the foremost responsibility. Charles’ absence particularly as a father and life-companion are often very keenly felt but there is also much thankfulness as we realize ever more precious lessons that we learnt through his life and continue to experience God’s never failing faithfulness. Yes, it is God who gives us encouragement and perseverance. We rest upon Him.
Under the shadow of His wings,