Sometimes no news is good news. This time no news or prayer letter simply meant the lack of emotional energy while we were navigating the storms of life. What a strange year 2020 has been so far!
We know we are not the only ones feeling emotionally tired. May Jesus be your source of strength and peace in the midst of what you are going through. Certainly for us he has been our anchor when sails were torn and the one who remained in control and sustained us in rough weather!
After just four weeks of lockdown, Thorsten’s mother passed away only a week after having been diagnosed with kidney cancer. We were very conscious of the Lord’s provision and help throughout this sad and stressful time. Thanks so much to all who prayed, offered financial help, sent encouraging messages and provided face masks.
The current situation with Thorsten’s father is complex and challenging. This letter is not the right platform to go into details but we would very much appreciate your prayers. While we are out of our depth when it comes to supporting Thorsten’s father there is nothing impossible with the Lord. He can heal mental illness, soften a heart that resists the gospel and he can provide us with wisdom and peace that surpasses human understanding.
Our academic year at Edinburgh Bible College (EBC) could have finished with a ‘bang’! We would have loved to make a big deal of the first graduation of our five Advanced Ministry Apprenticeship Programme students! But we decided to postpone this joyful occasion to a later date. A Zoom graduation simply does not do justice to these servants of God who have worked so hard to complete the course. Please pray for them. One is already in full-time evangelistic ministry amongst soldiers in Edinburgh and another is a full-time mother with a wide-reaching ministry amongst families who are affected by autism. The other three are still seeking the Lord’s guidance for church ministry in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
In recent months we have seen a greater diversity in our student body. Interest in virtual lectures (Zoom) has gone up. Some in the US, who are five hours behind the UK, even joined classes as early as 4:30am. Thorsten has greatly enjoyed teaching a very keen student from Zimbabwe who is passionate for Jesus but whose life circumstances prevent him from attending a college in his own country.
When we moved from Namibia to Scotland, we committed ourselves to three years at EBC. They have flown by and here we are approaching the end of this time. At the beginning of 2020 we started praying about our future and begun exploring new ministry opportunities, first within Scotland and then also further afield. But then coronavirus totally changed the dynamics. Clearly, the year 2020 has brought so many changes to all our lives that it did not seem sensible or even possible to add a major move and change of ministry into the mix. Please join us in praying for guidance as we continue exploring new ministry opportunities for 2021.
For now, we continue serving EBC, the local church and people in the UK and Namibia who need mentoring or counselling. The lockdown has given Thorsten some extra time to edit and publish books for the Namibian church. He has also published an article in Foundations on 'The Use of English in Cross-cultural Mission'. From August to October Kerstin finally has the opportunity to complete her Higher Certificate in Christian Counselling which involves at least 20 hours of study per week. Our original plan to visit churches and friends in Nottingham, Germany and some other places over the summer period will sadly have to be postponed until a time when it is safer and less complicated to meet with others.
Thanks so much for your continued prayers, support and encouragements through emails, notes and text messages. Thanks for checking in about finances, health and wellbeing. We are really thankful to have such a supportive team behind us, especially during such crazy times as these. We hope and pray that you and your families can weather the storms in your life, fixing your eyes on Jesus.
With love in Christ from Thorsten and Kerstin
Saying goodbyes is never easy, especially when they are final. We miss Thorsten's mum and our dear home group leader Fred who went to be with the Lord on 1 February. We are super grateful and rejoice over the latest addition to our Namibian family in Bristol, Unashe Chishanu on 12 March. Our dear American friends Diedra, Mike (Thorsten's prayer partner), Masen and Malek Turner returned to the US this month. We will miss them, too.
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