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MAY NEWS 2021
As we have studied the Book of Psalms in chapel over this semester, we have learned that it is more than a songbook for the people of Israel. The rich variety and raw honesty of the Psalms give words and even emotions to bring before God in all of the circumstances of life. Even though they were written in a different time to our own, their messages are timeless. Just like us, the psalmists faced great disappointments, held big hopes, knew real fear, questioned God and searched their own souls, just as we do today. And through the Psalms, they brought all of this to God, and God brought himself to them.

The Psalms reveal so much of God’s character, showing his faithfulness, sovereignty, steadfast love, justice, kindness, and more. And when the trials and circumstances of life are seen in light of his character and our relationship to him, we are—sometimes surprisingly—brought simply to praise him.

This is, in fact, how the whole book of Psalms ends, with a series of six ‘hallelujah’ Psalms—hallelujah being a Hebrew injunction to ‘Praise the Lord’; the phrase that opens all of these Psalms. It was great to end our semester looking at Psalm 147 and seeing all the reasons that we have to praise God, even in a pandemic, even with exams rapidly approaching, even with every other stress and struggle that different ones of us are facing.

Most of all, we praise God for Jesus, his only begotten Son who has washed his people clean by his blood shed and the cross, and who secures us in our eternal hope. Praise, praise to him indeed!
Every May, Bible College SA holds an Open Night; an evening where prospective future students come into College to learn about our courses, formation programs, philosophy of education, and the practicalities of studying with us. For many of them, this night is an important step on the path towards enrolling in one of our awards.

There are many events that we run over the course of the year, but Open Night (along with October’s Open Day) is one of the most important. We do not get any better opportunities to engage with women and men who are thinking about studying the Bible, theology and ministry and who might come to do that with us in the years ahead.

We have noted many times that perhaps the greatest need for our city and state is for more faithful believers to get well-equipped to serve in churches and other Christian ministries. Without them, the generations that follow us will be like sheep without shepherds; something that wells up concern in Jesus who knows how unhealthy and dangerous this is for his followers (Matthew 9:36). We must pray for God to raise up more workers for his harvest, and we must accompany our prayers with whatever actions we can take towards meeting the need.

There are two simple actions that most of us will be able to take. The first is to consider whether we ourselves ought to get more equipped to serve Jesus. We might not end up serving as a staff member of a church (although we might!), but perhaps as a well-formed elder, a more knowledgeable Bible-study group leader, a sharp and deep youth leader, a theologically insightful music team coordinator or a biblically solid evangelist. For any of these roles, some study at a Bible college will be invaluable.

The second thing we can do is encourage others to also think about how they can best serve Jesus, and what are the ways they can get equipped for that. Sometimes, a prod from a loving sister or brother can really help us move our important thoughts forward, so it can be a real blessing for us to raise this question with other Christians we know.

Ultimately, Bible College SA is not looking to recruit more students so that we swell our ranks or grow our institution. Our primary concern is for the work of the gospel across Adelaide and South Australia. As we get ready for our Open Night, would you please join with us in praying that the Lord of the harvest will raise up more labourers for the harvest, and will you also consider what your role in Kingdom work might be, or whether there are other believers you could encourage to consider taking some formal study to get better equipped to serve the Lord Jesus.
 
Previously known as 13Fourteen, Next Step is a program specifically for high school graduates. It aims to provide excellent biblical training and practical experience, in partnership with students’ local churches, so that they might learn to follow Jesus as young adults. The fees for Next Step can be put onto FEE-HELP (the equivalent of HECS), but Bible College SA also offers a 50% subsidy because of how important we feel it is to make this training accessible to as many high school leavers as possible. For any inquiries about Next Step, please contact Geoffrey Shum at shum@biblecollege.sa.edu.au or on 8291 8188. 
 
Can you please tell us a little about yourself?
I originally became and grew as a Christian in the towns of Burra and Naracoorte in country South Australia. I am forever thankful for the Sunday school, youth and church leaders who introduced me to Jesus and helped me to grow as a disciple. I studied science and mathematics at Adelaide University and greatly benefited from the ministry of Evangelical Students. I am married to Jane and now have two children! Eddy is two years old and Olivia is a couple of days old. For the past five years we have lived in Wallaroo and I have worked as a high school maths teacher, I have taken leave from work to study this year.

What are you currently studying?
I am studying a Graduate Diploma of Divinity full time.

What do you like most about studying at BCSA?
I am really enjoying being in Christian community. It is really encouraging to spend time with others who also want to grow as followers of Jesus.

In what ministry do you hope to work when you finish at BCSA?
Great question! I plan to return to high school teaching in a country town somewhere in the south east of South Australia. I hope to serve in a volunteer capacity, depending on what the needs are. Often there are lots of needs and not very many people who want to be involved.

What is one thing you are learning at the moment that is particularly insightful?
In Church History I have been surprised at how many of the challenges of the early church are present today in various guises. I have found the response of Christian leaders insightful as I think about how we respond today to these challenges.
 

• Please pray for Open Night – that this will be an encouraging and fruitful evening for raising up Gospel workers for Adelaide. Pray that those who come will prayerfully discern the best course of study for them at Bible College SA.  

• Pray for our Faculty – as they enter their final weeks of teaching for semester one. Pray that they can finish their subjects well as they continue to shape our students for ministry.  

• Give thanks to our partners who continue to overwhelm us with their generosity month after month. We are so thankful for all they give, in both prayer and finances, and know that they help maintain our firm foundation within Adelaide. 

• Please pray for one of our sister colleges, Queensland Theological College and its principal Gary Millar, as they face some particularly difficult challenges, and as they continue to train gospel workers in Queensland.
 
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