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FEBRUARY 2020 NEWS
As we start up new year of teaching and learning at Bible College SA, we kicked off our chapel with a sermon on Matthew 14. This text includes many well-known stories: the rejection of Jesus at Nazareth, Herod’s execution of John the Baptist, Jesus feeding more than 5,000, and Jesus and Peter walking on water.

Sadly, one of the common threads running through these stories is unbelief. The people of Jesus’ hometown could not believe that there was anything special about the carpenter’s son, despite his teaching and miracles. Herod did not believe that he should follow John’s moral guidance. The disciples did not at first believe that they had enough for Jesus’ to feed the hungry crowds. And Peter stopped believing that Jesus had more control over his fate than the strong winds around him.

We see something in these stories that we also know from the world around us: unbelief is everywhere. People do not believe even when they have every reason to. People do not believe when they know belief will have moral implications. People do not believe when they feel scared in a troubled world. In every case, we can understand this unbelief, but in every case, the Bible shows us that it is not the right response.

What we should learn from Matthew 14 is that there really is no good reason for us to not believe that Jesus is the Lord and Saviour. In every case where we see a reason for not believing, we also see that believing would have been far better. Jesus does speak truth, does provide, does offer a healthy life and does protect and so it makes complete sense to trust him with our whole life.

Encouragingly, the chapter ends on a positive note showing the power of straightforward belief. When Jesus arrives in the region of Gennesaret, the people recognise him and proceed to bring all of their sick to him—and then all who even touch the fringe of his cloak are healed. This is a great reminder that knowing Jesus and coming to him brings us wholeness. At Bible College SA, we are now excited about another year when we believe in Jesus and draw near to him.

PRINCIPAL'S REPORT
Tim Patrick

It is encouraging to look around the College and see all of our different teaching programs get underway. This semester we have introductory courses in New Testament, Old Testament, Biblical Theology and Interpretation, Greek, Pastoral Care and Church History. We are also running upper level courses in Advanced Hebrew, Evangelism, Theology, Former Prophets and Romans, and we have already completed a Masters-level intensive in Theological Ethics. In addition to all of this, we have also started up our Ministry Formation Program that addresses so many important on-the-ground issues which are not covered in formal lectures.

Clearly, we work hard to cover a great breadth of material with our students, and to go into considerable depth in our subjects and programs too. This all flows from our conviction that people serving in gospel ministry need a sound and thorough formation—especially as the cultural landscape becomes more complex in our post-Christendom era. We are not confident that the church will thrive unless those who serve in its leadership have a strong grasp on the text of the Bible, Christian thought and what is needed for healthy, faithful and effective ministry.

God, in his mercy, has given us stewardship over a great institution with a great staff, great programs and great students. We feel privileged to put our shoulders to the wheel and make the most of all these blessings, labouring hard under our Lord’s sovereignty. As we get back to it in 2020, we want to thank you for joining with us as people who pray, donate and advocate for our ministry. We count you among our blessings as you partner with us over the year ahead.
 

Who is in your family?
I am blessed to have been raised in a Christian home, with wonderful parents and 3 other siblings - a sister and 2 brothers. My childhood is filled with wonderful and happy memories of us as a family, particularly of our Christmas camping by the beach. Between them all, I am an Aunty to 9, with 5 nieces and 4 nephews. They all live in QLD, so I don’t often see them, but when we are all together it is big and loud - and I love it! 
Since moving to Adelaide 9 years ago, I have lived in various share houses with other single women and have enjoyed the community and ‘family’ that that has provided. And have quickly found myself being enveloped in church community too. 

What have you been doing prior to working at Bible College SA?
As a Registered Nurse and Midwife, I have been working in Primary Health Care. I have been working for various General Practices alongside GPs, as well as in Private Specialist rooms for Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. It has been a joy to move my career into the community sector and spend greater quality time with patients, mothers and their families.
I have also been a part of the core church planting team for CityReach Marion, overseeing our mid-week Bible Study groups called Gospel Communities. Being a part of a church plant was something I never thought I would do, but I’m so thankful that God moved my heart and prepared me to be involved in this as I have loved every moment. 

What excites you about Bible College SA?
I have been a Nurse/Midwife for 17 years now and have loved working in this profession, but since being a part of CityReach Marion, God has been shifting my passions towards leadership development, training and equipping of all people within the church. As someone who has gone through Bible College myself, I know the value of such an education and how well it prepares and equips you for ministry within your local church, workplace, home or overseas.
I am excited to be able to share that same passion within the churches of Adelaide and South Australia through this role, so that more people can be sent to be trained and equipped in Bible, Theology and Ministry. I guess you could say that I am a product of Partnership Dinner, where at last year’s dinner, I was fully behind the College, excited to have such an exemplary theological College here in Adelaide.  And now - I get to work within this wonderful staff team!

What are you looking forward to in your first semester?
Monday morning teas, cake, weekly staff meetings, placing all the pieces that make up the different components of my role into some order, working with other ministry minded people, building relationship with other staff, students, churches and supporters of the College, understanding the supporter database, planning out my week, hosting some excellent events on the College calendar - The Theology for the Life of the Church conference in July, growing our partnership and supporter base and being a strong voice for the College in the city of Adelaide, South Australia and beyond.
 

FOR YOUR PRAYERS:

• Give thanks that the Spirit works belief in Jesus’ people and that this is for their good. Pray that the Bible College SA community would always believe, no matter what reasons might arise for doubting.

• Give thanks for a good break over the summer and for the chance to get back to our blessed work of teaching and learning as we build each other up for faithful service of Jesus. Pray that our faculty and students would work hard this semester under the sovereign grace of God.

• Give thanks for all those who support Bible College SA in prayer, finances, and advocacy. Pray that they would feel greatly encouraged about the work that is enabled by their partnership.


Please also remember in your prayers Sydney Missionary and Bible College, one of our sister colleges. Pray for Stuart Coulton and his team, that they would be fruitful in preparing the next generations of gospel workers for Sydney and beyond, especially international missions which is one of their special foci.
 

Monday 24 February 2020
Mental Health Masterclass

Monday 23 March 2020
TGC-SA: Ministry for Life
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