Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Returning to Africa!

Our family has been given the opportunity through the seminary to return to South East Africa this May. As we approach our two year mark of being back in the States, both Dan and I are very eager to get back on African soil. We miss it dearly and are so thankful that God has called us to return, this time to Zimbabwe. Please see our letter below for more details about the six week internship Dan will be doing. We both strongly believe this upcoming trip will give us some clarity. Please pray with us as we continue to seek God's will for our future.

Dear friends and family,
First of all, thank you for your many years of support and prayers both while we were in Malawi, and now in St. Louis. We are humbled and honored by the overwhelming support poured out on us by you all. We are indebted to the Lord who has joined us all to Christ. We have sent out periodic email updates about our lives, kids, seminary etc. If you would like to receive these, please email me at dfrobbins at gmail dot com.

I am writing you today because of an opportunity that has come up which we are very excited about. Covenant Theological Seminary (where I am studying), is partnering with Theological College of Zimbabwe (TCZ) to offer a six-week internship in theological education. The first two-weeks is spent learning; attending classes, getting to know students and faculty. The next two weeks is spent researching and writing a piece of curriculum in line with some of the classes already in session. The last two weeks is spent teaching the curriculum I will develop in one of the classrooms.

For a long time we have been passionate and committed to joining in the theological education of the African Church. Yet, of the many locales where theological colleges are, Zimbabwe has been ravaged by the harsh economic and political circumstances for the last decade or more. Many have fled the country to find stability, reestablish their life, or to avoid political persecution. This, in turn has meant that the church there has lost many of its people. Without exaggerating the situation, the needs of the body of Christ there are pressing. You can see why we think this opportunity to partner with the faculty of the TCZ is amazing. We not only get to grow and learn, but can actually begin developing relationships with the body of Christ on the ground. TCZ's mission from the beginning has been to provide biblically-rooted theological education for the local church; this is our passion too.

One big reason we want go is that we may want to come back and teach there long-term after seminary. Right now we want to develop relationships, investigate the culture and work of the college, and see if we would be a good fit. I was able to meet with one of their faculty members, Rev. Craig Jones, while he was traveling the US. His humble spirit and desire to see the church built up were very clear and encouraging. It was also great to hear that the college was founded by and for the benefit of local churches (it is a non-denominational college). These are all things we are looking for.

Of course, (you guessed it), in order to get all of us there we need to raise funds. Airfare is going to be around $6300. We will need to purchase three tickets (Lazarus is free still), each costing about $2100. The living expenses for our family while in Zimbabwe, lost income (and ever present bills for our St. Louis lives) come to a total of about $4400. We, however, are only fundraising for the airfare. If you, our lovely family of supporters, can help us to raise that $6200 we should be able to go, and join with the team Covenant is sending. The only caveat is that we need to buy the plane tickets real soon. “If you need to buy the tickets so soon, why are we just now hearing about it?” My thoughts exactly; the details have not come together as promptly as I have wanted. Nonetheless, if you are interested in partnering with us, we would ask you to consider how much you would be able to give as a one time gift by March 20th. If you do want to partner with us, please send a check written out to Covenant Theological Seminary, with “World Mission Office – Robbins” in the memo line, to:

Attn: Joshua Hall

World Mission Office

Covenant Seminary

12330 Conway Rd.

Saint Louis, MO 63141

Thank you for your consideration and care for us throughout the years. We would love to chat with you about this if you have any questions or want to hear more. We are very excited about this trip, and hope you will be too.

Warmly yours in Christ,
Dan Robbins (for Bethany, Elijah and Lazarus)


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