Dear Co-Laborers in the Lord,
Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Quite some time has passed since my last letter. As you know, there is not a place in the world that has not been impacted by the coronavirus, and it would seem that East Africa is no exception.
BCEA Campuses Closed
All three campuses closed temporarily in late March as a result of government measures. It is unclear when schools will be permitted to open again for face-to-face learning.
However, the time of closure has at least allowed us to take care of backed up tasks in administration and facilities. The computers of the lab on the Nairobi campus have been upgraded to new models. We also installed a long overdue camera system for the entire compound. A high-rise apartment building has been newly constructed next to the campus, and much of our premises, particularly the ladies dormitory, is now exposed. So, we improved the privacy and safety of the ladies dorm by raising the roof of the building and covering the enclosing walls with a fence.
All of the ministries that co-labor with the campus church (Maasai churches) have likewise been stopped. The hardships of our graduates who are ministering the Word are indescribable and our concern remains serious as uncertainties continue regarding when this situation will change.
We thank the Lord that this has also been a time to demonstrate His faithfulness and provision. Praise God for those who were moved to give, and through their sacrificial giving, we were able to distribute food packages (rice, flour, maize-meal, mung beans), to sister churches in rural areas. To our graduates in ministry, we were able to give $25-30 ministry support, divided over four occasions.
Pray for Pandemic Situation Reversal
The campus church in Nairobi has resumed worship in the outdoors. The campus church in Kigali, on the other hand, is working to meet government requirements, including the installation of handwashing stations with automatic sensor activated water taps. Once those are complete and safe distancing rules applied, only about 100 per week will be able to worship in the sanctuary. It will be a challenge to choose among more than 600 members who have registered to continue their worship at this church, with their children left with another guardian as dictated by regulations. Most of the members in Kigali are without phones and do not have access to means of online services. Illiteracy makes the challenge of staying in the Word even more difficult. Please pray that God will reverse the situation soon, and that His people will be able to return to their workplaces and worship without hindrance. Whether it is through treatment drugs or vaccines, may the Lord remove all obstacles to the progress of the gospel and the edifying of His church. We pray that these times will be a turning point that enables us to be convicted of our complacency and laziness, with experience of revival in a renewed and deepened fellowship with our Lord.
Work on the campus in Kigali remains in full force. This includes significant progress made on digitizing and organizing the library (now 17,000 theological volumes). Pastors and students who remained on campus were able to do home visitations of all 430 families of the church. Visitations began with prayer, sharing the Word, and prayer for special requests. Church members also received masks, maize flour, beans, and soap. We praise God that this was done prior to a worsening of the situation and subsequent prohibition of visitations. We were also able to participate in some government initiatives for helping the vulnerable, and we believe that God will glorified through this witness.
We pray and hope that believers will remain steadfast in the faith, even as many have lost their jobs and livelihoods, and are barred from worship due to safe distancing laws.
Again, we are grateful to those who have expressed their love with prayers and support.
In the bond of Christ,
Kyung Soo (Mark) Kim and Hang Sook (Hannah) Rhee
PS from the Executive Director: If you wish to financially lend a hand to the graduates and local churches as mentioned above, please designate you gifts accordingly. This continues to be a time when we can display good stewardship and love.