All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing
It is always a great encouragement to us to provide reports about brothers and sisters in Christ from Malawi who are serving Christ in other parts of the world. In this month’s website article we bring a report from Pastor Robert Yanduya, who is studying on a two year Master’s degree in Evangelical Theology in the Netherlands. Robert was the Academic Dean at the Evangelical Bible College of Malawi (EBCoM) and is also the pastor of Kabula Zambezi Evangelical Church in Blantyre Malawi.
Studying at Tyndale Theological Seminary
I thank God for the opportunity he has given me to study his Word at the Tyndale Theological Seminary in the Netherlands. This has been a great opportunity for personal spiritual growth and maturation. I joined Tyndale in June 2017 and since then I have greatly benefitted from my studies. Tyndale exists as a witness of Christ in an environment where the Gospel is being denied. The Netherlands is one of the most liberal countries in Europe but with a very rich Christian heritage. One of the most rewarding things for me has been the understanding of different cultures. People from 19 different countries of Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Africa are represented at Tyndale. Studying in a culturally diverse place like Tyndale comes with plenty of positive challenges. In the words of Bishop Adeshina, “learn how to deal with people; every kind of person you would need to deal with in the future is already here at Tyndale for your learning.” I love the environment, the people, the differences and all the learning opportunities in all these. It is a wonderful privilege to learn how to work in a multicultural and a multiracial context. This experience will be of great help when I return to teach and pastor at the Evangelical Bible College of Malawi and Kabula Zambezi Evangelical Church respectively. I trust that God will use my time here to learn how to effectively communicate the Gospel.
As a person who grew up in my own culture and traditions, studying at Tyndale is helping me learn other perspectives and cultures. I am also learning more about different customs, foods, and social lives and this is another way through which God is enriching my understanding and better equipping me for effectively ministry in Malawi. Tyndale is really helping me to know cultures in a different way.
Community Duties and Community Life
Every student at Tyndale has some community duties to do every week. One of the most important things that I am learning from these duties is that education does not just take place in the classroom; it also occurs in the dormitories, in my relationships with people from different places and cultures, in chapel services, and also in our community duties which are carefully blended into the training program. It is an amazing experience studying and worshipping God while washing dishes, cleaning the toilets, emptying the garbage bins etc… Tyndale is a learning community where the Professors, their wives and children, the Administrative team and their families model a life characterised by humility and willingness to serve. They do what many might not be willing to do and that is what serving others is all about (John 13:12-17).
How will EBCoM and Zambezi Evangelical Church benefit from my studies?
One of the big deficiencies we have had at EBCoM is the lack of language teachers. Tyndale is known for its emphasis on Biblical languages. On top of the other courses I am taking, I am also studying Hebrew and Greek with an intention of becoming a language teacher at EBCoM. I also feel compelled to continue teaching the biblical subjects when I return to EBCoM. Since EBCoM intends to launch a degree programme soon, my hope is that my experience will be useful in the development of the curriculum.
As a church minister in the Zambezi Evangelical Church, I am praying that I should still be given opportunity to continue pastoring so that my knowledge will also be applied in a local church setting.
What are some of the challenges?
Studying away from home is not just fun. It also comes with some challenges. Being away from my family for one full year has been my greatest challenge. The most difficult question I always receive from my children is “when are you coming back Dad?” My two daughters, Shalom and Shamira, didn’t understand what I meant when I said that I will be away for two years. I thank God for the support from the zambesi mission so that I can go back home in June this year. Though my time in Malawi will be spent on practical ministry exposure and research, the good thing is that I will be with my family and church and that is wonderful.
The weather is also another thing. Coming from the sunny Malawian weather to the Dutch weather where I have gone for months now without having enough of the sun has been another challenge! I must also confess that missing Nsima (our staple food in Malawi) for this long is enough tribulation for a typical Malawian like me.
How can you pray for me?
I will very much appreciate your prayers in a number of areas.
• Please pray that God will guide me in my studies. There is a lot of work that has to be done.
• I would also appreciate your prayers for my family in Malawi: my wife Ellen, my children Joseph, Amos, Shalom and Shamira. Pray that God will provide their needs.
• You can also help in praying for the church I have been pastoring, Kabula Zambezi Evangelical Church. Pray for the leaders and my Associate Pastor Esau Meke who has taken leadership of the church throughout my absence.