Welcome to our August September Newsletter. More than half way through the year already; in fact, at the time of writing there are only 121 sleeps to Christmas! What a blessing God has been to us in so many wonderful ways. We thank God for his multiplied blessing to us and the way he constantly provides. Please do keep Ken and Alison in prayer, along with Ps Denis and Ros, Steve and Trish, Jane and David.
What's in this Issue?
1. Vision – More than just a Bible College!
2. Ken Chant – On “Redemption”
3 Alison − Adventures In Faith Prove Faith
4. Introducing New Staff
5. We Need Volunteers
7. Taster Program
8. Corn Corner
9. Student Honour Roll
10. The Last Word
Did you know that while Vision Colleges offer formal teaching programs, we can also strengthen the local church and individuals with an informal learning program?
In other words, you do not need to “do” Vision Colleges to use the Vision materials. We have more than 100 subjects to choose from, which can and should be used extensively outside of the “formal” training program.
Not everyone wants to be a pastor or even on the ministry team; but many Christians really do want sound, faith building, and inspiring knowledge of the word – something meaty, so to speak.
We have the solution to this problem. Our subjects can be used for local church Bible study just as effectively as they are in Bible college, and cost less. We have titles for men’s or women’s groups; we cover issues that are relevant to youth, or for young adults; and we have study options for singles, married couples, and seniors.
Our range of study options provides an opportunity to enrich and enhance your church members in an informal setting. And if they wish, they can also enroll in the college, and so gain study credits, and eventually achieve various awards.
Using Vision Colleges materials in an informal study group will expose your church members to thorough Bible college teaching, which for some, may inspire them to press further into study, and for a few perhaps even launch them into the ministry.
Two questions are provoked by the idea of Christ as our Redeemer – what price was paid; to whom was it paid?
The price was manifestly the death of Jesus, who at Calvary took upon himself your sins and mine, and substituted himself for us. We should have died. He perished instead. Our sin should have destroyed us. Instead, it destroyed him. Our failure to keep the law of God condemned us to outer darkness for ever; but he obeyed the law in our place, and then accepted our punishment as if he himself were the guilty one. Now we no longer shrink from the presence of God, but rather rejoice before him, because through our Lord Jesus Christ, we have received full atonement (Ro 5:11).
Jesus was tested by Satan in the desert and he answered every time by the Word of God (Lu 4:1-12). Over and over he said, “It is written” − “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (De 8:3b).
Faith will always be tested and this testing produces perseverance and proves our faith, which brings us to maturity in God. So claim God’s healing deliverance for yourself and others. Never give up! “Better to die in faith than to live in unbelief!” (Alan Langstaff)
A new volunteer, David has joined the team in the office and will be with us at least until December; so if you call the office and find a new voice on the other end of the line, welcome him to the Vision Family
The colleges are growing steadily and surely and we need help to look after the office. The fact is that basically three people have been doing the work of six (at least), but we are all getting a bit older! It is becoming more difficult to manage the colleges, take into account the ever changing legislation, and maintain our office accountability.
Do you have time to help? In the area of skills, we need someone who can handle MYOB, our accounting package. We also have three data bases to track student records − one for accredited students, and the other two for recognised or non-accredited students.
You may not know how to use these programs, but if you are comfortable with data entry and willing to learn – you can help. What kind of person should you be? You might be retired, you might be an elder or pastor who would like to assist in assessments of students and help guide them through their course. You might be a younger person looking for work experience and willing to give us at least a day a week. Both male and female are welcome, and age is not an issue. We need help too with advertising, promotions and in other areas. Phone us if you are in Sydney and would like to help change the world with Vision Colleges. “The Whole Word to The Whole World!”
The colleges have a new opportunity to establish a college in Pakistan. Please pray for this opportunity, and for these doors to open to us. Although it is a Muslim country, Christians have been rising up in their faith. The number of Christians is increasing, and the church in Pakistan is growing. As in many Muslim countries, the growth is not spread evenly and much depends on the locality, the attitude of the local imams and authorities, and indeed the attitude of the Christians themselves. There is much I do not know about this nation, but I will be going there, God willing, in January. Please pray for this trip, for the saints in Pakistan, and for the nation.
In October I expect to be going to the Philippines for a short trip. I will be in Pagadian, and then I hope to go to Iloilo to see the new college there. They are implementing a new idea, by using tablet computers for personal study, instead of using books, which reduces costs significantly. We will send the material to them by email in PDF format, and the student body will use tablets or laptops to study from. WOW we are lurching into the 21st Century, led by the Philippines!
In Kenya we have two new colleges working with us through the Beautiful Feet Task Force and one of them may well go national. A college has started in Belieze central America, we thank God for these mission opportunities.
We welcome 3 new churches who are trying out our Taster Program.
Chris and Heather Blundell, who pastor the independent “Christ to the Nations” church in Port Hedland Western Australia.
Helen and David Devenish, who pastor the “Love Hobart” church in Hobart, capital of the Apple Isle. Helen is looking to restart Vision Colleges Hobart after two years of restructure and reassessment.
Sam and Lisa Georges, who pastor “Kingdom Living Church” in Wetherill Park, Sydney NSW. They are starting a Vision Taster program. Sam is a graduate of Vision with an Advanced Diploma.
Welcome to each and every one of you! It is an honour to work with you all.
Help from God
A woman named Edna finds herself in dire trouble. Her business has gone bust and she's in serious financial trouble. She's so desperate that she decides to ask God for help. She begins to pray...' God, please help me. I've lost my business and if I don't get some money, I'm going to lose my house as well. Please let me win the lotto.'
Lotto night comes and somebody else wins it.
Edna again prays.... 'God, please let me win the lotto! I've lost my business, my house and I'm going to lose my car as well.'
Lotto night comes and Edna still has no luck.
Once again, she prays, 'My God, why have you forsaken me?? I've lost my business, my house, and my car. My children are starving. I don't often ask you for help and I have always been a good servant to you. PLEASE, just let me win the lotto this one time so I can get my life back in order.
Suddenly there is a blinding flash of light as the heavens open and Edna is confronted by the voice of God Himself: 'Edna, meet Me halfway on this. Buy a ticket.'
Since our last newsletter, we have issued 25 awards in total from the various options available through Vision Colleges. These awards range from an Award in Biblical Studies (1) for successfully completing five subjects; Certificate in Biblical Studies (6); Diploma of Ministry (2); all from the non accredited program. From our Accredited awards in Christian Ministry and Theology we issued Certificate III (1); Diploma (10); Advanced Diploma (1). From our High School studies: a Certificate III in General Education (2); Certificate IV in Science (1); and finally, through the USA, a Bachelor of Theology (1). We heartily congratulate them all, and encourage every student to continue in study, continue to be equipped, and continue to know the blessing of the word and its building, redeeming, cleaning power in our lives. Well done one and all; we appreciate you and your commitment to the study of the Word. We pray the Lord will use you and release you into the ministry within the Kingdom of God.
Brittany Darvas, Award in Biblical Studies, Hamilton NSW
Noel O Batts, Certificate in Biblical Studies, Parkes NSW
Jennifer Farey, Certificate in Biblical Studies, Narara NSW
Andrew Obadiah, Certificate in Biblical Studies, Fairfield NSW
Vanessa Conditsis, Certificate in Biblical Studies, Fairfield NSW
Gabriela Medina, Certificate in Biblical Studies Fairfield, NSW
Yvonne Lovedee ,Certificate in Biblical Studies, Geraldton WA
Simon Fenby, Diploma of Ministry, Geraldton WA
Keith Lees, Diploma of Ministry, Ararat VIC
Kylie Mullinger, Certificate III in Christian Ministry and Theology, Erina NSW
Michael Hornery, Certificate III in General Education, St Ives NSW
Micah Schiavone, Certificate III in General Education, Kedron Qld
Micah Schiavone, Certificate IV in Science, Kedron Qld
10 Chinese Students, Diploma of Christian Ministry and Theology, China
Ps Sam Georgis, Advanced Diploma in Christian Ministry and Theology, Fairfield NSW
Doreen Westcott, Bachelor of Theology, Parkes NSW
The Bible is no ordinary book. The words within its pages are like medicine to your soul. It has the power to change your life because there is life in the Word! Hebrews 4:12. And when you discover the power and truth of God’s Word, you will begin to see changes in your life that only this truth can bring. You will even learn how to recognize what the enemy tries to bring against you.
The good news is, it won’t take you 30 years to know what you need to know. Just begin where you are right now and determine to stick with it! Every time you study the Bible and pay attention to what you’re reading, you’re learning something. Proverbs 4:20-22 says, “My son attend to my words…for they are life to those who find them…” The word “attend” means to pay attention to, give some time to something. To attend to the Word of God is a lot more than just reading; it’s meditating on it.
We need to get into agreement with what God wants us to do because, as the writer of Proverbs says, these words are life! When you need an encouraging word, or you’re in a negative environment, it’s good to know that you can find life (plus healing and health) in God’s Word.