Steps of Faith - Spring 2023

Our very dear friends, greetings!

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”

So remarked Sir Isaac Newton, and how conscious we are of those ‘giants’ who have gone before. Inspirational leaders like George Verwer and Tim Keller are missed, but the passing of our own comrades in so brief a time period has been painful: The Capps, Hugh Wetmore, Sandy Willcox, Joyce Scott and then, in May, Jim Johnston. Intimately acquainted with ESSA’s life and vision, Jim served as beloved chaplain and mentor to both staff and students. We will remember them.


A special occasion last month not only for baba Israel Ndlovu but, indeed, for all at ESSA – our first graduation in a LONG time. With 3 cohorts in the pipeline we look forward to many more! Please help us by promoting the seminary: ???????? us on Facebook | subscribe to our newsletter | recommend us to your friends.
2023 has been a busy year with students on campus three weeks out of four. Our student accomm is often at full capacity and the library is literally buzzing. Sherrel Michie handles it all with aplomb; a noisy library is better than an empty one, after all! But we will need a larger classroom space before long.
Staff changes: after 10 years’ loyal service we bid farewell to our bookkeeper Mr Hennie Storm – a task well done but often unnoticed. Hennie is replaced by Ms Elma Brook and Mr Rob Griffin. We also have a new PR person, Ms Ursuhla Govender, and Ms Liisa Zondervan is back with us after 6 months away. Then, we are blessed to have Dr Audrey Matemelo (an ESSA alumnus) joining our board. Welcome, colleagues!


As we look to the 2nd half of the year, it is a good time to assess our curriculum. It’s been a while since our last review and there are some modules which could use a makeover. For Church & HIV, we have consulted medical doctors Reg Broekmann, Vic Fredlund, and Chris Luke on its revision. This year, many 3rd year modules are being tested ‘in the field’ for the first time; we learn much from the course evaluations. Obstacles to learning remain. Computer skills, especially among students from the E. Cape, are a crying need. Please pray with us as we embark on our Curriculum Review.

Always such a pleasure to welcome ESSA alumni! ???? Sam & Mildred Machaka (Brink ministries) recently visited the seminary one cold Pmb morning. He taught a session before joining us for tea on the verandah.


18-22 Sep Poetry & Wisdom (Dr Riens de Haan)
25-29 Sep Ethics & problem-solving (Dr Audrey Matemelo)
2-6 Oct NT Survey 1 (Rev Kyle Schaeffer)
5 Oct ESSA open day, Cluster worship

Prayer points

  • thank God for Liisa’s safe return to SA.
  • praise God for continued financial aid to our students.
  • practical wisdom as we engage with the Curriculum Review.
  • pray that ESSA’s hosting of Cluster worship would honour the Lord.

May our God touch you with grace and peace, this season.
Shalom, Carl Brook

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