Steps of Faith – August 2021

Dear ESSA friends – greetings in the name of our Lord, Jesus the Christ.

We apologise for the delay since our last communication. An Easter newsletter was drafted a few months ago but ran into problems with the mailing list. First order of the day then is to confirm your email address and, second, to confirm if you’d like to continue receiving news from ESSA. Please unsubscribe below if you’d prefer to opt out. Either way, we’d be SO glad if you could stop for a cuppa when passing by. 😊

The riots that wreaked havoc across KZN this month have shaken us all. Pietermaritzburg was badly hit, with the CBD a target of opportunistic crime on top of the mass looting spree. As communities rallied to defend their suburbs, the segregated structure of our city was again painfully apparent. We praise God that our campus was untouched but also that, while government and police point fingers at each other, it is local citizens, churches and NGOs who are at the forefront of the rebuilding effort.

It is with delight that we congratulate Phil & Carmena on their 70th wedding anniversary. What grace God has given them! Almost in anticipation, the Capp Library received its consignment of Langham books ordered a year ago 😊 Good news concerning the bank fraud case: ESSA was refunded about 80% of what was taken. This, following settlement of the outstanding architect fee, has brought some measure of relief.

Further reason for praise is the reinstatement of the Ulting grant to assist our students with tuition fees. Seven more students have registered for the next semester, bringing our number to 13. Sadly, due to lockdown restrictions there were no classes in July and, like many other colleges, we’ve had to ‘re-jig’ the curriculum. But praise God for this new cohort. Their first module begins 2 August.

Two major challenges requiring intercession, dear friends: 1) current lockdown restrictions, and 2) continued insecurity related to political unrest. Besides causing trauma to both students and staff, the violence has dealt our city’s economy a huge blow. This directly impacts our tenants which, in turn, impacts the seminary.

How we look to the Lord for sufficient grace in these unprecedented times!
Shalom, Carl Brook (Principal)