Richard & Val Murray
Missionaries @ Union Bible Institute
P.O. Box 50, Hilton, 3245. E-mail = firstname.lastname@example.org
Cell (Richard) = 082-360-9211, Cell (Val) = 072-554-1850
"And pray with/in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." (Eph 6:18)
Warm greetings from us here at Union Bible Institute!
Life at UBI under Lockdown":-
Our campus is unusu-ally quiet because of the absence of our students! On the 24
March our students started "panicking" to get home to their families before the lockdown started on the night of the 26
. Though they had only written 2 of their 4 ex-ams for Term 1, we reluctantly let them go, instructing them to be ready to write the remaining 2 exams on the day they would be allowed to return. Imagine the compli-cations for staff and students?! (Fortunately, they had written both my courses for Term 1.)
In the hours before they left on the 24
March, I "scram-bled" to print out the tutorials for my two courses for Term 2, realizing that our students may not be able to re-turn for the next 2-3 months. That was a wise move, be-cause my students had a great head-start with my courses for Term 2 (using the "distance learning" format), while most of the other lecturers were unable to get hard copies of their courses to the students, because of the closure of the Post Office and other courier agencies, until very re-cently. (UBI has had to pay a courier to get books and course notes to students.)
Our New "Distance Learning Method"
: You cannot imagine how much we are missing our "contact teaching" method, which we took for granted for so many years!! Trying to get our students to work at home, where they are surrounded by their families in small houses and where they lack adequate internet access, has been rather frustrating! Though 90% of our students have found some "routine" to work at home despite their difficult circum-stances and limited access to the Internet, it is the remain-ing 10% of "strugglers" who have caused us the biggest headaches. The standard of the students’ work has dropped and we expect that the failure rate will be high.
Laptops for Students
: Unlike universities who are as-sisted by the government with finances to supply students with laptops and data for Internet access, we have no such assistance. Imagine the complication for students, who do not have their own laptops to type their work and email it back to us during the lockdown?! I have been able to fix three old laptops to give to students, who did not have their own, but that is far from what is still needed.
Term 2 (14
:- Two words: "Totally disrupted"!! However, we are doing our best to motivate our students to study their new courses via distance learn-ing! I am teaching Systematic Theology 1 to the 1
Years and 1 Corinthians to the 2
Years (B.Th. students only). We wish we could use Zoom networking with our students, but that would eliminate half the class. Instead, I have sent my lectures to my "classes" each day using voice messages on WhatsApp and emails.
:- This newsletter comes with our sincere love and deep appreciation for your willingness to con-tinue your partnership with us in our ministry at UBI. We count it a privilege to be here at UBI and thank you for making it possible. We sincerely pray for God’s protec-tion from the Covid-19 infection and His financial provi-sion in your lives during these days of extreme economic instability and uncertainty. "
We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield
" (Ps 33:20).
Yours in the bond of Christ’s love, Richard & Val.
Adrian, Amy & Family:
Though we are only 5 kms apart in Pmb, we have only seen them for brief moments recently, while delivering essentials and working as their "electrician" to re-place their faulty earth-leakage switch. The younger children kept on asking: "When can we visit Nanna & Oupa?"
1. To our knowledge, none of our students at home have been infected with the Corona Virus.
2. None of the staff or married students living on the UBI campus have been infected with the Corona Virus.
3. We are making reasonable progress with our "distance learning" format for Term 2 courses.
1. Please pray for staff as we try to assist students who are struggling with the "distance learning" format, because of their limited access to the Internet.
2. Please pray that students will be able to pay their fees for Term 2, so that UBI will be able to pay the national staff members during the next 2 months.
Please pray for Val’s brother, Michael, who has an ulcer-ated wound on his leg, which has not healed for months, despite receiving treatment in hospital