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
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7)
Warm greetings from us at UBI! Much has happened in our lives during the last 4 months! Too much to tell you in a short newsletter like this. However, as you will see, this newsletter will tell you about the major changes taking place in our lives during the months ahead.
Term 1@ UBI (25th Jan – 26th March):
- We were very grate-ful that the Minister of Higher Education, Mr Blade Nzimande did not prevent UBI from opening on the 25th Jan, despite the Level 3 lockdown regulations. Many thought we were “crazy” to continue with “contact-teaching” during the 2nd wave of Covid in KZN, but at the end of Term 1 we can testify that that God has protected us from Covid. We have not had a single case of Covid among students or staff! I taught Ethics 1 to the 2nd & 3rd Years and Homiletic 2 to the 2nd Years this Term. The last exam will be written on 26th March. I hope to have all my marking finished by 31st March.
- You will remember that we announced last year that 2020 would be my last year at UBI. Well, it got postponed by several months and modified: March officially has become my last month as a fulltime time staff member.
The bad news is that we cannot afford to retire! The Baptist Union Pension which I joined on 1st March 1981 has not de-livered as we had expected. The reasons are twofold: (1) My monthly contributions which were based on my modest “missionary salary” were too low, despite a desperate at-tempt during the last 5 years to triple my monthly contribu-tions. (2) The pension fund administrators (several different companies over the years), “milked” the monthly contribu-tions with their administrative charges and failed to grow the funds invested, blaming the economic problems in SA.
The Way Forward:-
April to June will be dedicated to the building of our retirement house at UBI. As we said last year, the UBI Board have accepted my proposal to renovate and extend an existing building at our own cost, in order to have the free use of it for the next 20-25 years. Though we are still waiting for the municipal approval of the building plans, I will be starting on the renovation of the existing building on the 6th April. Though I will employ one or two builders for the bricklaying and plastering, I will be doing most of the work myself, like the electrical installation, the plumbing, the roofing, the tiling, the kitchen cupboards, the bedroom built-in closets, etc. The estimated cost of the building is R250,000, giving us 143.5 m2 of living space: 2 bedrooms, a study, 2 bathrooms, a lounge, a dining-room, a kitchen, a laundry, a single garage as part of the house and an open veranda. Please pray for God’s help as we have to move out of the existing staff house by the end of June. (If you would like to see a PDF of the plans, please let us know.)
Self-Supporting Part-Time Staff Member
: This is my official title from 1st April. Living on the campus will enable me to serve as a part-time staff member: teaching one module per term, serving as the IT Manager and assisting the Mainte-nance Dept in a crisis. Monthly Budget:- Once the building has been completed, we hope to manage on R10,000 per month: 40% coming from the BUSA pension, and 60% coming from supporters and our savings. Therefore, we are giving you the freedom to reduce your monthly contributions or to terminate them in the light of this new “dispensation.” Individual sup-porters using the UBI account will still receive the tax de-ductible receipts from UBI for their monthly donations.
: We are pleased to announce the safe birth of a baby boy to Jon-athan & Estelle in Kal-goorlie, Western Aus-tralia on 15th March. We praise the Lord for this perfect gift to them. Though we are thou-sands of kilometres apart, we have shared their joy of having their 1st child. This photo was taken 12 hours after his birth, with his swollen nose. Appreciation:- This newsletter comes with our sincere love and deep appreciation for your faithful partnership with us in our ministry at UBI over many years. For some since March 1986 when we went to Likubula Bible Institute in Blantyre for 7 years! We can never thank you enough, but we sincerely pray for God’s blessing and reward, now and in eternity. We are delighted to know that Jesus said: “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.” (Matt 25:40)
Yours in the bond of Christ’s love, Richard & Val