Looking Back at 2021 and Looking Forward to 2022!
You know that feeling? The feeling you get when you see a sunrise and you are overwhelmed with God’s power and kindness to us? It takes your breath away and warms your heart to feel such love. I’ve been privileged to know that feeling more than a few times. It happened to me yesterday, in a meeting of all things. A meeting! I hate meetings! I never had such a feeling in a meeting before. This meeting was different. During the Zion Bible College Strategic Planning meeting I watched as Principal Sangweni lead, and Administrative Dean Dlamini lead, our teachers in discussions covering our last year, the next year, and beyond
It felt great to be together, nothing seemed impossible. So much of 2021 was hold back and protect. We had strongly enforced COVID lockdowns and civil unrest. Every plan seemed thwarted before it finished being formed, cancelled before it was spoken. Still, all of us at ZBC fought on, often without any apparent sign of success. We delivered notes to rural areas, taught on TV and radio, met around cars in parking lots… whatever it took to serve.
As we looked back at 2021 it was clear that despite the troubles, progress was made. We had 770 students attend in 2022, with a monthly average of 365 students. That may seem paltry compared to peak years, but it has rebounded from the 132 we had in 2020 during the height of COVID issues. It is exciting to see that 73 students earned first year certificates during this time (74 second year; 83 third year; and 45 four-year). Students are flocking back to class these days. We added 2 new locations in 2021. There is a hunger for the Word.
2022 seems a year filled with possibilities. In our meeting we discussed: 1) how to use the classrooms to help build discipleship relationships, 2) how to reach out to and serve our alumni better as they are leaders in the amaZioni churches, and 3) how to use our building to generate income to fund these initiatives. Everyone was excited to be back teaching full time.
Beyond 2022, we have hopes of sending missionaries to Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. We are considering how to use the empty 2/3 of our lot for God’s glory. Thank you for making all this possible. Your financial and prayer support keep us in eSwatini, serving the pastors who follow after God’s heart. It takes my breath away. It warms my heart. Thank you.