Two years ago, God in His sovereign plan gave Horizon the opportunity to partner in faculty training for seminaries around the world. During that time, 393 faculty from 112 schools in 54 countries learned about online learning. In March, a colleague and I were in Cuba for the final session. We didn’t know that, only days after the training finished, schools across the globe would be forced to change their educational model radically because of the pandemic. Many partners would have faced closure were it not for Horizon’s platform and training resources. God had prepared Horizon and our partners for this time.
Even though trips have been cancelled, our work has increased since the pandemic began. Seven seminaries are applying to partner with us. These seminaries are in Mongolia, Liberia, Netherlands, Central African Republic, Ukraine, Jordan, Zambia, and Guatemala. Each of them has unique needs for us to consider. We are also busy training faculty online using our faculty professional development training resources. To help our schools transition to an online environment, Horizon added a video conferencing component that integrates seamlessly with our platform. We had already raised some funds to allow seminaries the immediate use of this software. Still, we are looking at raising more funds to extend this offering.
With many people stuck at home, there has been an increased interest in online Bible courses. One of our values is reconnecting theological education with local churches. Often people would like to benefit from the depth of thought that happens within a seminary class but have difficulty accessing the campus. Several of Horizon’s partners have cleared some of the barriers. A seminary in Ireland created an online program of short-courses. In mid-April, due to the lockdown, they offered their four-week course on Ephesians for free. They had over 400 people register for the course! This enthusiastic response led to several consultations on how to manage large enrollments. It is exciting to see this kind of desire on the part of our partners to reach back generously into the local churches.
We lament the ongoing, ravaging effects of this pandemic. But we are grateful for the opportunities for ministry which God has provided during this time. At Horizon, we feel like Esther may have felt upon receiving the message from her cousin, Mordechai: “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14b).
We are healthy. Despite lock-down restrictions being eased, we are still staying home a lot. We are waiting for details about what the return to school in September will look like in Ontario. Pray for K as she will continue her studies at university online while living at home. Pray for L as he will be adjusting to Grade 9. E, A, and G are busy with work. Our vacation plans have been rearranged because of the ongoing border closure. But it is hard to complain. God continues to provide for us.
praise & prayer
- Praise God for donors who gave funds for the purchase of a new laptop.
- Pray for wisdom and discernment when considering new partnership opportunities.
- Pray for the ongoing needs of seminaries around the world. Many face financial hardship. Help reduce their educational costs by donating to Horizon’s Learning Platform or Video Conferencing fund
- Pray for God’s continued provision for our family. Our committed support level is 88%.