LET THE NATIONS BE GLAD AND SING FOR JOY, FOR YOU JUDGE THE PEOPLES WITH EQUITY AND GUIDE THE NATIONS UPON EARTH. –Psalm 67:4 ESV
This will be our final appeal this year for gifts to The Alex Steddom International Student Fund. This fund enables men from theologically famished regions of the world to study at Bethlehem Seminary, then return to the nations to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ. We presently remain shy of the amount required to replenish this account annually.
The gospel fruitfulness of this program is among the greatest delights of my service here. I have been given the privilege to witness a new international ministry present itself in its most nascent form—one convicted man with a gospel hope for his people—to a thriving African church plant, a graduate student-producing seminary extension site, and now sketches in the minds of other men who dream of doing something similar on the Indian subcontinent.
So, give me a break. We regard Dieudonné Tamfu as our son!
All this in but a few years since we memorialized in this fund the name of Alex Steddom who was to join Bethlehem Seminary in 2015, but instead joined the Church Triumphant while on the mission field in Ireland.
I felt somewhat like Simeon of old when my eyes saw the salvation that God had prepared in the presence of all peoples when in May I looked first-hand upon the first Masters of Divinity to graduate from Bethlehem Seminary-Yaoundé, Cameroon. Here were five God-entranced young men, equipped to wield the Sword of Truth in the careful Bethlehem manner; men ready to go to the ends of their continent, even the earth for the sake of the name of Jesus Christ.
The Steddom Fund is bearing fruit. The “First Five” of seminary graduates in Cameroon.
Were that not enough of a bounty of mid-year joy, the Lord brought Dr. Dieudonné Tamfu and his family to our home this summer where we feasted in the company of Elison Tango, M.Div ’23—this year’s Steddom grantee—his family, and the families of current seminarians and Steddom grantees Edison DSouza and Boaz Prince, both from SouthWest India. On this evening, we fellowshipped and prayed over both the thriving ministry in Cameroon and the vision of a similar undertaking ahead in India. Adrien and I went to bed that night gobsmacked that the Lord would place us, even us, in any kind of proximity to works seemingly so mighty and consequential—at the other end of the globe!
Africans, Indians, and a few old Minnesotans reveling together in gospel ambition and giving thanks to God for the contributors to The Alex Steddom International Student Fund.
And so too has God placed you in such proximity.
Your steadfast support of The Alex Steddom International Student Fund has thus far supported the seminary educations of eight such men since just 2015, with another, Daniel Yuh M.Div ’23, granted support beginning in 2024. These grants provide full tuition to the seminarian, as well as a stipend for living expenses since their visas preclude them from working anywhere other than the school.
The fund is, by God’s grace, maintained at $185,000, annually. Each Summer we seek to replenish the funds drawn down, by appealing to God’s generous people to let their love for Jesus overflow to the benefit of these worthy students. Again, as we wrap up this Summer’s appeal, we’re shy of full replenishment. We pray that you might consider an additional gift at this season, or perhaps commend this fruitful program to another whom you know to share your hope for the nations.
To contribute, visit bcsmn.edu/steddom
Rick Segal is Vice President of Advancement and a Lecturer of History and Political Philosophy