Langham Scholar Timothy Myambo 1967–2013
‘Langham does not only provide scholarship but also moral and spiritual support’
With sadness Langham learnt in early 2013 that Timothy Myambo, a Langham scholar at the George Whitfield College (GWC) near Cape Town, was diagnosed with stomach cancer. His wife, Violet, says:
I never thought such a thing could happen … I thought they (Langham) would withdraw their support and send us home to look after him there. But they afforded Tim all the medication required and I had a chance to be in touch with them as they often wrote to check on Timothy’s health … I learnt that Langham does not only provide scholarship but also moral and spiritual support.’
Timothy was the principal of Rusitu Bible College in Chimanimani in Zimbabwe. At GWC he researched the topic ‘Woman Submission in the Context of Zimbabwe’. He was popular on campus and mentored many of the younger students. Pieter Kwant (Langham Literature) visited him in September 2013 when radiotherapy treatment had given him temporary relief. He was full of hope in God.
As they talked about his studies, Pieter asked in good humour: ‘Surely the Scriptures never commands a wife to love her husband in the way it commands a husband to love his wife?’ Timothy quickly replied: ‘Ah, but it is there, all through the Scriptures, though not directly stated … for example, Paul encourages older women to teach younger women to love their husbands!’
‘Timothy was my husband, advisor and pastor … His love for me and the kids is irreplaceable,’ Violet says. She thanks God for His provision: ‘This college [GWC] is a family. Different people have taken time to talk to my sons and pray with them. The counsellors from their schools also took time with them. The boys miss their dad – sometimes the emptiness is just too much for us. The younger one said, “I am not happy but I cannot be angry with God who created me and knows all about me. I am only sad that my dad is no longer with me and I miss him so much.” The older one said, “If only I had power to destroy illnesses, my first enemy is cancer.”’ (Theophilus hopes to continue with medical studies after school).
Violet was writing a book on the plight of girl children in Africa when Timothy became ill. She hopes to undertake a MTh degree in theology and community development – to prepare for ministry among vulnerable girls when she returns to Zimbabwe after completing of the 2-year course. She is presently raising funding to enable her to do this.
Timothy passed away on the 18th October 2013 and a memorial service was held at GWC on 8 November 2013 (the very date on which Violet accepted Timothy’s marriage proposal in 1991). Timothy was buried near the rural home of his parents in Zimbabwe. Violet writes:
‘His funeral was like a church revival meeting. The pastors from different churches spent the night singing and preaching. Wonderful testimonies were given by his students, the church and the general public. There were so many people…’
by Elria Kwant for Langham Scholars