Peace and Joy!
Hays Missions Update
Preparing to Provide Transformational Theological Education to Latin American Pastors and Theologians

United World Mission

Dear Friends and Family,

"And his name shall be called...Prince of Peace." 

At Christmas, we celebrate that, in the Incarnation of Jesus, God has promised to bring eternal peace to creation, and we rejoice in the fact that, even now, God grants us a foretaste of that peace. But these past few months, God has rather foisted his peace upon me. After a nerve-wracking, ulcer-inducing year, laboring under professional pressures, personal anxieties, and uncertainty about our mission fund-raising, this fall I felt God pulling back on the reins. Calling me to slow down. To trust him. So I've been working more reasonable hours, spending more time with Michelle and the boys (strike that..."with Michelle and the kids!"), and coming to accept his sovereignty over our progress towards Argentina.

We've spent the past couple of weeks in California with my family, and I was providentially deprived of my computer (it's in the shop, for the third time this year). So I haven't been able to write or study. Instead, I've read to the kids, played lots of board games, caught up with family and supporters, and just lived slowly. And I've tried to embrace the lesson that God is pressing ever more onto my heart: that I can trust him to orchestrate our path to South America.

In eight months we will leave Oxford in order to undertake our cross-cultural missions training, and then (God willing) to deploy. There is no way I can force all the remaining pieces to come together in the next eight months, no way I can drum up the rest of the funds we need. But what is impossible for me is the lightest of trifles for God, and we have no doubts that it is his will that we serve him in Latin America. So at the beginning of 2013, I'll enjoy God's peace, and just try to be faithful with what he's put in front of me for today.

Peace be with you all,

Christopher, Michelle, Judah, Asher, and Zoe Hays

From Michelle

It is a much more relaxed and whole Michelle that writes to you this month! While November contained a lot of post-baby life adjustments and illness, much of December was restful and restorative for me. We have had the blessing of being able to spend the Christmas season with Chris' parents in California and they have graciously given me many breaks from the kids and from the stresses of our normal life. Judah and Asher have been running free in the wide, open space of the California countryside and Zoe has been continually snuggled into someone's arms. We have had the chance to reconnect with California family and friends and share more about our hopes for our life and ministry in Argentina. Our coming transition to Latin America has been especially present in my mind this month because some dear friends of ours, the Tarrer family, are moving to Buenos Aires in under a week's time to begin serving with United World Mission in the area of theological education. As we think and pray for the Tarrers, I am reflecting more on my own feelings about our family's upcoming move to join them in Buenos Aires. Over the course of this year I have become increasingly excited about all of the possibilities ahead of us and what God might have planned for each of us in Latin America. At the same time, I know that we will face many challenges in helping each of our children to adjust to life in a new culture and that can seem very overwhelming. If you think of me in the coming month, please pray with me that God will increase my trust in Him as we look forward to Argentina.

Praise God

  • For peace.
  • For a time to purge the boys of some of the influences of their school surroundings. We have worried about the behaviors the boys have 'brought home' from school, and it's be lovely to be away from that, and see some of the undesirable words and actions disappearing.
  • For a couple of new supporters, and some generous friends who have made donations towards the matching grant that was generously given to help retire my student loans.

Please Pray

  • For more people to join our support team during our final days in California.
  • For even more friends to respond to the matching grant mentioned above, to help relieve us of our student debt before we deploy. (If anyone is interested in chipping into this, just drop me an email and I'll be only too happy to share the details).
  • For an ability to sustain the vibrant sense of faith with which we've been blessed this month, even as we return to Oxford and our busy lives.
  • For the boys not to fall back into old habits upon resuming school.

Contact Us

cmhays@gmail.com
christopher.hays@theology.ox.ac.uk
michelle.lee.hays@gmail.com
 (Michelle)

Phone: +44(1865)435 057
Skype: christopher.hays.oxford


Copyright © 2013 Christopher and Michelle Hays, United World Mission, All rights reserved.