The publication of new book, teaching in and outside the seminary, working on multiple research projects, and getting another grant for FUSBC. 

Dear Friends and Family,

I don't imagine that, when my students first came to the seminary, they expected that they would be assigned The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, but that was precisely how we concluded our class on Faith and Science: by showing the students that, with a robust Christian view of science, the Church has nothing to fear even from the New Atheist movement. It was (at least for me!) a really encouraging way to finish the semester. 

Even though my classes have ended, I have remained busy (surprise!). I gave a lecture on Faith and Science to the men's group at my local church (though a number of women crashed the event too, since one seldom hears Christians in Colombia talking about science.) I have also been rushing to prepare for the disbursal of our research grant in July, so that we can take our work on forced internal displacement in Colombia to the next level.

I'm also excited to share that When the Son of Man Didn't Come comes out on June 1. The book offers an explanation for the Delay in the Return of Christ. I wrote it together with four brilliant friends from Oxford, and it will be a joy to see it in print. (Well, you might see if before I do, knowing how long the Colombian postal system takes!)

Peace be with you all,

Christopher, Michelle, Judah, Asher, and Zoe Hays

From Michelle

May is one of those months in which my sense of time seems a little mixed up. Our friends in the US, the UK and Germany are wrapping up the academic year while here in Colombia our kids are feeling a bit jealous because they are just working toward their halfway point (they finish in November). Our far-away friends are posting "first day of summer" pictures but in Colombia there are no changes in weather that really mark the passing from one season to the next. (Of course, if I can only pick one kind of weather, I suppose warm and gorgeously sunny is the way to go, isn´t it?) Because I sometimes feel kind of lost in this passing of time with no conventional markers, I really enjoy birthdays. They give our family´s year a bit of structure. My birthday this month was a day in which I felt extremely thankful for the friendships God is growing between me and other women on the seminary campus. Additionally, I felt very loved by all of you who sent me birthday messages and updates. Thank you for making my day special! 

Student Profile

Federico Galeano is a music producer and a third-year student at the seminary. In his own words, "I am a paisa [someone from this region of Colombia] at heart, in the body of an Arab!" He is the worship director at our church, El Redíl, and with his wife, Maribel, he has two daughters (Julieta, above, and Lucía, below). He mentors young music leaders, as well as teaching and preaching. 

"Because of a passion for the word of God, and because the church recognized my pastoral vocation, I was sent to the seminary so that I might present myself 'to God as one who is approved by him, a worker who has not need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.' (2 Tim. 2:15)"

"Here at FUSBC my passion for community worship has only increased, and as I have reflected further on my role in the Body of Christ, I have also grown in my interest in ancient languages and biblical theology. When I graduate from FUSBC I hope to do at least a master's degree, with the objective that all my knowledge be for the service of the Church."

Federico has been in my advanced Greek reading group this term. With his passion for worship, the service of the local church, and the life of the mind, he exemplifies the balance FUSBC strives to nurture in its students.

A Day Outside the City

We were able to get away as a family to celebrate my (Michelle's) birthday at a nature preserve just outside of Medellin. We all enjoyed riding the cable cars over the mountains and up into the forest where the air is cleaner and the atmosphere is quieter. We had the chance to hike, to row a boat in a lake, to visit a butterfly house and the kids held their favorite bugs at an insect museum. An added bonus for me: I didn't have to shop, cook or clean up after any of that day's meals. (You other moms will understand what a gift that is!)

Praise God!

  • For the release of a new co-authored book When the Son of Man Didn't Come, more than five years after beginning research.
  • For having appointed the final academic team members for the displacement project (a business professor and two psychologists). Now we just need an administrator and the team will be complete!
  • For the receipt of another grant (The Oxford-Templeton Visiting Fellows to Latin America) to bring Dr. Justin Barrett to Colombia for a couple of weeks this fall. Dr. Barrett is a leader of the field of cognitive science of religion, and by coming to spend time at FUSBC he will continue to enrich the study of religion and science here.

Please Pray

  • For travel mercies as Christopher journeys around the country this month to visit different seminaries and Bible institutes and research the state of academic theology in Colombia. 
  • For energy, clarity, and enthusiasm as Christopher gives a series of public lectures on Mark to a large, interdenominational group of pastors from around Medellin. 
  • For wisdom as we select the final Colombian communities in which to conduct our field research on displacement. Please ask God that we would find the right local churches and leaders of the displaced people, and that we would formalize arrangements quickly.
  • That Asher would be confirmed in 3rd grade. We have nearly finished half the year, and Asher's grades are great, but the school has not officially confirmed his status in 3rd grade, citing the fact that he is nearly two years younger than the other students (simply because school starts later in Colombia than in England). Pray that Asher would not be penalized for beginning his schooling in another culture. 

Teacher's Day

On May 15 Colombia celebrates El Día del Maestro. As a way to thank the professors of the seminary, the students organized a special lunch and prepared a game for the professors to play. The students had taken a survey of the student body asking questions like "What is your favorite thing about the seminary?" or "What do you like to do on a Sunday afternoon?" and the professors had to guess which answers the students had given. When Chris came home that day, I (Michelle) enjoyed hearing some of the answers from the quiz and I was reminded again of what kind and creative students we have here at FUSBC. As the game unfolded, Chris was very encouraged to hear that the students had voted him most engaging professor!
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