Preparing to provide transformational theological education to Latin American pastors and scholars
United World Mission
Dear Friends and Family,
It's been a whirlwind month for us (with August promising to be much the same), but our lives have been busied only with exciting and rewarding events. July marked the beginning of our mission fund-raising efforts. We were generously hosted by friends from our local church here in Bonn for a "missions tea", a small get-together with friends from the church in which we had a chance to share our vision for doing theological education in Latin America. The response was really encouraging, as most of the attendees were eager to support us financially and in prayer. In fact, there has been so much interest in our work that we are having three other such events before we move out on the 20th of this month!
At the end of July we had the chance to return briefly to Oxford and attend my doctoral graduation ceremony (you can see the pictures on my Facebook page). One of our friends hosted us at Keble College (where I'll be a postdoctoral fellow starting in September), so the boys got to breakfast in the huge Victorian dining hall and frequented the Natural History Museum across the street. Since some friends were kind enough (exceedingly kind, really!) to watch Judah and Asher, Michelle was able to attend the ceremony. It was 1.5 hours of Latin recitation, sweating in fancy robes, and doffing of mortar-boards. And I loved every minute of it. Our time in Oxford was a delightful conclusion to my doctoral studies, and a great chance to whet the boys' appetites for their new lives in the UK.
We'd be grateful if your prayers would be with us this next month, as we close up shop here in Germany and transition to Oxford. Please pray for safe travels as we move back to the Island and for smooth sailing in finalizing details with our visas. Ask also that our further "missions teas" would be as encouraging and fruitful as the first. It's a daunting thing to undertake fundraising, but we're grateful for the strong support our friends have shown us hitherto. I'd also appreciate your intercession for my peace, as the pressures of work (two jobs plus a side-gig I've taken to fund the move), my own research, international moving preparations, and launching a mission fundraising campaign have all combined to make me rather frazzled! Finally, we'd be grateful for your prayers for Judah and Asher, that they would look on this new chapter of life with intrepid enthusiasm, notwithstanding the fear of the unknown and the sadness at leaving Bonn that they (and we) certainly will feel.
Thanks for all your support and encouragement.
Peace be with you all,
Christopher, Michelle, Judah, and Asher Hays
Please pray for our boys! Specifically:
for Judah's transition to his new school. He begins year 1 (equivalent to US first grade) in the beginning of September.
for Asher to feel safe and at peace as much as possible as his little world changes around him.
Between Aug 20-30 we will be between homes. During this time, we will be staying with friends in Bonn and Oxford. Please pray that it will be as calm as it can be for the boys.
You may like to hear the boys' responses to Oxford during our recent visit:
Judah enjoyed the special treat of staying in an Oxford college and eating "the best breakfast he's ever had, way better than Mom's" in the Harry Potter-esque dining hall. He hopes to get a robe "just like Daddy's" someday.
Asher tasted Marmite (a nasty, brown, yeast-based spread the English actually seem to find edible). When Judah asked if Asher liked it, Asher responded with a very definitive "No!" and then after a brief pause continued with "It hurts me!" The rest of our family is of the same mind.