Preparing for another trip to South America.
Hays Missions Update
Preparing to Provide Transformational Theological Education to Latin American Pastors and Theologians

United World Mission

Dear Friends and Family,

Even though the North Atlantic seems to have been plunged into a second round of winter, the slow pace of my schedule in January and February has now begun to give way to my characteristically hectic season of spring and summer lecturing and travels. March was a lovely time of reading new books, exploring new ideas, and doing the final review of proofs for a forthcoming book. It also included a couple of delightful (if modest) speaking opportunities, for which I know a number of you were praying. I had a chance to speak to Oxford graduate students in philosophy and theology on the subject of being a Christian in the secular guild, which was a wonderful time. I also traveled to Durham for a small conference of early career theologians, where we focused on the role of spirituality in academic theology. This was a tremendously encouraging and enriching experience, and has left me energized for my travels in April.

This coming month I'll be packing a bag and setting out for South America once again.  I'll spend a week in Lima, teaching an intensive (one-week) MA course on Luke and Acts at the Seminario Evangélico de Lima (SEL). I taught a masters course at SEL in 2011, and it was a great chance to gain teaching experience in Spanish, to sharpen my understanding of the needs of the Latin American Church, and to meet budding theologians whom we might eventually recruit for doctoral studies. I hope that this trip to Lima proves to be equally encouraging and profitable.

The next week I'll fly down to Buenos Aires to stay with our old friends (and future mission partners) Seth and Mary Tarrer. I'll spend time at ISEDET figuring out what courses I'll teach in 2014, and I'll also visit my old mentor Rene Padilla. I am especially praying for God to guide me as I investigate schools for our kids, as that decision will have ramifications for where we decide to live. This is the first trip in which we are thinking about the logistics of the move to Argentina, and we are praying to see God begin to orchestrate matters for us.

We remain deeply appreciative of all of your prayers and support; our time in the UK is growing short, which makes us all the more grateful to have such a strong Church family alongside us. 

Peace be with you all,

Christopher, Michelle, Judah, Asher, and Zoe Hays

From Michelle

I spent a lot of March caring for sick children as rounds of viruses circulated through our family. Due to the fact that I was cooped up and my days (and nights) were full of caregiving tasks that ranged from mundane to unmentionable, I struggled this month to feel contentment as a mom, instead feeling very ordinary in terms of who I am as a person and who I am as a mother. I have been asking God to help me hear His own words to me about my purpose and calling. Yesterday I felt Him remind me that when I am listening for Him and carrying out the tasks I have as mom with His direction/strength, then my service to Him (and to my children) is meaningful and beautiful. He has also been reminding me that His love for me as a daughter is much, much greater than the love I have for my own kids. As we prepare for Argentina, I have some practical things I need to do like being more diligent at making time for practicing Spanish, but what I want more than anything else in terms of preparation is to grow into a deeper relationship with God. If you think of me during April, would you join me in praying that I would experience God more, hear God more clearly, and become more rooted in Him?  
On one of the few days that both of my boys were in school this month I was free to help run the Easter outreach session that our churchs' mom and toddler group has at this time of year. It was a wonderful time and the children who came (around 50) had a chance to play, paint, see the Easter story retold, sing songs, and take an Easter book home with them. I think there is a real sense of friendship developing between the parents from our church and all of the parents/carers who come from the community, and for that I am very thankful. 

Praise God

  • For well-received talks in Oxford and Durham.
  • For a couple of new members on our support team.
  • For a month in which I had an especially robust sense of being loved by God.

Please Pray

  • That my time teaching in Lima would be marked by peace and joy, that God would aid me as I lecture in Spanish, and that the course would be edifying and valuable for the students.
  • For wisdom during my trip to Buenos Aires, that I would be able to make good decisions about where our kids will go to school and what my commitments at ISEDET will be in 2014.
  • Please continue to intercede for our fundraising; as we only have four months remaining before we leave Oxford, we are increasingly in need of God to intervene in this process in big ways!
  • For peace and safety for Michelle and the kids while I am away.
  • Most of all, I would be grateful if you would ask God to give me a deeper love for Latin America during this trip, that my heart would break for the needs of the Church in the South and simultaneously be warmed with a special sense of delight at our imminent departure.

Contact Us

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

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