Over the next few months, leaders from Latin America will be sharing prayer messages with us. Latin America comprises over twenty countries and territories, including Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. ScholarLeaders has supported 31 leaders from this region, including seven who are currently pursuing doctoral studies. To learn more about Latin America, visit our Prayer Community page. This week, please intercede with us for Dr. Daniel Salinas in Colombia.
Known for its tropical Amazon rainforests and majestic Andes mountains, Colombia is home to over 50 million people (71% Catholic, 17% Protestant, and 5% atheist or agnostic). Due to decades of guerilla warfare, over 7 million Colombians are internally displaced. Especially since 2018, economic and political crisis in neighboring Venezuela has driven many to Colombia, where nearly 1.8 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees have resettled.
Daniel earned a PhD in Historical Theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Illinois, USA). He has served with the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) in Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Paraguay. Currently, he is the Associate Director of the Theological Education Initiative, a program of United World Mission. He also teaches Theology and Church History at the Biblical Seminary of Colombia (FUSBC), a partner school of the Vital SustainAbility Initiative. Daniel and his wife Gayna have three children.
ScholarLeaders supported Daniel during his doctoral studies and also awarded him a grant to complete his latest book, Taking Up the Mantle: Latin American Evangelical Theology in the 20th Century (Langham, 2017). This work will serve as a textbook throughout Central and South America, providing a historical overview of how dominant theological streams (including both Liberation Theology and Evangelical theologies) have developed in Latin America. Learn about the history of Latin American theology in this 2016 Bible Study Magazine feature on Daniel: A Fragmented Faith. Also check out Daniel’s 2012 InSights Perspective: Pastors, Prophets, and Prosperity.
Daniel shares the following message:
In these COVID-19 days I have been busy teaching online, since FUSBC and other schools have had to move their programs online. I am teaching Church History 2 with FUSBC and there are 36 students in the class. I am also teaching History of Interpretation to a class of 11 students for an MA program with Seminario Todas las Naciones in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. I am also preparing to co-teach Majority World Theologies for Asian Theological Seminary in Manila, Philippines. Currently, we are working on the syllabus and reading requirements.
Besides teaching, I am writing a chapter for a book in Spanish to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Latin American Theological Fellowship (FTL). The book will be published in Mexico, hopefully by the end of the year.
FUSBC in Medellín has experienced lots of difficult changes due to the extreme lockdown requirements. All their programs are online, and they have had to cancel all conferences, seminars, meetings, and other activities. Most students have returned to their homes, but some were unable to continue their studies, due to financial stress and limited Internet access. The seminary is struggling to pay staff, maintain facilities, and fulfill other financial obligations. Luis Eduardo Ramirez, the current dean, has been elected as the new president, but the transition has been postponed until next year, provided that the situation improves.
Colombia as a country is experiencing economic shutdown. The general population is struggling to survive, due to high unemployment rates and severe social restrictions. Churches are not allowed to meet. Many churches have had to terminate their rental contracts and close completely. Most churches are trying to keep meeting online, but not everyone can access the Internet. People are facing a gloomy future.
Thank you for your prayers on our behalf.