As we continue to pray for theological schools participating in the Vital SustainAbility Initiative, we invite you to intercede with us this week for Elizabeth Sendek and Biblical Seminary of Colombia, also known by its Spanish acronym, FUSBC.
Located in the northwestern corner of South America, Colombia is home to over 50 million people. According to 2014 data, 79% of Colombians identify as Catholic, 14% as Protestant (primarily Pentecostal and Evangelical), and 5% as unaffiliated. For over half a century, Colombia has endured armed conflict (partly fueled by the United States and multinational corporations) among government troops, left-wing guerrilla forces, right-wing paramilitary groups, and various crime syndicates. An escalation of violence in the 1990s has led to massive internal displacement. Bleak inequalities continue to divide the country, where over 60% of Colombians worked in the informal economy in 2019. Pandemic lockdowns have only worsened the plight of the poor. Since late April, protests over social injustice and police violence have shaken the country.
Elizabeth moved to Medellín, Colombia to teach at FUSBC in 1993, the year that Pablo Escobar, the famed drug trafficker, was killed. After 15 years of teaching New Testament, she became President of FUSBC, a position she has held until her retirement this year. Elizabeth guided FUSBC to be a place of refuge, community, and hope amid a particularly turbulent time in Colombia’s history. Even during COVID, FUSBC has engaged students, fostered community relationships, and trained many for Christian service. ScholarLeaders recognized Elizabeth’s tremendous leadership through the 2021 ScholarLeader of the Year Award.
In the video below, Elizabeth considers how God is revitalizing the Church through the COVID-19 crisis:
Elizabeth shares the following prayer requests:
1) Pray for FUSBC’s new president, Luis Eduardo Ramírez, who began his role on March 18.
2) Pray that FUSBC would continue to be flexible. Pray that it would continue to be deeply rooted in the Word of God and stubbornly committed to its context, while remaining aware of the Global Church.
3) Pray for wisdom to walk alongside and encourage our students who, in their ministerial responsibilities, face challenges that test their faith.