Guillermo Velilla from Colombia

Dear Friends,

This week, please intercede with us for Guillermo Velilla from Colombia.

The second most biodiverse country on earth, Colombia is known for vibrant geography that includes Amazon rainforest, Andean mountains, Orinoco grasslands, and Tatacoa desert. Currently, over 50 million people (71% Catholic, 17% Protestant, and 5% irreligious) live in Colombia, which also hosts over 1.8 Venezuelan refugees. Recently, the predominantly Catholic nation legalized abortion through the first 24 weeks of pregnancy amid rising political tensions ahead of May’s presidential elections. Join us in praying for the unity, witness, and ministry of the Colombian Church in these polarized times.

Guillermo is pursuing a PhD in Oriental Studies at Oxford University (UK) with support from both ScholarLeaders and Langham Partnership. His research focuses on the syntax of Proverbs and its implications for Biblical exegesis and translation. Prior to his studies, Guillermo served as a theology teacher and program coordinator for Corporation Institute for Pastoral Education (CIPEP) in northern Colombia. He also led workshops on the Old Testament and Biblical interpretation at the Biblical Seminary of Colombia (FUSBC), a client of the Vital SustainAbility Initiative. Guillermo is married to Sandy.
Guillermo shares the following message:

I am a missional scholar with the Theological Education Initiative, a program of the United World Mission, and a PhD student at the University of Oxford, UK. I’ve been married to my wife Sandy for over five years now. Together, we share a passion for theological education and social entrepreneurship in disadvantaged contexts.
Before coming to Oxford, I served as a theology teacher at Corporación Instituto para la Educación Pastoral (CIPEP), a Bible institute in northern Colombia, where I had the opportunity of training pastors and future leaders from different denominational backgrounds and educational levels. I was also involved in the creation of new pedagogic materials designed to strengthen CIPEP’s academic curriculum and provide students with contextualized, Bible-centered resources. 
Sandy coordinated several projects of Fundación Cristiana Nueva Generación, a non-for-profit organization in Colombia, working with youth and teenagers from all sorts of social, and sometimes dysfunctional, backgrounds.   
Currently, I am in my first year of studies. I hope to obtain the necessary training to do theological education in Colombia and Latin America. This chance to study is a gift from our Lord, which I am sure will bring happy moments, as well as opportunities to grow and be shaped in character. We sincerely thank you all for your generous support and prayers.
Prayer Requests
Please pray for our smooth transition to Oxford, as my wife and I recently arrived in the UK for a new stage in our lives. Pray that we may experience a rewarding adaptation to the city and its weather, the food, the language, and the culture.
I will be traveling to Cambridge, UK from March 28 to 31 for the Langham UK Scholars’ Consultation, where I’ll meet other UK-based Langham scholars and share with them about my student experience and research projects. Please pray that we may experience unity and build strong bonds of fellowship.   
Sandy will be taking English-language classes here in Oxford, with a view to exploring future graduate studies in the UK. Please pray for us as we start looking for good language institutes or personalized tutors in the city.  
Please pray for Colombia as the country is currently experiencing increased political polarization due to the upcoming presidential elections in May. The situation has been further exacerbated by the Colombian Constitutional Court’s ruling to decriminalize abortion during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. 
Guillermo Velilla

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