This week, please pray with us for Dr. Jhohan Centeno in Colombia.
Known for its tropical Amazon rainforests and snowcapped Andes mountains, Colombia is home to 52 million people (70% Catholic, 17% Protestant, 11% irreligious). In 2016, a peace accord ended 52 years of localized, asymmetric war in Colombia. Partly fueled by the United States and multinational corporations, the conflict involved the Colombian government, right-wing paramilitaries, left-wing guerrilla groups, and several drug cartels. Raging mostly in rural areas, the conflict killed 220 thousand people and displaced 5 million more. Over the last 15 years, Colombia has achieved increased political stability, economic growth, and healthcare development. In recent years, economic and political tumult in neighboring Venezuela has driven nearly 3 million refugees to Colombia.
Jhohan teaches and serves as Academic Vice President at Biblical Seminary of Colombia (FUSBC), a client of the Vital Sustainability Initiative. Over the past few years, Jhohan has been completing his PhD in Biblical Studies at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Colombia. In March, he successfully defended his dissertation, which examines contemporary Pentecostal perceptions and practices of anointing to promote healthy church leadership. Jhohan and his wife Ginna have a thirteen-year-old son, Santiago, and an eleven-year-old daughter, Sofía.
Jhohan shares the following message:
Dear ScholarLeaders Brothers and Sisters,
I thank the Lord for your support of my family and ministry over these years. Thank you for supporting my studies and for the accompaniment you have given me.
Colombia and the Church
The Church in Colombia is facing different social challenges. The call to be salt and light to a society in need is as urgent as ever. In our post-pandemic society, many churches are facing dwindling leadership, the loss of parishioners, and declining financial capabilities. Nevertheless, the emergence of small faith communities offers hope in the work of the Colombian Church and its pertinent response to society.
FUSBC (Biblical Seminary of Colombia)
FUSBC is working on offering its face-to-face and online programs. Currently, it has two professional programs and a master’s degree. We are working on the Master’s in Christian Ministry. We are also in the process of renewing our accreditation with the Ministry of National Education. These renewal processes require hard work and space to reflect on and rethink our service.
Thank God, I was able to defend my doctoral dissertation in March. Now, I am waiting for the graduation ceremony, possibly in August. Meanwhile, I am working on a publishable version of my dissertation for an ecclesial audience. My aim is to contribute to the formation of pastors and church leaders in Colombia, especially for churches in the Pentecostal tradition.
My family continues to live on the FUSBC campus. Both of my children are studying in school. My wife is working on a mentoring project for Latin American seminaries venturing into virtual education. She is also close to starting a master’s degree in ministry.
1. Join me in a prayer of gratitude to the Lord for enabling me to complete my studies. I also give thanks for the support of ScholarLeaders.
2. Pray for the Lord to direct Colombia’s ecclesial leadership and their response to new generations. Pray also for leadership succession in the Colombian Church.
3. Pray for God to direct my family. Pray especially for the Lord’s provision for my wife’s master’s studies and for the family arrangements required by those studies.