Thank for praying with us this week for Jhohan Centeno in Colombia.
Located in the northwestern corner of South America, Colombia is home to over 50 million people. Approximately 71% of Colombians identify as Catholic, 17% as Protestant (primarily Evangelical), and 5% as atheist or agnostic. For over half a century, Colombia has endured armed conflict (partly fueled by the United States and multinational corporations) among government troops, left-wing guerilla forces, right-wing paramilitary groups, and various crime syndicates. An escalation of violence in the 1990s has led to massive internal displacement within the country.
Jhohan is pursuing a PhD in Biblical Studies at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Colombia. For his dissertation, he is examining the biblical roots of contemporary Pentecostal perceptions and practices of anointing, in order to promote healthy models of church leadership in Latin America. Jhohan teaches and serves as Head of Online Education at the Biblical Seminary of Colombia (FUSBC), a client school of the Vital SustainAbility Initiative. Jhohan and his wife Ginna have a ten-year-old son, Santiago, and an eight-year-old daughter, Sofía.
Jhohan shares the following message:
Dear ScholarLeaders Brothers and Sisters,
I thank the Lord for his support in my ministerial development, and for his provision for me, my family, and the ministry of the Biblical Seminary of Colombia.
Colombia and Its Church
As throughout the world, COVID-19 has affected life in Colombia. Since March, we have been under quarantine, which has been more or less severe depending on the city and the level of damage.
Churches have not met face-to-face since March 20. This atypical situation has generated negative results, such as an economic crisis for many churches or a feeling of loneliness for many Christians. However, it has also generated positive reflections on what it means to be a church, what is essential in the contemporary liturgy, and how to be a congregation despite the isolation. The Church in Colombia needs prayer to know how to live in the right direction.
Along with the health crisis, the country continues to face a injustice and corruption. We continue to endure the murders of social leaders. The health crisis has made even more evident the economic inequalities we experience. On many occasions, these issues have been met with the silence of the Church. Our country continues to need a Church that is committed to bringing hope and building the social fabric.
FUSBC (Biblical Seminary of Colombia)
We started this year with the news that our theology program had received High-Quality Accreditation from the Ministry of National Education. This accreditation will allow us to offer a Master’s Degree in Theology that is robust enough to prepare students for doctoral studies in the North Atlantic.
In the last few months, FUSBC has also been making necessary adjustments to continue its academic offerings through remote teaching. This has led to many challenges, but we have made progress in our institutional commitment to serving God, the Church, and society.
My doctoral research continues to advance. This year I was privileged to conduct research at the Fuller Theological Seminary library. I pray to the Lord for concentration as I write my thesis. The time I have dedicated to studying Pentecostalism has enriched my personal faith and has deepened my understanding of my ecclesial tradition.
My family and I live on the FUSBC campus, where we serve. This semester, my children are studying from home because of the quarantine established by the government. My wife and I are also working from home. We also serve our local church in various ways with the gifts that the Lord has given us.
1. Please pray for my thesis writing time.
2. Pray for the Church in Colombia, as it engages in ecclesiological reflection, raises its prophetic voice, and serves those in need. Pray also for churches’ economic situations.
3. Pray for my family, especially as we must study and work in the same space in our house, without good Internet service.
4. Pray for me, for strength and discipline amid my teaching work and doctoral studies.