eNews and prayer update October 2018
Preparing to serve the Church in Latin America
Following centuries of Spanish rule, decades of political and economic instability in El Salvador and Guatemala culminated in bloody civil wars that ended in the 1990s. Significant poverty and crime remain pressing issues for both countries.
Langham Scholar Gerardo Corpeño is pursuing his PhD in Theology from Wheaton College in Illinois, USA. Gerardo previously served as a professor of Systematic and Latin American Theology at Central American Theological Seminary, Guatemala. He writes:
“I’m originally from El Salvador, but I have been living in Guatemala for eight years now. My wife Debora is also from Guatemala. My vocational goals are to continue teaching theology in Latin America and to contribute toward the development of academic and church leadership in Latin America. In order to be able to do that, I need to have the best possible preparation and expertise in the field that I already teach: theology. So, that’s the reason I’m pursuing my PhD.
I believe that my own seminary, as well as other seminaries in Latin America, needs more theology professors who are trained at a doctoral level so that the faculty of theology can improve and grow, and continue to be a blessing to the Church and her mission in Latin America.
Facing poverty and violence
I also believe that the multiple socioeconomic and political challenges of Latin America require a holistic understanding of the Gospel, and also a multidisciplinary engagement of theology with these issues. For these reasons, my dissertation focuses on a holistic and biblical view of the cross as a foundation for relating the issues of liberation and reconciliation in Latin American Christologies.
I think this topic is so important in a continent that has been suffering from poverty and violence for so long. El Salvador and Guatemala have both suffered from civil war and, right now, are considered among the most violent countries in the world. I think this topic also has important implications for the understanding and practice of mission in the Church in Latin America – a holistic mission rooted in the biblical narrative of the cross.
Please join me in thanking God for providing for us financially. Also, pray that I will do well academically as I start my second year of the PhD program and that I will learn German well. Pray also that my family and I can continue the process of adaptation to the [US] culture, and that my wife and the kids will continue to learn English.”
Please pray for Langham friends in Indonesia!
On 28 September, a 7.4 magnitude earthquake and tsunami hit Central Sulawesi Province, killing at least 832 people. Langham Partnership has close links with Indonesia: we have twelve Langham Scholars from there; Langham Literature works with Christians in Indonesia to publish books in Indonesian; and there is a thriving Langham Preaching movement. We recently received this report from Hamdani Tedja and Beatris Pangala, who head up Langham Preaching in Indonesia:
“The earthquake and tsunami that took place around Palu City and Donggala in West Sulawesi were disastrous. Many of our Langham friends affected are from the Salvation Army Corps in West Sulawesi. Even though many of their churches were affected, they are now on the front line helping many wounded ones and people who lost their homes and families. Please pray for them.
“The place where we had Langham Preaching training in May 2018 is one of the locations that has been severely affected. Some of the training participants at that time were from the nearby area. The situation is quite chaotic but under control. I think our Government is trying its best. Please pray for our Government to handle this situation wisely.”
Join us in prayer
Thank you for your prayers!
- Langham Preaching training will be held in the far northern islands of Banks and Torres in Vanuatu at the end of this month. Pray for Stephen Williams, Joel Atwood and the local facilitators as they prepare and conduct this training and for the participants: that they’ll commit to practicing the skills they learn.
Please pray for Langham Scholars studying in Australia.
- Anwar Berhe (Ethiopia) at Melbourne School of Theology has submitted his thesis and is awaiting feedback; he and the family will return to Ethiopia just after Christmas.
- Pray for George Bishai (Egypt) as he continues his PhD studies at Moore College and for his wife and daughters as they live near the college in inner-city Sydney.
- A new Scholar – Tha Lian Ci from Myanmar – will soon commence at Ridley College Melbourne. Pray for him and his family as they prepare to leave Myanmar and settle in Melbourne. .
- One Volume Bible Commentaries – pray for the work on three of the projects which are approaching final stages- Comentario bíblico contemporáneo (Latin America Bible Commentary), the Hindi translation of the South Asia Bible Commentary and the Hausa translation of the Africa Bible Commentary.
- Pray for the international leadership team and governing council as they meet in Miami, Florida in the week of 20 October. Pray that the discussions will help Langham to continue to grow and develop as a godly, mature organisation to support the ministry happening globally.
UPCOMING LANGHAM PREACHING EVENTS
Where countries are considered sensitive re: security, the region is mentioned rather than the country.
- 14–20 October: Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Liberia, Ghana, Switzerland
- 21–27 October: Indonesia, SE Asia, Romania, Serbia, Honduras, Liberia, Ghana
- 28 Oct – 3 Nov: Myanmar, Vanuatu, Burundi, Austria Thailand, Zimbabwe, South Asia
- 4–10 November: Uganda, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Indonesia, DR Congo, Nigeria, Sweden, Switzerland
- 11–17 November: Indonesia, South Asia, Argentina
Thank you for your prayers!
Langham Australia CEO Gillean Smiley writes…
As the international governing council for Langham Partnership gathers for its annual meeting, I have been reminded again of the great privilege and joy of sharing in the task before us with brothers and sisters from many different cultures and backgrounds. Even more wonderful was the story shared with us of five current Langham Scholars who spent a week together on retreat, with their families, this year. While the adults shared deep theological conversations (interspersed with advice on raising two year olds), their eight children, ranging from 7 months to 8 years old, played together and learned Bible Stories – in Amharic, Chinese, Japanese, Polish and Dutch! We are excited to have 72 Majority World Scholars currently studying for their PhDs, and we eagerly look forward to the fruit of their teaching, writing and leading the Church in their home context into growing maturity.