Christopher is a professional Bible geek, with a doctorate in New Testament studies from the University of Oxford and an indomitable love for ancient Greek and the serial comma. He got his first few degrees at Wheaton College (where he found a ridiculously pretty wife as well), and then rattled around Scotland, England, and Germany, for his doctoral studies. A postdoctoral research fellowship from the British Academy brought the family from Bonn back to Oxford for three idyllic years, during the course of which he acquired a curious affection for waistcoats.
Christopher splits his time between training pastors and leading FUSBC’s institutional research project on forced internal displacement. In the classroom, he teaches such as Synoptic Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, and even Faith and Science. But he combines his passion for the Scriptures with a fascination for the social sciences, as he directs an interdisciplinary project of 25 researchers (economists, sociologists, theologians, psychologists, pedagogues, political scientists). This international team has joined forced to minister to the millions of Colombians who have lost their homes and family members in this nation’s decades of violence.
Christopher’s theological interests range from Christian wealth ethics (the study of morality and money), to historical criticism, to eschatology, to debates about the relationship between science and Christian faith. He also drinks a startling amount of coffee, which accounts for the stains that speckle all his good shirts.
Michelle has spent the past twelve years globe trotting with a child strapped to her hip: traversing the Atlantic, trotting along the cobbled streets of St Andrews and Oxford, exploring the Rheinland, and trekking the mountainous urban slopes of Medellín. All the while she has been leading children’s ministries, herding untamable boys, and staving off Christopher’s neuroticism. She is well-schooled in the dark arts of baking, and promises chocolate concoctions to any visitors who will brave Medellín’s traffic to come see us.
The boys, Judah (age 12) and Asher (age 8) are veteran TCKs (Third Culture Kids). Their years in Germany and Britain imbued them with an insatiable love for bratwurst, tea, and cucumber sandwiches. Judah is the energetic Tigger to Asher’s sweet Winnie-the-Pooh personality, and both of them love the ladies in their family tremendously.
The star of the Hays clan is Zoe Genevieve (age 4). Having spent all but one year of her life in Medellín, she is the only real Colombian in our crew: the sole extrovert in a family of indomitable introverts, with the best Spanish accent of anyone in the household. She loves princesses and ballet, but also eagerly chases down the geckos that breach our front door in order to protect her mother, who is no great fan of having reptiles in her home.