Friday, September 16, 2011

Tuesday Chapel at PIU with Jim and Kay Sawyer

This past Tuesday our chapel speakers were Jim and Kay Sawyer. Jim has been coming out to teach Systematic Theology at PIU’s Pacific Islands Evangelical Seminary for the past three years as one of our part-time faculty members. Each semester Jim comes to Guam and does an intensive 2 week face to face session with the students and then the course is completed on line over the remaining weeks of the semester. Jim and Kay spoke on the subject of our identity in Christ. It was encouraging to hear from them, not only their theology in an academic sense, but to also hear the story of their lives and how what they believe has impacted them and their ministry. You don’t always get to hear that from a visiting scholar.

A little about Jim and Kay from his Sacred Saga Ministries website: Jim and Kay went to Biola College where he majored in Biblical Studies, planning to be a missionary. As a Senior he met Kay Fuqua, a missionary kid. Her parents were with Wycliffe Bible Translators and she had herself been born in the Amazon Jungle. They were married in December of 1973 and six months later moved to Dallas, TX where Jim pursued a ThM degree in New Testament. Over the course of his studies, his emphasis shifted to the areas of theology and church history. He finished his Ph.D. in Historical Theology at Dallas Seminary in 1984. Jim taught for five years in San Francisco at Simpson College and then for the next eighteen at Western Seminary’s Northern California campus near San Jose. But the desire for missions was always present under the surface. In 2005, he was invited to teach a two week intensive class at the Theological College in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. That experience brought the possibility of missions to the forefront of his consciousness again, and he was ready for a new challenge. Stepping out in faith, he left Western Seminary after 18 years and founded Sacred Saga ministries as a vehicle for bringing highly skilled and experienced biblical and theological scholars to areas of the world, such as Bulgaria and Guam, where the church is growing rapidly but has not been able to build an adequate support structure to train the new leadership.

Joyce and I have enjoyed having Jim and Kay stay with us during the two weeks he has been here. I have enjoyed the theological discussions and I know Jim likes having the opportunity to do some diving on Guam. He went 7 times on this trip! It is a real blessing to PIU to be able to bring out scholars like Jim to serve education needs of the islands. 

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