Profile: Andres was one of Andy’s closest friends and became my discipleship group leader in second semester of first year. I was in for a culture shock upon joining the new group. Where my first group was very intimate and talked through basic elements of faith, my new group was much larger and very interested in tackling tougher theological topics, of which I knew little. So I was out of my depth.
In that, I was very inspired by Andres. No matter what topic was being discussed, he was never out of his depth. He always had some deep insight to share to make it all make sense. He was a master theologian and a very nice guy as well. He invited me to consider going on a summer mission trip with him to Panama, and since I didn’t have any other plans for the summer, I applied and got accepted. In Panama, I learned a lot from his patient tutelage and he challenged me to think more deeply about God.
After our conversations in Panama, I came back fired up to learn more about God. I began to listen to sermons online, read books and most importantly, I found motivation to read my bible regularly, which I’d struggled with in first year. But Andres taught me more than theology; I learned a lot about nurturing a love for theology in others. I really appreciated his patience as I struggled to grasp certain concepts and that he never insisted he was right when we disagreed; he always simply pointed back to the bible and let me learn straight from the source.
What I learned from him: The biggest thing I took away from observing his life is the importance of theology. For him, theology wasn’t simply an intellectual exercise, but a discipline of worship. And theology always began with the gospel. Every conversation with Andres always came back to Jesus and the implications of anything we were talking about were always explored in light of how Jesus reveals God’s nature. As I’ve grown in being able to study God’s word for myself, I see the value of this. It’s too easy to get caught up in minute details or forcing scripture to defend my opinions. But when I focus first on knowing Jesus and interpreting all of scripture in light of Jesus, my understanding of theology becomes cohesive and I’m more receptive to letting scripture correct me.
Favorite memory: I have a lot of fond memories of watching Andres and his housemates prank each other, but my favorite memory of him is from our time in Panama. There were a group of guys were up late talking about women, and he shared with us his spiritual turn-ons and how his girlfriend (now wife) fulfilled these characteristics. A spiritual turn-on is any characteristic of a person’s faith that you personally find sexy. Yea…