Three word clouds showing commonly used words in Catalysts survey

In their own words: reflections on the LCI’s impact so far 

From transformed thinking to humbly cleaning toilets, the Logos and Cosmos Initiative’s impact on Catalysts (participants) has been wide-ranging. The Catalysts are growing in the character, knowledge and skills that they need to lead inspiring science and theology projects. How do we know?  We asked them to complete a survey in March when the first year of the program drew to a close.   

Their responses are a powerful demonstration of how God is using the LCI to develop these young leaders, and how God is using them to bless others.  

Read on to hear more from Catalysts and IFES national movement leaders. You can also spot clear themes through our word clouds: graphical representations in which the size of each word represents how frequently it was used in the survey responses.   

Developing Godly Character 

We asked Catalysts how the LCI has helped them grow more like Jesus. Humility and listening came up as major themes, as the word cloud below illustrates.  

Graphical representation of words used in Catalysts survey responses about character development

Many Catalysts reported that they are now able to more lovingly engage in dialogue with those who hold different beliefs, especially when it comes to theology and the sciences.  

“I have become more humble in listening to others, even when they think differently from me.”  
– Areli Cortez, a history graduate student from Mexico 

Maturing in this way will help them collaborate with their national movements to run their science and theology projects over the next year: 

“The constant invitation to consider the needs and opportunities in the national movement, and the emphasis on negotiation skills have been a space for me to grow in humility through active listening.”  
– Isabela Pineda, an architecture student from Ecuador 

The training prompted some Catalysts to take bold steps to serve others on their campuses and beyond: 

“I decided to apply the teachings we received on humility by cleaning the toilets at my institution every week.” 
– Valentin Ngouyamsa, a lecturer from Cameroon 

“Through the LCI, I have seen the fruits of the spirit in my life: a greater compassion for others and a deep desire to help those in need. I have acquired the ability to take risks and this led me to rescue a lady found in a gutter until she was fully healed in a hospital in my country.”  
– Nina Ble Toualy, a criminology graduate student from Ivory Coast 

Applying new-found knowledge 

Learning about theology and the sciences, and how they can go hand in hand, is one of the pillars of the LCI’s training. We asked the Catalysts about the knowledge they have acquired and how they are applying it (see word cloud below). 

Graphical representation of words used in Catalysts survey responses about knowledge gained

Many experienced a change in mindset: 

“In my thinking, the idea of a conflict between theology and science has disappeared. It’s been replaced with the idea that one can be a scientist and a Christian.”  
– Souabou Togo, a lecturer in communication and expression from Mali 

“Through my training, I was able to understand that faith has much to give to science in terms of social, moral and ethical issues.”  
– Leonardo Luna, an electronic engineering student from Brazil 

The Catalysts also appreciated considering science and theology issues within their cultural context.  

“In the LCI, we had the double challenge of looking at the different sciences, seeking to understand them from a Christian and a Latin American perspective”   
– Marcio Antonio de Lima Junior, an architecture professor from Brazil 

Several Catalysts said the training enabled them to feel better equipped to talk about their faith and their discipline.  

“I was able to use a geological process called fractional crystallization to explain the redemptive work of Christ on the cross to my lab colleagues.”  
– Isaac Daama, a geologist from Cameroon  

Skills with a positive impact 

For LCI Catalysts, developing skills like teamwork and project planning is just as important as spiritual formation and learning about theology and the sciences. We asked them how the skills they have gained have impacted them. Their answers are illustrated in the word cloud below. 

Graphical representation of words used in Catalysts survey responses about skills gained

“The LCI helped me learn the importance of including field research in the process of designing a project. It was really important to understand if my project is something that people need rather than me trying to convince someone that they need something. In this way, I won’t have a dominant and colonial stance, but a more collaborative and constructive one.” 
– Deborah Vieira, a recent literature graduate and volunteer with ABUB Brazil 

“I have improved my literary publications, and my passion for science and theology has grown miraculously. I have advanced as much in the use of a laptop as in the preparation and direction of my lectures.”   
– Innocent Niyongabo, a Catalyst from Burundi who now works for the LCI 

“I learned to plan and evaluate ministries and projects. I have learned to work smart and set goals in my daily life. And now I understand the power of teamwork: Alone, I am not enough.” 
– Onesphore Hakizimana, a graduate student in animal sciences from Rwanda 

National movement leaders share their view 

Our survey also asked general secretaries of IFES national movements to share how Catalysts are contributing to their ministry. 

Tiémoko Coulibaly, General Secretary of GBEEM Mali, had this to say about working with Catalyst Nou Poudiougo, who is an assistant professor of ecology: 

“Through the LCI, Nou is blossoming and making an impact on academia, the church and society. He is also helping the national movement realize its vision. Nou is becoming more involved in the GBU ministry and the project he is working on will engage our students.” 

A general secretary from a sensitive country in Latin America shared this about working with their Catalyst: 

“I can already see benefits of the Logos and Cosmos Initiative. Our Catalyst has been able to motivate and involve students and other professionals in science and theology issues and has proven to be a useful resource for the national movement.” 

Looking forwards 

The full survey results, which have been analyzed by IFES’ Ministry Impact Team, will guide the Logos and Cosmos Initiative leaders as they adjust and run the program going forwards.  

We’re pleased to report that many of the Catalysts quoted above have been accepted onto Tier Two of the LCI’s program – the phase in which they will implement their theology and the sciences projects on their university campuses. Meanwhile the LCI has just welcomed a new cohort of 23 Catalysts into Tier One, who are just starting their year of training and development.  

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