A letter from Cesar Carhuachin in Colombia
Greetings from Barranquilla City, Atlantic Department!
Colombia has 32 Departments, and Barranquilla is located in the Atlantic Department (a little information about Colombia for my brothers and sisters in USA).
Thanks for the difference you are making in the mission work here in Colombia. Your partnership in God´s mission in Colombia through your encouraging notes, prayers and financial support are motives to praise God in my prayer time. It is amazing to me to see how well we are connected as members of the church of Christ. Thank God for our connectional system.
September has been an interesting month in my duties as professor at the School of Theology. It was a time for exams. The fact of having students with diverse backgrounds, different ages, from twenties to fifties, singles, married and grandfathers, some with previous theological educations and almost all of them full time workers, presents a challenge to me. I must to say that I have been personally impacted by their effort, willingness, openness and dedication. They are serious in their commitment to the theological education, and this inspires me to accompany them in this learning experience.
I want to share with all of you a praise report. The Hickory Grove Baptist Spanish Church of Charlotte, North Carolina, has decided to support financially the ministry of the Presbytery of Urabá, which is part of our partner church, the Presbyterian Church of Colombia. The Rev. Diego Higuita, who is the General Secretary of the Colombian Presbyterian Church, connected me with Milena Calderón, who is the Principal of the American School of Apartadó in the Presbytery of Urabá. This school is making a difference in that region, working with poor families and children of displaced families.
It’s amazing to see how God touches hearts of people in churches of several denominations to work together in God´s mission in Colombia (and other places also, of course). A Sunday school class of Hickory Grove Baptist Spanish Church did a weekend fundraising activity to support this Colombian ministry with great results. It’s a blessing to have this Spanish congregation as a partner congregation in the mission work here in Colombia. This congregation is going to support the ministry of the Presbytery of Urabá and my ministry as a mission co-worker here in Colombia as well.
September is a special month for me because my birthday is the 8th day. However, this year this date was doubly special because my friend and colleague the Rev. Adriano, who is the Academic Dean at the Reformed University and pastor of the “El Camino” Presbyterian Church, celebrated his birthday that day also. So, I attended “El Camino” that day, and surprisingly, the congregation recognized us and sang the birthday song for us. Plus after the service, the congregation prepared a lunch for the birthdays, with cake and music. After that celebration, Adriano and I went to his house to celebrate our birthday together, with live music and food. Other colleagues, pastors and professors, and some members of churches joined us for this party. It was a birthday celebration very different for me from the past years. I considered this kind of whole day birthday celebration as a part of my immersion in the Colombian culture. I thank God for the new culture, colleagues, and friends!
On October 21st to 25th the Reformed University will offer the Annual Reformed Lecture with presentations of several professors, with two lectures daily. I will have a presentation on Thursday 25th about “The contribution of the Reformation to the Bible Interpretation and the Theological Sciences.” I ask your prayers for this event. This event will provide me a unique experience to learn, by first hand, how the Colombian Presbyterian scholars interpret the Reformed heritage. The university is planning to publish these lectures next year to use them in the Reformed theology classes. I will tell you more about this in my next monthly letter.
I want to finish this letter by sharing with you something special. The students in my Old Testament I class, a group of twenty-eight people, are very excited about Israel and the places of the Old Testament history (looks like the Old Testament class is impacting them). So, they are talking seriously about going to visit Israel next year. They want me to go with them as the leader of the trip, and they have talked with some people here at the school. As a result of this, I will prepare an intensive course for next year, which will include an educational trip to Israel.
This is going to be something new for me. I have been in Israel once for two weeks last year, but just on vacation and visiting historical places. However, I will be working during the next four weeks on the planning of this intensive course, including the trip to Israel. So, I ask for your prayers for this new adventure. Also, I want to ask for any information and/or any contact information that you think would be useful for this. I will really appreciate any information that you send me that would help us on this project.
I post weekly news about my mission work in Colombia on my Facebook page Cesar Carhuachín in Colombia. Be sure to like my page to receive them. If you want to write me a note or need to contact me, please use my email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you or your home church is not yet a partner congregation in God´s mission in Colombia, I invite you to consider it. There are several ways you can join us and be a part of this experience. You can pray for us, send correspondence and support us financially. Check my page at the World Mission website for information about it: http://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/missionconnections/rev-cesar-carhuachin/.
Grace and peace,