A Letter from César Carhuachín, serving in Colombia
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Individuals: Give online to E200425 for César Carhuachín’s sending and support
Congregations: Give to D507559 for César Carhuachín’s sending and support
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Hello, brothers and sisters in the United States,
Greetings from Barranquilla, Colombia!
I hope that all of you are doing better at this time when vaccinations are available in the U.S. Here in Colombia, South America, the pandemic situation varies depending on where you live. In Bogotá, Distrito Capital (D.C.), the capital of Colombia, the number of cases is high. The number of positive cases reported stands at 933,953. But in other cities like Barranquilla, where I am located, the number of cases has been significantly less and stands at 170,826 positive cases since the end of May. The main reason for this reduction is that the vaccination rate in Barranquilla and other cities in the Atlantic Department (Colombia is divided geographically into Departments) has increased over the past several months. I received the first dose of the vaccination for COVID-19 on June 01, 2021. I thank God for this, and I expect to receive the second dose in 21 days!
The situation of PC(USA)’s Ecumenical partner, the Reformed University, also is changing for the better. Although classes continue to be taught virtually, the number of students has increased since February 2021. As of today, we have about 1,800 students in all our programs. This is a hopeful sign since the student population had decreased by 50% at the end of 2020. We thank God for this!
Most Christian groups (including representatives of our church partner) have disapproved of the government’s new tax proposal. policy. Several of them met with President Duque, but after meeting with him, some of them have denounced the government because they believe that the government used them politically to claim that they are listening to all sectors of society. After a month of daily protests, the leaders of the protests are seeing some changes from the government that will benefit the people, such as the withdrawal of the tax proposal, policy, changes in public education, the health system, etc. Realistically speaking, we will have to wait to see what the final outcome will be.
During the first week of the protests, the Reformed University has instituted a policy of flexibility. Students may attend classes virtually or they can listen to the recorded classes if they want to participate peacefully in the protests. Several alumni of the Theology program of the Reformed University reflected and talked about the meaning of this societal upheaval on Saturday, May 29, 2021, with the title “The Protests in Colombia and the Mission of the Church” (see the flyer of the event). Three of the panelists are Ruling Elders in three congregations of the Colombia Presbyterian Church, Hary Cantillo (Uraba Presbytery), Mary Reyes and Ramón Barrios (Coastal Presbytery); and two are Pentecostal church leaders from Barranquilla, Adolfo Céspedes and Tania Molina. Tania is a lawyer and will graduate from the Theology program next year. Mary is a lawyer as well. Adolfo teaches at the American school of Barranquilla. Hary is a lay pastor in Uraba and also teaches at the American school of Uraba. Ramón is a former Edil (an elected representative of his local Administrative Board representing his community). I will moderate this conversation table. I am happy to see our former students reflecting on the Church’s mission in this social context.
I thank you for your prayer and financial support to God’s mission in Colombia. If you are not doing it and you want to do it, please check my PC(USA) World Mission site:
https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/missionconnections/rev-c-sar-carhuach-n/. If you wish to contact me, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please, keep safe. God bless you in your ministry.
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Tags: César Carhuachín
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