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A Momentous Beginning to a New Year

A Letter from César Carhuachín, serving in Colombia

Winter 2022

Write to César Carhuachín

Individuals: Give online to E132192 in honor of César Carhuachín’s ministry

Congregations: Give to D500115 in honor of César Carhuachín’s ministry

Churches are asked to send donations through your congregation’s normal receiving site (this is usually your presbytery)


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Hello brothers and sister in the United States,

Greetings from Barranquilla, Colombia!

I send you blessings in this new year, 2022, for your personal life, your family, your church, your work and the U.S.A.! This year, Colombia is facing various challenges that stem from it being a country with substantial economic development. It had one of the highest 2021 regional growth Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rates at 10.6% according to the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE). The average in Latin America was 6.2% according to the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL). The challenge for Colombia is how to distribute the benefits of this economic growth in a society that is mostly made up of very rich people, people living in poverty and people living in extreme poverty. The last two groups include single mothers, displaced families due to violence, Venezuelan migrants, indigenous and afro-Colombian people. Reducing the number of the poor segment of population is a challenge for Colombia, a challenge that would benefit the poor greatly if it were met.

On Feb. 21, the Supreme Court of Justice of Colombia voted (5-4) to decriminalize abortion. This decision means that a woman may legally undergo an abortion until the 24th week of pregnancy (sixth months). This decision has brought about many different types of reactions. Many students at the Reformed University who belong to Evangelical churches believe abortion is wrong. Some Conservative politicians state that this is a very bad decision. The Colombian president, Mr. Ivan Duque has stated that, “Abortion is ending a life.” On the other side, many NGOs are celebrating this historical decision of the Supreme Court of Justice. Some physicians and politicians are supporting the Court’s decision. Our Church partner, the Presbyterian Church of Colombia hasn’t made an official statement about it. The day following this court decision, I discovered that a group of students from my Ethics class were having a heated discussion about abortion in the school cafeteria. They were looking at the issue from different perspectives and were lifting up the pros and cons of decisions for and against abortions. I felt really satisfied as I listened to them have this discussion since it showed that they are practicing what I taught them in class in relationship to investigating all aspects of an issue, thinking critically about the issue and making a decision knowing that no decision will “pure.”

On February 1, I began the new school year in Colombia. I am teaching three courses: Systematic Theology 1 and 2, and Ethics. Our Ecumenical partner began this semester with good news but with some challenges as well. Currently, the classes take place in the school buildings. But some classes are still online. One of them is my Ethics course. The number of students of our Ecumenical partner has increased to about 3,000. In the Theology program, we have 14 new students. One challenge for our school is related to finances and to being good stewards of any new income. The other is related to academics and to renewing the accreditation of five undergraduate programs: Theology, Music, Business Administration, Maritime and Port Administration and Public Accounting. On Feb. 24, the Colombia Ministry of Education sent the commissioners to visit and talk with the members of the School Committees for the last three programs. I am a member of the Theology Committee. I request your prayers support for the renewed accreditation of these five programs.

I have had a very interesting beginning of the year 2022. My wedding ceremony to my beloved Dania Benitez took place in Lima, Perú at Saturday Jan. 29, 2022.We had a chance to celebrate this transcendental change in our lives with my family and friends. We had a lovely ceremony. Thank for your prayers and greetings on my wedding.

On Saturday Feb. 12, 2022, I officiated at the wedding of a young American couple, Mo and Alia in Cartagena (Colombia). Alia Lahr is the granddaughter of Rev. Liberato y Elmeida Vega, who were Presbyterian mission co-workers in Colombia from 1962-1986. It was a pleasure to be of service to the family of one of my colleagues who had served in Colombia like myself and celebrate with them.

On Sunday, Feb. 20, I preached at Fifth Presbyterian Church of Barranquilla. This congregation was founded by former Presbyterian mission worker and well-known theologian Rev. Richard Shaull. This congregation moved from Barrio Modelo to Barrio Betania. I preached about “The power of a Transformed life” based on Luke 6: 27-38. After the sermon, during a time of testimonies, toward the end of the service, the congregation noted how much they had appreciated the worship service. Maribey Fragoso, a ruling elder remarked that the sermon was an answer to something she was experiencing in her workplace. Her words touched my life, because it helps to know that I am speaking to the lives of people in the pews where I am serving.

Next year, in 2023, I will be in the United States for my Interpretation Assignment. I would love to visit your church, presbytery, mission committee meeting or any other gathering to share about God’s mission in Colombia. I you would like to invite me, please send me an email at I reserve the dates on a first-come, first-served basis. It is always a privilege to visit congregations, presbyteries, meetings and other gatherings to share about God’s mission in Colombia.

I really appreciate your prayers and financial support of God’s mission in Colombia.

Peace and a blessed year 2022

Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

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