A letter from César Carhuachín serving in Colombia
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Dear sisters and brothers, supporters of God’s mission in Colombia:
Greetings from Barranquilla, where the temperature has averaged 98 degrees since September. With 80+ percent humidity, it feels like over 100 degrees!
Thank you for being a partner in my ministry in Colombia as a professor at the Reformed University of Colombia, a PC(USA) ecumenical partner. Your faithful support makes a big difference during this challenging time for Presbyterian World Mission!
We have good news about the Colombia Peace Conversations in Havana, Cuba, between the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) and the government. On September 23a Transitional Peace Agreement was signed. It focused on 10 issues, including: (a) land redistribution and a solution to drug trafficking; (b) justice for the victims of the armed conflict; (c) creation of a Special Court for Justice and Peace; (d) amnesty for political crimes; (e) a deadline for laying down arms of 60 days after the signed final peace agreement, and (f) transformation of the FARC into a legal political movement.
Although there are a lot of discussions about this agreement, our church partner, the Presbyterian Church of Colombia, and other ecumenical groups are strongly supporting these conversations and this initial agreement. Please pray for the success of this agreement because many politicians, including former president Álvaro Uribe, have opposed it. FARC and the government have agreed to sign the final Peace Agreement in the next six months. May the Lord bring peace to Colombia, which has been engaged in an internal armed conflict for the last 60 years, resulting in over 5 million displaced people!
September 3-5 the Reformed University of Colombia sponsored an “International Seminar on Biblical and Theological Perspectives and Current Challenges for the Latin American and Caribbean Churches on the Climate Crisis” with the participation of three keynote speakers: (a) Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, the World Council of Churches General Secretary; (b) Rev. Dr. Neddy Astudillo, a PC(USA) teaching elder and Regional Coordinator of “Our Voces,” an international and interfaith campaign for climate justice; and (c) Humberto Shikiya, General Director of CREAS, an ecumenical organization that works, among other things, for environmental justice.
This international seminar impacted the life of churches and students here, creating awareness and engaging people on this important issue. Two of our theology students were part of this event: Angy Rodriguez, a Pentecostal pastor who was part of a panel and wrote a poem on creation care, and Jeser Feria, a layman, who wrote and sang a song about creation care. We praise God because the Theological Program is helping to transform minds as people move from indifference to action on the issue of creation care.
During these months I had the privilege to preach at two churches for their anniversary services. On August 30 I preached at 7th Presbyterian Church a sermon titled “New Life in the Family of Faith” based on Mark 7:1-23. The congregation received new members at that service. On September 27 I preached at 5th Presbyterian Church a sermon titled “Called to Be the Church of Jesus Christ” based on Mark 9:38-48. In both sermons I was focused on the need to live personally a simpler Christian life and respond as a church to the challenges in our communities. People in both congregations approached me after the service saying that my sermons touched their hearts and made them think about their personal life and their churches. I thank God for using me to help build healthy congregations in Colombia.
August 12-14 the Reformed University sent me to Bogota to participate as a guest speaker at the “First International Colloquium on the 500 years of the Reformation” at Saint Tomas University. Sponsors included the Reformed University of Colombia, Central Presbytery, Saint Tomas University, Baptist University, the Pontifical Bolivarian University, and other schools. I talked about “The Theological Hermeneutic of Ulrich Zwingli.” My focus was on the biography and thoughts of Zwingli. The time for questions and answers was very interesting and helpful. It helps me to understand more about the roots of Reformed heritage in Colombia.
I want to share with you a special prayer request. During the past three months I have visited several physicians to explore an inflammation that is causing vision problems in my left eye. After visiting five physicians, an allergy test demonstrated that I am allergic to mites. Unfortunately, the weather of Barranquilla doesn´t help me with this. So I have started an allergy treatment, which is going to take several months. I request your prayer support during this treatment, which I hope helps me to face the reality of living in an environment where mites are a fact of life.
If you want to hear more about the God’s mission in Colombia, please visit my Facebook page: Cesar Carhuachín in Colombia. Feel free to like it! Also, check out my page at the World Mission site: www.pcusa.org/cesar-carhuachin. If you want to contact me, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am deeply grateful for your prayers, your messages, and your financial support. You are a vital part of this ministry in Colombia. If you have not yet become a part of my family of support, please consider doing so.
The Peace of God be with you all,
The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 57
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CesarCarhuachinInColombia
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Tags: carhuachin, cesar, cgi 3, climate crisis, colombia, farc, mission, mites, peace agreement, reconciliation, seminar
Tags: César Carhuachín