A letter from César Carhuachín serving in Colombia
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Sisters and brothers in Christ, greetings in the name of the Lord!
Thank you for your faithful prayers and financial support for my ministry in Colombia as a PC(USA) mission co-worker serving as Professor of Bible and Theology at the Reformed University of Colombia.
In early October my colleague, Rev. Milton Mejia, a Colombian Presbyterian pastor, presented a new article titled, “The Economy of Life, Buen Vivir, and the Search for Alternatives in Latin America and the Caribbean.” The book is the fruit of OIDHPAZ, the research institute associated with the University’s Theology Program. Milton, who was elected the General Secretary of the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI) in August, is making great contributions to our region on important issues such as the economy and climate change. Let’s pray for Milton, his family, and his new ecumenical ministry. His wife, Rev. Adelaida Jimenez, is the Director of the Theology Program.
On October 26-29 the Reformed University of Colombia’s Theology Program offered the 2015 Reformed Lectures, which are public lectures on the Reformed tradition. This year I presented a lecture titled “Reformation, Human Dignity and Human Rights,” which I had shared last year at the Baptist University in Cali. Other speakers included Dr. William Shutmaat, President of the Reformed University, and Dr. Heli Barraza, Vice-President of the school. These lectures hope to enrich our congregations and promote the Reformed tradition in the city. I was glad to hear and receive very good comments from several attenders.
From October 26 to November 6 the Presbyterian Church of Colombia hosted a Presbyterian Peacemaking Program (PPP) study seminar led by Rev. Carl Horton, associate for leadership development of the PPP. The group visited several communities on the Colombian coast and then gathered at the University to reflect on the Colombian peace talks. I shared with them a summary of my lecture on the Reformation and human rights. After my presentation Rev. Milton Mejia shared with them about the Peace Process in Colombia. In talking with the members of the group, they said that the trip helped them to understand the situation in Colombia and the role of the churches in the conflict. I am glad to be one of the persons God is using to serve Colombians and to help interpret what is happening in Colombia to U.S. Presbyterians.
I want to share a praise report from our partner, the Presbyterian Church of Colombia. Luis Romero, a colleague at the school (professor of New Testament), was ordained as a teaching elder on Sunday, November 1, at the Fifth Presbyterian Church of Barranquilla in the Presbytery of the Coast. This congregation was founded by a former Presbyterian mission co-worker several decades ago, Dr. Richard Shaull. Luis was born in Quindío, Colombia, in a coffee farmer family, is married to Norma, and has a child, Juan David, who is 4 years old. Luis, a graduate of the Reformed University, is finishing a Master in Education degree. Let’s pray for Luis, who is growing as a strong leader at the Presbyterian Church of Colombia, and for his family. Also let’s thank God for the legacy of the ministry of the former mission co-worker, Dr. Shaull.
On Sunday morning, November 1, I visited the Sixth Presbyterian Church of Barranquilla in Las Nieves neighborhood, a populated and hot area, where Rev. Luís Cadrasco is pastoring. This congregation has made great contributions to our church partner. From that church came several leaders, such as: (a) Rev. Milciades Pua, former president of the Reformed University and current professor there and pastor of the Fifth Presbyterian Church; (b) the ruling elder Helis Barraza, vice-president of the World Communion of Reformed Churches and vice-president of the American School of Barranquilla; and (c) Rev. Milton Mejia, general secretary of the Latin American Council of Churches. On November 1 the congregation celebrated Reformation Sunday and the Day of the Bible. The service included participation of the children’s ministry, singing songs about the Bible and sharing reflections on the reformers Martin Luther and John Calvin. I thank God for the strong ministry and legacy of this congregation to the whole church.
Regarding my prayer request in my last letter, about my allergy to mites, I want to let you know that I am under an allergy treatment. This treatment is not showing as much result as I expected. But nevertheless I will continue with the treatment, following the physician’s directions.
I am beginning plans to be in the U.S. next year for two months, June and July, for Interpretation Assignment. I will be visiting current and potential partner congregations, presbyteries and individuals to share about God’s mission in Colombia. This will be my first time going back to the U.S. for more than a week for Interpretation Assignment. If your congregation or presbytery would like to hear about the PC(USA) partnership with the ministry of our church partner, let me know, so we can arrange a date for me to visit you. After almost three years I have several items of good news to share with your congregation regarding Presbyterian World Mission work in Colombia. Please contact me at Cesar.Carhuachin@pcusa.org.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support of God’s mission in Colombia. Even as I thank you, I want you to know that at this time my ministry hasn’t been fully funded for this year. Will you please pray about this situation? If possible, will you increase your gift for this year? Would you consider advocating for this ministry with neighboring congregations to see if they would join us? I would appreciate your help in these ways.
If you want to hear more about God´s mission in Colombia, please visit my Facebook page, Cesar Carhuachín in Colombia, and feel free to “Like” it. Also, you are invited to check out my page at the World Mission site: www.pcusa.org/cesar-carhuachin. If you want to contact me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for your partnership in God’s mission in Colombia!
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, colombia, interpretation assignment, lectures, mejia, mission, peacemaking seminar, romero, shaull
Tags: César Carhuachín