A Letter from César Carhuachín, serving in Colombia
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Hello brothers and sisters!
Greetings from Mission Haven in Decatur, Georgia, where my wife Dania and I are being hosted during my Interpretation Assignment from Feb. 17 until Oct. 17. I will be interpreting my ministry in Colombia to congregations until August 6. After that, I will be taking some time for self-care. I want to thank you so much for your faithful prayers and financial support to God’s mission in Colombia!
We are happy to be in a quiet place after some years in a very restless city. But, above all, we are so excited to be here to visit congregations, presbyteries, synods and other church gatherings to share about God’s mission in Colombia. I will also be sharing at some conferences for pastors and new leaders. During these months, we hope that our church partner continues growing, becoming stronger, and responding to the challenges she faces. Please, pray with me for our partner the Presbyterian Church of Colombia.
A wonderful thing happened at the end of November with our church partner, the Presbyterian Church of Colombia. It was the election of the Rev. Adelaida Jimenez, by the Colombian government, to be a member of the Peace Conversation Table between the government and the National Liberation Armed (ELN). Rev. Adelaida is the pastor of Pital Presbyterian Church of the Presbytery of the Coast and the academic vice-president of the Reformed University. She graduated from the former Presbyterian and Reformed Seminary of Colombia and from McCormick Theological Seminary in Illinois. She is currently a candidate for the Doctorate in Education program in Costa Rica. I think that with this election the Colombian government is recognizing the historical work of Colombian Presbyterians for peace and justice in the country. Let´s pray for Rev. Adelaida Jimenez in this service to her country and the church as they are searching for total peace (Paz Total) in Colombia. (Click here to read more about it: presbyterianmission.org/story/presbyterian-church-of-colombia-minister-appointed-to-negotiating-team-to-broker-peace-talks).
Our church partner, the Presbyterian Church of Colombia, continues strengthen its other partners such as the Presbytery of Seattle, which visited the Presbytery of the Coast January 16-24, 2023. In early March, the Reformed University´s Theology program will receive a group of students from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary to dialogue about several issues related to violence, such as “Women, Bible and Violence.” The Presbyterian Church of Colombia has a long history of relationships with PC(USA) churches and presbyteries. Let’s pray to cultivate a deep, healthy and mutually enriching partnerships between PC(USA) entities and our partners in Latin America.
This semester, the Reformed University of Colombia has started something new: a law program. This is a result of many months of work with very qualified people. My good friend, Dr. Mary Reyes, who is a ruling elder, theologian and lawyer, is the director of this new program. The enrollment report says that the number of students is lower than expected. However, the school administrators expect a higher number of new enrollees next semester. Let’s pray for this new initiative of our ecumenical partner, the Reformed University, so this school may produce Colombian lawyers that defend people with justice and equity, protecting their human rights.
This past November, I had the opportunity to travel to Santiago de Chile to participate in the seminar on “Christian Zionism and religious, political and economic fundamentalisms.” This seminar was sponsorship by Presbyterian World Mission and other ecumenical entities from around the world such as World Communion of Reformed Churches and the Latin America Alliance of Presbyterian and Reformed Churches. We learned how Christian Zionism is active in several countries in Latin America. For example, some evangelical churches in this region put the Israeli flag in their sanctuary beside the Christian and their country’s flags. This sensitive issue deserves to be talked about in Bible studies, Sunday schools, conferences and in our churches. Religious and political fundamentalism are two big problems in Latin America that challenge our Reformed tradition of openness, ecumenism and inter-faith work. Please pray for Latin America and the challenges for its churches.
As I mentioned in the beginning of my letter we are in the United States for interpretation assignment. As of today, I will be visiting several cities in eight states. I ask that you support me with your prayers for safety since I will be driving to all those places. Also, I want to let you know that I still have some weekends available to visit churches, congregations, synods and other church gatherings. If you would like me to visit your congregation, please email me at email@example.com. I would love to share with your church about God´s mission in Colombia and how we are working together to share God´s love with all people. If you haven’t signed up yet to receive my Mission Connections letters, please do so at: presbyterianmission.org/ministries/missionconnections/rev-c-sar-carhuach-n/.
Grace and peace!
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