A letter from César Carhuachín serving in Colombia
Write to César Carhuachín
Individuals: Give online to E200425 for Cesar Carhuachin’s sending and support
Congregations: Give to D507559 for Cesar Carhuachin’s sending and support
Churches are asked to send donations through your congregation’s normal receiving site (this is usually your presbytery).
Greetings from Barranquilla, Colombia. I continue praying for God’s direction after the U.S. presidential election on November 8. I pray that God will provide wisdom and a sense of social justice and mercy to the new President-elect, Donald Trump.
During the last weekend of October I had the opportunity to visit the Presbyterian Church of Valledupar in the Department of the Cesar to lead a workshop on “The Biblical Teaching of Leadership” and to preach on “The Meaning and Relevance of the Reformation Principles for Today.” The members seemed very pleased and thankful for my visit. This congregation has strong leaders, very committed to the church life and with the Reformed tradition. I am thankful to our partner the Presbyterian Church of Colombia for allowing me to visit this congregation and serve its needs. This church is a young congregation, just 26 years old. Several years ago, when this congregation had a pastor, three leaders were trained by a NGO to work with displaced people, victims of the armed violence. The congregation began a work with displaced people, but then they lost the pastor, Rev. Giovani, who had to move out to Bogota to serve another congregation. The congregation was disappointed about that change and stopped that work. After a couple of years, now the congregations is considering providing after-school tutoring for children in their neighborhood. This precious congregation is still needing a pastor. It is not easy for it to get a pulpit supply pastor because it is located five hours from Barranquilla. I invite you to pray for this small congregation in need of a pastor and for the passion they have to reach out to children in their neighborhood.
As many of you already know, on October 2 the Colombian society voted “No” to the Peace Agreement between the government and the FARC (Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces). You could be asking yourself why they voted against the “Peace Agreement.” Many things have been said about it, but let me share with you my thoughts about this:
a) The Colombian government failed to provide full information to the people about the Agreement.
b) The Agreement document has several sections that raised questions, and the document itself didn’t respond to them, creating a sense of doubt or unclarity.
c) The opposition to the Agreement, which was led by the former President Alvaro Uribe, used online social networks (Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc.) more efficiently than the government to mislead the people regarding the Agreement, casting doubt on it and creating a lack of confidence among the people.
d) Most of the Evangelical churches in Colombia are mainly aligned to political interests of the extreme right, led by the former President Alvaro Uribe, and they encouraged their followers to vote against the Agreement. They have used rhetoric such as “The Agreement is going to open the government and the Senate to terrorists”; “This Agreement will change the model of our family to the LGBTQ model”; “Peace demands punishment to criminals”; “Peace comes from God, not from this Agreement.”
The result was a divided referendum: No: 50.23 percent; Yes: 49.76 percent. Now the Peace Agreement is in an interlude. There are conversations to review the Peace Agreement and include new elements that satisfy the opposition group. These coming conversations need our prayer support (see more at http://colombiapeace.org/). Please pray with our church partner, the Presbyterian Church of Colombia, and other churches here that are working to support the peace process.
I want to ask your prayer support for the end of this semester. Some students are struggling with financial issues and others with conflict between work and classes scheduled. Most of the students work in a full-time job and take classes in the evening. Final exams and papers for the end of the semester typically make the students anxious and nervous. Also, pray for my Hermeneutics class student, Elina Vargas. After 20 years of been married to a Pentecostal pastor she is currently in the process of divorce. She is suffering because nobody from her denomination is supporting her, but her husband is receiving support. She is a very good student. Please keep her in your prayers since she is looking for direction for her life now.
I invite you to check out my Facebook page: Cesar Carhuachin in Colombia and “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, feel free to use my email email@example.com.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support for God’s mission in Colombia. Your correspondence, emails and messages on Facebook mean a lot to me and make me feel supported. Thank you for making a difference here in my mission work!
I pray that in this Christmas season we feel the Holy Spirit working in our life, congregations, and around the world bringing peace and reconciliation.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2017!
Please read this important message from Tony De La Rosa, Interim Executive Director, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. (Isaiah 43:1b-2, NRSV)
Dear Friend of the Presbyterian Mission Agency:
Thank you for your prayers and for your financial support of César Carhuachín this year, and any previous year. We hear from our mission co-workers how much your prayerful financial support has meant to them. Please know that you are a vital part of ministries throughout Colombia.
Even as I thank you, I want to let you know that this is a critical time for our congregations and all people of faith to commit themselves to support mission co-workers like César. Our global church partners greatly value his service, and you well know how important this ministry is in building connections between the body of Christ in the U.S. and Colombia.
We have historically relied on endowment interest and the general offering from congregations to sustain the vital work of all of our mission workers. Those sources of funding have greatly diminished. It is only through the gifts of individuals and congregations that we are able to keep César doing the life-giving work God called him to do. A year ago, in May 2015, we had to recall some mission workers due to a lack of funding. World Mission communicated the challenge to you, and you responded decisively and generously. Through your response, we heard the Spirit remind us, “Fear not!”
Today, I’m asking you to consider an additional gift for this year, and to increase the gift you may consider for 2017. Sending and support costs include not only salary but also health insurance and retirement contributions, orientation, language training, housing, travel to the country of service, children’s education, emergency evacuation costs, and visa/passport costs.
My heartfelt thanks for your prayers and support of our Presbyterian mission co-workers. In the coming season, we will celebrate God’s sending of the Christ child, the source of the good news we share. May you experience anew the hope, peace, joy, and love that are ours because “perfect love casts out fear” (I John 4:18).
Thank you for saying “yes” to love.
With you in Christ,
Tony De La Rosa
Interim Executive Director, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
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Tags: peace agreement, Valledupar
Tags: César Carhuachín