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Overwhelming Joy

A Letter from César Carhuachín, serving in Colombia

Fall 2021

Write to César Carhuachín 

IndividualsGive online to E200425 for César Carhuachín’s sending and support 

Congregations: Give to D507559 for César Carhuachín’s sending and support 

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


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Hi sisters and brothers in the United States,

Greetings from Barranquilla!

Friends, as of today, Colombia is ranked 46th in the world in terms of positive COVID-19 cases. In my last Mission Connections letter, I told you that Colombia was ranked 25th and at the beginning of this year Colombia was ranked 11th in the world. This reflects a new reality here, which is better than it was months ago and much better than it was at the beginning of this year. This is allowing us to reflect on how much this new reality will change our personal and church lives, education, health and every other aspect of our lives.

The Presbyterian churches in Barranquilla are changing from online only worship services to hybrid worship services. I have had the opportunity to preach in two churches that are holding hybrid worship. One of these was Comunidad del Camino PC. A woman from the congregation got up and spontaneously sang “Happy Birthday” to Rev. Jairo Barriga. Of course, fewer people are allowed to be in the buildings than before the pandemic – 20 people. This is the main reason why these congregations and others continue streaming their worship services via Facebook and Youtube. One of the things I have noticed is that people no longer hug each other during the “sharing of the peace.”

Members of our church partner, The Presbyterian Church of Colombia (PCC) visited Necocli city, where migrants from Haiti, Venezuela and Cuba are concentrated. These migrants are hoping to travel north, to the United States particularly. In Necocli, the PCC is working to identify the human needs among those migrants and respond to them as a church. The Rev. Gloria Ulloa, executive secretary of the Presbytery of the Coast and the Session of Sincelejo Presbyterian Church, visited a village called El manguito, Tuchín (Cordoba) to help establish a new worshiping community.

I request your prayers for our church partner, The Presbyterian Church in Colombia, and the challenges it faces as it reaches out to the migrants in Necocli. Please pray for the Presbytery of the Coast and Sincelejo Presbyterian Church’s vision to establish a new worshiping community in El manguito. You can visit the Presbytery of the Coast Facebook page ( to see more pictures of these two new initiatives.

Our ecumenical partner, the Reformed University is finishing the second semester with some interesting news. The Rev. Chris Ferguson, the former general secretary of the World Communion of Reformed Churches was named “International Professor of the Reformed University.” He and his wife will be living in Barranquilla until the end of 2021. I want to request your prayers for our ecumenical partner. Although we have more than 2,500 students enrolled, the school is facing some financial difficulties. Many of these students have full or partial scholarships.

I also want to request your prayers for a joyous event in my personal life. I am going to marry my beloved fiancé Dania Benitez on December 6, 2021, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. All her family live there and will be with us as we celebrate a civil marriage. Less than a week later, on December 11, we will have a religious ceremony in Santo Domingo as well. A month later, on January 29, 2022 we will have another religious ceremony in Lima, Perú, where all my family lives. Please pray that God and my family will continue to bless us as we embark on a life together. Dania and I both love God and, we want to continue to serve the church. She will move to Barranquilla, Colombia.

I want you know that your prayers and faithful financial support allow me to serve here in Barranquilla with our church partner and our ecumenical partner. If you want to learn about God´s mission in Colombia, I invite you to visit my Mission Connections profile page: If you would like to contact me, please email me at:

Grace and peace!

Please read the following letter from Sara P. Lisherness, the interim director of World Mission:

Dear partners in God’s mission,

I don’t know about you, but daily my heart grows heavier. News about the pandemic, wars, wildfires, gun violence, racism, earthquakes and hurricanes cloud my vision. It’s hard to see hope; our world is in a fog. Yet we trust that God’s light and love transcend the brokenness of this time.

God is at work transforming the world, and you, through your prayers, partnership and encouragement, are helping us share this good news. Thank you for your faithful and gracious support of our mission personnel.

How can we see through the fog? What will the church be after the pandemic? Could it be that God is doing “a new thing” and is inviting us to perceive it? Through all the uncertainty we know that God’s steadfast love and care for all creation will prevail and that God’s Spirit is at work in each of us.

We all have an integral part to play in fulfilling God’s mission. As we seek to grow together in faithfulness there are three important steps I invite you to take in supporting our shared commitments to God’s mission:
Give – Consider making a year-end financial contribution for the sending and support of our mission personnel. Your support helps mission personnel accompany global partners as together they share the light of God’s love and justice around the world. Invite your session to include support for mission personnel in its annual budget planning.
Act – Visit The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study to delve deeper into the work God is doing through the PC(USA) and its partners in ministry around the globe:
Pray – Include our mission personnel, our global partners, and our common commitments to share God’s grace, love, mercy and justice in your daily prayers.

Thank you for your faithfulness to God’s mission through the Presbyterian Church. It is my prayer that you will continue to support this work with your prayers, partnership, and financial gifts in the coming year. We hope you will join us and our partners in shining a beacon of hope throughout the world.

In the light of hope,



Sara P. Lisherness, Interim Director
World Mission
Presbyterian Mission Agency
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

To give please visit

You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

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