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Prayers for Reformation and Peace

A letter from César Carhuachín, serving in Colombia

September 2017

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)


Dear brothers and sisters in the United States:

Greetings from Barranquilla, the most populated city on the Colombian coast. Many thanks for your support of my ministry here in South America.

This year, the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) gathered in Leipzig, Germany, to hold its General Council meeting from June 29—July 7. During this time, the WCRC celebrated the 500-year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. As a part of this celebration, the Reformed University of Columbia Chamber Orchestra was invited to represent Latin America. This orchestra is composed of very talented students, alumni and some music professors. So, under the direction of Professor James H. Schutmaat, the chamber orchestra performed Colombian folk music. Here in Columbia, such music can frequently be heard on radio stations and TV programs and in local shops and taxis. The orchestra represented us very well in Leipzig and in Wittenberg. We praise God for the impact of the music program of the Reformed University on the church and in the community. It is highly regarded even among people outside of the university and church.

Our two partners here, the Presbyterian Church of Colombia and the Reformed University of Colombia, likewise held an event to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The Rev. Dr. Hans De Vit, a Dutch Reformed professor of the Free University of Amsterdam, visited Barranquilla June 16-18 to lecture on John Calvin and to share about his school’s projects in Colombia. On Saturday, June 17, I participated in a panel discussion with Dr. De Vit and Rev. Miilciades Pua on the “Liberation´s Hermeneutics of Calvin.” My presentation, the “The Exegesis and Hermeneutics of John Calvin,” focused on how Calvin’s philosophy of biblical interpretation is relevant today. It teaches us: a) to reject literalist readings of the Bible; b) to read the Bible historically in its social context; c) to reject the idea of the final authoritative explanation of the Bible because scriptures can be read from different perspectives; and d) that Christ is the central message of the Christian scriptures, not any one issue (such as sexuality, politics or economics). The question and answer time was a very productive: many attendees expressed how useful they found the three presentations and asked us to publish them. Hopefully, this will be done this year by the Reformed University.

In addition to my mission duties as professor of Bible and theology and some preaching at churches on weekends, I serve on the Education and Peace Committee of the Presbytery of the Coast. We are working on a two-year lay leaders training program. I like the fact that this will involve a team of trainers comprised of ruling and teaching elders and will impact many people in our Presbyterian congregations.

I want to ask your prayers for my student Rosa Gomez and her family. She is currently enrolled in her sixth semester. Her husband, Alvaro Maldonado, had a heart attack last week, and after some days at the hospital, the physicians decided he needed triple bypass surgery. As professors, we are supporting her during this difficult time. Last week, during systematic theology class, we prayed for Alvaro, Rosa and their family. Please join us in prayer for them.

Please also pray for Columbia as the implementation of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) is progressing. The FARC has removed 8,100 arms and over 24 tons of explosives and has surrendered a 135-page document detailing the demobilized guerrilla group’s assets as a part of the culmination of the disarmament process (read more at Another important change is the FARC’s new name: Revolutionary Alternative Forces of Colombia, instead of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. This change is important – now the FARC will be able to participate in national and local elections as another political group. Although some people don´t agree with the FARC participating in elections, it is part of the peace agreement. I think that the FARC keeps her acronym as a way to call to voters who support her cause. We will see what happens in the next elections. Among these good signs of peace, there are some challenges, which is why I ask you to continue praying for Colombia during this post-conflict time.

I invite you to check out my page at the World Mission site: Also, you can check out my Facebook page, Cesar Carhuachin in Colombia and “like” it. I share news about my ministry in Colombia on Facebook weekly. If you want to contact me, please feel free to email me at

Again, thank you for your gifts to Presbyterian World Mission for God´s mission in Colombia. Your gift to my sending and support makes this ministry happen! Blessings!

Please read this important message from Jose Luis Casal, Director, Presbyterian World Mission

Dear Friend of Presbyterian Mission,

What a joy to send this letter! As Presbyterian World Mission’s new director, I thank God for your faithful support of our mission co-workers. The enclosed newsletter celebrates the work you made possible by your prayers, engagement, and generous financial gifts. We can’t thank you enough.

After I began in April, I met with mission co-workers and global partners and was blessed to see firsthand the mighty ways God is working through them! Our global partners are asking us to help them move forward with life-changing ministries. Because of your support, we can say “yes” to these creative and exciting initiatives.

I write to invite you to make an even deeper commitment to this work. First, would you make a year-end gift for the sending and support of our mission co-workers? We need your gifts to end the year strong. With your help, we filled two new mission co-worker positions and plan to recruit for others. The needs in the world are great, and World Mission is poised to answer the call to serve.

Second, would you ask your session to add our mission co-workers to your congregation’s mission budget for 2018 and beyond? Our mission co-workers serve three-year or four-year terms. Your multi-year commitment will encourage them greatly.

Our mission co-workers are funded entirely from the special gifts of individuals and congregations like yours. Now more than ever, we need your financial support.

In faith, our mission co-workers accepted a call to mission service. In faith, World Mission sent them to work with our global partners. In faith, will you also commit to support this work with your prayers and financial gifts?

With gratitude,

Jose Luis Casal

P.S. Your gift will help meet critical needs of our global partners. Thank you!

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