A Letter from César Carhuachín, serving in Colombia
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Hi, brothers and sisters in the United States!
Greetings from Barranquilla, Colombia!
Colombia is experiencing “new winds” since President Gustavo Petro was elected. There is a new tax reform proposal being proposed and dialogues for peace with the dissident groups FARC (Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces) and the ELN (National Liberation Army) have begun. There is hope that with this new government Colombia can continue the conversations for peace and reach significant peace agreements. President Petro was a member of M-19 (April 19 Movement) in his youth, which was a guerrilla group that signed a peace agreement with the Colombian government in 1990. Please pray for Colombia and these new peace conversations.
Our ecumenical partner, the Reformed University of Colombia held two simultaneous important events on October 25-29. The first event was the second General Assembly of Qonakuy, an association of Protestant and Evangelical higher education institutions from different countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The General Assembly focused on internationalization and sustainability. The second event was one of the “Binding Regional Dialogues” that are related to official peace conversations. Dr. Danilo Rueda, Colombian High Commissioner for Peace held the opening conference on Tuesday, October 25, and many people attended the event.
Qonakuy is a Quechua word (an Indigenous language from South America) that means: “I bring the best of me to meet you” (Traigo lo mejor de mi para encontrarme contigo). Qonakuy brings together 14 universities: 1) The Evangelical University of El Salvador (El Salvador), 2) The Reformed University Corporation (Colombia), 3) Université Chrétienne du Nord d´Haiti, 4) Nicaraguan Evangelical University Martin Luther King, Jr., 5) Latin America Bible University (Costa Rica), 6) Christian University of Panama, 7) National Evangelical University (Dominican Republic), 8) Maya University Kaqchikel (Guatemala), 9) University of the Latin American Educational Center (Argentina), 10) Martin Luther University (Nicaragua), 11) Sao Paulo Adventist University Center (Brazil), 12) The Baptist University (Colombia), 13) Alfa & Omega University (Mexico), and 14) Evangelical Theological Seminary (Cuba). If you want to know more about Qonakuy, check this link: qonakuy.org/inicio/. All universities provide quality educational programs. Please pray for these Latin American colleges and universities rooted in the Protestant and Evangelical traditions.
“Binding Regional Dialogues” were held simultaneously on October 29, in several districts of the nation. The purpose of these dialogues was to find common ground and to be the basis for the 2022-2026 National Development Plan (NDP). I registered to participate in the dialogue table “Territorial Planning and Total Peace.” Other dialogue tables included “Human Security and Social Justice,” “Human Right to the Food,” “Energetic Transformation and Environmental Justice,” Social-Regional Convergence,” “Women,” “Victims,” “Youth,” “OSIGD (Sexual Orientations and Diverse Gender Identities),” “Peasants,” “Indigenous Peoples,” “Black Communities,” “Afro-Colombian Peoples,” “Roots,” “Palenqueros,” “RROM,” “People with Disabilities,” “Unions/Entrepreneurs,” and others. As you see, this government initiative seeks to listen to a variety of voices throughout Colombia so that their input can be incorporated into the National Development Plan 2022-2026. Our ecumenical partner supported this government event, and our administrative staff, faculty and students were encouraged to participle in these dialogue tables.
This semester has been a most unusual semester. I wasn’t able to renew my visa beyond June 5 since the Presbyterian Church of Colombia was unable to provide me with the required documents. As a result, I had to travel out of the country two times for some days and then return to Colombia in order to legally stay in Colombia on a tourist visa. Currently, I am in the process of renewing my Colombian religious worker’s visa, and this will take about a month. I request your prayer support for this process, to have a favorable resolution on this religious worker’s visa request.
On Sunday, October 25, my wife Dania and I had a busy day. I taught my last Sunday school class on the Gospel of Mark at Comunidad Del Camino Presbyterian Church and Dania preached a sermon entitled, “Children and God’s Kingdom Today.” This congregation meets regularly at the University Chapel. Right after I finished my Sunday school class, I preached a sermon at Ninth Presbyterian Church entitled, “Reformation and Renovation: A Way to Glorify God.” This church is meeting temporarily on the university’s grounds as well. Right after church, I attended an inspiring meeting with President Gustavo Petro on the university’s school soccer field. I thank God for the privilege to serve in God’s mission in Colombia.
Dania and I will be in the U.S. from May 1 until October 21, 2023 for IA and will visit congregations, presbyteries, mission committees and other church gatherings to share about God’s mission in Colombia. If your congregation would like to invite me, please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am already reserving the dates, honoring them in the order in which I receive the invitations.
Finally, I want to thank you for your prayers and financial support for God’s mission in Colombia and other countries in the world. Your support allows us to serve God globally. If you haven’t signed up yet to receive my letters, please do so on my Mission Connections web page.
Grace and Peace,
Please read the following letter from Rev. Mienda Uriarte, acting director of World Mission:
Dear Partners in God’s Mission,
What an amazing journey we’re on together! Our call to be a Matthew 25 denomination has challenged us in so many ways to lean into new ways of reaching out. As we take on the responsibilities of dismantling systemic racism, eradicating the root causes of poverty and engaging in congregational vitality, we find that the Spirit of God is indeed moving throughout World Mission. Of course, the past two years have also been hard for so many as we’ve ventured through another year of the pandemic, been confronted with racism, wars and the heart wrenching toll of natural disasters. And yet, rather than succumb to the darkness, we are called to shine the light of Christ by doing justice, loving kindness and walking humbly with God.
We are so grateful that you are on this journey as well. Your commitment enables mission co-workers around the world to accompany partners and share in so many expressions of the transformative work being done in Christ’s name. Thank you for your partnership, prayers and contributions to their ministries.
We hope you will continue to support World Mission in all the ways you are able:
Give – Consider making a year-end financial contribution for the sending and support of our mission personnel (E132192). This unified fund supports the work of all our mission co-workers as they accompany global partners in their life-giving work. Gifts can also be made “in honor of” a specific mission co-worker – just include their name on the memo line.
Pray – Include PC(USA) mission personnel and global partners in your daily prayers. If you would like to order prayer cards as a visual reminder of those for whom you are praying, please contact Cindy Rubin (email@example.com; 800-728-7228, ext. 5065).
Act – Invite a mission co-worker to visit your congregation either virtually or in person. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make a request or email the mission co-worker directly. Email addresses are listed on Mission Connections profile pages. Visit pcusa.org/missionconnections to search by last name.
Thank you for your consideration! We appreciate your faithfulness to God’s mission through the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Rev. Mienda Uriarte, Acting Director
Presbyterian Mission Agency
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
To give, please visit https://bit.ly/22MC-YE.
For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6
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Tags: Binding Regional Conversations, Matthew 25, National Development Plan, Qonakuy
Tags: César Carhuachín
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