A Letter from Cesar Carhuachin, serving in Colombia
Write to César Carhuachín
Individuals: Give 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)
Greetings from Barranquilla, Colombia (South America).
Life in Colombia in the age of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has changed. Some functions and activities of our partners here, the Presbyterian Church of Colombia (PCC) and the Reformed University of Colombia (RUC) have had to be rescheduled. The PCC and RUC have adopted the recommendations of the Health Department of Colombia. Additionally, the RUC, where I am serving as a professor of Bible and Theology, has suspended all national and international travel for three months. Mass gatherings have been canceled for three months. On March 14, the whole school will be fumigated, cleaned, and disinfected. All people with flu symptoms must go to the doctor, wear face masks, request medical leave, and stay home. Student services and receptionists must report any person with symptoms to the administration. The school is sharing up-to-date information about the COVID-19 to stop anyone from panicking. Let us all pray together, both in the US and in Colombia, for this COVID-19 epidemic. May scientists soon find the right treatment.
Despite this pandemic, the Reformed University of Colombia is experiencing good things. Currently, we have more than 3,000 students in our 12 programs (theology, music, psychology, international business administration, bilingual education, industrial engineering, informatics engineering, biomedical engineering, environmental engineering, business administration, maritime and port administration, and public accounting). The RUC has experienced more than 150% growth in the last year. In this new reality, the RUC faces new challenges, such as the need for more classrooms, teachers, and equipment. However, in the middle of this growth, the university still maintains its focus on working for peace. In December of last year, the university participated in the II ExpoPaz (II ExpoPeace) held in Barranquilla. Many social organizations set up booths to show what they were doing to promote peace in Colombia. (See picture of the stand of the RUC). This is only one example of how the RUC works for peace. I invite you to visit our school website (https://www.unireformada.edu.co/) and pray for these and other new challenges that RUC is facing.
The Presbytery of the Coast elected the Rev. Angelica Munera as its new moderator this past December 2019. Rev. Munera is a graduate of the RUC theology program and McCormick Theological Seminary. Currently, she is the pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Cartagena and a professor of Old Testament at RUC. Her congregation is serving in a neighborhood with many social challenges, has an outreach ministry in another neighborhood, a vibrant youth ministry and a sister congregation, College Hills Community Church in Dayton Ohio.
Rev. Munera is an example of a woman dedicated to God’s service. I admire her. Every week she travels by bus from Cartagena to Barranquilla (2 hours each way) to teach at the RUC on Fridays, stays overnight, and then returns home. John, her husband, takes care of their son, little Joham, on those days. I invite you to pray for Rev. Angelica Munera and her ministry as pastor, teacher, moderator, mom, and wife. (See picture attached: Rev. Angelica Munera, John Arrieta and Joham).
The political situation in Colombia regarding peace has not changed since last year. The Peace Agreement signed in 2016 between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has not held. Unfortunately, the current Colombian government does not support the implementation of the Peace Agreement. The murder of social activists and human rights defenders has increased dramatically since 2016. In January 2020 alone, there were 19 murders. As of today, more than 55 people have been murdered. Our church partner, the PCC, is working together with other faith organizations to urge President Ivan Duque to follow the Agreement. You cannot just plant a seed of peace; you have to work hard every day to achieve it. Until today this is the biggest challenge in Colombia. Please, pray for our church partner and its hard work for peace in Colombia.
I want to give you an update on my health. I have tendonitis in both of my shoulders. This condition emerged during my Interpretation Assignment (IA) last year in the United States. The physiotherapist said that I got tendonitis because I work long hours at my desk. The many hours I drove to visit churches during IA added to the problem. Since October of last year, I have been doing some exercises to recover the movement of my shoulders. I am much better now. I am beginning to use a desktop PC instead of a laptop to correct the position of my neck and shoulders. I hope to be 100% recovered soon. I request your prayers of support for this personal health situation.
I invite you to be a part of God’s wonderful mission in Colombia, through your prayers and financial support. This kind of support allows me to serve here in Colombia as a mission co-worker and teach at the theology program of RUC preparing church leaders and pastors, making disciples of Christ in Colombia where church and religion are working for a culture of peace and reconciliation.
If you want to receive my mission connection letters, please email me at Cesar.Carhuachin@pcusa.org. If you want to read updates about my ministry here, please check my page at https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/missionconnections/rev-c-sar-carhuach-n/, and/or visit my Facebook page “Cesar Carhuachin in Colombia”.
In Christ’s service,
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Tags: César Carhuachín
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