Mission Crossroads

SUM 2017

Mission Crossroads is a three-time-a-year magazine focused on worldwide work of the PC(USA). It offers news and feature stories about mission personnel, international partners and grassroots Presbyterians involved in God's mission in the world.

Issue link: https://missioncrossroads.epubxp.com/i/826794

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Page 2 of 23

Mission Crossroads 1 Keeping faith in Colombia Gospel seeds sown by Presbyterian missionaries develop into a bold witness for peace S T E W A R D S H I P M A T T E R S | Rosemary Mitchell founded. As our church works with them in partnership, our church's understanding of what it means to be a Reformed church is renewed. e task of mission is different than it was in the 19th century, but our Reformed witness, both in word and deed, is needed as much now as it was then. Our global partners invite us to walk alongside them as they confront some of the world's most pressing problems. Together we are addressing poverty, hopelessness and violence, and our world and our church are better because of our partnerships and the ministry that results through them. Your prayers and financial support enable the PC(USA) to work alongside our partners. Without you, we could not create the mission co-worker positions that our partners ask us to create, and we could not appoint the people God has called to fill these positons. Our church would not benefit from the wisdom our partners share with us, and individuals and communities would not experience the transformation that happens through our collaborative work. Rosemary Mitchell is senior director of Mission Engagement and Support at the Presbyterian Mission Agency. Contact her at rosemary.mitchell@pcusa.org. e prophetic stance of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia is based on its deeply held belief that Christian faith demands that believers engage in society and work for its betterment. is Reformed conviction has been part of the Presbyterian proclamation in Colombia since missionaries from our church began working there in 1856. As Colombia moves into the post- civil-war era, Colombian Presbyterians are engaging in the challenging work of reconciliation. As ex-combatants return home, victims of violence will be living in communities with former perpetrators of violence. e Presbyterian Church of Colombia is committed to helping communities as well as individuals heal and to contributing to a lasting peace with justice. Mission co-worker Sarah Henken has been invited by the Colombian church to help with this ministry. She will also continue to serve as site coordinator of the Young Adult Volunteer program. Around the world, churches founded by Presbyterian missionaries are faithfully proclaiming the gospel and diligently working for peace and justice. eir holistic witness embodies the Reformed faith on which these churches were Reflecting an unflinching fidelity to the gospel, the Presbyterian Church of Colombia has helped people find hope and meaning in circumstances where despair could easily reign supreme. For more than 50 years, a civil war gripped Colombia, claiming more than 220,000 lives and leaving millions displaced. In communities that displaced people fled to, the Presbyterian Church of Colombia was there, offering comfort and building community among those whom the war had uprooted. e conflict pitted paramilitary groups supporting the government against guerrilla groups demanding change. Colombian Presbyterians supported the 2016 peace accord that ended the conflict. At times during the war, church leaders received death threats because they dared to speak up for peace and for the rights of displaced people. In 2004, the Presbyterian Church of Colombia asked the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for help as it confronted this dangerous situation. Presbyterian World Mission, the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship and the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program responded by sponsoring a ministry of accompaniment. is involved Presbyterian volunteers from the United States making short-term visits to Colombia to stand with church leaders and others facing danger. e death threats eventually subsided, and the accompaniment program shifted its focus to the Colombian church's ministry with displaced people. TRANSFORM COMMUNITIES Support mission co-workers in Colombia. César Carhuachín: pcusa.org/donate/E200425 Sarah Henken: pcusa.org/donate/E200475 The task of mission is different than it was in the 19th century, but our Reformed witness, both in word and deed, is needed as much now as it was then.

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