Letter from German Zarate on Colombia

Dear friends, esteemed brothers and sisters in the faith,

“We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Seek first the reign of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Let us not conform to this world, but let us change our way of living and know what God’s will is – good, pleasing and perfect.”

I am happy and very hopeful because of what is happening in La Habana. Although the signing of the end of the armed conflict between the government of Colombia and the FARC-EP doesn’t guarantee peace, the possibility that one of the armed groups disarms is a great reason for joy and hope. The task that remains for us is to incorporate this experience of peace with the other guerrilla group, ELN.

I firmly believe that your prayers to the Lord of Life, both here and there, have borne this anticipated fruit. Many people share their joy and hope along with us. There is also skepticism, but it can be overcome if we as civil society continue working for peace, starting with justice.

Over the past few years in Colombia, a series of actions have taken place in favor of life. Least of these are the death threats that some of us have received. It pains us to think of the large quantity of lives lost to the selfishness and violence of those who keep thinking that the solution to the problems of communities is achieved through force.

We now want to be ready to work because of the living conditions of the people, especially those who have fewer opportunities and are subject to injustice, that they can dedicate themselves and that we can dedicate ourselves to the dignity of life.

In the same way that we often denounce situations of pain and hopelessness, we now want to share that God is Lord over all history and that God intervenes in it so that we may recognize that his justice always works in favor of those who are victimized by a society blinded from mercy and compassion.

The strength that we have had comes from Christ. We look at and share the hope of a society in which justice reigns, out of a place of love, along with the desire to serve one another. That practice disposes us to share what God is giving us to enrich the great experience of a life filled with good purposes.

They are opportunities that God provides us with in order to change our way of thinking, which, in our social and economic context, has been very egotistical, and then to realize that God wants the best of all.

I write you this note, happy and full of hope. With the strength of the Spirit to continue with the task of recovering what we believed, in one way or another, was lost: a life complete and filled with satisfaction and joy.

Your brother,

Germán Zárate Durier
Ruling Elder National Office of the Deaconry
Presbyterian Church of Colombia

Baranquilla, Colombia
June 2016