Dear sisters and brothers in Colombia,
We are saddened to hear that on Sunday, October 2, a narrow majority of voters chose to reject the peace accords reached by the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas.
When we met in Bogotá just a few weeks ago, we shared a hope that the accords would be approved, yet we knew that hard work of reconciliation lay ahead regardless of the outcome at the polls. Such a close vote helps us better understand that reconciliation is needed not only between Colombian society and guerrilla forces, but within civil society as well. After fifty-two years of armed conflict, the vast majority of Colombians yearn for peace with justice, but deep divisions have led to disparate visions of the things that make for peace.
As happens so often in our faith journey, our common pilgrimage pursuing the Prince of Peace has encountered an unexpected barrier. Yet we are confident that the Spirit of God will continue to guide you and help you to discern how to proceed in faithfulness to the Gospel.
Please know that you are not alone. We will continue to encourage our churches to lift the Presbyterian Church of Colombia and the Colombian people in prayer before the God who works for peace with justice through all of human history.
We will continue to accompany you through our mission co-workers and young adult volunteers. We will continue to discern with you, in collaboration with the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, how volunteer accompaniers might support the victims of the armed conflict and your efforts toward reconciliation. We will continue to urge the U.S. government to work for peace with justice in Colombia.
As the path toward peace unfolds, we are bound together in our common reliance upon God’s grace.
“By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:78–79 NRSV)