Twelve international peacemakers from around the world are visiting congregations, presbyteries and colleges of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Sept. 19-Oct. 12.
They are sharing their stories about church-based ministries in their countries that seek peace justice and pursue peace in the name of Jesus Christ. This year’s international peacemakers come from Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Madagascar, Malawi, Mexico, Palestine, the Philippines, Russia, South Sudan and Syria.
Yasmin Christina Garcia Mosquera is a young adult and ruling elder with the Presbyterian Church of Apartado in Colombia. She is member of the Presbytery of Urabá’s diaconate. The focus of her work is with vulnerable children and their families as director of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia (IPC)’s partnership with Compassion International Colombia. She has an 11 year old daughter.
What is the most important situation in your country that you will be addressing?
I will be speaking about the armed conflict and the violence that exist in Colombia, particularly in the Urabá region, and the vulnerability of the children, youth, and families of our community.
How are the faith communities trying to address this situation?
We are working with children, youth, and their families through the social service ministry of the church [diaconia] in an intentionally holistic way, addressing their physical, socio-emotional, spiritual, and cognitive issues and needs. We work together on projects not only with members of the churches but also with members of the community.
What peacemaking lessons from your situation are you trying to communicate to U.S. Presbyterians?
In our work, we remind the church that we are agents of peace. We are peacemakers because we advocate for the dignity of children and the restoration of the rights of women.
What is the primary message you want to communicate to U.S. Presbyterians about your country?
All of us working together can make peace, achieve peace. We are grateful for the accompaniment of Presbyterians in the United States, such as our relationships with different presbyteries, the accompaniment program, and the Young Adult Volunteer program. In the struggle that we have, we do not feel alone. We know that there are people in the United States who know our situation and who are praying for us. U.S. Presbyterians have a role to play in making peace in Colombia.
Yasmin Mosquera will be visiting the presbyteries of Winnebago, the Pacific, Riverside, Stockton, and North Alabama.