A Thank-You to Hunter Farrell

You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your God in heaven.
-Matthew 5: 14-16

The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship extends its gratitude and thanks for the long ministry of the Rev. Hunter Farrell, Director of World Mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). We are saddened to see Hunter go after such a long and successful tenure at World Mission that has spanned three decades, even as we celebrate his ministry among us which has been filled with the richness of God’s blessings.

We especially give thanks to Hunter for two particular projects in World Mission that are close to the work of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship:

He played a lead role in advocacy, leadership and ministry in opposition to the La Oroya smelting plant in Peru that has sickened countless children and community members. The situation in La Oroya has been replicated multiple times around the globe as business and capitalism has wrecked havoc on the lives of communities, ecologies and especially for those who are most vulnerable. We give thanks to God for Hunter’s early advocacy and consciousness-raising of this issue which has transformed not just the ministry of the Presbyterian Church in Peru but also the understandings of evil, mission and neoliberalism in the United States and the call of discipleship that is asked of us who lead and participate in the Church of Jesus Christ.

Hunter has also been a longtime supporter and advocate for the Colombia Accompaniment Program. He has supported the work of mission co-workers in Colombia, the new and emerging Young Adult Volunteer program site based in Colombia, along with the work of our short-term human rights accompaniers. Hunter has also worked tirelessly behind the scenes for the protection of church and human rights workers in Colombia and assisted during our thankfully few and far between emergency situations for church workers there. Leaders in our program can remember having a difficult day in Colombia on more than one occasion, filled with fear about the safety of a community, mission co-worker or church worker and calling the World Mission office. Hunter always stepped out of meetings to join us on a call, offer words of solidarity and hope, the assurance of resources and the promise of prayer. As we have watched and prayed for other situations of difficulty, pain and violence that have befallen other communities around the world we can imagine that Hunter has also faithfully accompanied them just as he has cared for us.

For more than thirty years in a career that has spanned Africa, Latin American, and the United States, Hunter has modeled for the whole church an enthusiastic witness to the transformative power of Jesus. We give thanks to God for Hunter Farrell’s ministry and for his advocacy for mission both in the United States and throughout the world. He will be sorely missed as we have been able to count on him as one who is committed to nonviolence and peacemaking in both the larger church and in our society; as a response to the God of Love who has redeemed each of us.  We wish him and his wife Ruth and their entire family every blessing as they follow the leading of God. They always have a home with their sisters and brothers in the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.