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Missionaries

Meet Karla Koll, our PCUSA missionary in Costa Rica.

Karla

Karla serves on the faculty of the Latin Biblical University (UBL) as professor of history, mission, and religions. Her classroom is filled with diverse students. Pentecostal pastors learn next to Roman Catholic nuns and those with years of leadership experience in their churches study alongside new believers whose intellectual curiosity has led them to study theology. Students from indigenous cultures and communities of African ancestry share their perspectives. Together with faculty members, they seek to construct theological responses to the urgent challenges facing the peoples of Latin America.

Karla attended UBL in 1984 as a theology student. She says, “The institution … offered me the opportunity to learn from and with Central Americans about what it meant to follow Jesus Christ in the midst of the struggles for peace with justice in the region. At the same time I also discovered my calling to serve in Central America in theological education and to build relationships between Christians in the U.S. and Central America.”

In addition, Karla’s work at UBL gives her the opportunity to help Presbyterians in the United States “be drawn to greater commitment to work in God’s mission for the fullness of life for all.” As she pursues her work, Karla says she is inspired by 2 Corinthians 5:17–21, which describes our calling as Christians to be engaged in reconciliation. “As followers of Christ, we are called to be ambassadors for the new creation God is bringing about,” Karla emphasizes. “The call to work for reconciliation has been central to my ministry.”

Karla is married to Francisco Javier Torrez Bermudez, a native of Nicaragua. They are the parents of an adult daughter, Tamara Torrez-Koll, a college student in Oregon.