We want to take this opportunity to share our quarterly newsletter with you.
San Jose, Costa Rica, Central America
July 30, 2007
Dear Friends and Family in Christ,
What an awesome GOD we serve and how wonderful are His blessings.
After attending Eli´s graduation in the U.S., Kathie and I returned to Costa Rica on May 18th. We began to make final preparations for the June 30th arrival of the puppet team from Pennsylvania: finalizing the presentation schedule, determining by who and where meals would be provided, preparing sleeping quarters for the eight-member team, planning out their free-day of sightseeing, running 3600 copies of activity sheets, and posting promotional flyers about the presentations. During those weeks before the team´s arrival, we had some problems with the location we are presently using for church services in Nazaret. As many of you already know, we are renting the Community Center for half a day only. There are those in the community that simple don´t want God´s word taught in the neighborhood, and have tried on more than one ocassion to stop us from using the community center. Also, the people in the house next door have started playing loud rap music while we are having Sunday School with the children, making it impossible for the children to even hear the lesson. One woman in the community went house to house insulting and threatening the parents if they allowed their children to attend the VBS presentations. Kathie had asked to rent the community center for her ladies outreach ministry in Nazaret (these meetings were previously held at the home of Maria Elena, but since the recent birth of her grand-daughter who she cares for during the day while her daughter works, the meeting cannot be held there), but her request was denied. So far, we are still allowed to use the community center on Sunday mornings for church. We would appreciate your prayers about this situation. We have the opportunity to rent a house in Nazaret that has a large auditorium area, two rooms for Sunday School classes, and restrooms. However, it is $250/month that we don´t have available at this time. Having such a place would allow us to separate the children and have classes for their age groups, and to have a place to hold the Nazaret ladies meetings.
We need your help, the help of God´s people, to reach out and touch lives here in Costa Rica for Christ. The children of Costa Rica need Jesus because they so often have no one else to really care about them. But God cares and so do we. These children are the future of the gospel of Christ in Costa Rica. These children, many of whom are abused and neglected, need to know that someone loves and cares about them. We need you to help us help them, and unfortunately, that requires money. As I have mentioned above in this letter, we need a place where we can meet with and work with these children. A permanent place, and for that we will need the help of God´s people. Land here is expensive and so is the cost of building. We have been teaching the children to give their offering and they understand about tithing. However, they are children. They have no income to tithe and very little to give in the way of offerings. Just to give you an idea, we have been working in Nazaret for 18 months and the total offering in that time has been less than $25. From whatever the Lord gives us through you, our supporters, we provide for the rent, the transportation for the children, the materials for Sunday School, and we feed the children a meal every Sunday. For many of them, this is the only decent meal they have all week. We need to be able to purchase a piece of property and build a place to house the church, or purchase property with a building(s) already on it. We need $80,000 to cover the cost of land and construction, or the cost of property with a building already in place. Our God is strong and mighty. He can provide for this need through His people if His people are willing to be used by Him. We humbly ask your prayers in this matter, and ask that you would allow Him through you, whether you are a church or an individual, to do great and wonderous things here in Costa Rica. We invite you to come and see the ministry; to come and see the needs so you might better understand our plea for your help.
The VBS puppet presentations were excellent and God greatly blessed. The presentations consist of a four-day program in each location. There are songs, memory verses, Bible stories, games, and activities. Presentations were done in six different locations: Nazaret, Pitahaya, Ochomogo, San Ramon de Alejuela, Santa Lucia de Paraiso, and Cervantes. During the 24 presentations the gospel was presented to 1,764 people and 221 came forward during the invitation for salvation. What a tremendous blessing! Having the puppet team here to work with us was a special privilege and words are not enough to express our gratitude or appreciation for their commitment, love, and sacrifice. During the time they were here (June 30th - July 14th) the bonds of fellowship grew strong and they all are very precious to us. We will miss them greatly.
Kathie´s ladies meetings are going very well, except fot the lack of a place in Nazaret where we are praying about a new location as mentioned earlier in this letter. A new group has been started in San Ramon de Alejuela bringing the groups to a total of six. Funding continues to be a problem. We are, however, most grateful to those who help meet the needs of the ladies ministry each month and encourage you to continue doing so. Please pray that others will feel lead to help as well.
As always we are blessed by your love, prayers, and support. May God keep you in His love.
*****If any of you feel lead to help meet the needs of the ministry here, please feel free to contact us at this blog site, the email address in my profile, or at the email address in the header of the newsletter itself.
Blessings from Costa Rica