I am not sure how to start. Having visited a communist country (south of Florida), it is important to guard what is said to protect those we visited, especially writing on the internet. So if you have not
figured out where we were, drop me an email. As our Crisis, Compassion and Community Development ministry moves forward, we have been given another opportunity to see God at work. We went and viewed a micro-enterprise outreach that is working in the local churches in this country. We went and saw things that no tourist will ever see. I fell in love with the believersthere. Living in a restricted system and yet flourishing. Since the C&MA is not a recognized denomination in this country, all of the churches are house churches with pastors and their families living in 1 or 2 rooms sacrificing a bigger room for a permanent place for people to meet and worship together. I saw unrestricted joy as these micro-enterprises were allowing them to honor the Lord through tithing and supporting their families. There is amazing cooperation between denominations as this program is sweeping through communities. Some levels of government are recognizing how much of a positive change has been happening in communities with this program. Average salaries/person, whether you are a doctor or a farmer is $10-$20/month in a country where the local necessities of life ie basic food often is just not available. We heard testimony after testimony of God working in and through people. A common story was of person after person experiencing a new life in Christ. One community has 12 people in this program and 11 made a decision and as the pastor told us, the last one “will be!” There are many opportunities for this type of community development in Latin America. Pray with us as we explore the possibilities.
On Feb 17, Linda and I leave for Nicaragua for 2 weeks to act as translators for a Alliance Men’s work team. It will be a real test of our language skills. Pray for the impact the team will have on the local community. Pray for us as 2 weeks in a strange place in the heat away from the comforts of home will have its own unique stress builders. Linda is currently enrolled in the “Perspectives” course that is being offered at a local church. Not only is the course opening up her heart and mind, it is opening up community contacts and language acquisition (in a non-threatening manner). Some of the course is in Spanish!
Other prayer requests include
1. A clear direction for further ministry development. We are exploring 2 opportunities for small community development projects right here in Costa Rica.
2. Our home assignment in Calgary starting in April for 3 months. We are looking for a place to stay, a vehicle to use and opportunities to share our vision in churches and small groups.
3. The raising of our vehicle funds.
4. The completion of a database for disaster response volunteers.