Ministering the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Costa Rica with Praying Pelican Missions, networking with local churches, serving in our community, and connecting mission teams to life-changing ministry opportunities.
Building for the Future
This month we were able to take a tour to visit with our partnering pastors in the southern part of Costa Rica as well as some pastors close to where we live.
I am walking away from this month reminded that we have amazing pastors that work hard daily to win their communities for Christ. Time and time again pastors shared that ministry is hard, but that they are not ready to give up. Many times we had to dig in and ask personal questions, like "how are you surviving financially?" or "do you have a leadership team in your church to help you?" Even with very limited resources, the Church continues to be a lighthouse in their communities. One pastor even told us this month: "you are the only ministry that has ever come to our church to serve with us."
In addition to encouraging pastors, we have also been working towards building up our local staff. Our local staff are going to be the key to effective ministry this year as we brace for over 700 missionaries coming to serve in Costa Rica in 2017. We have been setting aside one night a month to have our staff come over to our house for a meal, fellowship, and worship. This is our time to prepare before we are all launched out... what an exciting time that is before us!
To top off this month, history was made by Praying Pelican Missions as we hired our first local full time staff member, our Costa Rican Ministry Coordinator, Jonathan Alvarez.
Jonathan has been my right hand man since we moved here, doing the majority of communication for me with pastors, attending meetings, and building deep relationships with our pastors. It is a blessing to have him on staff with us. Jonathan now has the ability to raise funds as a missionary. If you feel the Lord leading you to invest in us raising up local staff, you can join Jonathan's Monthly Support Team by clicking here, then scroll down to "Staff Support" and click on Jonathan Alvarez. Thanks for your support!
Hurricane Otto Update: A Heartfelt 'Thank You'
We have been in a lot of communication with the two churches that we were assisting after Hurricane Otto came through. A huge "Thank You" to everyone who prayed and gave financially. The churches are still recovering but are doing great! Take a moment to watch and hear this heartfelt message of gratitude.
In Other News...
Here's a quick snippet of some other headlines from the month:
The kids started a new school year and are doing great!
Papi (our dog) got neutered. He won't be running away to visit the neighbor dog anymore!
Laura has been doing English tutoring to a woman from one of our partnering churches.
Reagan is now considered a "high schooler" in Costa Rica!
Nathan and Laura were guest "native" english speakers at an English Class at a local university.
Abbi celebrated her 10th birthday.
Laura and Nate actually got out on Valentines Day for a date!
Old friends from Elim Bible Institute visited with us for a week, it was so fun to catch up with them!
Nate & Jonathan spent 18 hours and $800 to get our van certified to drive on Costa Rican roads for another year. YIKES!
Our Spanish is not getting better, but our English is getting worse.
Nate's Grandma passed away last month and will be deeply missed. Grandma Ford always took the blame for "Nanie" being short. She promised him that one day he wouldn't be the shortest kid in his class. It finally happened in 9th Grade. We are thankful that we were able to spend time with her at Christmas. Grandma is now pain free, dancing the streets of gold with Grandpa and JESUS!
Nathan, Laura, Darrell (in the USA), Reagan, Abigail, Malachi, & Isaiah