International Ministries

May 2009 ... Pavas

May 14, 2009 Journal
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May, 2009


Dear MPN friends,


The first time I visited the Pavas slums in San José, Costa Rica with my friend Heidi, I was appalled. We walked along the railroad track that served as a road, past open sewers and houses that looked as if they would collapse at any moment. Barefoot children ran past us, playing. Then suddenly, we came to a different section. The houses were sturdy and well maintained, and the people seemed more confident.  In the center stood the Lutheran Church, and we entered to participate in a lively and joyous service. Heidi and her husband Marcos pastor this church, and have helped to transform the lives of those they serve. 


Heidi and Marcos needed help from someone with a seminary training that would prepare him or her to minister in this difficult context. Enter Sergio, a talented Colombian studying at the Universidad Bíblica Latinoamericana (Latin American Biblical University), a seminary that specializes in offering pastors a holistic vision of ministry. 


What about Christian education materials? The major publishing houses could not begin to address the issues faced by this struggling congregation: Lutheran doctrine in a slum context! So when Heidi heard that I had been asked to teach a class at the Latin American Biblical University (UBL) on how to prepare Sunday school lessons, she encouraged Sergio to sign up for the class. He learned the basic skills and will be writing materials uniquely appropriate for the Pavas church.


That course was one of the factors that motivated the UBL to invite me onto their faculty as a Christian Education professor. It showed me how my experience could be used to respond to needs throughout Latin America, and I am looking forward to beginning this new challenge.


I am grateful for the support of so many of you toward this ministry. I am trusting God to provide the remainder of my financial support so that I can return to Costa Rica. Will you consider joining in partnership with me by making a financial gift or pledge today? 


In faith,



Rev. Ruth Mooney


You can contribute toward my ministry with a credit card online at or by mailing a check to International Ministries, Missionary Support, PO Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851, writing “salary support for Ruth Mooney” on the memo line. If you would like direct deposits made from a bank account, use the form attached below.