International Ministries

Be Surprised by God. Pray. Give. Be Amazed.

September 11, 2006 Journal

We want to share some answers to prayer with you and thank you for your investment in what God is doing in Costa Rica.on left - Adalia Schellinger-Gutierrez

Pastors and leaders got some excellent teaching about domestic violence and committed themselves to helping all those affected. Our good friends and missionary colleagues Adalia and Ray Schellinger Gutierrez did the teaching. Their knowledge and authenticity allowed the group to share openly about the struggles in their churches and barrios. Some students even opened up about very personal and painful experiences from their own upbringing. With a deep conviction that Jesus wants to bring healing and peace to families, and that no one deserves to be hurt, Ray and Adalia serve in Tijuana, Mexico, but their visit to Costa Rica was an answer to prayer.

Yesterday I got to sit across the table from another answer to prayer. His name is Eduardo and he just started his work with the Baptist Church in Alajuelita. Many of you may know the church. The building in which Eduardo is living is the result of more than 13 work groups from ABC churches. The pastoral house itself is an answer to prayer, and as it was going up we asked each group to pray that the church would find a pastor. Eduardo had been doing ministry on Costa Rica's pacific coast but had been praying for a chance to serve in the San Jose area where he could be closer to his teenage daughters. We're convinced that God used the Alajuelita church, work groups and Eduardo in a wonderful confluence (good S.A.T word) of grace.

Another answer to prayer is very close to home. Our 12-year-old son, Micah, made a decision to follow Jesus and be baptized! The big event will take place in a river later this year. For now he and Mylinda and I are working our way through "Bridges of Promise", an excellent baptism preparation workbook from Judson Press. Pastor Frank Nelson, the author of the book, is pastor of a church in Minnesota that has a partner church relationship with one of our churches here. All of these connections are answers to prayer.

Other prayers answered include:

I don't want to give the impression that missionary life is non-stop victory and answered prayer. We've had some uphill battles and discouraging days lately. But God's spirit is alive and well and we are continually Amazed.

Your prayer and your giving are a huge part of what makes ministry happen. Many of you are getting ready to give to the World Mission Offering. We want to thank you in advance for your support of this important offering. We also want to give a special "thank you" to those who give on an ongoing basis or for special projects.

Dios Los Bendiga (God bless you),

Gary Baits