International Ministries

Can I visit?

August 6, 2011 Journal
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Dear Friends,

I want to see you! I am going to up to the States for a visit in October, November, and December and plan to spend those three months on the road visiting as many of you as possible. Please let me know if your church would like me to share about my ministry in Costa Rica or if you have a special mission event in which I could participate. 

At the Universidad Bíblica Latinoamericana (UBL) we just finished our third bimester (of five). I was teaching the basic Christian Education class, Educación Transformadora, with one of the most delightful and challenging groups I’ve ever had. Let me tell you about my students.

The two Salvadors, Luisa, a lawyer and Michelle, a journalist, are preparing to be Episcopal priests, and their call to ministry and their love for the Lord shine forth.  They are actively involved in a local Episcopal church, and have already gained a reputation for their ability to work with children and for their pupusas (a stuffed tortilla that is the Salvadoran national dish).

María Alejandra, an Ecuadorian, and Karoline, a Costa Rican, both work for World Visión. Karoline missed a few classes because she was in charge of organizing a huge World Vision event in Lima, Peru. She’s also putting her organizing ability to use for her wedding, coming up this fall.

María Alejandra has a passion for serving the poor that led her to India several years ago, where she worked for six months in a slum with the Dalit, the “out-castes”, who have no rights because they are outside the caste system. Her interest in my class was to develop materials for use in the community work of World Vision.

Rodrigo, an Argentine musician with a teaching degree, challenged us to the limit, despairingly and agressively asserting that traditional Christian Education programs are largely bankrupt. He had worked with drug-dependent youth in Argentina, and, in that context, a totally new approach was essential. I challenged him to dream, to create new models.

Carlos is a Costa Rican who grew up on a farm without electricity or running water, whose mother heated her iron on the stove. This was his first experience at the UBL, and, coming from a rural Pentecostal background, I feared that he might be easily shocked by my other students. But they drew him in and soon he was “Charlie”, participating actively in all the activities, and displaying a level of down-to-earth wisdom that impressed everyone.

We built a close-knit group that shared ministry dreams and personal concerns. They read everything I assigned, analyzed and questioned it all, and asked for more. It is such a privilege to teach people with a hunger for learning and a vision for ministry!

I look forward to seeing you soon to tell you more about these wonderful people and to catch up on your news as well.