Greetings, loved ones! We are now in the fourth month of our Costa Rican journey, and each day God continues to take us deeper into His incredible love, power and promises. The past month has not been without its challenges; however, we have continued to see the Lord’s plan unfold in beautiful ways, and we have a firm conviction of His divine purpose and calling for our time here.
One exciting bit of news: we have at last entered the rainy season! Costa Rica is now in the transitional time between summer and winter, and the rains have brought a bit of relief to the extreme heat which we experienced for the first stint of our stay. Humidity continues to be high, but the air temperature cools down a wonderful 7 degrees or so each time the rains begin to pour. We are very grateful for the change!
On the home front, this is a season of transition for our entire clan. Our daughter Kylene is graduating this week from her three years of studies at Bethel School of Ministry, where this past year she has interned for one of the school’s pastors. She hopes to stay in Redding for another year, working locally and serving at Bethel church. Alyssa is also entering a new season after receiving a very generous scholarship package from Westmont College in Santa Barbara. She has enrolled for the upcoming fall semester and is eager to begin an exciting new chapter of her life. Our oldest, Jarren, who lives in Washington state, is about to launch full time into flight school as the Lord has just recently miraculously provided for that endeavor. Landon, our youngest, who is homeschooling for the second half of his sophomore year, has experienced tremendous growth while living in Costa Rica. He is now more yielded than ever to the Lord and learning what it means to be surrendered to Jesus.
The past month has been full to overflowing with many incredible experiences. We’re particularly grateful to have had team member Annie Kilroy with us since early April. It’s incredible watching her minister with such sensitivity and enthusiasm! CRSSM also enjoyed a visit from our stateside team member, Adriana Santini, and her husband Rob. The Santinis joined us for our mid-April outreach, employing Adrina’s bilingual skills as we ministered in nearby churches. One of the ministry highlights from that outreach included seeing a man who had been limping along on a cane get healed and then get saved! We also saw a young couple repent, surrender to Jesus and get married on the spot!
We then had the joy of hosting our dear friends the Gieslers (pictured above) from Crested Butte, CO in our home for two weeks. They participated in our latest outreach and their gifts and strengths were such a boost to our team! During that time, God demonstrated His love and power in very precious ways. One woman battling intense depression saw complete breakthrough as her weeping literally turned to laughter. She continued to laugh delightedly for over 30 minutes and was still grinning and giggling as we drove away from the church that night. Jesus truly had turned her spirit of heaviness into a heart full of dancing and rejoicing!
However, the highlight of our month came last Monday evening, May 2, when CRSSM hosted a group of fifteen pastors and their wives from various denominations and from all over Costa Rica for an evening of fellowship and ministry. As mentioned in last month’s update, our team had begun to feel a strong leading of the Lord to focus on pastoral training and discipleship. This event was our first effort in that direction, and the response was overwhelming. The pastors unanimously expressed a tremendous hunger for MORE: more of Jesus, more of the power of the Holy Spirit. We were thrilled to watch the Lord orchestrate such an obvious confirmation, and we came away with a deep sense of a mighty move of God about to break loose in this nation! Pastor Eric, our Tico team member who has been an itinerant pastor in Costa for 20 years, reported that he’s never before seen this level of pastoral unity . Thank you, Jesus!
We have eight brief weeks remaining in Costa Rica for 2016, and we know that the moments will fly quickly. Please pray for great effectiveness so that we can make the most our time. We are currently praying as a team about the back half of 2016 and how to maintain relationships with pastors while many of us return to our home bases. We need wisdom to understand God’s heart for the next season and how not to lose momentum.
For our part, the Lord has clearly confirmed the need to get back to the States from a ministry standpoint as well as personal one. Much work needs to be done in the development of a ministry school and in building relationships with churches in the US. In addition, Chris’ help is needed as his extended family struggles through some health difficulties. Please pray for guidance as we make that transition, and also for an open door as we look for a place to rent beginning July 5.
We are so grateful for your partnership with us as we continue to pour out the love of the Father over a needy land!
If you’d like to see more details on what’s happening in the ministry, take a look at our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/crssm.org . It’s updated almost daily with photos, videos and testimonies as we minister the love of Jesus in Costa Rica.