As I sit here writing this blog entry, I can hear several of the guys from our team gathered together in the other room praying for our missionary, Jordan, and the people of Costa Rica. I am overwhelmed as I am reminded that even when ministry is not as perfect as we might hope, God is working in and through the lives of our team.
This afternoon, as we wrapped up the main ministry portion of our trip, we were able to spend our time of ministry sharing within a street fair/festival that was being hosted by the local police. We had gotten to work with them the past few days in Cot and as a result, we were specially invited to this event. This area of Cortago is a new ministry area and Jordan has just started a bible study with these officers a few weeks ago. The street fair was set up on the top of a hill where they had setup various games, a bounce house, trampoline and other activities. We were able to talk to the kids of Cot, including the officer’s children and some of the teens and kids we had worked with during the VBS programs. After arriving, we started handing out tracts, candy and inviting the kids and parents to the local church. We shared a paper bag puppet craft, sidewalk chalk art, and balloon animals as well. Sargent Chavis, “el jefe”, the boss of the precinct even showed off his skills at balloon art by making a bicycle, teddy bears, fancy swords and other things. I was encouraged to see so many of our teens reach out with boldness to share God’s love and message of salvation with the people.
The local police station even decided to make a special thank you lunch for us of rice and chicken. Sherri and I got to ride in a police truck to drive around town to pick up the food and other supplies. It was fun to see the faces of some of the church members and VBS kids wave and smile at us as we passed by. The real win of today, was the doors that this fair opened up for Jordan as he stays behind to minister to the people of Cot. Just today, he was asked by the central police office of the province to come and host a bible study with the main precinct later this week. One of the reasons had been our willingness to share and work with the officers the previous days and today. This provides new opportunities, police protection and government backing for Jordan to continue to expand and deepen his ministry here.
We also were able to attend a church service in English taught by the director of the Women’s National Basketball Team. This was inspirational as we shared with and heard from other missionaries, language students and other believers in the area. We picked up some pizza, headed back to the hotel and had our final devotions with our team. We spent a lot of time talking about our mission to serve the Lord and share the Gospel. The team was encouraged to not allow this trip to be a blip on our life, but the start or continuation of a lifetime of serving God. The team was given 3 action items as they return home: 1) Spend time in God’s Word and prayer every day. We can’t be effective for God if we aren’t filling up with God’s truth each day. 2) Set a plan to continue the mission. Each team member was encouraged to pick a person that they were going to talk to right away when they get home to share the good news of the Gospel. 3) Support missions. Each one of us can pray for missions. Whether in Costa Rica, around the globe or at home, we can support missionaries with the free gift of constant prayer. Members were also encouraged to consider sacrificial giving to support missionaries everywhere, irregardless of the amount.
– Brandon Shirk