“God put on flesh and moved into the neighborhood” John 1:14 (paraphrase)
As fun and relaxing as it was to be a house church we have had to move into town, not only cause we were starting to max out the “Rancho” but also because as a church we felt the need to become more accessible to the local community and the segment of the population who did not feel comfortable coming to worship in a private home.
Being very central and easily accessible to the community the first place we thought of trying was the school. All it took was a letter expressing our need and what we were able to pay and the next week we had keys! The only thing that the school board could not accept was money, so rather than paying “rent” we are responsible for cleaning and maintenance of the areas we use which include the cafeteria, restrooms and the multipurpose room as well as a donation to help paying the lady who cooks lunch for the students during the week. This means that for $120 per month we are able to make improvements on the local school, provide an income for two local families and we get a beach front sanctuary and Sunday school rooms!
More photos here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4394723384847.2182148.1191317651&type=3
Amid the excitement of this transition we have built a park. It is so good to work in a neighborhood for the neighborhood, with the neighbors and we have two new families coming to church now because of this servant evangelism. This may not seem like a big deal, but these are the first families that Pura Vida Church Esterillos has ever had. Being a young church we have mostly young people, pre family, but now we have Sunday School and it is not just the two Leon kids (FYI to be 3 in April!!!!). The church is actually looking like a church! We have greeters, Sunday school, a welcome and coffee table, a guest speaker did an altar call and one lady even showed up with a tambourine! Church attendance is up by 20% and in five weeks we have had 1 baptism, seven conversions and we need to buy more chairs!
We just had to turn in our year end reports for the mission and thought you might like to see the results.
Infant dedications 1
Marriages 2 ( and at least 3 more in the next year)
Kyle’s newly pregnant and not feeling great
Thank God Elias’ ear healed up nicely (see facebook pics)
For continued growth, both spiritual and numerical
For Christian Surfers and Dennis and he trains the new national director