We are at the tail end of the dry season here, it gets stormy every day and I think to myself, “here comes the rain” but a few hours later and still not a drop. The land is hot, dry and dusty, but I know it will come. I try to enjoy the last few weeks before the rain comes, being outside in the late afternoons and evenings and not having to deal with the mud and wet everything, but I am starting to ache for the coolness of rain. It is a season and while I try to enjoy the one we are in I look forward to the one that is to come. Time flies and as I finally sit down to update you all on the goings on at Pura Vida Church and the Shoreline Mission District I realize that this week marks nine years since we moved to Costa Rica. So much has happened in that time and we have seen God’s hand moving in so many ways. I realize that nine years is not a lifetime, but it still feels significant. We have seen the church grow from a bunch of preteen boys gathered in our living room to three thriving churches all on their way to planting another church themselves. We have seen, people come to faith, grow in their walk with God and bring others to faith. Recently we had the first baby born into the church (other than our own of course). This is a huge milestone for our church, to walk with a person as they come to a deeper knowledge of the Lord, to watch them grow in faith and as a person, to counsel them as they prepare to marry, to watch as they develop a ministry as a family, and now to see them welcome their little baby into this world really brings this church planting thing full circle. It makes us feel so grown up!
One of the things we emphasize here is the idea of making disciples “as you go”. Although biblical knowledge is an important part of the disciple making process we have to remember that it is important to teach how to apply that knowledge to our lives as we live them and this happens as you spend time with people doing ordinary things. We have always invited people to share in our family life and spend time with us and this has led to many opportunities to guide people in their spiritual journey. For example, on a recent camping trip with another family we were able to join them as four members chose to be baptized!
Although we are part of a fairly young church God has used it to share His love in places as far as the Canary Islands, Chile and as close as Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Dennis has been able to join up with Christian Surfers, FMC and the Surf Church network to train and equip leaders and pastors in evangelism, discipleship and community church planting principles. We want to inspire local churches around the world to reach out into their communities with the love of Jesus, bringing people to a realization of who He is, discipling them and planting reproducing churches. Click here to to help us do this!
We have officially began to prepare the land that was donated to the church for the new Community Resource Center. This building will be our first and will not only give us a headquarters for Pura Vida Church Esterillos and the Shoreline Mission District, it will also act as a place of worship, training center for pastors and leaders as well as a center for community activities. To complete phase one of this project we need to raise $100,000 which will cover all the preparation and permitting and even the foundation for the building. To contribute to this project click here .
Flow of funds and patience for the building process
God continues to bring leaders/grow seeds that have been planted
Short term mission groups this year, that we can provide life changing experiences for both locals and volunteers
A local director for the Esterillos UNo+ center