Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Better late than never!
I don’t know if you knew this or not but we are one of 11 Free Methodist Churches in Costa Rica. As a denomination we are led and supported by Superintendent Huiberth Zapata. We have had the opportunity to get to know the other pastors in monthly support and training meetings led by Sup. Zapata and have also been able to visit many of the other churches. In the month of November we went to visit four of the churches that are in the northern part of the country. Encouraging and being encouraged as we spent time with these pastors and their congregations. Below is a tidbit about each church so you can get to know them and keep them in your prayers.
Tilaran: Pastor Santiago Loaiziga and his wife lead a growing congregation with a strong prayer ministry in a rural/agricultural community.
Pray that the Lord uses the people in the church to reach out to their neighbors.
Need to finish parsonage and replace leaky roof.
Los Chiles: Pastor Victorino and his wife lead an immigrant congregation on the boarder of Costa Rica with Nicaragua.
Pray for consistency and commitment in the leaders.
Need church building/property with parsonage.
San Carlos: Pastor Sadia leads a vibrant church with the help of her daughter as youth pastor.
Pray for Sadia’s health as she has struggled with this a lot lately.
Need remodel of the parsonage, church bathrooms and Sunday school rooms.
El Roble: Pastor Jorge Llorena and his wife lead a diverse congregation that was recently able to purchase property for their church.
Pray for a spirit of community and evangelism for this congregation.
Need to finish construction on the church building.
Kyle was finally able to start the girls group that she has wanted to start and with four consistent participants she feels that this small group is a good start. They are studying the women of the bible and she loves hearing usually timid girls speaking up and sharing with her during this time. The boys are so jealous of the girls special time that they decided they are going to start a group too! ( they meet Monday nights)
Being a Blessing
La Posada goes Pura Vida! For those of you who have experienced a La Posada Christmas celebration before you know how fun it is! We had our first annual Posada in Parrita this year with all the usual la posada characters including a live horse! Although it rained a bit we still had a great turn out and tons of fun sharing the miracle of Jesus’ birth with the whole neighborhood.
Dependence on the Holy Spirit
After a wonderful time with our Area Director Dr. Delia Nuesch-Olver we are on track for becoming extended term missionaries with Free Methodist World Missions in 2011 . The first task is to raise enough money for the required training and interviews by April. Keep an eye out for some fund raising info. in your mailbox soon!
Dennis is about ready to harvest about 15,000 kilos of watermelon that he planted with one of his brothers and looks forward to trying out cantaloupe melon as the next crop. What is he going to do with all the money? He has been digging trenches and mixing cement to build an open-air church/hangout/ministry sleep center on our property.
Kyle got to go to the Monte Verde cloud forest for her 29th birthday this year with the family. She indulged in their famous cheeses for an extra special treat!
Elias has finished school for the year but has kept busy playing with friends and looks forward to starting Tae Kwan Do classes next week. He has thankfully been scabies free for a month now.
Selah is talking more and more and has become quite the little dancer singer. She loves the water and is quite fearless even when she is drowning! She somehow contracted Rosella or something like that. Some kind of skin rash similar to German measles. Although it lasts 1-3 months she seems to barley notice but keep her and all of our health in your prayers.
Come see us soon! Familia Leon