The count down is on (40 more days) as we make our final preparations for our move to Costa Rica. As we pondered and prayed about this move the issue of most concern has always been who will be the shepherd that care for Pura Vida Church Santa Barbara in our absence? We praise God for the fact that nobody is irreplaceable and we are happy and humbled to announce that we leave Pura Vida Santa Barbara in the hands of and incredible team lead by Paula Sevilla.

Paula was born and raised right here in Santa Barbara and has a heart for the lost as well as everything Latino. Paula came to us two years ago after working extensively as a missionary in Mexico and Guatemala for five years. As we got to know her we saw her leadership potential paired with a passionate love for Jesus and genuine humility. Her ministry gifts and cross-cultural communication skills are amazing. For us it was a no brainer to use someone from within the body of our local church rather than bringing someone in from the outside and after much prayer and counsel Paula took the challenge.

She will be actively supported by a prayerful team of lay leaders from the Pura Vida congregation as well as the rest of the pastoral staff at the Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara. She is currently studying cross-cultural ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary. Dennis will continue to mentor and guide her through this transition and in the future via the internet and Skype. Please be part of her support team by remembering to pray for her and the rest of the congregation as they go through this transition.

Other Leon’s family and ministry highlights….

· We have been fundraising right and left and have raised about 75% of what we will need for our two year assignment. Praise God!

· We were able to purchase our tickets and are on schedule for a March 31st departure (one way!!!).

· We thank you for all your prayers as Kyle experienced strong heart palpitations that had us worried. After some tests it was confirmed that her heart is perfect and that it is simply due to the combination of stress and pregnancy. She scheduled a massage for the next day!

· We are living in the trailer behind the Schmidt family house and so getting lots of quality family time in, as well as getting the packing done with time to spare.

Con mucho love, Familia Leon.