So what has been happening at Pura Vida Church and Leon family besides having a new baby in the house?
We welcomed a group in Alajuela into the Pura Vida Church family.
For the last three years a group of friends in Alajuela Costa Rica (near the airport) have been holding a bible study which quickly out grew their living room and moved into the garage, when they got to be 50 people they no longer fit in the garage and had to face the fact that they were no longer a bible study. With prayer and many conversations with Dennis and their leadership they decided to join the Pura Vida Church family and move into a larger location. We were able to attend their first “church” service in their new location and with only two months of being there they have been seeing about 100 in attendance every Friday night and 5 people baptized!
We just said goodbye to a group from Santa Barbara led by Doug Rank. What an amazing group! They helped out with UNO+ and the agriculture program moving dirt, shredding coconuts, playing with kids, doing crafts and much more. To top it off they helped put on a weekend long camp for 80 kids (14 of which came from Esterillos) in the mountains where they did more crafts, a muddy obstacle course, super slip n’ slide and lot of fun bible lessons and worship.
So what is Uno+?
Uno+ is an amazing an example of what God can do when no one cares who gets the credit!
Robbie, a friend and pastor from Florida had asked us about the possibility of starting a child sponsorship program through our church. At the time it was not a possibility because we did not have anyone to run that kind of program, but a few months later the perfect person moved to Esterillos, Anita (Anita’s testimony coming soon, look for it on our next video newsletter). Now with the perfect person to run this kind of program all we needed was a location. There is a community computer room right across the street from the school where we meet for Sunday services that has not been open for over 3 years and we thought that we would ask about renting that space. When we did, the guy literally handed us the keys and said they will pay the utilities for us. The next step was getting computers, when we went inside the building there were already 21 working computers! Now all we needed was sponsors and the schools support. Both of which came with the same ease as the rest of the process. In three months’ time we had a children’s ministry that was reaching all the students in the school!
What the program entails: Uno+: mejores ninos para el mundo (one more: better kids for our world)
The idea is that with one life changed we make a difference. There is a slogan that says “leaving a better world for our children” but we want to create better kids for our world, because better kids will make a better world. With the help of sponsors all 42 children from the school are supported. They receive one meal a day, and weekly bible, computer English, art, creation care and tutoring along with other special events like movie nights, fishing outings, surf lessons etc. They also receive a back to school packet with essential items like pens pencils and notebooks and a booster pack halfway through the year. There are also two mandatory parenting classes per year and summer activities. The program has been running for 3 months now and it is amazing to see the results. Comments from parents and teachers about the change not only academically but in the character of the kids.
Oh and the kids! Yes everyone is doing great. Elias continues to excel in school and loves everything Lego, especially Star Wars! Selah is honestly a challenge but still a joy and is a big help with the baby. She turns 4 next month. Third is a charm and Cyrus is the ideal baby, other than agu you rarely hear a peep from him and he is full of smiles! Dennis and I are doing great! Dennis turns 35 this month and has been enjoying seeing much fruit from the people he has been discipling this year. I am enjoying UNO+ so much it is hard to keep away, but I contain myself and only go once a week to help Anita.
Uno+ kids and families that we continue to see more families transformed by the love of Christ.
Selah as we learn to parent a strong willed child
Strengthening of the leadership team at PVC Esterillos
Opportunity to build healthy relationships with other churches.