When are you moving?
Ok, this isn’t deep, this is just by far the question we get most often! We wish we were at the point that we had a solid answer to that question. Most missionary work, including ours, involves raising the necessary financial support involved to move, minister and live on the mission field.
Our goal and prayer is still to be heading out by the end of summer 2017.
We have felt the Lord’s leading, we’ve said yes and we want to get to the field and begin serving alongside of pastors and leaders as soon as possible.
Why Costa Rica? (Or, why not Honduras?)
Our passions and calling line up with identified needs and opportunities currently available in Costa Rica. We didn’t chose Costa Rica, rather, we feel we’ve said “yes!” to God’s leading to go and partner with the work He is doing and wants to do in Costa Rica.
A year after we got married we moved from Honduras up to the States. The largest factor in that move was so that both of us could continue our studies. The last 10.5 years has been about a lot more than just continuing education. We’ve sunk in roots, picked up (in my case) with old friends and made lots of new friends. We’ve been blessed to be near my family. We’ve continued to serve together in our church and community. We’ve weathered serious health concerns in our family and other difficulties.
We’ve celebrated the births of our two amazing kids, Carlos’ US citizenship, degrees completed, birthdays, the end of each school year (as a teacher – it’s worthy of celebrating – trust me!), and countless other large and small joys God has blessed us with. Carlos has learned English and experienced living in a new culture. We’ve had all kinds of ups and downs and twists and turns along the way. We’ve grown stronger as a couple and more in love. We are so grateful for these years we’ve had here. But….
It literally went without saying that we’d one day move back to Latin America…and that meant, to Honduras. But, that’s not how this story goes. Just another twist along the path. We looked at many ministry opportunities across Latin America. We were drawn to an opportunity with ReachGlobal in Costa Rica that lines up with Carlos’ passions and gifts. He is passionate about serving leaders, he’s a networker, loves getting things off the ground and loves to get people working together.
We entered into a process of learning more about ReachGlobal and the needs in Costa Rica. Pastors and leaders are asking for help in Costa Rica to help build unity and desire access to solid theological and ministerial training. Through much prayer, wise counsel and our visit to Costa Rica we felt peace, and continue to feel peace, that this is the Lord’s leading.
My interest in Spanish and Latino cultures really began in junior high. For several years I regularly volunteered with an after school program for young Hispanic children that met at my church.
In high school and college I had several opportunities to participate in short term mission trips to Mexico. My interest in cross cultural…well, everything, just kept growing. On my first two-week long mission trip as a 15 year old I went forward during a final service in which we were asked if we felt called to be a missionary. I’ve struggled to share this experience from when I was 15 because I wasn’t always sure of the call; I second guessed it…and, later on, I guess I tried to ignore it. It’s hard to fully explain the things that God simply places in one’s heart – an interest and love for other places and cultures. Along with that is the feeling, the draw, the call that God has something else for our family elsewhere.
Carlos and I met in Honduras when I was there as a short term missionary (for several years) in my early 20’s. Carlos was at seminary, helped lead his church’s youth group, preached occasionally and also volunteered with the national youth ministry. We met volunteering together with that youth ministry.
We were an odd pair from the beginning: US suburban girl meets rural Honduran boy in the capital of Tegucigalpa. We both grew up in Christian homes. That’s about the extent of what we have in common in our upbringing. And, even that common ground was lived out in each of our families differently. What brought us together? I think that the true beginning of the connection that developed between us was that we both saw in the other a person who loved the Lord, loved others and wanted to serve in ministry.
Carlos felt called into full-time ministry prior to us meeting and he was praying for a wife who loved missions. He has faithfully continued his studies as he has felt called to better prepare himself for future ministry opportunities. He has continued to grow and expand his understanding and view of effective and healthy leadership and churches through many ministerial experiences and through relationship with other leaders.
The evangelical church is growing numerically in Latin America. However, many of those leading the church in Latin America have had little to no training. Helping support the church leadership in the areas of leadership development, theological & ministerial training and mentoring are vital to the health of the church in Latin America.
We’ve been called to come alongside of nationals and support the Latin American Church. We love Latin America and have a great passion for spreading God’s love, hope and truth in Jesus to the nations.