Our mission in Costa Rica began in 2006 when Pastor Pedro, a graduate from our theological program in Nicaragua, returned from service with the LCMS in Panama. His approach began with visitations in a variety of communities (all suburbs of San Jose) taking every opportunity to meet people, visit in their homes and share the Gospel. He discovered over time that his greatest response came in the community of Alajuelita and it was in this community that he decided to centre his outreach ministry. A facility was rented in this community thanks to the support of Concordia Lutheran Mission society. The facility gives a place to the mission; members of the community now identify it with Pastor Pedro and his message. And most important, it provides a place where people can gather for study and worship.
When asked what has assisted him in his mission work, in addition to now having a centre from which to work, he speaks of two Volunteer Mission Teams who came down with MOST Ministries, an LCMS Listed Service Agency. The presence of these teams drew many people from the community. He was grateful for their service (one an Evangelism Puppet Team and the other an ESL team, but even more grateful for the contacts that he was able to make because of their presence in the community.
On Sunday we had the opportunity to gather in Bible Study with 12 others who came to the centre. (Pastor Pedro says that about 10-20 gathering each week; He always prays for more.) For this bible study they were using a “GOOD NEWS” magazine and the Bible. Good discussion took place as Pastor Pedro led a study of the biblical teaching on “sin as slavery” and then spoke of the liberation that God has given through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! While I must admit that I could not understand most of what was said, except through my translator, I do know from the nodding of heads and the alleluia from one participant that there was agreement in the Gospel and joy in the wonderful gift that God has given.
God’s ways are always a wonder to behold. Through the internet a man by the name of Edmundo came to discover Pastor Pedro and his mission. Edmundo came to understand Lutheran theology through his theological study at the University of Costa Rica. Unsatisfied with what he was hearing in Lutheran circles, he turned to the internet and there discovered a multitude of LCMS theological documents. Reading them he felt that he had now found his home. Further exploration led him to LCC and our mission here, to Pastor Pedro and his community.
The result? Edmundo is now preparing to be received as a pastor of ILSN and when additional funding is approved will begin a second mission outpost in the community of Birrestio.
I can’t close this blog with expressing thanks to all members of our congregations for their support of the mission that we do together through a regular offerings. Then also to CLMS for providing support for the rental of the centre; to the LWML for their support these past two years of the ministry of Pastor Pedro as well as to the various volunteer groups that have come down and contributed to the outreach program of the mission.
But chiefly do we give thanks to God who opens the hearts of people to the Gospel and gives to those who come to believe the passion to share it with others!