That morning I had to wake up early to make sure I would be ready to preach at the Tampati church. Yesterday was a Vacation Day, but now it is back to ministry. Cookie’s husband invited ne to walk to the church with him. It was a lovely walk to Tampti. First I thought that the church was in Orosi village, but it wasn’t. As we were walking, Orgue and I exchanged some Biblical scriptures. That way we overcome the language barrier. The Word of God was our main way of communication; what a great way to unite two hearts. Tampati is a nice little village located in a magnificent valley, really impressive. Even if the church building is modest, what really matters is the presence of God’s Spirit in the midst of Go’s family. Since we arrived early we took time to pray, asking God’s blessing over the church service. As the people gathered what surprise me the most was to see the age level of the congregation, 85% were younger than 25 years old. Of course the dynamic of the music matches the youth energy. Then my turn came to bring the message God had laid on my heart; Suzy was my translator, we did work so well together. My topic was about the: “Two Camps”. Jacob was afraid to meet his brother Esau, so God came before Jacob to encourage him. Jacob realized that he wasn’t alone, he didn’t have only his only camp (family) but God camp (armies) was with him. My goal was to help the people to realize they are not alone. There is a similar story in 2 Ki 6:16–17 where we see Elisha praying for his servant that God would open his eyes to see the two camps. We read, “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!” The LORD opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire. There is a great promise in Heb 13:6, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
During the first few minutes Ruth told me that I seem nervous, but it didn’t last too long, I felt great freedom and joy as I was sharing that message. Yet, later that day someone help me realize that it would have been good to put a greater emphases on how God speak today, through His word. I am thankful for those who are concerned to help us getting better. After all James 3:1 say’s that ” we who teach will be judged more severely”. Yes a great responsibility is attached with teaching God’s Word.
That evening with the local translators we went to a Pizza party in Orosi. What a fun night it was!
Vacation day I need to share with you one of my favorite Psalms. It goes this way,”Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desires.” (Ps 37:4) For me to visit the Pacific was a true desire of my heart. God was so good to His children. That was a great day to see more of Costa Rica. I think we went to Tarcoles. Our first stop was to a resort located near the Corara National Park. There we had tour boat on a river packed with Crocodiles. Also we saw many exotic birds. After that we drove to a beach on the Pacific. After enjoying a good meal in a fancy hotel, we went swimming in the Pacific. The water was warm, inviting, and very salty. That was more tourism than mission work. I must admit that I prefer the Orosi Valley, it feels more authentic. I was surprised to see that the prices were shown in US dollar instead of Colones. It shows who are the targeted clientel. On our way back to the Valley, I had to work on the sermon I was to preach the next Sunday. I was so thankful for the Tablet received as a gift just before leaving. It was so helpful to have my Library and Microsoft Word program such in a compact format. To have my office with me in the bus was amazing, so helpful. Yes God is amazing!
Last day of the week. Already half of our time in Costa Rica has been gone. I feel the urgency to be more aggressive in sharing the Gospel. I am not here on vacation, but in a mission that God called me to. Many people sacrifice financially to make this trip possible. It was Rom. 10:14-,15 that motivated me in 1984 to leave those I love and go to Bénin, Africa. Now those same words still resonate in my heart, “But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if
they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? I have to tell the Gospel, because that is the only way they can be saved. We have to get back to the basic! It was encouraging to see all the young local people involved in the effort to reach out to the unsaved. Ticos (natives of Costa Rica like to be called by that name) are so friendly and warm. Still the same challenge in front of me; to do the first step to reach out to them. They will not come to me, I have to go. It is difficult to cross the border that the language barrier creates. I asked God to lead me to the right person, then I have to walk and meet them. I start the conversation with the little Spanish I have, then ery quickly tell them that was it. After that I offer them a Gospel tract explaining the Wordless Book. I am very comfortable with the Wordless Book to share the Gospel, I realized that it is only a tool, but it works well for me. Later that day I meet a man in his 30, he responded to me in a decent good English, that was helpful. He had a fairly extended knowledge of the Bible, yet presented himself as an agnostic Christian. I listen to him, then ask him a question similar to this one, “Does your lifestyle is pleasing God?” Shortly after I started to tell him the Gospel story of Christ dying for our sin, and our necessity to receive Him in our life. As I was ready to invite him to respond to God offer of salvation, he was called to present himself to the doctor’s office. I prayed and waited. When he came out of the doctor’s office, he seeks for me. I felt compelled to tell him, “Now that the doctor helps you physically, why not deal with the spiritual aspect.” Shock he said, “That is exactly what the doctor told me to do.” So we finish what was started earlier. What an amazing God we serve! At the end of the day I wanted to talk to Dr. Longworth and to tell him the rest of the story concerning the man that he encouraged to get is spiritual life in order. I finally was able to meet Dr. Longworth and tell him that this youg man prayed to received Jesus in his life. I could see a discrete but nice smile. I don’t need to tell you how happy I was going back to the Valley and at Supper time sharing what God has done.