Friday, November 1, 2013

Why Costa Rica

People often ask us this simple question: "Why Costa Rica?" And we usually reply with this simple answer: "Because God."

It's not about the "where"

Some missionaries feel called to a particular country, region or people group from a young age. As long as I can remember, my brother has felt called to work with the Vietnamese people. He has worked with Vietnamese churches in America for years. He married a Vietnamese woman. I've heard him say, "My mother told me I could grow up to be anything I wanted. I chose Vietnamese." This is my brother's story. But this is not our story.

While Polly and I each felt a God's calling on our hearts to missions, neither of us ever felt the burden to a specific place or people. So when God opened the door to Costa Rica, we had no specific burden there. We prayed about our decision and said yes not because of the burden there, but because we felt like it was what God wanted for us. We would rather be in the center of God's will for our lives than anywhere else.

Not growing up with a burden for Costa Rica doesn't mean we don't have one now. God has put a desire on our hearts for Costa Rica and especially the Ticos (what Costa Ricans call themselves). We now have a burden for Costa Rica, just like we had a burden for young people in and around Dudley. 

It's about the "why"

It's not about where we go or what we do, it's about why we do it. We go to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. And we believe in the fullness of the Gospel. Jesus died on the cross and rose to life again to bring salvation, to heal people spiritually, forgiving them of their sins if they would only put their faith in Him. Jesus also wants to heal people physically, emotionally, relationally, mentally, socially, etc.

The need exists everywhere. We are not simply going to chase the need. We couldn't possibly go everywhere the need exists. But we can go where God is telling us to go and do our part. Costa Rica is our part in this season. Thus, Costa Rica is our heart in this season. We love Costa Rica and we love the Ticos!

The crazy thing is that we already have this love and passion and we haven't even ever been there yet. How much more intense will our passion be once we live alongside the Ticos?! We can't wait. This is a good thing because we are leaving on January 8, 2014, which is less than 10 weeks away! In order to leave on that date, however, we need to raise the remainder of our budget.

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