Planting Seeds in Jacó

Posted on April 10, 2011 by VMMissions Staff

We call the program Vida 220 referring to Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” Nine participants from four different countries live in community at the mission base in the mountains near Heredia, Costa Rica. Every week we attend classes, hear lectures on a broad range of spiritual topics, and focus on discipleship.

On the weekends, we go to our assigned outreach locations in teams of three. Melissa from Canada and Johnny from Costa Rica are the other two members of my team; every week, we go to Jacó, a small beach town on the Pacific coast. The Mennonite church is without a pastor and has few members, so our job is to encourage and provide some leadership. Whenever possible, we try to reach out to the community as well.

We plan a worship service for each of the three days in Jacó. When we are already prepared, we use the free time on Friday and Saturday to spend unstructured time with the youth group. Building and deepening our relationships with the members of the Jacó church has been a constant blessing and encouragement.

Other times we just walk. We go to the beach or other public places and look for opportunities to introduce ourselves, bless someone, or make a connection that could help in the future. One Saturday lunch, we invited a couple who lived on the street to eat with us. We passed them often on their usual corner, so we thought if we reached out, we could at least greet them in the future. They were surprised. The man, Luis Ángel, was reticent but capable of carrying on a conversation. The woman named Marisol was more difficult to understand and asked for alcohol. They both struggle with other addictions. I do not know how our gesture impacted them or if they recognized us as we greeted them in the weeks that followed. Since then, Luis Ángel and Marisol have disappeared.

Our experience in Jacó has been an exercise in giving what we have and asking God to use it, making our hearts willing and relying on Him to do the work. We are here planting seeds; He must make them grow.

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Peter Lehman

Peter Lehman. Courtesy of author

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