Costa Rica Report – A Debt of Gratitude

I have spent this week, February 23-28, in Costa Rica. The Lord opened some wonderful doors of opportunity for Global Baptist Schools and Seminario Bautista Panamericano. I’ll share some of those in just a minute.

Bob Martin and Bob Reed
Bob Martin (l) and Bob Reed

First, I would be remiss not to express my gratitude for this trip. One evening I began thinking of all of the ways that God had provided for me in making this trip possible. In the first place, the trip would have never even happened if it weren’t for Missionary Bob Martin (pictured, right). Bob read a copy of our newsletter some months ago and we have been in touch ever since. His ministry is similar to ours in many ways. He operates the Baptist Bible Institute of Costa Rica, traveling the country and teaching pastors and preachers in  a module format. He saw our ministry as a means of assisting those pastors in the training of the people who attend their churches.

Bob didn’t just invite me. For months he has been passing out our material and explaining the benefits of GBS to several pastors. It was Bob who met me at the airport when my (delayed) flight arrived Saturday night. He then drove me a couple of hours to the Puntarenas area of Costa Rica, where he had made arrangements for us to spend the night with a wonderful Christian couple. The following day he drove me to three different churches in the area where he arranged for me to preach. The Lord blessed in those services.

Sunday night we returned to San Jose and the Lighthouse Children’s Home. This impressive ministry, under the direction of Larry Neff, not only serves as the only home most of its resident children will ever know until they reach adulthood, but as the host of an annual pastors conference.  Dozens of Pastors, and members from their churches, come from across Costa Rica to attend this encouraging meeting. Brother Neff provided an opportunity for me to share the ministry of the school with those pastors, as well as providing lodging and food for the week.

As you can see, there were many people who made this trip a reality. As I thought about Bob Martin, our hosts in Puntarenas, the pastors who yielded their pulpits and Larry Neff, I was reminded of those who made very specific gifts toward this trip. All of them will have a part in the eternal rewards of what was accomplished during those days.

Twelve pastors have taken steps toward beginning GBS study centers in their churches. Materials have been distributed to most of them. I will be in contact with them, and with another handful who said that they are interested, via email next week. These are our first study centers in that country, so there are some logistical elements that we will need to get into place, but we look forward to teaching Costa Rican students within the next month or so.

Please pray for these students. Pray for their pastors as they set up the study centers. Pray for discipline, consistency and the persistence needed to carry on. And while you are praying, be sure to thank the Lord for all those who have made these new study centers a reality!

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