Christmas in Costa Rica is something wholly different from what I experienced growing up, and I love it. There are endless blue skies and the sun feels very warm on your face, but a cool breeze makes the palm trees sway back and forth, kind of like the dancers in the parades around town during the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Andrea and I were really looking forward to celebrating La Navidad here this year, but the Lord had other plans. Due to my father’s health, we flew back to KC unexpectedly in late December just in time for the “Polar Vortex.” We celebrated Christmas in St Louis between the hospital and a hotel, eating Papa John’s pizza instead of the traditional Costa Rican tamales.
Praise God that my Dad responded well to a different heart med and we were able to take him home the day after Christmas. Our time with him and my Mom (and the rest of our families) was invaluable—and so too, was our time visiting a couple of churches in and around KC.
Both churches blessed us in significant ways and demonstrated to us the big “C” church at its finest. Rustin Smith and Jonathan and Joy Klee with Vox Dei Community in Belton, blessed our family with Christmas gifts, gift cards, and gift certificates. People who didn’t even know us, but who knew we were missionaries called unexpectedly back to the US who didn’t have much in the way of gifts State-side, showed kindness to us because they love Jesus. That’s the Church at its finest—loving its own as a testimony to the world of Christ’s love.
Tim Suttle and the body at Redemption Church in Olathe welcomed us to share about our ministry, especially our new child sponsorship program. That day people at Redemption committed to sponsoring 8 kids from La Carpio, ensuring that these children living in poverty have access to another year of schooling and hope for a future. That’s the Church at its finest—loving and having compassion on the vulnerable.
We were so blessed to have the Lord change our plans so that we could experience anew His love for us and witness His love—perfect love—in others. “No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!” I John 4:12 (The Message).
Quote of the month
""At the margins is the only place the Church will have credibility."