Costa Rica: "Pura Vida"
Ask a Costa Rican, “How’s it going?” and he may respond by saying, “Pura vida,” which means “pure life.” He is saying life is good and he is doing fine. We recently had the privilege of telling some in Costa Rica of the true “pure life” that is found in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (John 14:6)
Our campaign team consisted of nine people from six congregations in two states. We arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica, on Friday, January 23 and the next day made the two- hour drive over the mountains to the town of Siquirres. Located on the eastern edge of the rain forest, and only fifty miles from the Caribbean Sea, this town of approximately fifteen thousand inhabitants has a small congregation of about fifty people, including children. Their preacher, Rodgrigo Rodgriguez, and his wife, Raquel, live and work with this group of loving people. On Sunday morning, we arrived for worship and were warmly greeted by the members of the congregation. The adult Bible class was taught by one of the members who did an excellent job of reminding us of the power of the Word of God in our lives. It was my privilege to preach that morning, and, with the help of translator Yosue Astorga, I preached a lesson entitled, “Sin, and What To Do About It.” On Sunday evening, the church in nearby Guapiles dismissed their evening service and came to support our Gospel Meeting. We had a full house that night, and the singing was particularly encouraging.
The campaign began in earnest the next day. We were joined by Christians from congregations in other parts of the country, such as Guapiles and San Jose. One brother and his daughter drove eight hours from Upala to work in this effort. We were able to contact many people during this effort with Bible studies, tracts, and invitations to the Gospel Meeting. There were visitors present at every service.
Darleen and I were invited to study the Bible with a young man named Ernan who had been attending a denominational church in their neighborhood. He wanted to be baptized but had been told by their preacher that he would have to wait several months before baptism would be allowed. Costa Rican preacher, Gilbert Astorga, spent two hours explaining the gospel plan of salvation to him and showing him that the Bible did not authorize any delay in obedience. At noon, we went to the church building, and I was privileged to baptize him. After lunch, we returned to his house, and I studied with him about the New Testament church. It was exciting to see him at services that night, where he was warmly welcomed by his new brothers and sisters. Our efforts that week resulted in five baptisms and one restoration. We were also able to encourage the brethren in Siquirres, and they certainly encouraged us. We truly enjoyed our fellowship with them.
Only God knows how much good is accomplished by this kind of effort. The seed was sown, and the Bible tells us that His word will not return void. (Isaiah 55:11) Plans are already being made to return to Costa Rica next January. Please be praying that we may be effective in spreading the message of the “pure life” that is in Christ Jesus. -2863 East High Street, Springfield, OH 45505. firstname.lastname@example.org
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