Trapped in Paradise!!!

Hello Loved Ones!

Blessings and love to you.

First and foremost, thank you so much for your love and support.  We are so grateful for each of you.  We feel humbled by your kindness.

Our beaches are officially closed.  Three people were arrested yesterday for being at the beach. Everything is being very closely monitored and drastic measures are being taken.  Even from our small little world, we are feeling the large impact of this virus.

Well, a quick update… we are definitely trapped in paradise.  As you are aware, President Trump issued an alert urging people like us to return to the United States immediately unless we plan on staying here indefinitely.  Unfortunately, if we leave the country (Costa Rica), we will not be able to return to our people here.  We have continued to have problems with our residency.  We are semi-residents.  However, if residents leave the country, they lose their residency.  If tourists leave, they can’t return until this is all over.

Because this causes a sudden and complete end to tourism, our town is really struggling.  Most already live hand to mouth.  We are very fortunate to be able to serve in a time like this.  This could be the season of a lifetime for ministry.  Please pray for us!  We are organizing and partnering to serve the local communities.  We are excited about this opportunity.  Our prayer is to see revival and to create a culture of serving each other well.

At the same time, if I am honest, I am concerned with the anticipated rise in crime.  Even in the last 24 hours, I have heard and seen more criminal activity.  We are expecting to see desperation.  Lord-willing, this desperation will cause hearts to be receptive to the love and mercies of Jesus!  This is my prayer… that people will embrace the beautiful gift offered to them.

A super-quick update about the last 6 months…

To summarize… it’s been a full season.  Kelly has been diligently preparing her teaching for the Vineyard Women’s Conference (which has been postponed)… we’ve been doing much of our usual…

Serving in schools…

Kelly taught these precious, little people how to make gingerbread houses.  They had absolutely no idea what they were or how to do them.  So fun!!!

Serving in our church…

Celebrating the usual Christmas activities (small carnival, traveling carnival)

Part of the carnival is the bull-riding… men actually climb into these makeshift bull pens to try to taunt and heckle the bulls without getting impaled.  These men are usually under the influence of quite a bit of alcohol.  I’m not sure if people are cheering for the bulls or the men at this time.

We have had many visitors and ministry partners join us in Costa Rica this year. Our most recent team was a group of ladies from the Vineyard.  They exceeded all of our hopes in the way they served children and women in our community.

Offering encouragement and truth.  Words cannot describe how hearts were impacted.

One of the sweetest gifts for me is getting to serve alongside our children.  They are our primary ministry team.
In this picture Amelia was serving as the interpreter for Pastor Joy.

Our favorite is having the opportunity to serve communities side by side with other local pastors… whether that’s delivering groceries or hosting events, “together” is better with loved ones.

We continue to ask for your prayers.  We simply need more of Jesus, and we want to be more like Him.  Again, we are believing (and even excited) that this will be a powerful time to bring the hope, relief and love of Jesus.

Let’s take advantage of our advantage and offer more hope than ever in a season of great difficulty.

Much love,

The Backwards Missionaries