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"Preach the Gospel to all creation" Mark 16:15

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Costa Rica 2001: "Reaching Out"

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Reaching Out…(JT, Trip Leader)
Our evangelism teams joined our host churches in reaching out to unchurched areas in 2001. We sent 10 teams to 9 new towns where the people do not yet have a local Bible-believing church witness. We experienced 237 professions of faith in Christ. Everyone was a miracle. Many of these people were divinely prepared and waiting to receive the message of the gospel. How faithful our Lord is to have sent us to them at just the right time!

Our vacation Bible school team reached out to the children of two communities this year. We had an average attendance of 150 kids per day. As they played, laughed, crafted, learned, and worshipped the Lord with us, we saw God move in their hearts. One very small church in a small town had over 50 kids per day which more than tripled their child attendance on Sunday mornings. We were blessed to be able to reach out to an entire community with the love of Christ!

The construction team reached out to the 7 AMEN churches by assisting them in the construction of a denominational office, resource library, and retreat center. The walls of concrete block and steel soared skywards with our team’s faithful and enthusiastic effort. Our sweat and tired muscles will surely encourage revival, renewal, and growth for both God’s church in central Costa Rica and for us as well.

A Divine Appointment…(RY, evangelism team)
There is nothing like sharing the Gospel and being used by the Lord for His will. I had the opportunity to share my faith many times and to see many people come into God’s kingdom. I remember a young mother we shared with. She told us that the night before she had prayed to God and asked Him to reveal the truth about Him. And the next morning we showed up telling her what the Bible say’s about how you receive eternal life. God truly used me and I am so thankful that He did.

God Knew…(BM, VBS team)
It was a pleasure to return to Costa Rica and our many friends from last year. It was exciting to see God’s preparations. We prayed specifically for preparation and packing and we saw that God knew what we needed. He was at work in every area of the Bible school as He blessed us with a love for the Costa Rican teachers and children.

Working Together…(GC, construction team)
This was one of the best work camps I have ever seen. Everyone pitched in and worked wherever they were needed. Within a few hours on the first day we were working together as a team. At one point we had five different operations going on at once which allowed us to meet our goals for the week.

Amazing…(JF, evangelism team)
The Lord wanted to take me out of my comfort zone; and He did. I was really nervous and tried to learn from an experienced evangelist. He told me that we would meet people who were ready to receive Christ and I was amazed that there were so many! I saw the urgency to reach out to the lost with the gospel. It was said, "We are like those who go into a burning house to save lives" and now I know what spiritual seed planting and harvesting are. I praise God for this experience!

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Universal Language…(JM, VBS team)
It was such a blessing to see people committed to God and to His work in Costa Rica. Language may have been a barrier but our love for the Lord, our love for our new friends, and the recreational activities at VBS and at "youth night" spoke loud and clear to all. I preached one night on the Promised Land and thought of Costa Rica as the land flowing with coffee and sugar cane. It is such a beautiful country where God has so much He wants to do.

My Second Country…(RR, construction team)
I was very apprehensive about going to Costa Rica. I was not certain that I should go and even up to our departure I wondered. I prayed for an answer and upon our arrival I knew…I was amazed at the hospitality and help from my Costa Rican brothers and sisters. Costa Rica was now my second country. I am blessed and am rejoicing over what we did for the Lord on the construction team.

Coming Alongside…(SH, evangelism team)
It was a great Sunday to cap off a tremendous trip. A whole family that we saw receive Christ earlier in the week made it to the church service. Church members were already coming alongside them to disciple them in the Lord. It was a great encouragement to see their new brothers and sisters welcoming them into the family.

Overwhelming Joy…(RL, evangelism team)
I had the pleasure of being a translator on our evangelism team. The Lord showed me His faithfulness because without His guidance I would not of been able to clearly explain in Spanish the message of salvation. I cannot begin to explain the overwhelming joy that I felt every time another person came to faith in Christ. I give Him thanks and all the glory!

Infectious Love…(BB, construction team)
The Costa Rican Christians have a pure heart, they are filled with hospitality and love, and are eager to serve the family of God. Their love for God and each other is infectious. I love them and our entire mission team.

A Crying Heart…(CV, evangelism team)
"This last trip to Costa Rica was my second trip and, as the year before, I witnessed first hand the love, mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in every way. Once again I saw the Holy Spirit uniting every one of the participants. I will always be amazed at how our God, even though most of my brothers and sisters from the USA don't speak any Spanish, and most of the locals don't speak any English, we all can understand each other if we are in His Spirit. Once again I saw people accepting Christ as their personal Savior. I rejoiced time and again when they believed but my heart also cried out to God over the ones who rejected. The leadership provided by the GNI leaders is awesome, I'll say it again: they lead by the example. I was very blessed since day one and I can't wait to go back".

Enjoying Him…(RS, various teams)
This trip was another experience in learning what missions are all about. I also learned of the importance of discipleship and serving the local Christians. I enjoyed the excellent organization of the trip, building relationships with the Costa Ricans, experiencing their heart for God, and the challenge in my life to glorify and to enjoy Him.

Servants…(RR, construction team)
The people of Costa Rica are extremely friendly, gracious, and thankful. I only saw joy, smiles, and enthusiasm from our fellow Costa Rican workers on the construction site. They are very servant-oriented and I pray that God helps me be more like them.

The Business of the King…(SS, construction team)
I was humbled to have served in the business of the King. I am learning to be satisfied with the things that honor Christ. Praise and glory to the King Eternal!

The Sick of Heart…(SS, VBS team)
I was reminded that when we get sick our whole body needs to be cleansed before we get better. When we are sick with sin, the blood of Christ can cleanse us. Our message was and needs to be that Jesus heals the sick of heart.

Inspired…(ML, construction team)
It was hard, hot, and dirty work building cement block walls but the Lord was faithful to inspire me through an elderly man on our team. He has limited strength and stamina but a heart for the Lord that towered over our work site. With his help, our construction work became a labor of love for all of us.

Through me…(MR, evangelism team)
I was still struggling with the confidence in witnessing for Christ. Life kept me busy and I did not put in the time to prepare for the trip and I tried to find a reason why I could not go. The problem this time was that I knew what I was suppose to do and I felt that I had let God down in not doing my part. As I prayed God revealed Himself to me in the peace that overcame me. I was not ready but what was more important was that I am willing to be used by God and let the Holy Spirit work through me. Let God do the work through me, not me through God. When the time came to do the Gospel presentation I did not hesitate. I spoke from my heart not my head. The words I used were given to me by the Holy Spirit. I felt God take control and I was able to translate my wife’s presentation with no reservations about whether or not I was speaking clearly. I was able to see the results of God’s promise to us. It was harvest time and I was a worker. A job was waiting for me not because I was able, but because I was available. I left Costa Rica with a renewed spirit and a desire to do more for God and those around me.

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You and Your Household…(CR, evangelism team)
On Wednesday I found myself again wondering what I could do for God’s kingdom. I was not seeing the fruitful harvest that I had anxiously hoped for and I fell into discouragement. The message preached that night was about God’s promises. Our wonderful sovereign Lord showed me that I had not received and claimed His promises. I had been trying to win souls through my strength and not His. There was a change on Thursday when we again went door to door. As we moved from home to home everyone we presented the Gospel to accepted Christ. But, God is even bigger than that! Upon moving from house to house we began to realize that there were many relatives that lived in the same area. There are many stories of family members accepting Christ and when we went next door their parents, grandparents or children would give their lives to the Lord too. I not only saw God’s promises at work, I saw His Word come to life in mighty, supernatural ways. " Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household." Acts 16:31.