An Old Gringo in Costa Rica
Can God use someone middle-aged and wounded from divorce in the mission field? That was the question I asked myself and my friend Tomas Dozier, who happens to be the founder and Director of ADE, about a year ago. I have now been in Costa Rica with ADE for nearly nine months. While I have had my share of struggles down here, I have relearned an important Biblical truth: God calls ALL of us.
The issue is not whether God is calling me or calling you, the issues are: Will we answer His call and what is missions? Many of us view missions as something an elite group of Super Christians do with occasional assistance by young adults who want to take a vacation, but also want to feel that they did something meaningful on their trip. In my time in San Rafael de Vara Blanca I have learned a new perspective on missions. Mission is simply imitating Jesus and, like Him, traveling, or staying put, as the Spirit leads us. Whether we travel thousands of miles or stay right where we are, we can see the people around us and call them to follow us as we follow God. We can do missions right at home by simply connecting with those around us and discipling them, Jesus’ model was simple, call people to follow him and guide them by teaching and example, they saw how to live a godly life by watching Him live a godly life.
What have I done as a missionary? I’ve worked with four local children, helping them with their homework and teaching them a little bit of English. I’ve experienced the beginning stages of physical and emotional healing that have included nearing a healthy weight after decades of not treating my body as a temple. I have also relearned that Christianity is, above all else, RELATIONAL. Certainly, work is important but, in the end, people are what matters.
What is God saying to you about missions? Who is God calling you to reach out to? Should you come to Costa Rica for a week? a month? a decade? Or do you need to take advantage of where you’re at by doing things like hosting a Bible study, helping to assemble the church bulletin or bringing cookies to your church’s junior high meeting? Whatever stage of life you are in, seek Him and let God’s name be glorified as He uses you in unimaginable ways.