Costa Rica is a small country located in Central America. It is bordered to the north by Nicaragua and to the south by Panama. It has a population of about five million. Its primary language is Spanish, but due to the great amount of tourism in the country many regions have a high number of English-speaking locals. For hundreds of years, Roman Catholicism has been the predominant religion in Costa Rica, because of Spanish colonization back in the 1500s. A study shows that about 50% of the population would still consider themselves Roman Catholics. The presence of Christian churches has grown quite a bit in recent years, though there are still so many places in need of the gospel.
I was born and raised in Costa Rica; my grandparents Doug and Kathleen Reid moved here with their children to labour for the Lord in the early 1970s. As a result of that move, my mother ended up marrying a Costa Rican and my sister and I were born here. Mabel, my wife, was born in El Salvador. Her father is an elder in the assembly in Los Jiotes, and both are very involved in the Lord’s work in many areas on the eastern side of El Salvador. The Lord introduced Mabel and me to each other while I was on a year-long trip helping in the Lord’s work in Managua, Nicaragua in 2016. Her desire to serve the Lord and willingness to go wherever He would lead her, sparked my interest. We got married in March 2019, and we moved to Costa Rica the day after our wedding. At the time I was working online, and we weren’t commended to the work full-time. However, we knew that wherever we ended up we wanted to be of service to our Lord and take the gospel to souls in need of our Lord Jesus.
We live in a town called Quebrada Amarilla, on the Pacific West Coast of the country, about an hour-and-a-half away from the nearest assembly. It is a rural, quiet town in the outskirts of the more populated towns. We started a work there by obtaining some gospel texts to distribute door-to-door and getting to know our neighbours. Thankfully, I had met Kory and Rebecca Crawford a few years before as they are labouring for the Lord in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. We had kept in touch, and they provided us with some literature to distribute.
In May 2019, we rented out the community gym for an hour a day for a week and invited people to a series of gospel meetings. We had encouraging support from some of the assemblies in the country - it was a great week. Although not many came from the community, we had a good number who came because of my dad’s invitation. My dad lives just twenty-five minutes up the mountain from us. He is truly unashamed of the gospel and has a passion for souls and he has been very involved in our efforts to share the gospel in Quebrada Amarilla. As a result of the series of gospel meetings in May, there were a few professions of faith, as well as an increased interest from some local believers to have meetings on a weekly basis. So, we started to rent out the gym every Thursday to share the gospel and began having Bible studies in our home on Fridays. Over time the group began to grow; we re-modelled a cabin my dad had next door to our house so that it could accommodate more people and it became our meeting place from January 2020 onwards. This allowed us to offer a small snack and coffee after meetings, which encouraged people to remain and talk. We have found this to be a great way to build relationships and encourage gospel-oriented conversations with those coming.
We were commended to the work full-time in late 2020. This has allowed us to dedicate a lot more time to visiting contacts and believers and building much-needed relationships. On Saturdays, we were able to start a children’s work in a nearby lower-income neighbourhood and are looking to start another one just a few minutes down the road. We meet regularly for gospel meetings in the cabin on Thursdays and Bible Studies on Sunday nights. COVID made it difficult to be consistent with meetings and kids’ work for a while, but things seem to be finally easing up here.
The assemblies in Costa Rica have become much smaller in numbers over the years and we pray earnestly for the Lord to send more labourers to the country. Our prayer is that the Lord would use us to make true disciples of the Lord Jesus, willing to put Him before all things, with a passion for the gospel and a heart for those in need, desiring to be a light to our community and serve those around us. We are encouraged by what the Lord is doing through this new work in Quebrada Amarilla. We really appreciate your prayers.