... and with these people is so much bigger than Esperanza!
It began in the beginning of their existence. Even in the original history of this culture we can find traces of the gospel message, although it was not consummated until the original Christian missionaries arrived. We receive strength from their obedience and respect them greatly as we know that they have paved the way through their sacrifice and dedication. They truly were voices calling in the desert to make straight paths for the Lord.
What we now know as Esperanza was certainly not our idea. God has opened door after door here in Talamanca and we have simply walked through them.
It began with a “yes” in 2012 when Kimi and Raul Molina moved to Shiroles. That was the beginning of what is now the base, or the Casona. It slowly became a place of ministry for the whole community and relationships began to develop through soccer and daily life.
Esperanza continued to take shape through a “yes” to start construction on a home to be used for ministry. It deepened more as Shelby Feenick said “yes” to a three year commitment in Shiroles as a ministry partner. It began to take shape as young people began coming to the Lord through evangelism and the Alpha course, as Children of the Promise began and there was more intentionality and commitment to our little ones. Community members and other brothers and sisters in Christ from other areas of Costa Rica, the US, and Canada began to feel called to what they saw the Lord doing and they began to work right alongside us.
First of all, I want to thank you so much for your generous giving to Esperanza. We are super grateful for your partnership on so many levels!
There is a lot to share on the ministry side of life, and unfortunately nothing to share in terms of school construction. I will start there, by saying how slow the permitting process has been, in part due to COVID and also due to the fact that it just takes a looooong time. We haven't been necessarily met with any resistance, but it is just slow. Nonetheless, we continue forward on this front as much as we can in all other areas related to the school including developing vision on curriculum and methods and training of some of our future educators.
There are three of us that are set to graduate with our Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education in December, so that is exciting for us! We pray (and you can joing us!!!) That we will be able to begin construction in July. We believe this is a realistic hope, and we are praying it will happen!! Aside from the school, ministry this year has been full of vision, energy and momentum. We have been able to open up the base for use and it is so cool to see that live up to the vision of it being a center of life in our community. We always have activities happening there, and on both of the soccer fields as well.
Ministry this year has been led mostly by our team of leaders. They have just concluded with an awesome soccer tournament for 9-11 year olds that they invested in so faithfully and passionately. We also just concluded an Alpha course that included many new people to the ministry. As follow up, some of our crew have started a Bible study specifically for those coming right out of Alpha.
Ministry in Alto Coen has continued. They have put the health clinic we were able to build for them to use and we have been able to continue in the construction of homes for the community. We plan on opening an Alpha course in that area in the coming months.
We are continuing to invest in our community, finding new ways to reach out to our neighbors in the love of Christ. One area that we have focused on this year that is new has been towards encouraging university students connected to Esperanza to give back, especially now while they are home and doing virtual learning due to the pandemic. They have all taken on different groups of classes, some teaching English or Math to local children, others teaching computer literacy to adults and everywhere in between. It has been awesome to see them take this project seriously and have the community benefit from that.
We are so grateful to be able to continue forward with each of these projects, and to count on your church that is passionate as we are, to live the message of the Gospel.
Blessings to you, Kimi and Raul