Greetings from San Jose!
We can hardly believe that we have been here in Costa Rica a little over 8 months!! In many ways it seems like yesterday that we arrived and in others it seems like we have been here forever! So much has happened and we are finally beginning to see God open up doors of ministry for us here. We miss our friends in Bolivia but know we are right where God has called us and each day brings new opportunities to be an influence for Jesus to those around us. Here is just a short update on our lives here.
Travel: Our position on the Leadership Team for Latin America/Caribbean requires travel, especially for Ron, to various countries in our area to encourage our staff but also to training conferences to be better equipped to assist our staff. This past month he attended a 10 day conference in Turkey for Operations Leaders of Campus Crusade from around the world. He came away encouraged about how he can come alongside our staff and help them be more effective. Then the next trip was to Germany for a training in crisis management with Campus Crusade leaders around the world. While he was gone I was able to spend a few days in Norfolk, VA with our son and his precious family. We are now ready to stay home for a while!!
New Area Office: Ron is in the process of setting up an office location to serve our ministries in 25 countries. That requires meeting with lawyers to set things up correctly as well as finding a location and equipping it with all the necessary things to be a fully functioning office for our leadership team. We will be glad to move the office from our bedroom to its new location!!
The Gathering Place: The Gathering Place is the name for a new church plant here in San Jose that we are privileged to be in on the ground floor. Ron is an elder in the new church and now leading the small group ministry and writing the materials for our groups each week. Our target group to reach is Costa Ricans who want to improve their English or already speak English fairly well. There are many here that fall into those categories who are seeking answers to spiritual issues and the church is growing!
ESL (Teaching English): Through the contact of another missionary we have become involved in an ESL ministry each Wednesday evening. The leaders of this ministry are helping us learn how to use English classes to reach Costa Ricans with the Gospel. Our ultimate goal is to multiply this ministry to our new church, The Gathering Place. We have been averaging about 90 students each week. We are leading the Beginning level and have about 25-30 students in our section. This is fun and I am learning so much!
GAP Students: The lead pastor of the Gathering Place is also the Bible teacher for a ministry to young people (age 18-25) who want to take a GAP year between High School graduation or mid-college to have a year away in another culture to focus on language study, Bible and Missions. These students are also part of our new church plant. This ministry is a fantastic training for our future missionaries! I (Jeanie) am leading a small group of girls each week as part of this program. I love being with them each week and influencing them in missions and their walk with Christ. These students are also using the small group material that Ron is writing for our new church.
Family update: Our kids and their families are all doing great! Stephen and Rachael are expecting baby #2 the first week of January and all is going well. They are adjusting well to their new life in Norfolk, VA and Stephen loves his job as Assistant Professor of Science Education at Old Dominion University. We are proud of Dr. Burgin. Leah loves her new school and she is so precious!
Patty and Luke and their 2 precious little girls are in Camden SC where Luke continues to serve on the staff at Malvern Hill Baptist Church and Patty is a happy mom at home with her little girls.
Sarah and Dustin are in DC and enjoying their life on “The Hill”. They are expecting another baby boy in March to join almost 5 year old Wesley and almost 3 year old Cooper! They are open for any suggestions for boy names!
Andrew is almost mid-way through his Sophomore year at the University of Florida and enjoying his business classes and being involved in the music ministry at his church and also Campus Crusade, not to mention rooting for the Florida Gators every chance he gets!
Christmas 2012: We are so excited to be in Oregon for the month of December. Andrew will be joining us there for his Semester break. We will be planning a meeting for our friends and supporters during that time. Specific details will follow within the next month.
We are so grateful to each of you for the part you play in making it possible for us to serve here with this ministry. We know that giving is a sacrifice and we do not take it for granted.
Thank you so much,
Ron and Jeanie