Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November News!


Ron and Jeanie Burgin
Campus Crusade for Christ
Latin America and the Caribbean


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Guadalupe Gathering Place

Dear Friends,

Greetings and Happy Thanksgiving from San Jose, Costa Rica. Among the many things we are thankful for is the Guadalupe Gathering Place. (NOT pictured above behind Jeanie and me!). This new church is really a great source of joy for us. I am one of the leaders of the church and we have seen it grow from 15 to 180 on Sunday nights. God is using the church to reach an amazing variety of young people who really need His love. I was helping with the ESL class before the service this week, and I was paired up with a young man named Bryan. Bryan is not a Christ-follower (yet), but is very open. He lives alone with his mom and is going to night school to finish high school. He says he wants to be a cardiologist. I asked him what he does for fun and he said “Circus”. Ok, what do you mean? Well, he practices unicycle, fire-breathing and aerial silk climbing.

Another young man I have been talking to just came to Costa Rica from Brazil where he had been a monk for 8 years. He finished his degree in economics and was the financial manager for the order. Through a series of difficult circumstances including abuse by older priests and the deaths of his mother and father, he decided to start from scratch in Costa Rica. One of our young people invited him to come to church. Please pray for him as he seeks to give God “another chance”.

With my Brazilian friends in Ecuador: Joana, Octavio, Marcos, and Sonia

Great time in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Last week I was in Guayaquil with 20 Campus Crusade staff from all over Latin America and 38 Ecuadoran church leaders. We gathered to go through phase 1 of MC2, a training for church and small group planters. MC2 means Multiplying Churches and Communities. Phase 1 had 20 hours of training in the basics of Great Commission vision, communication skills, small-group dynamics (using only the Bible).
I spent most of the three day training at the table with the Brazilians. I love Brazil, and I love the opportunity to practice my halting Portuguese.
MC2 training prepares new leaders to start new small groups and churches. I was really impressed with the simple group Bible study method they taught. I have used it twice since I have come home and it is very effective. We want to be careful as we teach the Word of God, but at the same time help people understand that it is accessible and understandable even to new believers. As I was going through the training  I was thinking about our growing church here in San Jose and how we could apply the training to multiply our impact in the Eastern part of the city.

Thanks for praying for my trip and your continued prayers for our ministry!!

Jeanie's small group out for ice cream.

Jeanie's Progress

Slowly but surely, Jeanie is recovering from her surgery and later her fall.  She still has some pain, but has returned to a full schedule: teaching Women’s Bible study, leading a girl’s study, and teaching an ESL class. She likes to be busy!
Please keep praying for a full recovery!

But while he (the prodigal son) was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

Luke 15:20-24

Copyright © 2013 CCC Latin America, All rights reserved.


Monday, October 14, 2013

One step forward . . .

Ron and Jeanie Burgin
Campus Crusade for Christ
Latin America and the Caribbean








One step forward . . .

Dear Friends,

Greetings from San Jose, Costa Rica! When I wrote to you last month, I shared our plans for the fall and some of our travel schedule. We moved through September pretty much as expected: Ministry is growing here. We went together to Jamaica and had a great time ministering to our staff there. I went to Orlando for a meeting of our Global Operations Team. Jeanie continued her recovery from hip surgery, and was walking better every day with less pain.
Two weeks ago, things changed considerably. We were both at the office with our colleague Sebastian. Around 9 am Jeanie stepped out of the office to go down the hall use the rest room. Unbeknownst to her, the cleaning lady had just wet-mopped the porcelain tile floor outside our office. She took just a couple of steps and then took a very hard fall onto the floor.  We could hear Jeanie’s scream. The security guard was there in the hallway and saw her fall and ran to get us. He also fell on the way.
After a trip to the emergency room, we are happy to report that she only suffered a severe pulled hamstring and no damage to the hip implant. God was definitely with her as she slipped down the hallway!! She had a LOT of pain, but she is improving day by day. We are so THANKFUL to God for His care for Jeanie, that she has suffered no long term injury.
By the way, last week she insisted on returning to the Bible Study she is leading, and this week she is back to the full schedule (just a little slower :)
- Please join with us in praying for Jeanie's complete recovery

At our Global Operation Team meeting. I'm not sure what I was so happy about :)

Global Operations Team

I had a great time in Orlando with the Campus Crusade Operations leaders from the 13 geographic areas around the world.  I, of course, represented Latin America and the Caribbean with 28 countries.
Our new Operations Vice President, Erik Butz, worked for a dozen years as a missionary in East Asia. He has a heart to see effective operations to support our missionaries in all areas and countries. Here are the three goals he laid out before us:

  1. Powerful Teams – All areas have powerful Area Operations Teams fulfilling a common purpose.
  2. Core Systems:  The right accounting, database and measurement systems are in place and operating effectively in all national and area offices.
  3. Leading with Information – All of our national ministries are using financial reports and ministry statistics to set goals and measure results.

I don’t mean to give you too much of the nuts and bolts, but rest assured, to the degree we reach these goals, our missionaries will be powerfully equipped to connect more lost people to Jesus.

Thanks for praying for my trip and your continued prayers for our ministry!!

Our daughter Patty, son-in-law Luke, with Caroline and Anna Kate.

A visit from family
We have been here for nearly two years, and our only visit from family has been our son Andrew (who we are always thrilled to receive). This month our daughter Patty, son-in-law Luke, Anna Kate and Caroline Tolbert came for a long visit! It has been great to show them around Costa Rica!
We spent five days in Cahuita on the Caribbean coast - our favorite place! The national park there is like an open air zoo with monkeys and sloths and, well, the list is too long. The girls loved every minute, and we loved every minute with them! We're hoping to see more grandchildren (and their parents) here next year!
Here is a link to some photos from our time in Cahuita with the kids

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
“For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be glory forever. Amen.

Romans 11:33-36

Monday, September 2, 2013

News from The Burgins


Ron and Jeanie Burgin
Campus Crusade for Christ
Latin America and the Caribbean


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Fall in Costa Ric​a

Dear Friends,

Greetings from San Jose! Andrew, our fourth child, came along seven years after our third, so we have had a lot of time living together as a family of three. Andrew is now a junior at the University of Florida, and our times together are becoming shorter and less frequent. This summer he worked on a mission team in Bolivia dedicated to digging water wells for indigenous people in the campo (far removed countryside). He came back stronger physically and spiritually after his summer.
We had nearly three weeks together in Costa Rica. He spent many days coming to work with us in our Campus Crusade office. We worked while he scouted the Internet for motorcycles and jobs in Gainesville. Now that he is back in Florida, he has made progress on both fronts. He has his new (to him) motorcycle, one definite job and a couple of better looking prospective positions. We are thankful for God’s provision for him!
While he was here in Costa Rica, we spent a few days together at the Arenal Observatory Hotel, snuggled up against the side of an active volcano. The views were spectacular and Andrew and I did some hiking. The trails were steep and it is the rainy season, so we were pretty muddy.
The toughest part of serving overseas is saying goodbye to the children.

Dirk and Carrol, Campus Crusade directors in Jamaica


As part of our role on the Leadership Team for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jeanie and I are working closely with Dirk and Carrol, our country leaders in Jamaica. We are travelling to Jamaica this week to help with Operations and Finance, as well as women’s ministries. Jeanie has a special relationship of mutual encouragement with Carrol, so she is really looking forward to our time there. We just got a great report of ministry there with athletes. Our ministry is involved with several key teams, and is reaching many young people who otherwise may not hear the Good News of Jesus.

Please pray for Dirk and Carrol as they lead the charge among university students in Jamaica
Fall Ministry
Jeanie is gearing up to lead a Bible Study this fall called The Significant Woman: Pursuing God and His Unique Design for your Life. The initial course will be in English with many missionary ladies. We are praying that they will be able to multiply the course into Spanish speaking churches in which they have influence. She also has a brand new small group of 18-year-old young women that she will be mentoring. Together we are looking forward to helping with some ESL classes that we are continuing as an outreach of the church we are helping to help plant.
We are really hitting it hard in September!! As I mentioned, we are travelling together to Jamaica. The following week I will be in Puebla, Mexico helping to plan a Call2All missions event in November. Call2All brings Christians together to focus on unreached people groups around the world. Then I will be in Orlando for several days, followed by team training in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
What a blessing to serve!

Andrew in front of the Arenal Volcano

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12: 1-2

Prayer Requests

  • Safe and fruitful travel to Jamaica, Mexico, Orlando, Argentina
  • Ongoing healing and restoration for Jeanie
  • Jeanie’s girls small group bible study
  • The Significant Woman study beginning in late September
  • Continued growth of Guadalupe Gathering Place, our new church plant. We have grown from 20 to 130 in 15 months.
  • Continued improvement in the area of Operations in all of our 26 national ministries
  • In October our younger daughter, Patty, and her husband, Luke, are planning a trip to Costa Rica with their two daughters. Please pray for a safe trip and great family time together.

Thank you!!

The past several months have been a challenge with Jeanie’s surgery and our months away from Costa Rica. We praise God that Jeanie is walking pain free. She still suffers from back pain, but we are praying that as she adjusts her posture and gait to the new hip, the back pain will also resolve itself. We can’t begin to thank you for your continued prayer and financial support!

THANK YOU for your part in our ministry!

Copyright © 2013 CCC Latin America, All rights reserved.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Home in Costa Rica

Ron and Jeanie Burgin
Campus Crusade for Christ
Latin America and the Caribbean


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Home in Costa Rica!

Dear Friends,

We are home in Costa Rica after a longer than expected journey from Portland. Seven weeks have passed since Jeanie's hip surgery. The titanium implant is firmly in place and she is making good progress. She is walking a lot and getting stronger every day. Before the surgery, she could not walk more than a block, and that with a cane. She still has a lot of muscle soreness from the surgical incision, and that may last for several months. In spite of that ongoing pain, she is far better than she was in May. The doctor says she is good for 100,000 miles or 20 years, whichever comes first:) We are thankful for God's provision of a great doctor, hospital, and financial supporters who helped to cover our sizable deductible for the surgery. 

We were away from home for a total of nine weeks, and enjoyed my Mom and Dad's great hospitality in Portland. We aren't happy that Jeanie needed surgery, but we are eternally grateful for the special time we had with them. Some days were more painful than others for Jeanie, but every day was a blessing to be with my folks.

Pastor Rigoberto, Director Evangelical Alliance of Costa Rica

DVD partnership project

For the last several months I have been working with Pastor Rigoberto Vega, Executive Director of the Evangelical Alliance of Costa Rica on a plan for planting new churches throughout the country. There are approximately 2500 participating churches in the Alliance, from many different denominations. The plan is to distribute 3-4 copies of the JESUS Film on DVD to each of the churches with training to equip three member families from each church to open their homes to show the film and start new home fellowship groups. Just this week we have finished production of the DVD's! We will set a weekend for late August or September for a simultaneous national effort to plant new small groups. It is a huge endeavor, and I am thankful for our national partners who are doing the lion's share of the organizing! 

Please pray for the thousands of Costa Ricans who will hear the Gospel over those two days. I'll keep you posted on our progress.

10,000 copies of the JESUS DVD will be used to open thousands of new home groups in Costa Rica.

New office

This is our first full week in the new office. Jeanie has been busy buying all of the supplies and equipping our kitchen area to be a fully functional office. We have loaded down our little Corolla with a printer, a vacuum cleaner, cleaning supplies, dishes, paper towels, etc., etc. She has made us feel right at home!

Thank you!!

Over the past two months we have felt the support, prayer and love from our team as never before. We have been on the field for 19 years, and not a week passes without a reminder that God uses His people, working together, to accomplish His purposes. THANK YOU for your part in our ministry!

Copyright © 2013 CCC Latin America, All rights reserved.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hip Surgery update

Dear friends,
I just wanted to write with a quick update on how Jeanie is doing after her hip replacement surgery. We got to the hospital bright and early Monday morning, and Jeanie was ready to go. Surgery lasted about two hours and she was in recovery for another couple of hours. They transferred her to her room and she felt pretty good, but I have to say she was pretty much still under the anesthetic.
Later that same afternoon the physical therapist and the occupational therapist made a visit to help her get up to her feet and begin the process of learning to walk on her new hip. She was extremely nauseous and dizzy that first afternoon, and we pretty much had to give up until Tuesday. She did a little better on Tuesday but was still very shaky, so the physical therapist decided it would be best if she spent another night the hospital.
Wednesday morning we were released from the hospital, and made the drive back home. What a difference that extra day made. Jeanie felt much better and now, Thursday morning, she's feeling very well. She is still on medication, but is getting better every day. She's able to walk up and down the hallway, and I see a lot of hope in her eyes after many months of very limited mobility.
Thank you so much for your support during this time. We're looking forward to the future, and looking forward to getting back to Costa Rica.
Your missionaries in Latin America,
Ron and Jeanie



Friday, April 5, 2013

April Update

Ron and Jeanie Burgin

Campus Crusade for Christ, Latin America and the Caribbean


Greetings from San Jose!

Jeanie and I are back home after a month of lots of travel. Our trips were challenging, joyous, and exciting. I’ll take them in order:


Jeanie has been suffering from ongoing back and hip pain for nearly six months following a bad fall here in Costa Rica. Having tried Chiropractic, PT, medication, etc., we decided that the time had come to seek medical advice back home in Portland. Jeanie received successful treatment for her back ailment, but with an MRI, it is pretty clear that she will need hip replacement surgery. We are working with the doctors at Providence St. Vincent’s in Portland to set an early June date for surgery. We are glad that there is a clear diagnosis, challenged at the prospect of surgery. This has been a very hard time for Jeanie as she experiences for the first time some incapacity, and the need to leave the field to do what needs to be done. Please pray for Jeanie’s mobility and comfort as we wait for surgery.


After a few days in Costa Rica, it was back to Washington, DC to meet Colton James Hanks, Sarah and Dustin’s new baby. Colton joins Wesley, 5, and Cooper, 3, in a joyous, rambunctious house full of little boys. Colton is our seventh grandchild and we couldn’t be prouder.



We went straight from DC to our National Leadership Conference for the Caribbean region. As Operations Director, I was there to help our leaders plan for the growth we will see as God brings in a harvest of new believers. Most of our ministries in the Caribbean are focused on University students and it was great to hear the stories of what God is doing on campuses.

We had a free afternoon together to go see alligators on an airboat. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the place, the most intense storm in more than a year blew in with winds upwards of 60 mph and horizontal, torrential rain. Funny thing about it, we had more “team-building” as we watched the storm together than we would have had out on a loud airboat. Isn’t God good? (Andrew is in the picture - he came as our translator)



One of the most exciting parts of my job is recruiting and training new staff to serve our 500+ staff family in Latin America. This week we are working with two new staff people.

Massiel Vergara is a great answer to prayer. She is the new financial manager for our ministry in Panama. We have struggled for years to find the right person for Panama. We’re praying she’ll be the one! She is spending the week with our Area Financial Team in Santa Cruz, Bolivia getting some hands-on training.


Here in Costa Rica, we have just added Sebastian Sequeira to our team. He is a committed believer who will be working with me in the area of measurements and leading with information. With as many staff as we have and ministries in 26 countries, we have a system for staff to enter their ministry results online so that their leaders can track what is happening: numbers of new believers, numbers of new small groups, etc. Sebastian will maintain the system and train our staff in how to use it. Sebastian is a graduate mechanical engineer and super-fast in picking up new software. He is also a real answer to prayer!


Please pray for Massiel and Sebastian!

In the coming weeks we’ll be keeping you posted on Jeanie’s progress. Meanwhile we sure appreciate your prayer and partnership with us!

Your missionaries in Latin America and the Caribbean,

Ron and Jeanie

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February Update: Congreso in Panama

What an awesome month! As you know, I am the Director of Operations in Campus Crusade Latin America and the Caribbean. My area includes administration and finance, fund development, technology, measurements, legal and communications. With 26 national ministries all trying to serve their local staff in these areas, we saw the need to bring all of our staff and employees in Operations from all over the continent for vision, training and fellowship. Our task, very simply, is to provide the services for our ministries to be able to double and triple in size in the coming few years, reaching thousands with the Gospel of Jesus.

We met together in Panama City, a beautiful city in the very center of Latin America. We challenged our staff to dream big as they consider their ministries in the year 2020. I gave them the assignment to write a fictional news story from November 30, 2020 describing their ministry. Their dreams went way beyond mine. Here is a sample of the 2020 dreams:

The new systems have enabled Mexico since last year to send 100 missionaries per year to other countries in LAC.

From Peru: these new staff members were trained to reach 15 indigenous areas where 15 non-Spanish dialects are spoken. We are now seeing active ministries in each of these areas.

My job, together with the team God has raised up for Operations in our area, is to continue to coach and develop these national leaders so that they are able to multiply themselves in the lives of others so that we will really see growth in movements of evangelism and discipleship!

What’s next on the calendar?

February 24-26 National Leaders conference in San Jose

February 26-March 11 Back to Oregon. Jeanie has continued to suffer from back pain and we will be going back to Oregon for a complete work up there.

March 18-22 Washington, D.C. to meet a new grandson.

March 23-26 Caribbean National Leadership Conference.


VERY successful Congreso in Panama for our Operations people from throughout Latin America.

Our residence visas in Costa Rica were approved! A few more details ahead, including registering with Costa Rica Social Security. (Oh yes, we will begin paying taxes in Costa Rica)

Prayer requests:

Please pray for a definite diagnosis and treatment plan for Jeanie when we go to Oregon.

Please pray for our daughter and son-in-law, Sarah and Dustin, as they expect a new baby boy in the next couple of weeks. Pray for a safe delivery and a healthy baby.

Please pray for our son Andrew as he finishes his sophomore year at University of Florida and plans a summer of missions in Bolivia. Pray that God will use him in a mighty way.

In San Jose, things are moving ahead with our architect and builder for the build out of our new office space. We hope it will be complete by the end of April. Please pray for all the details of our construction project: Materials, schedule, no cost overruns, permits, etc., etc.

Please pray that God would raise up an assistant for me in Costa Rica who is particularly capable in IT.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Trusting God in the hard times

Dear Friends,

Greetings from San José, Costa Rica!

After a wonderful time in Portland with our family (well part of them anyway) for Christmas and New Year’s we headed to Norfolk, Virginia for the birth of our beautiful new granddaughter, Rebekah Joy Burgin. We arrived Saturday night and she arrived Sunday afternoon! Our timing couldn't have been better. We were able to spend the next 4 days getting to know her and just being with Stephen, Rachael and Leah as they welcomed little Rebekah to their family. Here I am with Rebekah:

We have been back in Costa Rica for 10 days now and are adjusting to getting back to real life. Ron is in full swing with the final plans on our new office space for Campus Crusade Latin America. He has been meeting with the owners of the building and with a lawyer to finalize the lease agreement as well as with the architect who is designing the interior space. There are lots of legal things to learn in setting up an office in a foreign country but Ron is on top of it all! Here he is in the unfinished office space:

Our return here has brought with it some challenges for me (Jeanie) as well. Many of you know that in October I slipped on some spilled water on a tile floor just after teaching my ESL class and injured my lower back. In Oregon I received a diagnosis of a sprained back and began physical therapy. I had been making some progress and experiencing some relief from the pain. However, after returning here the pain became so intense that I really could not walk as each step brought excruciating pain. Monday we made the decision to seek medical help by going to an Orthopedic/Spinal specialist here in San José. The Lord led us to a wonderful doctor who gave us lots of his time an answered all of our questions. He has prescribed medication to get the pain under control and then additional physical therapy with a therapist that he works closely with to monitor progress. He feels like with the physical therapy that surgery may not be necessary. The surgery option will be visited again in 6 weeks. Please pray with us for the following requests.

· That the pain will be under control soon.

· That the physical therapy will be effective

· That surgery will not be necessary

· That I will be able to travel to Panama for a ministry conference in February and to DC in mid-March for the birth of our 7th grandchild!

· That the Lord will give me a positive attitude and hope in the midst of pain and suffering.

During these days the Lord has been speaking to me through His word about trusting in Him in the midst of circumstances beyond my control. I have never had to deal with extreme physical pain before and it has been very difficult for me to be hopeful and to trust that God has a purpose in everything he allows in our lives even when they make no sense to us. Just this morning in the One Year Bible passage for today He spoke to me in the account of Peter walking on the water in Matthew 14. Here are a few things He used to encourage me this morning.

· In the midst of the storm Jesus said, "Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid." 

· Peter immediately wanted to go to Jesus and when Jesus said "Come" Peter responded with great faith by getting out of the boat and momentarily walking on the water.

· But then he takes his eyes off Jesus and places them again on the circumstances and he sinks.

· Peter's immediate response is to cry out to Jesus, “Lord save me!"

· Immediately Jesus reaches out his hand and caught Peter. "You of little faith," Jesus said, "Why did you doubt me?"

· Then when Peter was safely in the boat WITH Jesus the storm calmed down and the response of all the disciples was, "Truly you are the Son of God!"

Matthew 14 closes with these words that give me hope for today. "And all who touched Him were healed." Whether or not I am physically healed from this back issue, my prayer is that I will keep my eyes on Jesus and get back in the boat with Him and stay there!

Thanks for your prayers,