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Costa Rica Chronicles, Day 1

Jeff Raymond on September 29, 2013 Comments (3)


Saturday, Sept 28

Unusual shower – The shower here has one knob.  There’s only cold water, and the shower head is the heating element.  As the water passes through the head, it’s heated.  The way you control the temperature of the water, is by how hard the flow is.  (You can get decent water pressure if you take an ice cold shower, or you can have a warm trickle). But it wasn’t working right today, so this morning I got a really cold shower anyway.

We have three ABWE missionary families here working with TACTICA ministry to police officers - Rought's, McGinnis', and Armstrongs.

Ride to Roughts in Armstrong’s 1964 VW bug

Meet w/ team of US police officers at Roughts house.  Police officers take turns leading devotions. Challenge to live as sold-out servants of Jesus; share true Gospel of repentance, not watered-down version.  Costa Ricans are open to spiritual conversations, so be up front, clear and bold.  Open Bible right away and share.  They will listen.

Breakfast of traditional rice and beans; baked plantains and fresh fruit, including a red, spiny-looking thing

All on bus, continue as we travel to Dos Pinos (Twin Pines), which is training site #1.  An abandoned and very run-down manufacturing plant.  Officers were debriefed and then scouted the facility for Monday’s tactical training assignments.


Next, we went to the airport.  Tour of police aviation facility w/ Carlos and Steve.  Steve is an old friend of many of these guys.  He was the first officer Ryan met when he came here, and Steve became his first disciple.  The few police aircraft we saw were the only police planes for the entire country of Costa Rica.  One relatively small turbo-prop airplane is their “Air Force One” that the president travels in.  We looked inside and took pics of it.  Most interesting aircraft was a brand new hi-tech helicopter costing 3 ½ million dollars.  

12:40 pm Entered maximum security prison, “La Reforma”.  Known to be a very bad place.  This is training site #2.  TACTICA will do training on Wednesday and Thursday at their gun range.  We spent lots of time setting up targets at range and developing strategies for military-like discipline in handling weapons and ammo.  Some of the Costa Rican officers coming to training are very good at shooting, but others may have no experience and will be quite nervous, which equals dangerous.  Our team must ensure 100% safety.  We also went inside the walls of the prison to scout out a recreation facility being offered for hand-to-hand combat training.  This prison is so scary that team members were even uncomfortable going in unarmed.  After considering the facility, it was decided not to use it out of concern that prisoners could watch from their barracks, see what was being taught to the guards, and counter-train accordingly.

3:45 Arrived at TACTICA Ministry Center.  Mike Armstrong gave me a tour and we talked about ministry strategies of TACTICA.  4:30  Leave ministry center for meeting and dinner at Roughts.  Our themed meal for tonight was Taco Bell

Back to Armstrongs – downloaded and edited pics, prepared equipment for next day

Click here to read the next blog from the Costa Rica Chronicles series



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  1. Pastor Greg White September 30, 2013

    Jeff, Enjoy a cup of Costa Rican coffee with my friend Mike Armstrong if you have a chance. Prayed for your ministry as well as Mike and Arlene's! Pastor Greg

  2. Mike Armstrong September 30, 2013

    The shower was NOT that cold. And the "orange" bug is awesome. Enjoying having Jeff here and watching him work. It has been great to reconnect with a friend. Pastor Greg - we have shared a cup of coffee, so thanks for praying for us!!

  3. Mike Armstrong September 30, 2013

    OK Becky - Clarification......the water at MY end of the house was not THAT cold. Why do you think we put him at the other end of the house!!

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