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Costa Rica Chronicles, Day 6

Jeff Raymond on October 3, 2013

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Thursday, Oct 3

Yesterday ended and today began with a big question mark as to what I’d be doing today.  It was either another day like yesterday at the prison shooting range, or a Women’s Conference.  One began at 5am, the other at 9am.  One was outdoors in the sun and the mud with endless action, the other was indoors in low light with not much action at all, but with audio recording requirements.  Both required me to get gear to some other location…somehow.

These logistical uncertainties made it impossible both to pull together the equipment I needed, and to figure out when to get up this morning.  With the long days and late nights, my body was voting for noon.

So I compromised, I didn’t get any equipment together and I slept in until 5:00, at which time we could touch base with Ryan to see which venue I could best be used in.  The vote went toward the Women’s Conference for the morning, then hopes of getting someone to make the long drive and take me out to the prison training site by lunchtime.  The logistics of vehicle availability, hauling photo gear, etc was rather dicey.  I anticipated many more opportunities to get footage of people being led to Christ.  Also, I was scheduled to share my testimony with the officers at the end of the day.

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Ironically, the verse I had been planning to use (and practicing in Spanish) during my testimony was Proverbs 16:9 which basically says, man plans, but God directs his steps.  As you might suspect, the day didn’t go as planned – that is by my plans.

Another missionary took my gear to the Rought’s house where the Women’s Conference was being held.  An hour later I walked there (about a mile).  I waited to hear about a potential ride to La Reforma but Ryan wasn’t able to find a solution, so after getting the footage I needed of the conference, I walked back to Armstrong’s and spent the rest of the day there.  I had prayed that I’d have peace with whichever way this day went, but I’d be dishonest if I said I was content to have missed the afternoon of training and opportunity to share my testimony.  It was discouraging because I felt I was missing an opportunity to do what I was down here for.

Leading law enforcement officials to Christ is only the beginning of the work in Costa Rica.  After the TACTICA training event ends, the missionaries’ work begins by reaching their families, leading Bible studies to teach them how Christians are to live, and sending out laborers to take the same message into communities.  TACTICA seeks out Costa Rican leaders, called Centurions, to take over aspects of the ministry as they go out and serve.  The women’s conference was planned and led completely by the wives of Centurion men.

The women’s conference was a tremendous example of what the goal of missions is – to multiply the Kingdom of Christ by multiplying the church.  It is about discipling new believers to become disciplers themselves.

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Incredible news came back with the team this evening.  You may recall seeing the photo I posted at the top of my Day 4 blog.  This penitentiary guard, had been asking lots of questions every day.  Team member Matt would show him answers from Gods word.  He kept wrestling with the truth as the Spirit of God worked on his heart.  Today he yielded himself and accepted Christ.  He lives in a mountain village about 1 ½ hours away from the city.  Missionary Mike Armstrong is already planning a monthly Bible study in that village to disciple this young man and a number of other new believers he knows up there.

This was a huge “up,” to end my “down” afternoon!

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

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