There and back again--and that's only the beginning!
For over a year now, we have seen the Lord lead us--Kevin and Tia-- toward a return to ministry in Latin America, specifically in Costa Rica where we ministered before. Step by step, God has
been opening doors, and this past week--with a visit to San Jose--we were able to firm up two ministries that are close to our heart and experience.
One of our visits this week included time with Pastor Carlos who works with an organization that reaches out to the homeless, those addicted to drugs, as well as to those in prison. As we were able to experience this
past summer the effective outreach of AWANA Lifeline prison materials (Malachi Dads and Hannah's Gift), we are looking to have opportunity to bring this ministry to Costa Rica. Pastor Carlos has various governmental contacts and has interest in this ministry.
We also are encouraged by interest shown by the pastor of the church we attended before as well as by one other lay person who has contacts in prison outreach opportunities.
Another highlight of our visit included time with our church family here, Iglesia Bautista Impacto Vida Nueva, particularly with Pastor Max Bastos and his family. We also were privileged to experience and partake in a small way with the Roughts, ABWE missionaries who reach out to the police here in Costa Rica (TACTICA). One evening, too, was spent with Jon and Joni McGinnis, who are supported by our home church, Grace Baptist in Cedarville, Ohio. The McGinnis family works in pastoral leadership training and also in an outreach to an indigenous group.
Most of our hours and energy were spent at the Spanish Language Instutute and its preK-12th grade school, Sojourn Academy. Kevin has been appointed as the next General Director of these ministries, which is a very exciting and looming opportunity. The Institute and Sojourn are dear to our hearts because of the teachers who work there, because of the missionary families who invest a year of their lives there before continuing on to their field of service, and the students--both gringos and ticos*--who are reached by Kingdom education.
This role carries a lot of responsibility, but primarily we see the opportunity to help families as they launch into the Latin American mission field to share the gospel and train pastoral leadership. The Institute offers year-long language training with an evangelical emphasis and an on-campus school for the children of missionaries. This school, Sojourn Academy, provides a Christian education for national and international children.
Kevin will be leading the Institute (and Sojourn Academy) as it looks to meet the needs of the changing face of missionary families. There are hopes of offering more missions-oriented coursework and even theological training.
Tia will continue ministry with high school students--both missionary kids and other English-speaking students. Even this week, we enjoyed opportunities to see students and teachers in action through chapel and a mathematics fair.
So this is a huge life switch, and while we are very excited about God's leading, we have a lot of prayers and plans to work through. The goal is to move to San Jose, Costa Rica by late July this year, so we need to raise support and manage a lot of life changes before that time. It also means saying goodbye to family and friends.
Please join our prayer team (are you on our email list? Here's a link to sign up if you have not received emails from us.)
And we are looking for support partners as well. We need monthly donors, and we also need to raise outfit and passage start-up costs. We are looking to raise $2000/month in monthly commitments. Link to donor page: be sure to choose Giving Type as "Grace Global Ministries" and in notes write "the Reillys/Costa Rica).
*gringos = North Americans; ticos= Costa Ricans
More photos from our trip below. For more information on our ministry, please visit our website.