The following stories are shared by e3 Legacy leader Jim Corbin from when his team of 26 North Americans served in Costa Rica this summer. Twelve of the team members were under the age of eighteen! God used the youngest team members to further His Kingdom, even from the beginning of their time around Tarbaca, Costa Rica.
Listen in as Jim shares about their first day in the field:
Tonight, as we shared stories of what God did today, most of the stories came from voices of youth, excitedly sharing their stories of leading their first people to Christ. People in the community where 13-year-old Patrick is serving told him not to approach a certain house, because a witch lived there. With his translator and local church member, Patrick went anyway. As Patrick listened to the woman’s story, he learned that she felt lonely. The community had stopped talking to her or visiting her. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Patrick led the woman to Christ.
Jessica came with her 11-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, and had concerns about whether her daughter would be bold enough to share her story and the Gospel without her mother at her side. Tonight, as Elizabeth shared her story about going into a school to ask about talking with the children there, Jessica realized that God was working in her daughter’s life.
Halfway through the week, God continues to amaze His missionaries:
Sometimes God just likes to show off. Early in the week, God already demonstrated that He had prepared us to encounter specific people during our time in Costa Rica. On Wednesday, He took things to new levels.
Monday evening, Darren and Sara, led by the Holy Spirit, shared the Gospel with people who serve our team meals at the restaurant connected to where we are staying. Yenner, who had asked what our team is doing here, accepted Christ. Just as our team has done throughout the five communities where we are serving this week, Darren and Sara tried to set up a discipleship meeting with Yenner. They requested to meet Wednesday night, but Yenner was not scheduled to work on Wednesday and was, therefore, unavailable.
On Wednesday afternoon, when a discipleship meeting Trena and Ryan had scheduled fell through, they looked to share the Gospel with new people. As the time neared for them to head back for a different discipleship meeting, Trena decided to go down a dirt path and share the Gospel at just one more house. As she, Ryan and Gabriel, their translator, approached the house, Ryan saw people working in the yard and thought she recognized a familiar face from the restaurant where we eat breakfast and dinner each day. Sure enough, in the community where Trena and Ryan are serving this week, half an hour from where we are staying, they bumped into Yenner and his wife. They scheduled a discipleship meeting for Thursday in Yenner’s home.
In a different community, Jessica saw a house with a verse from Isaiah on the door and asked the owners about its significance. She quickly learned that the people who lived there were Jehovah’s Witnesses. On a handful of recent occasions, including the church service in Costa Rica on Sunday, the Lord had shown Jessica Proverbs 21:31: “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.” Even though Jessica felt ill-prepared for conversation with Jehovah’s Witnesses, God showed her His ability to carry her through that situation. Jessica, who speaks some Spanish, had a Spanish-English Bible with her. She had owned this Bible for nearly ten years, but had not used it recently. Wednesday afternoon, at just the right time, she discovered a paper in its front cover with Bible verses addressing the doctrine of Jehovah’s Witnesses—something from a Bible study years earlier. We are continually encouraged to see how God is accomplishing His purposes each day, as we look to Him to guide our steps.
During the week, the LORD continued to bless the area of Tarbaca with His grace to those whose hearts were softened. We were able to share the Gospel with 380 individuals, and of those, 210 accepted Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior. In addition, the teams were able to start 39 discipleship groups where 174 individuals attended during the five days. As part of the celebration, Austin shared that this week God showed him that he needed to surrender everything to God. Austin told us that sharing his faith was one area in his life that he has had trouble with, and everyone in the room agreed that this is something we all struggle with in our walks with the LORD.