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Missionary Spotlight – Dispelling the image

October 2008 | by Bill Green

Dispelling the image

 

As one of very few Reformed churches in Costa Rica, our small denomination (comprised of four congregations) swims against a current set by the Roman Catholic Church and the many ‘evangelical’ churches that have sold out to ‘health and wealth’ neo-Pentecostalism.

     This makes for slow going, but God is good and has given us solid growth over the past years. The Reformed and Presbyterian Church of Costa Rica also has a Christian grade school and high school.

     The church and school were established in Tepeyac, in the northwest of San José, in 1984 and 1992 respectively. Roberto Venegas is now the church’s full-time pastor.

     The school was started to help counteract the bad image of ‘evangelicals’ which makes evangelism so difficult. This negative image is fuelled by fanatical emotionalism, poor testimony and a lack of trained leadership.

     The Tepeyac church’s ministries include evangelism, theological education, diaconal service to the needy, and support to the broader school community. All this is a testimony to God’s love, poured out in care for and commitment to people.

Daughter churches

 

Our church sustains a daughter church in Los Cuadros – formerly a squatters’ settlement and an area of deep social and spiritual deprivation. Church elder Marvin Briseño lives in Los Cuadros with his family and gives leadership to the growing congregation.

     In 2004 the Greens began another daughter church, which met initially near the prestigious University of Costa Rica. God has brought in new members and the congregation is growing. The church now meets in Tepeyac Christian School.

     Our churches are all members of a fellowship of Reformed churches in Latin America called the CLIR (www.clir.net). Latin America is experiencing significant social, economic and religious change but there is relatively little witness to the historic Christian faith. Neo-Pentecostalism is causing huge desertion among Evangelicals; and the numbers of ‘non-religious’ are growing. Buddhism and other forms of mystical religions are attracting many.

     Please keep this area of the world in your prayers!

Bill Green
 
 
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Costa Rica