Costa Rica (MNN) — Costa Rica is a place full of beauty. Recently the country was recognized as having the best hotels and resorts in Central America. It's a place considered reached for Jesus, but at the same time, many still need Christ.
Costa Rica is a country calling Bryan and Beth Tatum and their family, missionaries with The Mission Society. Bryan says when they arrived in the country, "We really wanted to see where God was moving and try and come alongside that movement, learn from that, and try to be a part of that."
That's how they got connected with an indigenous organization called Conexion. Bryan says Conexion is "sharing the Gospel by extreme acts of service. So we kind of do things to develop and build up a community, and then in the process of that, develop relationships. From within those relationships, we share the Gospel."
This isn't a situation where American missionaries come in and take over a ministry. It's just the opposite. Americans are being told where they can be used most effectively. "It's really encouraging to see other Latinos helping other Latinos, and having just the help of North Americans with that process."
One example of Conexion's ministry is: going into communities to provide medical clinics for those who can't travel 20-30 miles for the care they need. "We have a team of doctors and dentists and pharmacists that work with us who are all Costa Ricans or Latinos, and they give up their time to go work, serve and help other Costa Ricans and give us an opportunity to get into that community and share the Gospel."
Conexion is also using the extreme acts of service to get involved in the public schools "by flying under the radar and coming in and doing play days for the schools, or paint classrooms, or repair desks. It's given us opportunity to get into the schools and develop relationships." The relationships built are not just with the students, but with the teachers and the parents. It's within those relationships that they're also able to share the Gospel.
Beth says Conexion also helps encourage kids to stay in school past the 6th grade. "A lot of kids have basically completed their core courses, and a lot drop out at that stage. So we're able to do seminars to encourage children [and teach them] the importance of staying in school."
If you'd like to pray for the Tatums and Conexion, or support their efforts financially, go to http://www.MissionCostaRica.com.