Costa Rican outreach starts 2012 with a bang

By January 2, 2012

Costa Rica (MNN) — The work of Grace Ministries International in Costa Rica is active and
growing. From the well-established church located near San Jose, the field has
many goals.

In just five year, since the Grace Bible Institute of Costa
Rica was launched, a Great Commission vision seems to be catching on. Sam Vinton with Grace
Ministries International says the school started with just 13
students but now enrolls over 40 each trimester.

The goal is to train the next generation of pastors, lay
leaders, and missionaries. In the next couple of years under the leadership of
Bible institute students, GMI hopes to plant churches. Their team has been praying that the nationals
 catch a vision of doing missionary work.
God is answering beyond their hopes and imaginations. Vinton says, "I believe
this is one of the big things that we're seeing happen in all of Latin America."

A new church was recently planted in Alajuela and just
celebrated its first-year anniversary. GMI's Chuck Befus writes: "We are really
too large a group for our present church rental with at least an average of 110
each Sunday and growing. We have seen God change the lives of many people and
there is excitement waiting to see what God will do next. Please pray with
us."

As a church and a field, the ministry also has a cross-cultural dream. "The churches in the San Jose area have had a real vision for
the last couple of years of taking a team every summer into Nicaragua, which is
the country north of Costa Rica."

By what they saw in Nicaragua, planting a church in
Nicaragua could be a reality soon. "The responses have been good, and so
starting this next month, instead of once a year, we're planning on going
probably six times during this coming year."

With each trip, the team further cultivates the soil. There's no church yet, but there are study
groups forming. Since the Nicaraguan
women tend to be more spiritually inquisitive and sensitive to the things of
God, the women members of the team prepared special Bible studies which proved
very valuable as they conducted over 20 Bible studies.  

Vinton explains from there, "We're hoping that in
another year or two, we'll have an actual Costa Rican family go as missionaries and possibly have an
international team of different groups in South America, as well as an
American missionary couple."

Already, Vinton says, "We have friends, we have contacts–people who used to be members of our church in Costa Rica who have moved back
home to Nicaragua, who are foundational to this ministry."

It's an exciting time for Grace Ministries."Pray that
the nationals will catch a vision of doing missionary work. I believe this is one
of the big things that we're seeing happen in all of Latin America."

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