On January 12 we welcomed 8 students from Fresno Pacific University as part of our first ever study abroad program in Costa Rica. The students have been busy studying Spanish at a local language school, taking ministry courses from our SI staff, and working in the various ministry sites. Through it all they have been challenged to encounter God and to wrestle with issues of poverty, dependency, and empowerment. If you are interested or know someone who might be interested in future study abroad programs with SI, email Darin Mather at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here is what a couple of students have to say about their time so far:
“Here in Costa Rica God has been teaching me what it means to fully rely on him. He has removed me from my natural element and from the people that I typically fall back and rely on. He is teaching me to discern scripture independently, to trust in him with all my heart, mind and soul, and what it means to rejoice in his name, through all circumstances, trials, and victories. He has been teaching me that his grace is sufficient and that nothing else matters. That nothing else is sustainable…Coming to Costa Rica God has been preparing me for what he has at hand. He has been preparing and equipping me further as I pursue his calling into ministry.”
– Katy P.
“As a part of the course work in the Costa Rica study abroad program we’ve been learning about short and long-term missions … One of the biggest things that I’m learning and wrestling with is how God works through both ministry models. Yes, not all of us are called to spend years of our lives or a life time devoted to living abroad doing missions work, but that should not discount us from being a part of the body of Christ that brings aid to both the spiritual and physical needs abroad. It has been wonderful to work in SI Costa Rica’s ministry sites and see how they work in both the long and short-term aspects of missions. This experience here has only made me more enthusiastic to see what I can do to be helping in my own community when I return back to my hometown of Fresno, CA. God doesn’t just work abroad. He is also moving in our own backyards, and that’s something I want to be a part of.”
– Ellie C.