Epicenter

Earthquake in Costa Rica**

[caption id="attachment_549" align="aligncenter" width="700"] The epicenter of the earthquake was located in Nicoya Peninsula[/caption] Dear friends ...

Who is My Neighbor?

The next day he handed the innkeeper two twenty-dollar  bills and told him to take care of the man. ‘If his bill runs higher than that,’ he said,...

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HUGO RIVAS IS A GOOD SAMARITAN TO S...

Hugo Rivas graduated from the Adventist college in Costa Rica with majors in Theology and Business Administration.  Presently he is completing gradua...

“What Else Must I Do?”

Jesus had just finished dealing with hard-hearted divorce issues brought up by cagey Pharisees trying to snag the Teacher and discredit His theology. ...

Earthquake in Costa Rica**

Epicenter

The epicenter of the earthquake was located in Nicoya Peninsula

Dear friends and family,
Thanks very much for your messages and kind thoughts in response to mine yesterday telling of the quake in Costa Rica.  As you can imagine, everyone here is comparing notes on the personal experiences related to frights suffered and concerns for aftershocks.  There have been hundreds of such but few have been strong enough for most of us to detect.  Geologists are evaluating the situation and will report in a few more days their findings.  Read more →

Who is My Neighbor?

The next day he handed the innkeeper two twenty-dollar  bills and told him to take care of the man. ‘If his bill runs higher than that,’ he said, ‘I’ll pay the difference the next time I am here.’

The Good Samaritan spent a sleepless night caring for the battered man he had donkey-retrieved from the bandit-infested Jericho highway.  Next morning and ready to continue his journey, Sam drew out his wallet and passed two twenty-dollar bills (figuratively speaking) to the guy behind the ding-bell.  ‘Take good care of Mr. Silverman,’ he charged, ‘and if your expenses are more than $40, I’ll make up the difference when I come back through on my next business trip.”

Jesus was not creating fiction with this tale of neighborliness.  Remember that a theologian had been probing Jesus’ orthodoxy and after a little back-and-forth about loving God and loving one’s neighbor, Professor Klingblatt posed his clincher: ‘But who is my neighbor?’

So Jesus related a true story (according to EGW in DA) which first berated two indifferent holy men and then extolled a right-minded hero who just happened to be from a despised minority.  Don’t you just love the irony in the details of Jesus’ story telling!

Some folks are prejudiced against certain classes of folks, while others are full-spectrum un-neighborly, plain and simple; they couldn’t give a piddle no matter who lies straddling their path.

Jesus pointed out that even some in church roles might take a look-see at unfortunate cases crying out for consideration, but these men of the cloth pass by rationalizing that spiritual ministry is more urgent than humanitarian service.  ‘I’ve got souls to save, goals to reach, rungs to climb: no time to fool around with lesser matters such as this individual lying here moaning about his problems.’

Missionary Partners, or should I say Samaritan Partners, we sure do appreciate your neighborliness!  When the theologian first approached Jesus he wanted to know what he needed to do to gain eternal life; that’s when they got into the theory of loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself.  Doing that, said Jesus will result in life.

It’s the practical doing part that is key.  Thank you for picking up these bruised and needy neighbors that we present month by month in our missionary letters.  Thanks for praying for them through the night and then providing what you can to help them meet their struggles, hardships, and needs.  Their lives, dreams, and future service are so very worth your investments and all the love of God.

If you tally up the total requested for the various families, youth, and children presented in this August letter you will see that it comes to thousands of dollars.  Consider Sam who handed the innkeeper two twenties and promised additional payment if that was not enough. Friends, though the gifts are generous and kind they simply never will be enough.  That’s the nature of practical religion and Christ-like caring.

May God bless the cheerful response chord in your heart, and may He multiply the contents of your wallet or purse for your life as well as for the lives of those you help time and time again.

Gratefully,

Mike Lynch

 

Now which of these three [the priest, the Levite, or the Samaritan] would you say was a neighbor to the bandits’ victim?

“The man replied, ‘The one who showed him some pity.’

“Then Jesus said, ‘Yes, now go and do the same.’”  Luke 10:36, 37.

“Day by day the Lord observes the good deeds done by godly men, and gives them eternal rewards.  He cares for them when times are hard; even in famine, they will have enough.”
Psalms 37:18, 19.

 

HUGO RIVAS IS A GOOD SAMARITAN TO STRUGGLING STUDENT FAMILIES

Hugo Rivas graduated from the Adventist college in Costa Rica with majors in Theology and Business Administration.  Presently he is completing graduate work in Psychology and Law at the Universidad Latina.

Besides keeping up with his heavy class load, Hugo is frequently invited to speak at churches and before gatherings of public employees.   He continues to follow closely developments at his alma mater where he cultivates friendships among current students, often coming to their rescue with food supplies shared from his own limited household larder.

Missionary Partners Foundation is seeking backing for this proven scholar and practical Christian servant (see the presentation of the Rivas family in our July letter).

Hugo recommends the following cases for our assistance:

The Artiga Family, Gustavo, Claudia Carolina and Jesse.

What follows is a translation of a letter written by Gustavo that shares the struggles this young family is facing:

I, Gustavo Artiga am happily married for six years to Claudia Carolina; we have our first child, Jesse. We all three are Salvadorans.

I began the ministerial call in El Salvador in the month of November 2003, working as a district pastor in a town called Cara Sucia (Dirty Face), Ahuachapán. I was there for a year before being transferred to the district of Tecla, San Salvador. During 2007-2010 my pastoral studies were infrequent (under an experimental/unaccredited plan which has since been eliminated).  When that closed the local leaders told us pastors-in-training that we had two options: 1) cease studying, or 2) go to the SDA college in Costa Rica to complete the theology program, but with only a small financial jump start from the mission.

I decided on Costa Rica.  The mission paid my bus fare to Costa Rica and some help for the first quarter at college.  My wife, six-month old baby, and I felt we might be able to succeed even when there was little wherewithal to back our hopes.

The darkest shadow hanging over us was a health problem my wife had recently been diagnosed with.  In our second year of marriage, Claudia had eye surgery (performed free of charge by a Cuban surgeon in neighboring Honduras).  Since that time she has suffered frequent severe migraines and requires strong medication.  Claudia lost several babies but in our fifth year she became pregnant again.  At that time it was discovered that she had lupus and the doctors told her it was likely that she, the baby, or both would die. Thank God, however, everything went well.

Since coming to Costa Rica, our diet has been very poor for lack of sufficient income.  Claudia faints and her health has deteriorated.  We had no money to see a doctor and were not yet insured under local social security.  At this point Hugo Rivas came into our lives, providing help to buy medicine and sharing from his family’s food supply so that we might be able to get along better.

I, Gustavo, am in the next to the last year of theology studies.  I am taking four subjects presently, and have a couple of more to take after that.  I have two jobs on campus, 1) cleaning the church and the children’s Sabbath School rooms, and
2) working on the grounds.  The church job paid $200, but since June $300 per month.  The other job pays $2/hour.  I sometimes begin work at 1 AM and often go two days at a time without sleep trying to keep up with work and classes.  This I willingly do for the love of my family.
It has been my dream of becoming a pastor since the age of 8.  I am now 35 and Claudia is 30.  We love God and His Work.  That is why we came to this college to prepare for God’s service.  Jesus suffered for us, we suffer also, but we have the hope of Glory in our hearts.

Semester tuition costs $1,000.  Rent and utilities come to $300 per month.  Medicine and transportation cost us $150 per month.  We figure about $500 for food.  Immigration and other fees charged by the college come to about $300 per year.  Presently I am $692 in debt to the college.

May God bless you,

Gustavo, Claudia, and Jesse

Partners, maybe some of you are considering channeling some tithe into directly helping a struggling pastor.  Here is one who could really use your backing.– Missionary Partners

 

Ana Lucely de Gamez and her daughter Monica

This mother and daughter come from El Salvador.  They came to Costa Rica so that Monica could study nursing at an Adventist college and avoid Sabbath problems which she felt she would have to deal with in El Salvador.

The family (including mother, daughter, and a teenage son) rented a campus cottage and hoped to find work to keep them afloat; that soon proved legally difficult.

Ana’s undocumented husband, Dennis, has been trying to find work in the United States and has faced a series of complications in the process.  Recently he came down to Costa Rica to see his family and take charge of the couple’s son who has needed a father’s guiding hand in his life.  Father and son have now returned North.

Monica is well into her second year of college classes and is earning very respectable grades.  Mother Ana has not fared well as most of the financial burden falls upon her shoulders for keeping Monica’s tuition paid.  Their bills mount, Ana’s health grows more strained and weakened.

Too often they have had nothing to eat.  That is when Hugo and Elsa Rivas have stepped in sharing from their own limited supply, rice and beans, the basics to keep soul and body together.

It is hard to assign a figure to this family’s needs as it amounts to thousands; nevertheless, we would like to at least help them through Hugo with some monthly help for food.

Perhaps one of our partners would like to tackle this case with $200 monthly.  Naturally, if you would like to enter into direct contact with Ana and Monica, maybe offering them even greater assistance with college expenses and household needs, that would be wonderful and we would willingly facilitate that.

[paypal-donation purpose="A GOOD SAMARITAN TO STRUGGLING STUDENT FAMILIES" reference="Post=525"]

“What Else Must I Do?”

Jesus had just finished dealing with hard-hearted divorce issues brought up by cagey Pharisees trying to snag the Teacher and discredit His theology.

The second wave of the morning consisted of mothers bringing their children to be blessed–makes you wonder how many of those moms had been dumped and left to raise the kids alone while their men justified abandonment with easy
divorce writs notarized by temple sharks.

Read more →

A Mother and Son struggle just to Buy Food!

Maria de los Angeles Ellis Solano and her son, Joshua, were presented in our April missionary letter, but nothing has been received so far for them.

I hardly know what to add when repeating cases like this,  but I know that persistence can bring a kind response, just as it did in Jesus’ story of the fellow who went at midnight to a friend’s house to ask for bread to feed others (Luke 11:5-8).

Maria is a 46-year-old mom in very poor health. Recently she had to be hospitalized again with hemorrhaging stomach ulcers.

When she can, she works cleaning houses. She and the boy live in a small rented cottage with practically nothing but a few articles of clothing. We bought them a bunk bed and provided them with a table and a couple of chairs from our office (which last year we moved out of to cut foundation expenses).

Every now and again when Maria has to be admitted to the hospital Joshua is left to fend for himself and go to school. Meals for them are often one item events.

Joshua worries greatly for his mother’s life. Read more →

A Father’s Serious Accident creates a Family Crisis

Friends, in March we presented these children hoping for sponsors.  One specific donation of $75 has come for this brother and sister.  Additionally, we have been able to help their parents with $335.35 from general donations.

Praise God for that and may a generous amount follow really soon!

In March the father, Luis Jimenez, suffered an accident while on the job, and his leg was torn up pretty badly.  Luis is a messenger and his work involves traveling through city traffic on a motorcycle—very dangerous work to be sure!  He has been fortunate over the years, but now he is laid up and slowly mending.

Being out of work with only limited compensation during past months has really impacted the family budget. Their children attend the Adventist school in Hatillo, Costa Rica. Read more →

No Secrets, No Rewards

Take care! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired, for then you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven….  But when you do a kindness to someone, do it secretly—don’t tell your left hand what your right hand is doing.  And your Father who knows all secrets will reward you.

Matthew 6:1, 3, 4
The Living Bible

 

Yes, let’s all “take care” as the Bible text says in some English versions. The Master always took care to do good deeds and to set that example for us.  It would be hard to (continued on page 3)  imagine anyone doing as many wonderful deeds of goodness as Jesus; and yet if anything stands out in His work it is the fact that it was all done very publicly.

He was famous all over Judea, Samaria, Galilee, out along the Phoenician coast, across the Jordan eastward, and up into Syria.  Huge crowds of folks swamped Him wherever He went (Matt. 4:23-25).

There is nothing inherently wrong with kindness becoming public; it is only when good works are done “to be admired”—for self-serving fame—that they get people into trouble and run the risk of cancelling out heavenly rewards. Read more →

Living a life of Ministry and Sacrifice

 

A few years ago some partners suggested we hire an accountant and take the foundation down a more established path.  We did.

Some suggested that there would be backing for the better plan.  We waited.

With the recession circling the globe our Missionary Partners foundation feels the tighter cinched belt just like our back-home donors.

Minor Gonzalez has been in charge of the books and the main part of the footwork in distributing the funds among the families and students on our project lists.  From 2005 to 2010 he was our only salaried worker. Read more →