Westside Church of Christ has been partnering with the Melendez family to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to the nation of Costa Rica. Luis, Mayra, and their two children Ashley and Danial moved to Palmares in 2010 to establish a new body of believers. For the past 7 years, Westside has annually sent teams to help with the church plant effort.
We have been so blessed to both see and hear about the incredible impact that our partnership with the Melendez family has made for the Kingdom of God in Palmares. As this church matures Luis has begun to transition out from being their minister. The church has hired a new minister, Leoni. Through this transition Westside continues to support our new Costa Rican brothers and sisters in their spiritual growth process.
Please take some time and read this update from Luis about what God is doing in Palmares and what is going on with the Palmares Church of Christ, and join us in prayer that God will continue to work powerfully through them and their church. For more information about this church or to get more involved in our mission effort, please contact Ron Nickell.
We began the month of February with an evangelizing activity, with the participation of Noé Artero, an evangelist from El Salvador, and the Brothers Ernesto Hernández, Elvis Cruz, Eduardo Romero, and Natanael Cajina, evangelists from Nicaragua. The activity consisted of going out to evangelize the nearby communities for four days straight, followed by three consecutive days of preaching the Word at the Church. We obtained good results, as thanks to God several persons were added to the Church.
The converted include Robert, who is shown at left being baptized. He is a sincere seeker of the truth who had been studying the Holy Scriptures on his own for some time. When he heard the Gospel he wanted to obey it immediately, since God had prepared his heart for obeying Christ. Glory be to God!
The new Minister and his family have finally moved to Palmares. Last year we put ourselves to the task of searching and praying for a minister to take charge of the Church. God answered our prayers with Brother Leoni who, after meditating and praying, agreed to be the Minister of the Church in Palmares. Late last year Leoni agreed to move to Palmares in February to start working with the Church, commencing with a transition phase to allow the Church to assimilate the change positively. Leoni and his family are also adapting well to the change because, despite being Costa Rican citizens, they were living in a different context. We are very happy with what God is doing to ensure that His Church carries on after our departure.
Thanks to God, as a family we are very blessed physically and spiritually. Mayra and I have noted that these seven years of ministry in Costa Rica have helped us to mature and strengthen our relationship as a couple, because she has been the ideal support for me all this time. Ashley, despite being only thirteen years old, is very active in the Church. She currently collaborates on classes to young children, besides helping out with all other activities. We are very proud of her. Daniel likes to accompany me on my visits to our Brothers and Sisters. He also likes to read the Bible. The other day he asked for one as a gift, so we gave him a new Bible, which he promised to care for and read. We are very proud of him, also. God has been good to us. He has blessed us so much!
In January we visited our native land of El Salvador. We have tried to go there at least once a year, as we still have loved ones and friends there. We had the opportunity to spend time with Mayra’s parents, brother, aunts, and nieces and nephews. We were also able to visit my relatives. Although most of my family lives in the United States, some still live in El Salvador. For some mysterious reason, every time we travel there we end up gaining weight. Perhaps it is the fault of those delicious Salvadoran pupusas. Oh man, they’re good!
We also managed to hit the beach. El Salvador has some pretty beaches. We made a point to visit Salinitas Beach in Sonsonate. It is a safe and peaceful place to take the family, good for rest and relaxation. The kids played in the sand while Mayra and I watched the sunset.We really had a good time. Whenever we take a vacation we remember how important they are, because we come back home renewed. Besides spending time with family and friends, we also enjoy visiting congregations of the Lord’s Church. We give thanks to God and our sponsors for making these vacations possible.
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