A team of 15 volunteers, including members of the North Greenville University community, served in Villa Real, Costa Rica, July 7-15.
The team was led by Bill Cashion, professor of evangelism and missions in NGU’s Graduate School of Christian Ministry.
Beverly Hawkins, a member of NGU’s board of trustees and a recent master of Christian ministry graduate, and Morgan Bryant, an NGU senior, joined with volunteers from churches in South Carolina and Georgia to cooperate with the Villa Real Baptist Church in evangelistic outreach to the communities of Villa Real and Tamarindo.
The team led evangelistic services, participated with Costa Rican believers in personal evangelism by visiting door-to-door to share the gospel, taught the drama team of Villa Real an evangelistic drama presentation, conducted a Vacation Bible School for children each morning, and led a women’s conference.
At the end of the week, pastor Nelson Campos of Villa Real Baptist Church reported that 131 people had indicated commitments to Christ. Many who surrendered their lives to Jesus were led to faith by team members who visited in their homes, shared their personal testimonies, and used the “EvangeCube” to share the gospel. Also, many children trusted the Lord in Vacation Bible School. For some, it was the first time they had heard the gospel.
One of the highlights of the week was the women’s conference led by the women of the team. Both Bryant and Hawkins served as leaders for the conference. Bryant presented the gospel through song and taught about the humility of Jesus Christ as he served His disciples by washing their feet. Hawkins helped organize the mission team women to serve the Costa Rican women by washing their feet and painting their toe nails. Some of the Costa Rican women testified, with tears of joy, that they had never experienced such an act of love.
A number of the Costa Rican women who attended live in abusive situations. The foot-washing service became a time of healing and encouragement for them as they saw the love of Christ for them demonstrated through a simple act of kindness. One woman was so moved, she was crying during the foot-washing, saying, “You came all the way here; we should serve you, but instead, you are serving us.”
Another highlight came on the final day as the team prepared to leave their hotel for the airport. A young man named Johnny worked at the hotel. He worked as hotel clerk and chef for the team’s breakfast each morning. Cashion had the joy of sharing the gospel with him. Johnny eagerly accepted Christ and asked that the local pastor visit him to give him a Bible and disciple him. A few days after the team left Costa Rica, Campos contacted Johnny, gave him a Bible, and had his first discipleship session with him.
The team requests that South Carolina Baptists pray for the church as the members continue to disciple the new believers.
Writer: Bill Cashion, professor of evangelism and missions in NGU’s Graduate School of Christian Ministry.