God’s story in this place and with these people is so much bigger than Esperanza; it began in the beginning of their existence.  Even in the original history of this culture we can find traces of the gospel message, although it was not consummated until the original Christian missionaries arrived.  We receive strength from their obedience and respect them greatly as we know that they have paved the way through their sacrifice and dedication.  They truly were voices calling in the desert to make straight paths for the Lord. 

 

What we now know as Esperanza was certainly not our idea. God has opened door after door here in Talamanca and we have simply walked through them.  It began with a “yes” in 2012 when Kimi and Raul Molina moved to Shiroles.  That was the beginning of what is now the base, or the Casona.  It slowly became a place of ministry for the whole community and relationships began to develop through soccer and daily life.  Esperanza continued to take shape through a “yes” to start construction on a home to be used for ministry.  It deepened more as Shelby Feenick said “yes” to a three year commitment in Shiroles as a ministry partner.  It began to take shape as young people began coming to the Lord through evangelism and the Alpha course, as Children of the Promise began and there was more intentionality and commitment to our little ones.  Community members and other brothers and sisters in Christ from other areas of Costa Rica, the US, and Canada began to feel called to what they saw the Lord doing and they began to work right alongside us. 

 

Now we can look at the programs, the activities, the community leaders, the passion and the heart to see our community restored, renewed, and changed for the Lord.  It was not what we set out for in the beginning.  The original goal was simply to be a blessing.  But it is the shape God has given it.  We know that it is also not a finished project.  The goal is only to continue moving forward in obedience, saying “yes” to those opportunities and walking through those open doors.