Do you enjoy going to visit ruins? Places where people once gathered, lived, or worked but now is abandoned, broken, vacant? Over Christmas break, or family visited the nearby RUINAS DE UJARRÁS. The Ruins of Ujarrás, is the only thing that remains of the first church built in Costa Rica during the seventeenth century. I find ruins interesting and beautiful in their own way. I often wonder what the church looked like many years before. I wonder if it was the center activity of the community. What was their vision and dream for this community, this church.

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As we begin a new year, we revisit the vision and dream that brought us to Costa Rica in the first place. Our purpose is to strategically focus on pastoral training and leadership development in order to help fuel and sustain a biblical movement to reach Latin American for Christ, specifically through Community Church Planting. By God's grace, this is happening. In fact, the word "growth" comes to mind. Healthy growth in the Church and leaders in Costa Rica has characterized 2018. Also physical growth in our family, both as our children have all gotten taller than me (except Ellie!), our growth in the ability to communicate in Spanish, and growth in our relationship with our Lord and Savior.

Looking back is important, but so is looking ahead to what we dream and desire for 2019. As we look forward to 2019, we are excited about small groups coming to Central America which help us strategically focus on pastoral training and leadership development. We are also looking forward to seeing many of you as we return to the states for a few months next year.

So this year, when I see ruins, they will serve as a reminder that God actively builds His Church, and that while buildings come and go with the passage of time, the Victorious One still reigns and the gates of hell cannot prevail over the divine program of redemption and renewal at the heart of God.

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