1. Entrepreneurs, Families, & Retirees
2. A Global Village
3. On A Journey
1. ENTREPRENEURS AND FAMILIES
Tamarindo has always had its share of entrepreneurs giving it their best shot at “living the dream” in Costa Rica by finding a way to make a living in Costa Rica. Over the past 15 years we have seen many of these people start families, have kids, and settle in to Tamarindo long term as their home. This has been evidence by the growing international schools in the area that provide an education for the young children these families. 16 years ago, there was only one private school around that offered bilingual education. But in the last several years we have seen the birth of schools like CRIA, La Paz School, GIA, Waldorf, Tide Academy, and now Journey School. And a couple of years ago… both CRIA and La Paz added pre-school and kindergarten levels of education to meet the demand in our community. All of this giving signs of an emerging community of young families.
In addition to these entrepreneurs and families, our community is also home to many retirees. Some retirees live here year round while others visit seasonally… especially in the winter months in the US and Canada.
We tell you all of this to ask for prayer for our church as we try to come up with creative ways to care for and serve these families and retirees who have made a home for themselves here in Tamarindo and the surrounding areas.
2. A GLOBAL VILLAGE–
There are a number of factors that make “doing church” in Tamarindo area very unique. One of those things is that there is a vast representation of nationalities found among the Tamarindo locals. And if you live here long enough, it’s not long until you discover that you are part a “global village”. Among the countries represented in our community are people from U.S., Canada, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, England, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the Philippines, South Africa and of course Costa Rica. It’s pretty amazing to have so many nationalities represented in such a small village of a town.
The challenge for us is to figure out how to connect with and share the gospel with such a diversity of people. Please pray for us as we offer ourselves to God to use as his ambassadors of his truth and love to these people from so many nations.
3. ON A JOURNEY- INSIDE AND OUT
Another unique aspect of “doing church” in a place like Tamarindo that we are in a context that I think presents our church with a unique opportunity to reach those who are searching for God. There are three streams of thought behind this …
~ The God of Nature
When people are overwhelmed with life and want to get away, they most often go to places of natural beauty like the mountains, the lake, the ocean, etc. I believe that people will travel world to experience these places of natural beauty not only for the beauty of it, but because (whether they know it or not) they are wanting to connect the transcendent. It is in the presence of the majesty of nature that people sense an encounter with God. Whether mesmerized by a glorious a sunset, having their breath taken away by a view from the mountain top, or marveling the array of colors and life in a coral reef… the majesty of nature gives us a sense of the majesty and beauty of God. And we connect with God there.
All of this to say… I believe that Tamarindo Church in a location where people flock from all over the world to connect with not only nature… but with God. Our hope is that while they are here, we will offer them an opportunity to connect with the God who created it all. Please pray for us as we try to reach these people whom God is wooing and calling to himself through the beauty of His Creation.
~ What Happens in Tamarindo….. Stays in Tamarindo
The truth is… when people are traveling they are more prone to take risks and do things they would never do when they are back at home. Thus the popular saying, “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” But in this case … I’m not talking about indulgences like the partying, drugs, and prostitution that are so widely available here for those who are seeking it. What I’m talking about is church! Over the years that we have been doing ministry in Tamarindo, we have encountered a number of people who have taken the “risk” of attending church for the first time in many years… and for some, for the first time ever! While people are here visiting…. many are willing take steps toward investigating the Christian faith that they would never take back at home. Families on Sabbatical, students from the Spanish language schools, individuals simply traveling through. We feel that this makes having a church in Tamarindo all that much more important. And so that is why we are forging these inroads to see that vision become a reality..
Please pray that we would be a community of faith that would be effective at helping people to connect with God for the first time, and helping them re-connect with God after years of being away from their faith.
~ The Wanted and the Unwanted
I’ll always remember a popular phrase down here that Stacey quoted to me when I first moved to Tamarindo. The saying is, “Costa Rica is a place where you will find the ‘Wanted’….. and the Unwanted”.
Not long after having that conversation… I remember following up her thought by sharing with Stacey that I often feel like we live in “The Land of the misfit toys” (ref. Rudolf claymation movie) And I don’t mean this in a derogatory way… let me explain. What I meant is… Tamarindo seems to be one of those places where many people come when they feel that they are a “mis – fit” to the places they were in before coming to Costa Rica. They just didn’t feel that they fit into the community or situation they left behind, and now they are here looking to get a fresh start and find a new sense of purpose and direction in life. Many are come with deep wounds and broken pasts … just trying to make a new life for themselves. Many who come here are transitioning out of situations like- divorce, broken families, death of a loved one, a season personal crisis… and they are looking for a new beginning. .
So, in Tamarindo, we often find ourselves ministering to the wanted, the unwanted, and the broken. This can be pretty challenging at times… but it also presents a pretty awesome opportunity to be available for and care for hurting people. Please pray that God would empower our community of faith share God’s love, truth & grace with others in a way that brings life, healing and salvation in people’s lives.