When Jesus wanted His disciples to remember something, He often tied the lesson to something familiar that they would encounter often. The most obvious example is the Lord’s Supper, where He used the most common food elements of the day to remind them of His sacrifice on the cross. Surely that was no accident. From then on, at every meal, the bread would remind them of that time of horrible pain and grief, followed by unimaginable joy at the resurrection. They’d never be able to eat a meal again without those events being uppermost in their minds!
Let’s follow the Master Teacher’s example. In many people’s minds, Costa Rica is synonymous with coffee. It certainly is for Costa Rican nationals: coffee has been their #1 cash crop export for decades, making it an integral part of the economy and everyday life. And the rest of the world? Those who know excellent coffee look for Tarrazú, a special one grown only in Costa Rica: “in November 2012, [Costa Rican] Tarrazú Geisha coffee became the most expensive coffee sold by Starbucks…online customers were able to buy 0.5 lb packs at a price of US$40 each and it was sold out in less than 24 hours.”
What does this have to do with Gary and Karen Shogren, missionaries to Costa Rica? Plenty! For almost all of you, coffee plays an important part in your day. I’m praying that God will use your daily coffee to remind you of us, our need for prayer and our need for financial partners.
For the last 6 months we’ve traveled to share our ministry with groups large and small. We’ve gone over our budget with a fine-tooth comb to be sure of exactly how much we need to live on.
Karen must be in Costa Rica in a few weeks. There is nobody else who can teach Karen’s ESEPA course which begins Oct 11, and it cannot be taught online. And Rosi and Sammy are alone and need us back.
We would normally be out meeting with potential individual donors this month, to nail down the last of our financial support. But that isn’t possible. Gary leaves Monday to spend this month on a critically needy Caribbean island, helping 19 master’s students finish their training. It overwhelms to realize that God is using him (alongside many others) to answer 50 years of prayers: preparing a new generation of fully trained Bible professors! Meanwhile, Karen is pretty much house-bound at her mother’s home in PA as she recovers from her second hip replacement surgery 3 weeks ago. So we trust that God Himself will bring the last donors we need.
We praise God that in the last 6 months He has provided $3,179 of monthly support for us! That is miraculous! Now the remaining $1,627 must come in NOW. If 16 of you are willing to pledge $100 a month, we’ll be finished.
Is there any reason why you cannot pledge so that we can continue training professors in Costa Rica and Central America?
So when you drink your morning (or afternoon) cup of Joe, think about your budget. Is God nudging you to be part of our support team? If so, WorldVenture needs to hear from you right away. And pray for us. Pray for Gary, who has a very difficult travel schedule this month. He’ll spend 3 weeks in the Caribbean, traveling many hundreds of miles over unpleasant roads in unreliable vehicles with not a single Sheetz or Wawa along the way. Please pray for his health, safety, strength, and ministry effectiveness. Pray for Karen as she is recovers: for pain relief, renewed muscle strength, ability to concentrate on writing lessons for the upcoming MK retreat in Honduras, and PATIENCE! Please pray for the safety and health of her and her team during their ministry trip to Honduras (Sept 25-29).
You may respond to this update below, although keep in mind that it may take some time for Gary to respond to you. Our you can go right to the WorldVenture website in order to make your pledge: https://www.worldventure.com/sslpage.aspx?pid=851, look for “Make a Commitment”