Hello friends,We have some news for you that just can’t wait until our scheduled newsletter!
For some time, we have been asking for God’s guidance about when would be the right time to relocate back to the US and continue our missionary work from there. Now it’s obvious that God’s answer is NOW. We will permanently return to the Philadelphia area on November 15.
Please click here to see a VIDEO (click the link) that explains our decision in more detail, and we are also including the script of the video below.
We want to emphasize that:
We are not retiring.
We are not changing jobs.
We are not changing what we do,
But we are changing where we do it.
We will still be missionaries, supported by you, the churches and individuals that have been behind us financially and spiritually all this time.
We will continue to work full-time: we’ll both still teach at ESEPA Seminary (virtually, still, because of COVID), Gary will continue to write and to work on the SUN Bible translation for Wycliffe Associates, and Karen will continue to develop her ministry Levanta La Voz.
We have a few requests:
From here on, send all mail to our new address: 49 Germantown Avenue, Christiana, PA, 17509.
Please consider giving a special donation towards our moving expenses. As you might imagine, this will be a very costly transition. If God puts it on your heart to do so, you can donate through WorldVenture in several ways:
- Send a check payable to WorldVenture, 20 Inverness Place, Englewood CO 80112. If you send a check, please do NOT write our name on the subject line of the check, but instead include a small note indicating that your donation is intended for the work of Gary and Karen Shogren, number 4000-055, as well as your own contact information.
- OR Make a donation online at www.WorldVenture.com. Click on the following buttons beginning on the first page: How to Give, under Support World Venture click Give Now, select an amount, click Next, click on Select a Worker or Project, scroll down the list to find and click on our account 4000-055 Gary and Karen Shogren, click Next, and fill out the remainder of the form and information.
- If you have any questions, please contact WorldVenture directly at 720-283-2000 or Giving@WorldVenture.com
Please pray that God will continue to smooth our way as we continue working full-time. Many blessings, Gary and Karen
When we first talked about moving to Costa Rica, we emphasized that we were not changing what we were doing (Gary was teaching in a seminary, and Karen was homeschooling the kids), but we were changing our location. Long before online education, there was more of a need for seminary professors outside the US, and God led us to work at ESEPA seminary in San José, Costa Rica.We have been serving there, face-to-face since 1998. During that time, Karen too joined the faculty and started an entirely new ministry training church leaders about the prevention and intervention of sexual abuse.
We have the same important message for you now, 23 years later: we are not changing what we do, but we are again changing the location from which we will do it. We are moving back to the United States, and will both continue teaching overseas, online, full-time.There are a variety of reasons why this is the smart decision:
Online education is becoming the norm worldwide – it reaches people far beyond what was possible in-person, it is cost-effective, and it is efficient
We now have been working exclusively online for a year and a half, and it has proven to be a game-changer for both of us, expanding our ministry scope and efficiency in ways we never could have imagined.
Gary is now doing all his teaching online, also conferences, as well as his writing and Bible translation work with Wycliffe AssociatesKaren’s work with her ministry Levanta La Voz has been exclusively online, and that allows people to be involved from all over the world
COVID is still a significant threat to in-person communication, and will continue to be so for quite some time, especially in underdeveloped countries
Costa Rica’s incidence of COVID is still very high and the new variant is now present. 1 in 10 Costa Ricans have had COVID.
We have been in quarantine for a year and a half. It does not look like that will change in the medium term.
Our living expenses will be cheaper for us back in the US, making it easier to maintain full missionary support during this time of economic uncertainty.
Our employers are convinced that allowing us to work from the US will be a benefit to everyone. WorldVenture (our mission agency) and ESEPA Seminary (the organization to whom we are seconded) have given us the go-ahead to move back to the US and continue working with them.
We will be in Costa Rica until Nov 15.
From then on, we will continue to work full-time from Pennsylvania, training Costa Rican church leaders and leaders in all other countries of the world, writing resources for them, and being involved in the Bible translation efforts of Wycliffe Associates. With both of us continuing to work full-time, we expect that God will use us to have an even greater impact on the world in the future!
To sum up:
We are not retiring! Just relocating.
We look to be financed by our donors for the long-term.