Update – Las Pavas de Upala

New Roof on the Church in Las Pavas de Upala, Gte., Costa Rica

las pavas roofPhoto Courtesy:  Marvin Herrera

A personal note from Lou Ritchie –

“This photo, is one of the mission “outposts” several hours from Guayabo. It is Pastor Norvin Lopez’s church in Las Pavas. It brings an interesting perspective to me of where we were, and a picture of where we are going as individuals and as a family under God’s roof of protection.

When I look at this photo – I see the little blue church that Phil Hogan and Pastor Norvin had a part in growing around a decade ago or more. Pastor Norvin and his small family were living in the covered “shed” in the back with dirt floors. I am sure that little blue church holds a lot of memories for Pastor Norvin and Phil – memories of God’s blessings – and also memories of needs and struggles.

When it rained, Pastor Norvin’s children would experience the “mud floors” not dirt floors – not very healthy for young children.

Since then. the Lord has provided a new roof over the pastor’s family – in the form of a new home nearby (not in this photo).  Pastor Norvin is now a leader over several local churches, and his home church has grown out of it’s original shell.

My father and I visited Costa Rica about 10 years ago. We didn’t know Pastor Norvin at the time. Our visit was just after my father’s heart attack, and we were celebrating his birthday. We were enjoying all Costa Rica had to offer as he and I celebrated the “extended Life” God had given him.  This is where our ministry in Guayabo started, and how we found the ranch property while visiting a mission church one day.

There is a video my dad took on that trip when we were at the beach. There were 100’s of hermit crabs wandering around the sand. My dad added his own hilarious narration as the crabs went about their daily lives.

When a hermit crab grows, it moves into a new and bigger shell. The shell is its home and is protection from all kinds of dangers.

Yes – this might sound a little cheesy, but looking back on the beginning days of our starting the mission and looking forward as we grow as a ministry and as individuals, I see that we too outgrow the old shell and inhabit the new one God has for us.

So, in Guayabo, it seems to be time for that new roof, and personally, I hope we all can see the growth God has provided to get us to the place of needing a bigger roof and making room for the larger blessings in store!

Thanks to all of you for helping this little mission in Northwest Costa Rica – the little mission that could.

I am blessed to know the seeds that were planted years ago are still bearing fruit with much more to come.

Steve – thanks for your hard work this last year, and on Pastor Norvin’s roof. Once construction is completed, painted and finished, Pastor Norvin’s new church will be an awesome local ministry.

May this photo remind us of God’s plan as we grow!

(This photo shows Pastor Norvin’s smile after God’s blessing of growth and those folks in the background, who worked to make the it possible. Thanks to all the marvelous men  and women who participated in realizing this dream, especially Pastor Norvin Lopez, Alina de Lopez, Sigiberto Luna, Ernie Simmons, Marvin Herrera, Javier Alvarez, and the host of volunteers.)