A month ago, I, Peter, was headed to meetup with a group from the Great Rivers Region in Siquierres, Costa Rica to connect and provide help, if needed, to the group. It was a great time of fellowship and connecting with a pastor and church in Limon, also I wanted to deepen our relationship.
I then, returned home to Tres Rios and prepared to leave a few days later for a week in Mexicali, Mexico to help co-lead the week intensive for the Spiritual Formation course I am teaching for the master’s program with Palmer Seminary and International Ministries. This meant prepping workshops on different topics and providing a structure to debrief and wrestle with the stress and problems that arise while studying in a program like this.
One of the first workshops was on looking back at your day and recognizing the good and bad parts of it and how to give those things to God. We used it as a building block for the rest of the week as we wrestled with experiences of isolation, illness, and other disruptive events in our life and how to open our heart to let God work during those times. That it is ok to have what we would think of as bad feelings when we look at David and the Psalms as a model on how to express those feelings.
We took a break from the emotional and life experience wrestling and spent some time on reviewing structure, rules, and items of plagiarism to help with the academic riggers of a master’s program. Then we dove right back into the need of community and close spiritual friends to help us walk in our faith journey and grow in faith. These friendships make a big difference in our relationship with God and others.
Finally, we spent time practicing what we learned and praying for each other. It was a very meaningful and special time building new relationships and preparing to teach this group of 20 students for the next 8 weeks. I returned to Costa Rica early Sunday morning at 1:30 am and was back in the office starting the course on Monday.
During this time, one of the biggest concerns of the students were concerning finances. I have a handful of couples in this cohort of students and had the same in the previous group from Mexico City. The reality is that Palmer Seminary and International Ministries have been offering scholarships to the students covering most of the expense of the program. However, each student is required to pay $150 per course and maintain a passing GPA. They take 6 courses per year and the cost begins to overwhelm them.
My students, Ana and her husband are in the situation where the cost of the education was becoming a very big worry for them. They came to the intensive week without having the money to pay for the course that started on Monday. They were not sure how it was going to work out. Throughout the week, we talked about being honest about our emotions and feelings with God. As they tried to practice it, God was working in the life of a family from their church. They returned home and on Sunday afternoon, God answered their honest pleas. A couple is paying both of their tuition fees for this course! Praise God for His provision!
Ana shared this with me when I asked the students for a testimony that I could share with you. Tim Long (fellow Global Servant with International Ministries) is the facilitator for this group. In an effort to help his students, he has been offsetting the increase in tuition that happened this fall so as not to add to their burden. He told me he was going to be about $3,000 short from the money he collected so far. He is still trusting God to provide. If you want to help with the scholarships to students we have a project fund setup on the International Ministries website this sentence is linked to it.
Sarah and I have had moments of frustration and worry concerning our financial support as well. We praise God as it is slowly increasing. Your financial partnership has helped make this possible, thank you! We also praise God that International Ministries has been able to offset our monthly support by about $700. Our current monthly support is at 67%, which means we still have a long way to go to get back to being fully funded (100%). Can we count on you to give $100 per month or even $10? Please follow this link to International Ministries to setup your giving. Without the faithful support of our supporters this ministry would not be possible. We praise and thank God for each of you!