In May, I had the opportunity to take our recent high school graduate, Elisabeth, from Costa Rica back to the United States to start working for the summer and then start college this Fall. I keep reflecting on this and wondered, how am I old enough to have a daughter heading to college? Sarah and I got married young at 19 and a year later, Elisabeth was born. Just the other week I turned 38, but at times still think I am in my twenties.
First off, I was amazed at how many people I met that have a connection or know of Columbia International University the institution that Elisabeth chose to attend. We were in Wellsboro, PA and family of the person named after a scholarship Elisabeth is going to receive had attended our talk about the work in Costa Rica. When I got back to Costa Rica, a friend and pastoral colleague from New York state emailed me about his niece who is the women’s soccer coach, who later sent us a nice email introducing herself and offering to help Elisabeth, if needed. A former pastoral colleague from Ohio, also emailed me to tell me that he attended CIU and how highly he thinks of the college. These encounters were something I needed. I was uneasy as I left her in the US to begin college because I have only a few contacts in the Columbia, SC area. God brought peace and comfort to heart my heart by bringing these key people across my path and sharing their connection to CIU with me.
In February, Sarah and Elisabeth did a quick trip to visit the college and participated in a scholarship event. To date, I have not seen the college. The emotions of taking my oldest daughter back to the states and sending her to a university I never saw is tough. However, God is faithful and through those confirmations and connections, I have a sense of peace about this transition. As her dad, I still would like to go visit the school but will trust God in all of this.
Mother’s Day in 2002, I started pastoral ministry in Bliss, New York. This year marks 16 years of ministry and religious service to God and the people of God. I don’t feel old enough to have this amount of years of experience. Yet, it is what I have, and I am using that experience to help teach, guide and lead those seeking to follow their call to ministry here in Costa Rica.
A few weeks ago, we taught a workshop on worship that we already taught in English in Limon, Costa Rica but this time in Spanish near San Jose. That week also started the final independent study project for the Master in Theology with Palmer Seminary and International Ministries for Latin American students from Mexico City. We are really excited about this because this is the first group to finish and graduate from the program. I am an advisor for two of the students on their final thesis. I am thankful and excited about this opportunity that God has given me to work with the students enrolled in this program from all over Latin America.
In closing, I am old enough to have a child heading to college and to have the years of experience in ministry and education. God directs our steps and I can tell you, back in 2002 I would have never thought that this is how Sarah and I would be serving God today. Thank you for journeying with us and thank you for giving towards the building of God’s Kingdom! You are a blessing to our family and to the pastors and futures pastors in Costa Rica.
Love in Christ,
Sarah & Peter McCurdy
Global Servants with International Ministries to Costa Rica
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