Fathered By God
The Fatherhood Crisis and House Building Update in Costa Rica
Costa Rica Mission House
The Mission House (above) is staying on track to be move-in ready in September. The main purpose of this Mission House will be to host families, pastors, ministry leaders or anyone engaged in our ministry. People visit here for short and long term experiences for cultural engagement, personal development or restoration. It's going to be a blessing for thousands of people.
This fixes a major problem our family has faced. We've lived in 7 different places in Jaco and God is providing a way for us to have our own home for ministry and family purposes. If you have questions or interest about the Mission House Fundraising Project, please reach out to Todd or Alicia Yancey. This project depends on the generosity of others.
The Fatherhood Crisis and How We're Responding to it in Jaco
Let me start with a heartbreaking statistic about the state of fatherhood. We recently found that single mothers make up 31 percent of the population in Costa Rica. This is one of the major reasons why we encounter so many problems in the lives of young people in our town where we serve. It makes sense when the town of Jaco has normalized the practice of prostitution and devalued God's intention for relationships.
What we've been establishing since day one of living here is a culture of mentors for young people. A father cannot be replaced, but good mentors who lead in the context of the local church are what restore a sense of fatherhood every child needs. Here is a look at the fatherhood of God and how we create a mentorship culture in Jaco. For it to be easy to remember, I'll use 3 P's: Present, Plan, and Protection.
Present: The Psalmist often had a clear sense that God's presence was assumed. In chapter 139:7, we see, "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?" No matter where we go or what season we are in, the Scriptures emphasize God's constant presence. The ramifications of our early father not being present is one thing, but having a theology that God is far away in some other dimension can be detrimental to the flourishing of our faith. It's why being consistently present and available with open ears in the lives of young people is the first step for them to experience God's presence. Whether in homes, schools, downtown, or sporting events, we aim to be examples of people who have encountered God's presence and daily abide in Jesus so others may know Him.
Plan: God's plan for us is both intentional and invitational. The world needs guidance more than ever today, and so many young people are hungry for clarity about their identity and purpose. As we are intentional with young people in conversations and small groups, we are pointing to the reality that God is offering His words, wisdom, and life. As the author of life, He is inviting us to participate in life to the full. He uses our experiences for us to grow and learn about who we are and who God is. He invites us to be part of a mission, a movement that's greater than we could ever realize. He has designed us intentionally to use the gifts He's given us for the sake of others. We consistently challenge young people that God is offering and inviting them into so much more than what the world offers.
Protect: I love Jesus' words in John 10: "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand." The best fathers are known for being able to protect those they love no matter what they face. Now, He doesn't always promise safety or a lack of struggles when we follow Him. He does promise to be our strength and refuge in times of trouble. In our ministry to young people, we don't avoid the hard times or run from the pain we experience. We know that God Himself has confronted sin and even death itself. Our God led the way in confronting our life problems so we could be safe in His arms. This is why we care for those around us in Jaco. We speak up for them when needed and speak truth to them when they are believing lies.
Thank you for all of your prayer and care. If you found this newsletter helpful or want to donate to our Costa Rica Mission, check out our Ministry Page