As many of you have been reading and seeing on our blog, God has been opening new doors for us.
I wanted to touch on 2 topics that we believe you can be a part of pioneering with us.
The first of is our church. One of the coolest and most exciting things we have had the joy of being a part of is our local church. We are entering into week four of our missions course with the students and it’s been incredible! For those of you who don’t know, our local church, El Olivo, in San José, has given us the privelege of pioneering and leading a missions department at the church. The goal of this department is to #1) Raise up, train, and send out missionaries into the nations, and #2) Get the church as a whole involved in local ministries and outreach to their community.
One of the first things our pastors asked us to do was a 3-week evangelism seminar during the Wednesday evening service. Those three weeks were very impactful for us and for those who attended. It created the perfect segue into a 6-week missions course. This course is designed for people in the church with an interest in missions, who want to go deeper into what it means to be a missionary, not only on a global scale, but in their hometown, as well.
We meet every Thursday night from 7-8:30 pm at the church, and we have 20 students who are committed for the entire six weeks. The first week was on “Hearing the Voice of God and Radical Obedience,” taught by our El Salvadorian friend Pancho. During the second week, the students learned “How to prepare a teaching,” by another El Salvadorian named Lito. Last week, our friend Douglas taught on “Frontier Missions.” This focused on unreached people groups and our calling as children of God to bless the nations. Now we are going into our fourth week and our YWAM San José base director Giacomo, from Costa Rica, will be teaching on Biblical Worldview.
Our classes have produced amazing times of growth and challenge. But the coolest part for sure has been seeing the hunger in each one of these youth grow more and more for God. We are witnessing hearts awakened, beginning to dream the dreams of God!
A few weeks ago, Nicole and I got invited to go on the annual church leadership retreat, which will take place this next weekend. We were quite honored that they invited us, and to see their desire for us to be such an integral part of their ministry. During the weekend retreat they hope to spend time praying and seeking the Lord for this upcoming season for the church, as well as spend time fellowshipping with one another.
Nicole and I both feel like this is something Jesus wants us to be a part of, and that He is going to speak to us and through us to the leaders of this church. They are asking for $120 total for both of us, to cover the costs of transportation, housing, and food for the 4 days. We would like to invite you to be a part of making this happen. This cost is outside our normal budget, and we are needing to seek one time donations. Even if it’s only $5 or $10, if a dozen people donate, we are covered.
The second thing the Lord has been putting heavily on our hearts is counseling and healing for the brokenhearted. God recently gave Nicole the opportunity to go through a free Master’s program with Liberty University, and she graduated in May with a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. Nicole and I both know that we are called to bring restoration to the broken, and God has provided the means to do so. Whether it has been through working on the streets with people who are prostituting, or praying and meeting with other missionaries who are struggling, God has always brought people into our path to pray for and encourage.
Because of this we want to continue to foster and grow our calling, and we have recently been given the opportunity to do a training in inner healing. This will take place over Skype in private training sessions for Nicole and I. The course will consist of several weeks and the woman leading the training has given us the generous blessing of lowering her costs for us to do it. Normally this training costs quite a bit, but we are getting a lowered cost of $100 total.
Once again, this is an investment, and is something that we really believe God wants to use not just now, but far into our future ministry of taking part in bringing freedom and restoration to the lives of those who have been wounded.
If you would like to donate to either project, please go to our “Join Us” page (http://themacklemission.com/join-us/ ) to see the different options on how to give. If you would like to be a part of our monthly support team to help us go from raising just 24% of our projected budget and getting closer to our goal, you can find all the info you need on that page!
Thank you again everyone for your love and support thus far. May God abundantly bless and multiply the seeds you are planting in Costa Rica!
Ryan and Nicole