Costa Rica 2015
In September 2015, we took our first church-wide trip to visit our friends, the Obando's, in the rainforest of Costa Rica. It was a wonderful week of sharing hearts and lives, reunion with old friends, encouragement of the brethren, and personal breakthroughs. The metal beams you see in the top of this picture are what we blessed the Obando's with in the natural, but this merely a physical manifestation of the spiritual support we desired to bring them in September of 2015, and continuing into the future. Overall, this trip rekindled VineLife's relationship with our old friends and instilled in us an understanding of their need, and our desire to fulfill it. Please remember to pray for Costa Rica and the Obando's ministry there.
Here is what the Obando’s had to say about the 2015 trip:
During the times of worship we had with the team, there was much heartfelt sharing. One thing that we have felt for awhile is that we need more covering over our ministry and family. We had been looking for a long time for an organization inside Costa Rica. In this particular area where we work, there are few churches and pastors with good testimonies. It is funny though, every time we have been close to putting our ministry under a larger Costa Rican organization, the Holy Spirit has shut the doors. Now with Vinelife here we felt somethng different. A special fulfillment of time. We have been here for almost 7 years. Our church, this ministry, MAP Costa Rica, has been like a precious baby that God has given us. Now it felt as if the Lord was prompting us, "here are more parents to help you with this baby. Ask Jeff if he will recieve this burden, this blessing." Vinelife already has helped us from the beginning by connecting us with Healing Every Nation for our 501c3 status, yearly paperwork and not to mention prior to becoming missionaries, the years of discipling. They have always respected us so much and never insisted on being our "boss." Bu)t now at this time in our ministry as things are getting bigger we know that we don't want this to be Marlon and Jessica, this ministry needs to belong to a church, not just be sponsored by churches (which is great and very necessary). The night that Marlon shared this with the group we were all teary eyed and the presence of the Holy Spirit was heavy. We explained what we felt and Marlon humbly asked Pastor Jeff to "receive our ministry as a daughter church." Jeff responded with a firm "Yes and Amen." We felt a tremendous sense of peace.
Everything legally and tax wise will continue as always. Our relationships with our sponsor churches will continue as always. We have always felt accountable to all of you since we started sending our newsletters in 2009. We have many dear friends from other churches that have stood in the gap for us and even joined and unofficial board Marlon started ( the legal board we are under is the Healing Every Nation board) to offer us counsel, prayer support and establish a budget. But now Jeff and Marlon are speaking to each other once a week over Facetime. Jeff also plans on coming to visit us briefly every quarter. "Praise the Lord!" We feel that we have come into a very safe place. It is dangerous for any minister or ministry to be totally isolated.
For the Kingdom,
Marlon and Jessica