Lectionary Selection: Acts 2:42–47
Prayers for Costa Rica:
God of the howler monkey, quetzal, and mighty fig strangler tree, loving Lord of the orphan, coffee bean picker, child prostitute, dairy farmer, politician, priest and cab driver, your creation is so vast and diverse. Costa Rica is but a small part of your world and yet it contains an incredible amount of diversity. Perhaps this country and within it the area of Monteverde are ecological glimpses to your amazing creativity and capacity for abundance. Thank you for the 400 species of orchids within the 2500 species of plants in Monteverde. We are grateful for the incredible web of life that is evident in the 400 species of birds, 100 species of mammals and tens of thousands of species of insects. We recognize that even the thousands of miles that separate us from the creatures and people in Costa Rica that somehow we are connected through your grace. Like the dependency of the hummingbird on the flower for food and the flower on the hummingbird for pollination we depend on Your love, our fellow humans and our delicate ecosystem. Your bent toward human and biological diversity cannot be contained or stifled, only forgotten. God help us to remember. Help us remember that each of us has a unique place in Your Realm. That you have the capacity to love each of us into wholeness, into not only the fullness of our individual lives, but You have the capacity to love us back into community. Help us remember that we are made for relationship beyond our immediate families. May we remember that we are uniquely called into community as members not only of our town, but also the whole of humanity, and beyond that all of your splendid creation. In the name of the ever expanding love of Christ we pray. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Costa Rica:
Our children are not official Global Ministries volunteers. One of them is a ten year old girl who along with our seven year old boy likes to climb trees and knows the difference between the call of a Bell Bird, Toucan, Clay Colored Robin, and Quetzal. They know what fruits they can eat from the trees here and they know that their family is serving somehow. They have met and fallen for the parentless children at Fundacion Mi Tia, they have shared snacks with recovering addicts and shot hoops with Ticos who have been sober for merely days. Our children have planted trees to replace the old growth life bearers clear cut decades before, onions and carrots in fields near their classrooms. Our children seek to understand in a culture they don’t understand in a language they are grasping more quickly than their parents. They have been scared by earthquakes and thunderstorms, demoralized by days and days of rain. They have loved street dogs only to see them attacked by other bigger dogs or mysteriously disappear one day. They walk a mile and a half to our Quaker church and eat grapes for communion with the Disciple community here. One of them brings gifts to people in the class each week and challenges me every time I even threaten a distracting moth or fly at bedtime. The other child has created a fundraising event to support the Three Wattled Bell Bird habitat that is quickly disappearing in this country.
They know something of God. I don’t know what it is exactly, but they know with their whole being. We know that being Global Ministries Volunteers is not really about us but about those communities we serve in so many ways. And yet here we are transformed. My children will never be the same. We will never be the same. Through the support of Global Ministries, Heart of The Rockies Christian Church and our Costa Rican Partners we are continually transformed through this ministry into bearers of hope, light and love. Thank you on behalf of San Jose, Monteverde and Fort Collins. Thank you on behalf of our partners as well as the Cloud Forest School and Monteverde Friends Meeting. And finally thank you from Team Hardin-Nieri, our lives have been changed forever by an incredibly diverse and loving God. May you experience this God as well in your church and community.
Mission Partners in Costa Rica:
- Asociacion Centro Materno Infantil "Mi Tia"
- Iglesia Evangelica Presbiteriana Costarricense (IEPC)
- Universidad Biblica Latino Americana
More information on Costa Rica:
Global Ministries Missionary in Costa Rica:
Rebecca Hardin- Neiri is a member of Heart of the Rockies Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Ft. Collins, Colorado, and serves with the Quaker Community in Costa Rica as a volunteer at the Monteverde Friends Meeting.
Scott Hardin-Neiri is a member of Heart of the Rockies Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Ft. Collins, Colorado, and serves with the Quaker Community in Costa Rica as a volunteer at the Monteverde Friends Meeting.