September Prayer & Praise

Hi friends and family, here’s a small list of praise reports and prayer requests that include details of what’s been going on with us here in Costa Rica these past few months. 🙂

 – In August we had a team here from Mexico who helped us put on a Sunday school teacher’s training. Our children’s ministry servers and those from other churches in our city were able to come out and be a part of the training. It was a huge answer to prayer to see everyone refreshed and re-energized with new passion and creative ways to serve the kids!

 – Last month God answered  our prayer in providing a new vehicle for our family! 🙂  :)Thank you for praying with us!

 – We’re excited to be visiting family and friends in California in December. Please be praying that God would work out details for our trip; provisions while there, a place to stay, and residency paperwork for Costa Rica that needs to be done in L.A. Praise God we already have our tickets!

 – It was really awesome to have Pastor Bryan Parish and Chris De Ruyter from Mission Calvary come visit us in late August. They helped us hold a 3 days pastor’s and leaders conference for the churches in our region. It was great to see and hear how everyone who attended were encouraged and blessed. I also was personally encouraged being able to connect with other pastors in our area.

     

Now that we are connected to these nearby churches, we’re making plans to begin a pastor’s breakfast and prayer every other month. We feel this will be a great encouragement and support system for local pastors. Please be praying for this. 

  

– In early August we finished our 4th semester of the School of Ministry here at the church. It was a more challenging class this semester, but it was great to see each student grow and excel throughout the course. Please continue to lift this ministry and the students up in prayer as the new semester just started again last week with Principles of Ministry. 

– We feel the Lord leading us as a church to begin small home fellowships during the week. Please be praying that God would direct us in the details for this ministry. We plan on starting in November.

We’re blessed to be a part of God’s work here and are thankful that you guys are able to do the same through your prayers. Thanks for staying updated!

Love, The Aristas

Arista Family, July Praise & Prayer

Praise Report

One of the things that we saw as a need for the church, was for other churches and ministries to come alongside and partner with Palabra Viva. We are so grateful for the two groups that have joined us and for the ones that are still to come! God has used them to enable us to reach out in a greater way to our community and edify the members of the congregation.

We want to give a big thanks to The Father’s House Church, Reaching the Hungry Ministries, and Calvary Chapel North Grove. You guys were a huge blessing to us and Palabra Viva!

Prayer Requests

Personal

– We are hoping to apply for our Costa Rican residency soon. With the tourist visa that we currently have, we are required to leave the country every 3 months which means driving to Panama or Nicaragua. This residency process includes us taking a trip to California to be physically present for our FBI background check. There are some hefty expenses involved in getting the residency as well as traveling and we are praying that God would provide for those needs.

– Almost a year ago, God provided for us to purchase a vehicle here. Shortly after we purchased it, we began to have mechanical trouble. We ended up having to rebuild the transmission along with other repairs. Vehicles and parts are extremely expensive here and we don’t want to continue investing in a vehicle that won’t last as long as we need it to. We’re asking that God would provide a reliable vehicle for our family.

Church

– The church is full of spiritually young believers. One of the things we’ve been praying for is that God would mature these believers in their faith in the Lord and mindset towards serving.

– We’re asking the Lord to bring people alongside us that can share in the work here. Whether that means Missionaries coming here to serve alongside us, or someone local from the church. There’s much to be done and we definitely can’t do this alone.

Thank you so much for keeping updated on what’s going on here with us and especially for keeping these things in prayer!

 

Love,

The Aristas

 

Praise and Prayer

Praise Reports

 We praise and thank God so much for the healthy delivery of our baby boy, Jesse. God has been so good to us in providing all the finances needed for the delivery and hospital stay. He never stops amazing us and always uses these times to grow our faith in Him.

 We praise God for continuing to answer our prayers of raising up people in the church to serve the Lord. This past Sunday we prayed for 2 young men, Danny and Johnathan. They will be serving as deacons at Palabra Viva.

 We thank God for bringing new faces to Palabra Viva and continue to pray for more people to come and grow in the Lord.

 This past Thursday we finished up Pastoral Epistles in the School of Ministry. During the last class, the students shared how much God had spoken to them through the text and are excited for the next class to begin on June 8th.

Prayer Requests

 – Please keep Palabra Viva in prayer as a team from The Father’s House church will be here from San Marcos, California at the end of the month. They will be partnering with us to help meet some of the church’s physical and spiritual needs.

 – One of the things that this mission team will be helping us with is a 2 day VBS for the kids of the community. Reaching out to the community is something God has placed on our hearts so we’re really excited for this event to take place.

– Last month we began our first English Service on Sunday mornings. God placed this on our hearts as we saw and heard of ex-pats who do not have a place to worship and hear the word in English. Please pray that God would use this service to bless and reach out to a different group people.

We appreciate you staying updated and keeping these things in prayer!

God bless!

Changes in Ministry

 In January we were able to visit some friends and family in the states and had the opportunity to see many of you and share the new things the Lord has been dong here in Costa Rica. Unfortunately, there were also many of you who we were unable to catch up with and that’s why we wanted to write and update you on what’s been going on in our lives and ministry. We hope you have a few minutes to read what we have to share! 😀

We know this update is long overdue and we apologize for that! These past months, we’ve been praying and seeking God’s direction about future ministry plans and we’re excited to share with you how He has responded to us.

Since closing the Bible College back in August, our plans have been to move to San Jose around mid-year to pursue planting a church. Currently, those plans have been postponed due to changes in our involvement in ministry at Palabra Viva, the church we’ve been serving at over here.

As of the beginning of this month I’ve started pastoring Palabra Viva. The previous pastor and his family who have been missionaries here have decided it’s time for them to move back to the states. This wasn’t something Rachel and I planned for or even something that had entered our minds, however we know that God doesn’t always direct us the way we think or plan. It often seems like He likes to surprise us. 🙂

 

As we’ve prayed our heart and vision is to be here for about 2 years in order to train up a Costa Rican who would eventually pastor the church. The church currently has about 40-50 consistent members who we have grown to know and love and we are very eager to continue the vision of equipping them for the work of the ministry!

 

Apart from that news, Rachel and I are also expecting our 2nd son due the second week of April! It seems like this pregnancy has flown by and we’re really excited about welcoming this new addition to our family not long from now!

So with all these changes we really appreciate your prayers as we step into these new adventures.

We plan on sending out monthly prayer requests and would love if you guys joined us in prayer for the church and also us personally.

Many blessings!
The Aristas

Prayer Requests

1. Pray for the Church body during this time of transition.

2. Wisdom to lead the church

3. That God would give the members of the church a heart of love and service

4. School of Ministry that we have every Thursday night

5. Continued healthy pregnancy for Rachel and also financial provision for the delivery coming up in April

Arista News

A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

As we’re adjusting to some recent changes this verse encourages our hearts and reminds us that God is continually in control and is by far the greatest guide!


In the beginning of August, the decision was made to close the Bible College because of too few students resulting in a lack of funds to keep the school running. This change was unexpected, however, through it we see God directing our steps and faithfully guiding us.

Even before moving to Costa Rica we’ve felt the call to church plant for some time now, we just weren’t sure on the when or where. When God brought us to Costa Rica to direct the Bible College we committed to 2 years, knowing that this was not a long-term calling. Around the beginning of this year, the burden of church planting once again began to surface in our hearts. San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, is a specific place we began to think and pray about. In order to not let this short newsletter turn into a book, 😀 we’ll keep things somewhat brief.

One thing we do want to say is that although we loved what we did at the school, we have complete peace with these changes  because we know God is guiding our steps and answering our prayers through them. We are still unsure yet of many details, however, we are confident in His calling as well as the confirmation and encouragement we have received from others. With that, we will begin moving forward as the Lord instructs us as we seek Him on the next steps to take!

Our plan is to move to San Jose in the coming year and prayerfully begin ministering over there. For the meantime, we will remain in San Isidro  continuing to serve alongside the church, missionaries, and Pastor at Palabra Viva. During this time we are also seeking and praying for God to raise up other servants to fill those gaps in ministry when we leave.

Please be praying for us about all that we’ve mentioned. We plan on using this time as well to take some scouting trips to San Jose, (we live about 4 hours south of the capital). Pray that God will show us an exact location for us to live and serve over there, that we can begin making connections with the right people, and most of all that even now God would start to stir people’s hearts for the gospel!

Your prayers, encouragement, and support for us are sincerely a gift from God and we are so appreciative!

In Christ,

Chris, Rachel, and Jaime

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Dressed Up for My Sisters’ Wedding

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Chris teaching the Spanish Bible College Theology Class

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Students in Chris’ Class

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We got to visit Hassan and Stacy in Acapulco!

 

 

Wrapping Up Our Third Semester

Hey everyone. Here’s a little bit about what we’ve been up to in Costa Rica

We’ve just wrapped up our third semester here in Costa Rica as our group of students left this past Monday. It’s always a little weird for us as each semester comes to an end. We spend time and energy pouring into a group of people, getting to know them like family and watching God do really great things in their lives, and then have to say goodbye without knowing if we’ll ever see them in person again. It’s a hard thing to get used to, but we’re so thankful for every individual that God has brought into our lives each semester.

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Here are a few highlights from the past few months

 

CCBC:

In April we took the students on a Mission trip to Nicaragua where we were able to serve alongside Chris’s parents, Jaime & Monica, at Campo Gonia. Campo Gonia is a men’s discipleship ranch that they are directing in Nicaragua. The trip was a blessing in many ways for us; being able to visit with family and also serve alongside them and with the students was so sweet. This trip followed a weeklong class of Cross Cultural Missions. It was nice to balance the in-class study with the practical application of serving.

 

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We were so happy to have Pastor Bryan and Lisa come down for the last 2 weeks of the semester. Pastor Bryan taught a block class on Christian Ministry. To have someone who has so many years of experience in ministry come and share was a great blessing for the students. We also were encouraged and refreshed to have them spend some personal time with us.

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This month we also celebrated Jaime’s first birthday. We can’t believe how fast a year has gone by and how quickly he is growing into a little boy! We thank God for his life!

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IBCC:

It is really exciting to see the Spanish Bible College students so passionate about studying. They get off at work around 6pm and come to the Romans class tired but ready to study. The same students we started with were faithful and completed the 15-week course this past Thursday. As their teacher, to see their diligence and desire to learn was exciting and encouraging to me. I can’t wait to start the next class; Systematic Theology.


 

During this break between semesters, we are looking forward to visiting both of our families, serving along side the church here and the groups coming to serve for the summer, and seeking God’s direction as we prepare for the following semester.

 


Prayer Request:

-Praise report: Thank you praying for David’s mom. Her surgery to remove the tumor was a success. We praise God for that and also for her quick recovery.

 

-Please continue to pray that God would provide a vehicle for our family.

Enjoying Bible College Ministry

Hello, we hope you are doing great! Thank you for taking a few minutes to read our update. We pray you are encouraged by it!

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IMG_0853-225x300IMG_0884-e1457977127147-212x300 Rachel and I are really happy where God has us right now. It still seems crazy how He led us to Costa Rica and how quickly this past year has gone by! In May Jaime will be a year and Rachel and I will have our two-year anniversary. Sometimes is feels like time is going by so fast, but with that, it’s encouraging to look back and see all God has done and also exciting to look ahead at what is to come!

 Our first semester here in Costa Rica we started a bilingual course that we could offer the nationals here. It was a once a week class combined with the students we had from the states. Through the duration of the semester, we realized that it would be more beneficial for the nationals if we offered an all-Spanish course separate from the English bible college. We have developed a program that allows the national students to work towards graduating with a certificate in Theology. At the beginning of this year, we started this program with a once a week night class through Romans. We hope to see the Lord grow this into something where we can have students from other local churches come and study with us. We also hope to one day have this program adopted by churches in different parts of the country.

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This semester with the English Bible College reminds us of our first semester here. We have a small group again like when we started. We currently have six students that have servant’s hearts, and a genuine desire to see God work in their lives. Rachel and I really enjoy the small group setting because it feels like a family and we are able to invest more in each individual.

In the last update that we wrote, I had mentioned to you about a young man named Warren. God recently led him to quit his job and join us full time here at the college. This really is an answer to prayer. He has helped us out so much and has been able to use his gifts to bless us. I have been able to delegate a lot to him, which has freed me up and kept me from getting overwhelmed. We are really grateful for the help that God sends at the perfect time. This is the second semester that Candace has been with us and has been a great blessing to the girls and a big help to Rachel and our family. Can you please keep both Candace and Warren in your prayers as they seek God’s guidance in their near future?

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Here are two links to our promo videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgiUMhTzjUE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AetF0Plh1GE

Prayer Request:

  • David (one of our students) will be flying home for a couple days. His mom is having an operation to have a tumor removed from her brain. Please keep him and his family in your prayers. She will have the operation the last week of March. Her name is Lorena.

  • A Vehicle for our family to get around. Simple, used cars are more than double the price of those in the states. We’ve been trying to save up for a couple months now. Please pray that God will continue to provide.

 

 

 

Glad to be Back!

After spending almost 2 months in the states, we are finally back in Costa Rica. We really enjoyed our time back home with family and friends. It was wonderful being able to visit with so many of you and we are so thankful to many who opened up their homes to us! We know that God used our time over there for us to reunite and form closer friendships with many people and we’re so thankful for that! We really feel loved and know that God is using you to encourage and bless us as we are over in Costa Rica.

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CCBC Dorms & Our Home
Jaime almost four months old

Jaime Almost 4 Months

It’s been a busy 2 months, but we feel happy to be back. We have a group of 11 guys and girls this semester who will be studying the word and gaining insight on what Missions is all about! Class started this past Monday. It looks like we have a great group who are excited to learn and serve. We’re looking forward to all God will do this semester in and through them and we are excited to be able to sew into their lives!

Students Fall 2015

Fall 2015 Students

 

Sunday Night Young Adults Study

Sunday Night Young Adults Study

We most definitely need the Lord’s strength for this coming semester and all that it entails. Thank you so much for taking the time to stay updated and most importantly taking the time to pray for us! We pray the Lord’s blessing and guidance for each of your lives!

 

Please keep in prayer the following:
– That God would do a great work in the lives of each student this semester
Continued good health for our Son
Open doors to reach out to locals

Chris, Rachel, & Jaime