What we do Inspirational stories News and stories Transforming church and society Costa Rica – helping to transform the Church and society: Ian and Brenda Darke are based in San José. Ian’s main activities concern the production of Christian books in Spanish across Latin America, including the Contemporary Bible Commentary. Brenda’s work is centred on people with disabilities and their inclusion in church life and in society. She is teaching an online degree course, and is involved in Uno en Cristo (One in Christ) support group. PRAY for the final stages of the publication of the Commentary, and for its distribution in each country. PRAY that Brenda’s students apply what they learn in their situations. Ray Miller and Bridget Bennett are facilitators of one of their church’s three discipleship groups. They are also helping to train mission workers through ProMETA online university, which currently has 40 students from eight countries. Finally, they are involved in community development through a holistic development centre in Los Guido shanty town. PRAY that the church grows in faith and passion for mission through the groups. PRAY for more mentors for ProMETA, and for new training initiatives planned for Bolivia and Peru. PRAY for God to use the Los Guido centre to impact the community spiritually, economically, and emotionally. Kayla Chandler is the Short Term Coordinator, coordinating, mentoring and overseeing Step teams and Striders. She currently works mainly in the central and northern parts of the country. PRAY for the preparations for the Summer Step team (July). PRAY for the development of new contacts in the south and east of the country. PRAY for William Zapata and Nadia Hirsig, with Jeremy and Kenya, who work with the Amistad Internacional association. Pray for Costa Rica: Many people know Costa Rica as a stable and religious country and tourist destination. Yet behind the public face of peace and calm there’s a high incidence of family violence and sexual abuse. Materialism (often leading to debt) is also a massive issue. Once, evangelical churches were known for their commitment to the Bible and their care for people. Now, many associate ‘evangelicals’ with a damaging ‘prosperity' teaching and a lack (or abuse) of pastoral care. Christian groups in state universities tend to be small and struggling, and indicate the state of the Church. PRAY for young people to be radical in their love of God. Other prayer points... March 28 Feb–4 Mayra Gomez is lecturing in Vanguardia Bible Institute in Puebla, Mexico. Her topic is the Synoptic Gospels. 1 The new school year starts in the Shalom Centre, Arequipa, Peru. Ruth McKee asks for prayer for the children and staff, and especially for the new members of staff. 1 A four-week Step team from Switzerland arrives in Nicaragua. They will be working with communities in a northern town called El Jicaro. Pray for good relationships with the community. 1–10 Louis and Maribel Woodley are teaching Timothy Institute courses in Bogotá, Colombia, and Tabatinga, Brazil. 7–11 It’s Joel Gonzalez’s turn to lecture in Vanguardia Bible Institute, on ‘The Doctrine of Salvation and Jesus Christ’. 10 A Spring Step team from Britain and Ireland arrives in Colombia. The team of seven will be based in Medellín and will be helping to plant a new church. 11 The JEAME street school in São Paulo, Brazil, starts a course for new volunteers today. Pray for Verna Langrell and the team as they lead the training, and that a good number of volunteers come along. 12–29 Martin Haworth is undertaking a tour of churches in north-east Scotland. Pray that God will use him to inspire many to get involved in mission. 14–18 A further week at Vanguardia Bible Institute for Joel Gonzalez. He is teaching on ‘The Doctrine of Salvation’. 20 ProMETA online university begins a new eight-week bimester. Ray Miller and Bridget Bennett ask for prayer for sustained good numbers of Latin American students and that they are equipped well for their part in God’s mission. 24–26 It’s the EJE (Youth Encounter) weekend event in Salta, Argentina. The young people who attend hear about the love of Jesus and team members are renewed in their faith. Pray for the logistics and as 100-or-so young people meet and share. 30–31 Peru leadership team meeting. Following changes to the team, pray that a strong and productive team dynamic is quickly established. Download a pdf of the March 2017 ¡Oremos!, with all the above prayer points, HERE.