TAMARINDO CONTEXT


1.     Entrepreneurs and Families

2.     A Global Village

3.     On A Journey

1. ENTREPRENEURS AND FAMILIES

Tamarindo has always had it’s share of entrepreneurs making an attempt to “live the dream” in Costa Rica by finding a way to make a living off of local tourism.  Several years ago, this group consisted mostly of retirees, young and middle-aged singles, and couples.  But in recent years what we have seen is that many of the younger and middle-aged couples have started having kids, and our town has seen a boom in young families that are settling in and calling Tamarindo “home”.  This has been evidence by the boom in schools needed to provide education for young children.  Seven years ago, there was only private school around that offered bilingual education, Educarte.  But in the last several years we have seen the birth of schools like Country Day School, La Paz School and Gold Coast Academy.  And just last year both Country Day and La Paz added pre-school and kindergarten levels of education to meet the demand in our community.  All of this giving signs of an emerging community of young families.

We tell you all of this to ask for prayer for our church as we try to come up with creative ways to care for and serve these families and retirees who have made a home for themselves here in Tamarindo and the surrounding areas.

2. A GLOBAL VILLAGE

There are a number of factors that make “doing church” in Tamarindo area very unique.  One of those things is that there is a vast representation of nationalities found among the Tamarindo locals.  And if you live here long enough, it’s not long until you discover that you are part a “global village”.  Among the countries represented in our community are people from  U.S., Canada, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, England, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the Philippines, South Africa and of course Costa Rica.  It’s pretty amazing to have so many nationalities represented in such a small village of a town.

The challenge for us is to figure out how to live and speak the gospel into the lives of these folks.  Please pray for us as we offer ourselves to God to use as his ambassadors of his truth and love to these people from so many nations.

3.  ON A JOURNEY- INSIDE AND OUT

Another unique aspect of “doing church” in a place like Tamarindo that we are in a context that I think presents our church with a unique opportunity to reach those who are searching for God.  There are three streams of thought behind this …

~ The God of Nature

When people are overwhelmed with life and want to get away, they most often go to places of natural beauty like the mountains, the lake, the ocean, etc.   I believe that people will travel world to experience these places of natural beauty not only for the beauty of it, but because (whether they know it or not) they are wanting to connect the transcendent.  It is in the presence of the majesty of nature that they sense an encounter with God.  Whether mesmerized by a glorious a sunset, having their breath taken away by a view from the mountain top, or marveling the array of colors and life in a coral reef… the majesty of nature gives us a sense of the majesty and beauty of God.  And we connect with God there.

All of this to say… I believe that Tamarindo Church in a location where people flock from all over the world to connect with not only nature… but with God.  Our hope is that while they are here, we will offer them an opportunity to connect with the God who created it all.  Please pray for us as we try to reach these people whom God is wooing and calling to himself through the beauty of His Creation.

~ What Happens in Tamarindo….. Stays in Tamarindo

The truth is… when people are traveling they are more prone to take risks and do things they would never do when they are back at home.  Thus the popular saying, “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”  But in this case … I’m not talking about indulgences like the partying, drugs, and prostitution that are so widely available here for those who are seeking it.  What I’m talking about is church!  Over the years that we have been doing ministry in Tamarindo, we have encountered a number of people who have taken the “risk” of attending church for the first time in many years… and for some, for the first time ever!  While people are here visiting…. many are willing take steps toward investigating the Christian faith that they would never take back at home.  Families on Sabbatical, students from the Spanish language schools, individuals simply traveling through.  We feel that this makes having a church in Tamarindo all that much more important.  And so that is why we are forging these inroads to see that vision become a reality..

Please pray that we would be a community of faith that would be effective at helping people to connect with God for the first time, and helping them re-connect with God after years of being away from their faith.

~ The Wanted and the Unwanted

I’ll always remember a popular phrase down here that Stacey quoted to me when I first moved to Tamarindo.  The saying is, “Costa Rica is a place where you will find the ‘Wanted’….. and the Unwanted”.

Not long after having that conversation… I remember following up her thought by sharing with her that I often feel like we live in “The Land of the misfit toys” (ref. Rudolf claymation movie)  What I meant by that saying is that Tamarindo seems to be one of those places where many people come when they feel that they are a “mis – fit” to the places they are coming from.  They just don’t feel they fit in any more in the community or situation they left behind, and they are here looking to reorient in a new direction.  Many who come here are transitioning out of situations like- divorce, broken families, death of a loved one, a season personal crisis… and they are looking for a new beginning.   Many are come with deep wounds and broken pasts … just trying to make a new life for themselves.

And while living among the wanted, the unwanted and the broken can make ministry pretty challenging at times… it also presents a pretty awesome opportunity to be available for and care for hurting people.  Please pray that God would use our community of faith as an agent of truth, grace, peace and healing in people’s lives…. ultimately leading people to Him.