The only way that Praying Pelican is able to do what we do is because of the amazing pastors with whom we have the privilege to partner. Without their stories, passion, ministry, and love for God and people, PPM cannot do effective and sustainable ministry. Meet 2 of my favorite men in the world...
Meet Pastor Adolfo in Liberia, Costa Rica. Pastor Adolfo is 70 years old. The sweat stains on his shirt are from him jumping and dancing in efforts to praise Jesus. He's not afraid to weep before the Lord (and his congregation), he is the most compassionate and humble man I've ever met, and he does not care what he looks like when he's serving the Lord. After our first night worshipping in his church and seeing the passion and love he has for the Lord, I knew I had to tell him something. I ran over to him and said, "My goal for the week is to learn to love Jesus like you do."
He just bowed his head and tears started running down his cheeks. He explained to me the reasons why he loves the Lord so much. He said that when you are forgiven for much, you learn to love much. AMEN. And when you've been alone and forgotten, you learn to love the One who never leaves or forsakes you. AMEN. He told me that his mother died during childbirth. He told me about how he had an accident when he was 8 years old that left him unable to see in one eye. He had to stay in the hospital for an extended amount of time. NO ONE... not even his dad... came to visit him in the hospital. That's when he met Jesus... and He has never left his side since. I'll forever be changed... and challenged to praise and love the Lord like this pastor.
Meet Pastor Warner. A week serving with and for this man completely changed my life. It's been hard to come up with the words needed to describe the ministry, the experience, the people, and my heart transformation. I don't think that my words will do it justice, but I'll give it a go.Pastor Warner lives in Nicoya, Costa Rica. He drives a bus full-time (The Happy Bus) and works as a pastor all day, everyday. He has provided transportation for most of our trips/teams in Costa Rica for the past 3 years. I had the highest honor of taking our first PPM team to his community to serve. His church is not made up of a building, Sunday School, youth programs, women's ministry meetings, or an order of service. His church is held on a gated lot and is made up of children and youth from the San Martin community. San Martin is one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Costa Rica. Pastor Warner provides a feeding program to the children at least once a week. He pays for it out of his own pocket and recruits the few involved families to cook the meals each time. Warner believes that a feeding program will bring people in and turn them to Jesus through the prayer, the presentation of the Gospel, and love... because that's exactly what happened to him. On any given day that the feeding program is held, you can expect that AT LEAST 80 chidren will come to receive a meal. To these children, Pastor Warner is more than just a meal or a pastor... he has become a father figure to so many of them whose need for love have gone unmet for so long. The love this man has for people, especially kids, is astounding. I have never seen anything like it. Even when he is driving the bus for us to another location, children are automatically drawn to him, follow him wherever he goes, and absolutely adore him. It's truly a gift. To see him simply interact with kids, lead them in song, and tell a Bible story... it will bring you to tears. Not only does Pastor Warner have a special connection with the children, he can make anyone feel special and essential. Everywhere we went, people knew him and invited the ministry he was doing to their place of work! Many people in Costa Rica are hesitant to invite Christian ministry into their area because of the strong division between The Church and the Catholic religion, but with a man who loves as well as Warner, it was all welcomed. On my trip to his community, we were able to experience and serve in a variety of areas because of the many relationships he has nurtured, and even had to cut the list short due to a lack of time.
These pastors are the pioneers and heroes of PPM. They are the foundation on which all ministry, logistics, prayers, and hard word rest. They continue the work once our teams leave. They are the extension of the bridge that PPM strives to be, bridging their community to the work that God is doing in and through the ministry of our teams. I am so thankful for the opportunity to work side-by-side with amazing men and pastors like Adolfo, Warner, and the hundreds of others that we love all around the globe.
LATEST TRIP JOURNALS
Son Rise Community Church
Appalachia | September 28, 2022
Costa Rica | September 29, 2022
Fayetteville Christian School
Appalachia | September 29, 2022
Tulsa, OK | October 2, 2022
Kentucky | October 3, 2022
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