Visitors from Costa Rica

April 11, 2019

Last Sunday, Galilee welcomed Pastor Eddier Cortés Chavarria and his wife Jessica Villalobos Sánchez to worship. Pastor Eddier leads our mission partner church, Iglesia Metodista de Palabra Viva in Costa Rica.

Galilee has been sending mission teams to Costa Rica for years, but this was Eddier and Jessica’s first visit to Virginia and DC. So…why was it important to have them visit?

“If I’m not careful,” says Pastor Jason, “I think I go to Costa Rica to help “them.” And that’s great, but it’s not even half the equation. Much of the experience of mission is building relationships which spur spiritual growth. Knowing people outside our country, who may speak a different language in a different culture, having diverse Christian experiences—that helps me. That helps “our” church understand the full church. It betters us.”

Jessica and Eddier with Pastor Jason Duley

Pastor Eddier preached in Spanish on the text selected for our Lent worship series, “With All Your Heart.” It was John 12:1-8, the story of Jesus spending time before Passover with Lazarus, Mary, and Martha.

Galilee member Helga Ishikawa translated as Eddier pointed out that each of these followers of Jesus had different ways of relating to Him. Lazarus wanted to protect Christ’s dignity. Martha wanted to busy herself in service to him. But Mary could only love him, and lavish on him her extravagant gifts of love. She spilled expensive perfume on Jesus’ head and washed his feet with her own hair. 

The word that Pastor Eddier had for Mary’s attachment to Jesus was “profundo,” or profound. We may want to honor Jesus, we may go to the ends of the Earth to serve Him. We are all different and there are many ways to offer our worship to the Lord. But we must always do it in the way we feel is profound. Ours must not be a casual love for Jesus, but a profound love. 

Eddier gestured to the banner hanging in our sanctuary and agreed, “There is no greater love.”

Pastor Eddier brings the word of God.

Our thanks go to the Shah family for housing Eddier and Jessica. Jennifer Shah has been working since January to make this visit happen.

The couple had dinner on Saturday night with 40 current and past Costa Rica mission team members, as well as missioners from Herndon UMC. Over a typically Methodist potluck dinner, the group discussed construction projects at Palabra Viva and became even closer friends.

Eddier and Jessica also had time to visit Meadowlark Gardens in Reston, as well as see sites in Washington like the cherry blossoms, the monuments, and the National Cathedral.

We hope they enjoyed their stay and had a positive impression of our country, our people, our church, and the work we do together.

You may not be traveling to Costa Rica this summer, but you can still do mission by contributing to the cause of helping Palabra Viva construct their sanctuary in Costa Rica. The Galilee Rummage Sale happens in May. We’ll begin collecting donated items on April 29. Volunteer to help at the collection or the sale, and bring in your “lightly used treasures.”

Help out at the Rummage Sale.

You can also give online. Mark your contribution for Costa Rica and other trips by noting it is for the mission fund.