A cold afternoon

After a full day of fun and learning about God, the Kings kids group is sitting by the fire listening to their fearless leader Edwin Piedra sharing a devotional before digging into the marshmellows in the fireplace.

I am reminded of the importance of the scripture: “Teach a child in the way it should be and when he/she is old they will not depart from the way.”

Seems like any other day, but on this cold afternoon the Word of God is shared with this new generation and we believe that a new generation of missionaries will arise.

Take a quick tour

Friends, after my last blog post I wanted to take you on a quick tour of our new location on the east side of San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica.

Want more info on how you can come do a Discipleship Training School – email dts@ywamsj.org

Want to come with your youth group, high school or high school – email teams@ywamsj.org

Or simply want more info about who we are – email info@ywamsj.org

The future Campus

Since 1999 God has spoken to Giacomo and I to have a University of the Nations Training facility here in the capital of Costa Rica. After 15 years the Lord released to us our very own 30 acre piece of land to develop this Campus.

As Youth With A Mission in San Jose Costa Rica we have a heart to see this generation not only reach with the Gospel message, embrace Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, but also trained and equipped to passionately obey the call on their lives to go and make disciples through whatever means the Lord is calling them to do this according to Matthew 28.

This is the entrance to our new land, you are more than welcome to come visit, bring a team, minister with us, reach out to the communities in Costa Rica, send youth to come and get trained.

Email us for more info to info@ywamsj.org or get a hold of of any of us personally.

But you can also find us online through our website YWAM San Jose!!

Go and make disciples

Wow what an amazing week Marjolein had in YWAM El Salvador in the first week of this month of April.

Being invited to speak in a Discipleship Training School is always a huge blessing, but also very humbling. Every day the Lord gave direction and we saw Holy Spirit give much revelation to this wonderful group of young people.
They come from El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala and they are being equipped to be send out into the nations with the message of unconditional love – the message of Jesus Christ.

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At the end of the week God spoke to several of them to get baptized and give their lives completely in surrender to the Kingdom of God and be used by Him to go into all the world and make disciples.

The Word tells us to teach them all that Jesus has taught us and to baptize them, so that is what happened and there is no greater joy than seeing people received revelation of this Love that they are accepted into God’s family.

Thank you for making it possible for me to go to El Salvador and be blessed by what God did during this week.

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Quality education comes in a box

A few years ago in our mission an idea arose of bringing education to remote areas around the world.

Since we are a Christian University with a focus on missions, the term coined was:

“University in a box” – by our founder Loren Cunningham.

At the Campus in Kona Hawaii they started working on converting a shipping container into a mobile classroom to be able to bring it to remote locations such as Papua New Guinea, where quality education was not available.

Now here in Costa Rica, in cooperation with a local company we were able to convert a long shopping container into a mobile classroom to bring quality education in the area of technology to remote areas of Costa Rica.

Soon we will start bringing it to different places to be put in use for children in areas without good access to learning technical skills and digital platforms for the use of seeing their communities and cities transformed and grow.

Exciting new things are u folding and we believe this is only the beginning of seeing a generation not only reached with a message of love and truth but also bringing quality education in a box!

Bringing quality does not mean more money, it means coming together with our resources and with creativity come up with innovative ideas to help those with little access to get access remotely!

Exciting new times…

A 20 year old word…

These past few days I was reminded of something very important….

In the beginning of 1999, twenty years ago, during these exact months, Giacomo and I were in Worcester South Africa with Youth With A Mission. We were participating in a Community Development School at the new purchased YWAM Training Center in South Africa.

It was during this time (as a very newly wed couple) that God spoke to us about starting a new YWAM Training Facility, University of the Nations Campus in the capital of Costa Rica.

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We have been married 21 years this year!!

We had no idea what that all meant, but it was the word of the Lord to us. This word is now exactly 20 years old, 15 of those years have been pioneering this new YWAM Training Center, University of the Nations Campus, which we started in June 2004!!

Tomorrow, March 10th, after twenty years of being away from this exact place and not having been back as a couple since then (Giacomo has alone), we are going to South Africa to partake in our annual leadership meetings of the University of the Nations.

Not only did God give us a word of a brand new YWAM Missionary training Center, but He also has allowed us over the past 5 years to form part of a body of leaders on an international level. The privilege to learn from amazing leaders who laid the foundation that we are now building on is truly incredible and continues to be for us a tremendous honor and blessing.

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The Word was clear: “Raise up and equip young people who will be the next generation of Spirit led leaders in society in Costa Rica and around the world.”

Since early 1999, we have followed after God, sought His will on how to go about starting this new training location for missionaries, equipping them, loving them, training them and sending them out as passionate followers/disciples of Jesus.

In those years we have served in many different places and have been able to see God do amazing things and we have been able to train close to 1000 young people from our location, sending them into the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!!

****** When God gives you a Word, you make steps to walk towards the fulfillment of that Word and scripture says that His Word will never return void ******

Tomorrow we will embark on a 2 day journey to travel to South Africa. Pray for our children as they stay in Costa Rica. Our oldest have exam week while we are gone, our youngest has already cried several times and will miss mommy the most (and mommy will find it hard to leave)…..but we believe this is part of what the Lord has for us.

As I reflect on twenty years, I reflect on God’s faithfulness to our lives and that what He has given to us. Not just our beautiful kids and how He has blessed us that way, but the extended family of YWAM San Jose. This beautiful family that has gone through all kinds of trials and challenges and has recently moved into our ‘promised land’….

Reflecting on that makes us anticipate what God might want to do in the next 20 years through our lives and the YWAM San Jose, Costa Rica training facility and family.

Giacomo and I believe the Lord wants to give us a fresh word for the next 20 years, will you join us in prayer for that. We will be visiting the very same place we were 20 years ago, of which we unfortunately do not have any digital photos, but we might be able to find some ‘printed’ photos and then show you what things are looking like today.

How exciting to co-create with God, to listen to His voice, to believe that what He speaks will come to pass and will never return void!!

****** Listen for His voice today, quiet your heart and He will speak *****

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Reaching the unreached

Many think of Costa Rica as vacation destination and truly that is a big part of what this nation has to offer.

Beautiful fora and fauna in every way.

But there is another beauty that we see every day and that is its people.

It is our joy and calling every day to reach people who live in this nation to not only know Jesus, but to receive Jesus as their personal savior and to become disciples of Jesus, those who walk with Him, learn from Him, lean on Him and follow in His footsteps.

Some of our staff and DTS students are teaching out this weekend through a medical outreach in a little village about 6 hours from the capital in Turrialba. The population is mostly indigenous and does not even speak a lot of Spanish.

They will be assisting a medical team to provide dental and medical care for free. They will cut hair, play withthe children, hand out bibles, pray for people and share the love of Jesus with those who need it.

That is what you can pray for this weekend. Pray for an amazing weekend, encounters and much fun!!

Latinos – the next wave of missionaries

Can I introduce you to some amazing new missionaries. They are from El Salvador and Costa Rica. Their names: Omar Mendoza and Milagro Ocampo. Omar is from El Salvador and Milagro is from Costa Rica.

Omar did his discipleship training school with us several years ago and the Gospel of hope and love changed his life. Now years later he is serving as a missionary with YWAM San Jose believing the Lord for His provision to send him into the nations. As a member of our September DTS he is raising funds right now to cover not only his day to day living expenses, trusting the Lord for provision for that, but he is also raising funds to take a team on outreach for 8 weeks into the Northern provinces of Costa Rica. Reaching young people in Guanacaste and Alajuela with the same love of Christ that he has transformed by. We love receiving people, training people and then sending people into the nations.

Omar needs supporters to come around him with prayer and finances. We are helping him raise the necessary fees to take this DTS group on outreach and if only 30 people would be willing to support him with $50 he can go and make Jesus known for 8 weeks in the different cities in Costa Rica. Would you consider a one time gift? Go to our donate page and you can send it through our Paypal or Cash App (using email gmcoghi5@gmail.com) and we will get the funds to him.

support a missionary from el salvador

Milagro is a young woman from Costa Rica who lives very close to the YWAM training Campus. She has heard about YWAM for a little bit and several people from her church did a discipleship training School with us. A few months ago we moved closer to where she lives and the Lord led her to come and visit during our family nights. The Lord started speaking to her immediately that this is the place for her. She is now volunteering weekly in our kitchen and cooking for all the students and missionaries here, but God has given her a new call: Become a missionary herself and do the January Discipleship Training school. She is baking up a storm to make money and raise the necessary funds for the tuition. God is raising up a new generation of Latino Missionaries to be send forth into the nations. Your prayers and support all make this possible!! Thank you for standing with us to send them out and make God known among Latin America and the world.

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Meet Milagro – getting ready to be trained, equipped and send in our January DTS

Getting close to 200

As 2018 is quickly coming to a close, so is this year Homes of Hope build!!

This last weekend has been another weekend of building more than 1 home in two days!

Several years ago we build 7 Homes in one weekend, last year we build 8 Homes in one weekend and this weekend we built 6 Homes in one weekend.

Over 200 volunteers, full time ywam missionaries and our DTS students were part of building these 6 families a home that provides adequate shelter and gives much need hope for a better future.

Coming together from all different nationalities, backgrounds and denominations for one single purpose…to bless, serve and Love our neighbor.

Children ages 7 and up, all working on giving other families a gift this end of 2018!

As a YWAM ministry, Homes of Hope in Costa Rica is getting close to the 200 Mark by the end of 2018!

Our next Homes will be build right at the end of December.

The situation in this community has changed over the past 8 years since we started building Homes of Hope here. There is still so much to be done but change is happening. Poverty is not only a physical thing, it is deeply ingrained in the hearts and minds of the people.

Kind of like when the people of Israel left Egypt. It took a while before Egypt left their hearts and minds even though they had already left long before.

Change does not happen overnight but it is possible, so we continue one home at a time, one family at a time.

Thank you for standing with us in making this possible!

Are you a disciple?

Being a christian is somebody who believes in Jesus Christ, that He died for our sins and was resurrected on the third day and made it possible for you and me again to live in relationship with our heavenly Father.

The question today is: Are you also a disciple?

A disciple is somebody who has left what they were doing to follow a teacher/leader and become a student of how this person lives their lives, the principles they live their lives by and their end goal is to become just like the one they follow.

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Receiving teaching from Pastor Willy from Guatemala (and some fun moments too)

Last week in our Discipleship Training School our students (and staff of course) were challenged to consider the difference. Are you a believer only? Or have your given up all things, dropped everything you were doing to follow Jesus, to learn from Him, learn His ways, to walk in His ways, to become more like Him in all that you say and do?

Do you see the difference?

One is believing, the other is believing AND acting. Not only were were challenged to ponder this question, we were also challenged to consider the practical things a disciple does, how a disciples lives, the things that marks a disciple.

It is easy to say you believe in something, but it is a totally different thing to act on what you believe.

I believe that praying is important, but do I actually pray? I believe in the Word of God. I believe that what it says is truth and that is can transform my life, then why do I still worry about tomorrow when that same Bible (the Truth) tells me not to worry about anything and in everything with prayer and thanksgiving make my petition knows to Him. (Phil. 4:6)

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Investing in the lives of these girls is what a DTS is all about – making disciples

Jesus did not say to the disciples: “Come believe in me.” He said: “Come and follow Me.” I think the following, the walking with Jesus, hearing the stories, seeing Him with other people, understanding His heart and compassion stepping out to become learners of the Rabbi, was the beginning of a life changing experience that gave them the ability to have faith to believe.

Faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance of things we do not see. I think the disciples had faith when they left all things behind to follow Jesus. Faith to be confident in what they were hoping for (learn more from the Master), assurance of things they were not yet able to see (His Lordship and kingdom). Their faith was challenged, their faith was tested, their hopes were shattered  as they couldn’t fully comprehend why Jesus would talk about death and at the same time talk about Him being king.

Being a disciple is not void of the testing of our faith, the shattering of hope at times when we lack understanding. But a true disciple does not give up the first time things get touch. A disciple sticks to the person he/she chose to follow. It was not a weak choice, a moment of excitement to drop everything, to leave all things behind to follow this man called Jesus.

What about you? Are you a believer and a follower? Has your faith been tested? Has the following been difficult at times, has your life as a disciple seen moments of hopes shattered, yet you know whom you have chosen to follow is trustworthy and so you keep going. You know that He is worth all you have, all your time, all your energy, right?

In the midst of being challenged last week and consider our place as a ‘disciple’ the Lord blessed us with amazing times of worship, encouragement through words of life spoken out over our lives and ending the week with not only with a birthday party (it was mine) but also with an amazing celebratory worship time in which we exalted the Name of Jesus over our lives and proclaimed His truth.

I was reminded last week of a simple fact: the Discipleship Training School is exactly what the name says: A course in which we learn to become disciples of Jesus, moving from simply believing to dropping all we do, leaving behind our boats and listen to the invitation to “Follow Me”.

That does not mean that it is an easy time. It is meant to be challenging, meant to challenge you in what you understand, allow you to ask the hard questions, not necessarily to the staff (although that happens too), but ask Holy Spirit to reveal to what is true. That is His role after all. John 16:13 says that the Spirit came to lead us into all the truth and that the truth would set us free.

Being a disciple does not mean you get all the answers at once. Life throws us curveballs, gives us many questions, but I know somebody that wants to give you understanding, that longs to revela His heart to you. His name is Jesus and through Holy Spirit He longs to show you new things.

We have entered week 8 and we are speaking about the topic of “Spiritual Warfare”. It will be another week in which we will be disciples (learners) about the battle that we are in. But as Ephesians tells us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, authorities and powers of this dark world and against the forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Well if that is the case we better find out who we are dealing with and whose side we are on so we can do battle the right way.