Missionary Care Retreat

This past weekend, our missionary team was treated to a special retreat from the pastors & staff at RiverStone Church.  We studied the life of Joseph and learned how God redeems the difficult circumstances in our lives for His glory!  Pastor Tom encouraged our team to "Live in the deep end" and gave us practical tips to go deeper with Christ. IMG_0077

Each couple received counseling and prayer.  Plus, we enjoyed "Date night" with our spouse (without kids!!).  We also participated in a guided tour through Manuel Antonio National Park where we got to see Costa Rican critters up close and personal.  This retreat was truly a time of refreshing in the presence of the Lord.

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Thank you Pastors Tom & Melissa (and your amazing team) for demonstrating the love of Jesus in such tangible, practical ways!


Nan & Brad, Melissa & Pastor Tom, Kenda, and Brooke

Ministry News

To God Be All the Glory

Philippians 2:7 

“He gave up His place with God and made himself nothing.  He was born to be a man and became like a servant.”

The passage in Philippians reminds us that Christ willingly left glory and came to earth in order to relate to mankind.  He humbled Himself and became like a servant.  As we focus on Jesus as our example, we see His willingness to lay aside His divinity to adopt the lowly form of man.  His attitude reflects one of unselfish behavior, humility, and servanthood.  He was born in a unpretentious manger.  As a man, He didn’t choose wealth or position, but instead He came to serve.  Sometimes our Christian walk may require laying aside “our right” in order to esteem and value others more than ourselves.  There is great blessing in service to others.

As we close out another year, we would love to present you with the following update and praise report of what God has been up to with regards to Phase II.

1) Funds for the 1st children’s home ($285K) will be donated by a donor with one stipulation, funds for the bridge must be raised before the end of November.

2) A favorable deal with the bridge company was negotiated.  They dropped their build price to $88K and also waived the fees for the heavy equipment that will be needed to complete the project.  Of the $88K needed, more than $90K has been raised.  The goal of raising the money before the end of November was successfully completed, thus fulfilling the requirement of the donor of the 1st home.

3) We have another person/business that has committed to giving $285K for the 2nd children’s home.

4) Another contribution of $150Kwas secured, which will be applied to the third children’s home or infrastructure as the need dictates.

Over and over again, God has demonstrated His ability to provide for what He has called His people to do.  No, it is not always in ways we would like or even in our preferred time, but always according to His perfect will.  To God be the Glory!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Ministry News!

The quote on this page from Oswald Chambers rings true, “The life of faith … is a life of walking and not fainting.”  The life of faith is not glamorous, but a steady step-by step walk with the Lord.  You have been a part of what God has done here.  As we move forward in this ministry, you become even more important to what we are trying to accomplish.  Over the past 17 years, you have been the ones to pray for us and to give financially to the work.  God has been faithful in providing and He has done this through you. We are currently finishing up the work of installing the multipurpose building roof.  The projected completion date is slated for November 2015, which is also the time we will dedicate the new facilities.

We can now divert our attention to the development of Phase II.  This new phase will include an additional four children’s homes, office space, and new parking.  We will need approximately $1.1 million dollars to complete Phase II.  The cost breakdown is as follows:  $860K (4 homes at $215K each), $190K (infrastructure - road, sidewalks, parking, clearing of land) and $50K (bridge).

In addition, we need $50K to pay the architect, secure the building permits, and pay the corresponding municipality fees.  This is our most pressing need so we can be ready to start construction in 2016.

Looking at it with the natural eyes, it is a daunting task to say the least.  We keep reminding ourselves that God has been faithful, is faithful, and will continue to be faithful as we walk in obedience to carry out His will.

Please pray and ask if God would have you participate financially.  We are confident that He will reveal exactly what you need to do.

As mentioned in our last newsletter, we are praying earnestly for a suitable family to adopt Yamil.  The Office of Adoptions asked us to update Yamil’s psychological evaluation (since it is over a year old), listing any new advances that he has made this past year.  We have done so and are praying that God will move on someone’s heart to adopt a sweet 10 year old, and soon!

We continue praying for good news with regards to the Pilarte siblings (4) and Anthony and Aislinn (brother/sister).  One of the families has finished their home studies and the government is awaiting arrival of the file from the United States.  The other family is still in process.  Completing the endless paperwork and innumerous home studies is arduous, but necessary.  Continue lifting these two prospective families before the Lord, praying that they will not grow weary in well doing.  We know that in God’s perfect timing they will reap their reward!

Speaking of Anthony, he and his little sister have been with us for 3-1/2 years.  Anthony is a special young man, but he has also been a little bit of a trial.  In the past, he has behaved poorly in school and the house parents have received so many notes (not good ones) from the teacher.  They have also attended many a meeting to talk about our Anthony.  At the end of last year, we sat down with the house parents and our new psychologist, Dominique, to discuss how we would proceed forward.  We decided that since he was 12 we would let him form part of the skateboard club here at the Abraham Project.  Sergio Nix is the leader of the group and he invites young men from all over our neighborhood to get involved.  It is a discipleship group of sorts for these teenagers.  In January, Anthony began attending.  The following month, when he started school, we noticed a marked change in his behavior.  He was doing his school work in school, he was completing his homework, and best of all he has not brought home a single note from the teacher since he started 2 months ago!  We are so proud of the huge effort that he is putting forth.  We are happy that he is growing and maturing into a fine young man!  He has also accepted the job of cleaning our office once a week, which affords him a small salary for sweeping, moping, dusting, and taking out the trash.  He has been super motivated and we are so pleased with the changes that Christ is making in his life!

Most of you might remember a small, 3-1/2 yr. old boy  in Aaron & Candace’s house named Sebastián.  We are happy to announce that he has finally been declared abandoned and that his case has been sent to the Office of Adoptions.  We have not yet heard when the adoption council will be seeing his case, but it may be in April after Holy Week.  Sebastián will go quickly to a Costa Rican family since he is young.  Ticos get first dibs on the kids and they typically want the kids 3 and under.  Please pray that God would choose just the right family for this little boy.

We have started a new tradition of having each kid over to our home for their birthday dinner.  They get to choose their favorite meal and help us cook it.  Last month, we hosted Stuard who turned 9 yrs. old.  He wanted chicken fingers for supper … delicious, southern comfort food (and one of Bethany’s favorites as well!).  He had fun making dinner with Tío Steve and we all enjoyed homemade ice cream sandwiches to top off the night!  *Woo-Hoo!*



Christmas Party for A.P. Personnel

You are cordially invited to the A.P. personnel Christmas party!


We worked in conjunction with the daycare in order to host a pig roast.  A 100 lb. pig was prepared and cooked.


It was a labor of love in that this was literally an all-day affair.


 The pig was stuffed with lemon grass and injected with spices.


It cooked for hours over an open fire.


When it was all said and done over 60 people enjoyed roasted pork, mashed potatoes, salad, and dessert!  Merry Christmas to everyone who works and serves at the Abraham Project!


Festival/Fun Run!

The A.P. was recently awarded a $150,000.00 matching fund grant from a prominent foundation here in Costa Rica.  That contribution is a great incentive for raising the other $150,000.00 we need to put the roof on our multi-use facility!  Needless to say, all of the pastoral groups from our church are working hard to raise money to put towards this great project.

Today our church hosted a community wide Festival in order to raise funds.  Included was our first annual Fun Run, where over 200 people from our surrounding neighborhood signed up to run either a 5 Km. or 10 Km. race.  The festival goers could also enjoy mechanical bull riding, trampoline jumping, a variety of food booths, and a motorcycle show with the Soldiers for Jesus gang.  Even though we are in rainy season, the weather cooperated and we had an outstanding turnout!





“Fútbol,” “Soccer,” whatever you like to call it … the kids here just love to play it!  Recently, a couple from our church started a program on Saturday mornings.  Kids (ages 10-16) from all over our neighborhood come to play and hear the Word.  The vision of this new ministry is to reach the kids spritually, physically, and socially; encouraging leadership skills on and off the court.  Sports evangelism is a great tool for reaching young people of all ages.

A.P. Fun Facts

So, what is the Abraham Project?  The Abraham Project is a place that reaches out beyond its four walls to a needy community.  We have a heart to see our local community transformed by offering services where people can encounter the love of Jesus Christ.

The daycare center is now the second largest in the nation, serving 225 children currently.


We offer classes to our local neighbors where they can gain skills for everyday living (some classes available are: English, computer, manicure/pedicure,and cooking).  We also use the classes as a platform to share Christ with the students.


The homes are set up to care for children at risk.  These kids arrive with shattered lives.  Here we are able to feed, clothe, educate, and share Jesus with them.  It is truly a place where lives are transformed!


Every day from 8:00 to noon, lawyers from the University of Costa Rica and their law students attend to the legal needs of the people in our province.  They handle any kind of dispute and give free legal advice to those seeking it.  They attend to over 400 people per month!


We are still trusting that God would miraculously provide a roof for our multi-use building.


The Abraham Project is a project of faith!


"For with God nothing will be impossible."

Luke 1:37

School Days, School Days, Good Ole' Golden Rule Days!

Stephen’s mom, Connie Thomas, has been visiting the Abraham Project for a number of years.  Each time, she teaches ESL in the daycare center.  Connie incorporates many teaching tools in order to make class fun and interesting for the children of our community.  In this way, she teaches the children basic skills and knowledge of the English language.  She also uses God’s Word as an important tool in her lessons.  She is a gifted teacher who truly has a missionary heart. Using the iPad to sing songs with the kids.

Lexi’s back!  She returned to Costa Rica this month (March) and will be serving as an intern here at the A.P. until May.  Lexi is always available to do anything we need around here. She has been helping Miss Connie with her ESL classes and has been a huge asset to the team!

Lexi is helping some of the kids with their "B U G" craft.

Getting individualized attention!

Interns say "Adios!"

Lexi and Cait arrived in September to begin their intern stint at the Abraham Project.  The girls did “A little bit of everything” around here…literally.  The girls worked with Jason, our short term mission coordinator, facilitating our last team of the year, they painted, washed dishes in the cafeteria, cooked dinner for the children’s homes, babysat, mowed the grass, and so much more!  Cait & Lexi have definitely left their fingerprint on the hearts of everyone here at the project!

The “Intern Season” Comes to a Close

As we mentioned in the post Interns at the Abraham Project , we have many teens and young adults come serve at the Abraham Project as interns over the summer.  A big group came in June to serve (pictures in the post mentioned above), and then several more came in July and August.  The Project was blessed to have these willing and enthusiastic youths dedicate a month or more out of their summer to come and do whatever was asked of them!


Ministry News

We always count it a privilege to receive new kids here at the homes.  We take the work we do very seriously, knowing that each child or sibling set is here for a season.  We know that God has entrusted our team with the responsibility of demonstrating His love to each kid that walks through our doors.  We are fully aware that even though we provide food, clothing, a warm bed, and an education, the most important thing we can do is to share Jesus with each child.  That is the most precious gift we can give them during their tenure here at the project. With that said, we are happy to have our most recent newcomers.  In our last newsletter we shared about Steven and his little sister Maria Jose.  The brother and sister have adapted well since arriving at the beginning of June.  The PANI has initiated the judicial process to declare them abandoned.  Please keep them in your prayers as their parents are appealing the process and apparently have a family resource that is possibly interested in accepting the children.  Both kids have really come out of their shells.  They are interacting with the other children, talking, dancing, and more.

At the end of June, we received Ruth and Emmanuel into the folds.  They are a brother and sister team that are bound for the States soon.  The Office of Adoptions has already found them an adoptive family and they are in the process of getting to know their parents via SKYPE at this time.  We are praying the all the paperwork will be complete soon so that their parents can come to Costa Rica to meet them and finalize the adoption!

We recently learned that a sibling trio has finally (after 3 years) been declared abandoned.  We are in the process of submitting psychological reports, health evaluations, and photos so that their file can be sent to the Office of Adoptions.  Please pray with us that the Lord would provide these kids with a loving, supportive family.

The kids enjoyed a two week mid-year break at the beginning of July.  They participated in several fun activities.  They went to the theater to see Ice Age: Continental Drift.  Some of the kids had never set foot in a theater before then.  It’s fun to see their eyes get wide when the big screen lights up!  Thanks for making these things possible!

New Highland Elementary School

Today we received a team of teachers from Elizabethtown, KY.  Steve’s brother Mark, his mother, and a couple other folks comprised the team.  They fed hungry families in Rio Azul, a very marginal community close to the vicinity of the project.  The group hosted a special activity for the children in that neighborhood.  The teachers also did a service project, painting the exterior walls of a local public school in our community.  Thanks New Highland!


Two by Two ....

This past week we received a call from the Office of Adoptions about a sibling set that is up for adoption.  They asked if we would receive the children and help facilitate the bonding process with their new adoptive parents from the states.  We are so happy to have the brother and sister duo here with us.  We are grateful to be a tiny part of the work God is doing on behalf of Ruth and Emmanuel!

Ministry News

“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”

II Corinthians 9:6

For quite some time now, God has been speaking to me about the importance of giving to others who are in need.  To be honest, it was really a wake-up call for me to check my attitude and perspective on our mission work.  God’s Word has brought conviction where conviction has been needed.  I am reminded of the following passage in 2 Corinthians 9:6-10 (for lack of space I am only including verse 6): “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”  It goes on to speak of how God loves a cheerful giver.

We have been in a position here at the Abraham Project to witness God’s miraculous provision.  In actuality, it has been a time in which we have received much, but there is still so much more that is needed to complete the project.  In the midst of this, it is not that difficult to forget the importance of giving.  God is continually changing my perspective to see the situation as He sees it.  It has been a refreshing time in my life, one in which I have been rejuvenated and encouraged.  I believe the old adage goes something like this, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Well it is amazing how quickly the doors of opportunity open up, especially when one is alert and actively seeking those open doors.  We have discovered  there is no shortage of pressing needs all around us.  God has given us specific direction as to what He would have us accomplish and we have responded by changing our compass and following His leading.  As part of this new mandate, we have been able to do the following things:

1) Purchased a radio transmitter tube for a Christian radio station in Nicaragua.

2) Trip to Panama to assist a sister church.  We have plans to return in August with a mission team.

3) Raised over $4,000 to help remodel & expand a church in a rural community.

4) Planning a trip in July to complete expansion of another rural church.

To complete these tasks, we are trusting that God will give us the strength to carry out His will and to provide the necessary funding to do so.  If you are interested in knowing more, please do not hesitate to contact us for additional information on how you can help.

Thanks to everyone who has kept our family in their prayers!  It is greatly needed and appreciated.

Stephen, Georgiana, Luke, & Bethany Grace

New Kids at Abraham!

After receiving an emergency call from PANI (Child Social Services), we welcomed a sibling set to the  Project today.  Steven and his sister María José were removed from their abusive situation by court order.  Their father is a drug addict and their mother has been negligent in her care for them.  The children arrived with literally “The clothes on their backs.”  The first night Steven kept crying because he wanted to go home to take care of his mother.  We know God has deposited them into our care for a season, and we are looking forward to sowing into their lives and watching that seed grow!