Youth, College, Adult and Family Mission Trips to Costa Rica


Visit www.STRONGMISSIONS.com for group info and many more details...

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Giving Tuesday is Today - We need YOU!!!

You have probably been alerted on social media and have friends or family participating in Giving Tuesday.

We have always been blessed by support from folks like yourselves and for the past couple of years, the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries has been doing a dollar for dollar match of donations given on #GivingTuesday.

Unfortunately, there were not able to continue with this trend in 2016, but that doesn't mean the need goes away. It means we need you more than ever.

VBS Activities in Sector 8, Los Guido
Last year we we raised over $13,000 on Giving Tuesday and IF we can raise the same amount this year, it will allow us to continue our programming through January of next year.

Many pledges have been made, but due to many factors beyond our control, such as the Zika virus, Strong Missions still has a sizable deficit to make up to finish 2016.

Please consider going to www.strongmissions.com/support and donating. No matter how you choose to support Strong Missions, via The Advance or the 501c3, your gift is 100% tax deductible and will go to support our programing!

Instead of focusing on what we are lacking, for Giving Tuesday we wanted to focus on all the blessings we have.

The empowered communities programming is undoubtedly a successful venture where we have seen results beyond anything we could have imagined. We see children receiving love and support that they are lacking in their lives, instilling confidence, discipline, and associating hard work with the pride that comes from practice, dedication, and a job well done.

More than that, we are seeing parental involvement grow, parents are also invested into these programs which creates a social support network within these communities that families didn't have access to before. To say the least, these programs are changing the hearts and minds of those involved. These groups are also doing presentations during parades and at their schools as well as participating in tournaments and competitions, further instilling pride in their performance and their community.

Every donation to Strong Missions Empowered Communities provides support to these programs, to building these communities, and to helping us continue to be a positive influence in the lives of these children and families.

There are many more pictures available here on Facebook but here is a quick glimpse of what your donations support:

Feeding Programs: Strong Missions continues to be dedicated to feeding children throughout Costa Rica who do not have access to a well-balanced nutritious meal at home.


Theater Group in the Grecia Parade
Theater:

Strong Missions supports a theater program offering children the ability to express themselves artistically through acting.












Karate Presentation at a school in Poas
Karate:
Strong Missions has multiple Karate programs in communities around Costa Rica. Focusing on teamwork, discipline, and community, our students are competing in tournaments, winning medals, and there are even kids who have earned spots on the National Team as well as medals in the National Games.









Soccer Program, La Lucha, Costa Rica
Soccer:
Soccer is far and away the most popular sport in Costa Rica, and kids of all ages love to play. We have created a program outside of Alajuela offering a great program for at risk youth.


Dance

Dance continues to be a huge part of the Strong Missions Empowered Communities, with 2 dance teams in surrounding communities. Dancers participate in civic presentations as well as the National Student Art Festival each year.





Each and every one of these communities and these children are impacted by your support, your gifts, and your prayers. If you feel led to help out on Giving Tuesday, or any other day, we are always grateful for your support. Even the smallest of donations, combined with the support of others, adds up to big impacts,

Thank you all and God bless!










Monday, November 14, 2016

Giving Tuesday is in 2 weeks

Howdy folks! 
Charlie here at Strong Missions in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. 

It's that time of the year again, and we hope that so many of you will join us in our work during this time by donating to the Advance on Giving Tuesday in two weeks.  All the info is below and if you have any other questions please let us know.  Please note that funds will NOT be doubled by GBGM this year as it has been in the past.

Such donations will be used for feeding, education, youth intervention activities (arts and sports) and entrepreneurship for women. We really need your help to both maintain the 380 children we currently have in such programming and to add another 150 kids over the upcoming year.  

Thanks so much in ADVANCE. :) Get it?  Couldn't help it.  
Peace and love to you all!  
Charlie

The link to our advance page is below, please forgive the fact that it is out of date, the updates are currently under review and should be up soon. 
http://www.umcmission.org/Give-to-Mission/Search-for-Projects/Projects/3021552

For more updated information visit us at www.strongmissions.com or www.facebook.com/strongmissions

The photos below were taken at a community dinner hosted by a group from High Point University in October

Dancers from our program in Carrillos

Some of our students from the karate class Charlie teaches


Dancers from the Artistic Development Program at Escuela Carlos Maria in Calle Rodriguez

Thursday, July 7, 2016

June 2016 Round-up

Hello all! We at Strong Missions hope you had a safe and happy 4th of July. The 4th is always a special time here at Strong Missions, not only because many of the staff and interns are from the US, but also because it is Charlie's birthday!

If you haven't already, please go to https://www.facebook.com/strongmissions/ and like our page. There you will find more frequent updates and information about all the things going on at Strong Missions.

The month of June was very busy and flew by faster than we could have imagined. Here is a condensed version of all the happenings at Strong Missions!

The Groups!
We welcomed a total of 9 teams and individuals for the month:

Heritage Christian Academy - Hopkinsville, KY
Edwards Family - Wadsworth, OH

Columbia UMC - Columbia, IA

Cooperative Youth Group - Juneau, AK

Mount Pisgah UMC Whobodies - Greensboro, NC

Adriana Camacho (Brawley, CA) and Windy Vasquez (El Sereno, CA)

First UMC Hopkinsville, KY

New Life UMC - Midlothian, VA

Lisa and Megan Overby - Cypress, TX


The Strong Missions Center!

Construction is coming along here are a few of the most recent pictures. 

Visit our Facebook Album for continued updates and new pictures







Strong Missions: Nicaragua

We had the pleasure of hosting a team from Bethlehem UCC in Evansville, IN for more information and photos click here. To find out more about Strong Missions Nicaragua contact nick@strongmissions.com

Interns:

We have been blessed to be joined by 4 fantastic young women who are serving with us in 2016!

From left to right we have Courtney Simpkins, Carmen Wittkopp, Emily Phillips, and Brooke Warner

Courtney is joining us for a few weeks after finishing a study abroad at U Latina and will be leaving on the 17th of July.  Carmen, Emily, and Brooke will be here for all of June, July, and August. 

For more information check out the Strong Missions Interns 2k16 album

Capital Funds Drive:

We are really just kicking things off and have had some very generous donors raising about $5700. Still a long way to from the goal, but we know that God will provide as we continue our work. Thank you to all our supporters, we couldn't do it without you! For more information or to donate go here - http://strongmissions.com/2016capitalcampaign/

As always, we are so grateful for your support, your prayers, and your generosity. God bless you all and we look forward to seeing you very soon!





Friday, June 10, 2016

Strong Missions is Hiring!!

The service of Strong Missions continues to change and so does our staff. As we expand into Nicaragua and grow in our service in Costa Rica we are looking to hire a Program Assistant to come and serve with us full time in Costa Rica.

Successful applicant will be organized, flexible, a good communicator with a working knowledge of the Spanish language, and have a heart to serve visiting groups and the people of Costa Rica.

Duties consist of:

Email communication with group leaders to help plan trips

Making all arrangements and reservations for hotels, buses, etc.

Communicating with Strong Missions staff to assist in coordinating cleaning and food schedules

Creation of invoices for teams

Management of blog and Facebook page as well as email contact list.

Serving as guide and translator when groups are in country.

Organizing and dispersing donations.

Possible travel to the US to speak to past and future groups.

A living stipend will be provided and will include housing. In addition, food while groups are in country will be included.

For questions or to apply, Please send letter of intent and resume to darryl@strongmissions.com no later than June 27th interviews will follow with a decision no later than July 15th.

Please pass this information on to anyone who may be interested in the position.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Strong Missions Land Update!!!

Howdy Folks! Charlie Strong here with some important news, updates, and all around great information about the happenings here at Strong Missions.

Over the last 13 years many of you have seen Strong Missions grow and change. We could not be more thankful for every single person that believes in the work and offers their support through prayer and financial support. Some of you remember our humble beginnings, with just a few teams each year and Wilberth, one cook, and myself handling everything.  Up to date we’ve hosted right at 6000 trip participants and have brought almost 6 million dollars to the Costa Rican economy, with a significant part used directly for the projects themselves. Now we’re also searching out and applying for government and private grants for NGOs in order to both improve and expand upon our programming and perhaps relieve our individual donors a bit regarding the ongoing responsibility of supporting such costs.  We are not there, yet, however.

As you all know, Strong Missions has purchased land to build a permanent home and we couldn’t be more excited. In addition, our feeding, education, and extracurricular programs continue to improve and expand.

Today we write to ask for your support once again on behalf of those who have so much less than do we. Things continue to progress for our work, but 2016 has had its share of challenges.

The Zika virus has created a hysteria in the United States and this has affected our team attendance. It is no secret that Strong Missions runs on the time, energy and money donated by folks just like yourself. We understand that group safety is of the utmost importance to you and traveling to a foreign country always brings some risks with it. We will continue to be vigilant and informative, but at this time, we do not see an imminent threat to our group members.

Strong Missions has already lost 60 trip participants due to concerns over Zika for the 2016 season. Though that means we have lost the labor and a chance to share our mission and vision with these folks. It also means that we have lost roughly $30,000 in our operations budget as well.

This deficit comes on top of a budget hole that already existed due to building the Strong Missions center. Every spare penny is going into the building to make sure that it is ready to host groups starting this fall and even with the groups still coming this year and the beginning of 2017, we are looking at a large deficit to finish phase 1.

All of this being said, I am writing you today to ask for your prayers and for you to prayerfully consider financial support. Our needs are 2 fold, and are as follows:

Operations – The lose of 2 large groups has left us with a deficit for the end of the year. Barring the lose of any more groups we will be looking at a shortfall of about $60,000. We now have a mortgage and the utilities that will need to be covered. If we do not fill this budget hole, we will face the reality of cutting salaries or laying off current staff in order to make ends meet.

Building Construction – The overall remaining budget for all of phase 1 is roughly $135,000, however, for the purposes of this Capital funds drive we have set a goal of $70,000 to get through 2016. Between material money from groups and this additional boost, we should near completion of phase 1 by the end of the year.

For a full update on the land and to learn more about the project go here – Strong Missions Permanent Home Video  - PLEASE NOTE: The budget presented in the video was completed before the loss of these these teams and therefore has the previous shortfall of $120,000.

In addition, you can see more pictures of the land and track the progress here – Strong Missions Facebook Page

Capital Funds Drive

We know that with a fundraising goal of $130,000 we certainly have our work cut out for us. But we also know that with your help we will be able to not only reach this goal, but continue offering quality programs for years to come.

For as many as 13 years you have faithfully supported the endeavors of Strong Missions and we continue to be blessed by you financially and spiritually. We send you our eternal thanks and love, and we appreciate your concern for us.  We promise to remain faithful to the cause for decades to come.

Paz, Charlie


Click the link to learn more about the Capital Funds Drive

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Cookbook is Finally Here!!!

We here at Strong Missions repeatedly receive rave reviews of the food from mission participants and often receive requests for recipes to many of the traditional dishes that we serve while you are on your trip.

After years of perfecting these recipes, the Strong Missions Cookbook is finally available for purchase!



The cookbook contains 17 of our most popular recipes and all proceeds go to the Strong Missions Empowered Communities programs including feeding, education, dance, theater, and martial arts. 

Books are $10/piece and shipping anywhere in the US and will be as follows:

1-4 books - $3
5-15 books - $7

There are some folks that have asked about using this cookbook as a fundraising opportunity and we think that is a great idea. With that in mind, if you order 20 or more books they are $7/piece. This also INCLUDES shipping and could be a great way to raise money for an upcoming trip or for your missions committee in general.

If you are interested in ordering cookbooks please place your order here - Cookbook Order Form - and we will contact you with information about payment and delivery time. 

For years, folks have come to enjoy the delicious freshly prepared food we serve at Strong Missions. Whether you are coming on a trip this summer, were just here, or haven't been in a couple of years these recipes will surely provide you with a little taste of Costa Rica. Provecho! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Strong Missions Video Update - Karate Camp

We are trying something new here at Strong Missions. Instead of a written blog we are moving into some video updates to keep people informed.

In January, Strong Missions hosted a Karate Camp here at the Strong Missions Campus - follow this link for full details - Strong Missions Video Update - Karate Camp

In addition, we  have posted more pictures on Facebook HERE

AND last but not least, we received some local coverage here in Costa Rica on a local news blog - Conozca Grecia Article - Yes it is in Spanish but the article introduces Strong Missions and talks about how we help at risk youth with low resources.