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

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Looking for summer interns....

Do you speak Spanish? Do you know someone who does? Would you like to spend time in Costa Rica serving the Lord by serving teams coming to work and serve with Strong Missions? Apply to be a summer intern ASAP! If interested, email Rebecca at to receive an application. Applications due Feb. 1st.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Feliz Navidad!

Merry Christmas from all of us at Strong Missions! May you feel God's blessings today and every day!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A note from Charlie (Part 4 of 4)

Finally, my family life has become the most incredible thing in my life, and in this line of work that’s saying something. Angela is finishing high school (she’s completed 6 years worth of studying in about 3 years), and if all goes well she’ll be starting the university next summer. She’s really excited, and I admit that if I had been as committed to my studies as is she, I would have made the dean’s list many more times than I did. I’m very proud of her, as am I of our daughter, Anna Elena. She’s walking and talking, and she loves futbol (soccer) and football, and with the Rangers record this year she’s even taking to baseball. She likes to sit on my lap and hoot at the games. She can even say “touchdown”. Okay, she roots for all teams, even the opponents of the Texas teams, but we’ll work on that with time. My first mentor and still the man I consider my pastor, Richard Strait, and his wife Renee, came to visit from Wisconsin after our not seeing each other in more than 14 years. He baptized Anna Elena, and friends and family surrounded us. We felt God’s presence, and we are so appreciative of our UM tradition that allows us to practice infant baptism. It’s wonderful to have people in your life who mean so much and give so much love. God’s grace abounds!

Overall, it’s been a great year, and it’s looking like we will grow yet again in the year to come. We hope that you will all be a part of what we’re doing here. Over the 7 years we’ve been here we’ve made friendships that will last through this life, and we believe into the life that follows. You have shared your love with the people of Costa Rica and with us, and our lives will never be the same. We know the economy continues to struggle in the U.S., and we continue to hold all of you in our prayers and meditations.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A note from Charlie (Part 3 of 4)

Alvaro (with one of his daughters-Tracy)




Flora (with the husband of the pastor of her church)

Ana (with her daughter-Kathia)

Rebecca at the beach on a "fun" day with a group

The staff changed some the first of the year, as we moved locations and several of our workers felt they could not follow us. We therefore said tearful goodbyes, gave all good severance packets, and began to find new people to help us.

Alvaro Torres, my assistant director, worked for us part-time before (he was also working another job at the time) and has both followed us to Carrillos and given up his other job. He is an accountant and almost attained an additional degree as an engineer, so he keeps us in good shape around here. I could not do what I do now without him.

Wilberth Mora also followed us to Carrillos. He is our job supervisor and has been with me for 6 of the 7 years I’ve been in the country. It’s still hard to wipe the smile off his face; although I’m sure as a boss I’ve done it once or twice.

In addition, his older brother Warner has joined us, and brings with him as much experience in construction as Wilberth.

Wilmer Benavides, Angela’s brother, has also joined us, and in addition to being a quick learn in both construction and English he also teaches Latin dancing to teams during their stay.

The cooks have also changed, with Flora, the wife of Luis Alvarado, our transportation guy, leading the crew.

Under her we have Ana and when needed Alvaro’s wife, Marleny Cruz, also pitches in.

Finally, Rebecca Rusnak, from Valparaiso, IN, has joined us full time as one of our program assistants, and Scott Andrews, from Waukesha, WI, will join us the end of they year as our other program assistant. These are both capable, wonderful young people who are and will be great permanent additions to our staff.

We are very pleased with our Carrillos staff, and we feel as though we are even more efficient and effective this year in comparison to years gone by.

Okay, a few financial matters. Strong Missions will be incorporated the end of this year. We cannot form a Costa Rican foundation or association due to a foundation being too specific for our work here, and the association allowing the possibility of others taking control of our organization in the future. This means that for tax exemption most donations will still go through UMVIM in New York, and that procedure will soon be posted on the website for easy access.

Additionally, we’ve raised team prices by around 4% for 2011, as the dollar dropped in value by 10% in 2010, thereby eliminating that much of our operating funds, about $35,000. Now there’s an increase of about 3-½ % inflation as well. You can see that even with the 4% increase it does not cover the loss, but we’re expecting continued growth in numbers, which will make up the difference.

We are offering a $100 per person incentive for teams of 10 or more working with us September through the middle of November, as this is a time with very few teams. Any team that comes in during this time is a great help in finishing projects for the year and in our ending the year with money in the bank for the start of the next year.

Donations continue to come in, reaching nearly $50,000 to support the feeding programs, the school scholarships, and the pastoral support, as well as various other areas of ministry. We thank those folks as well for their continued faithfulness. Again, there are hundreds of children and families who have directly been affected by your generosity.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A note from Charlie (Part 2 of 4)

During the 2010 year we worked on the park/playground for the community, and we hope it will be finished around the middle of 2011. It is quite a project. The admin building at the school is finished except for the windows, for which the school is responsible. The feeding program and parsonage at the church also continues, and we should be working on that project for the next two years. In addition we’ve help remodel homes and churches, doing small repairs as well when needed. Along with those continuing projects, we have some interesting projects for the future, including the building of 3 classrooms for the local high school, building a second floor in the Assembly of God Church for another feeding program for poor kids, as well a dorm building, school building, and new cafeteria for a home for teenage mothers and their children. Those of you who knew Geysa from the orphanage will be happy to know that the Catholic Church and the govt. set her up in this new ministry site, which is incredibly powerful, and is located only 25 minutes from our worksites. We know Geysa’s heart is true and that she loves these kids, and we’ll be happy to help her, and the girls, for years to come. Tell me that’s not a God thing!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A note from Charlie (Part 1 of 4)

A Note from Charlie

Hello all, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for our most successful year yet. Before the season is over next month, we will have had close to 570 trip participants through here this year, well over the 500 we had in 2008 before the economy crashed (we only had 300 people through here in 2009). Sure, we had a few incentives such as cheaper transportation and lodging, but regardless it amazes me how the faithful of God came forward during the crisis in the U.S. to make a difference in the lives of those who still have far less than do we. I’ve said it before and I say it again… I work with the best people; those of faith, but whose faith carries them into the world to make a difference. Thanks again for your dynamic faith, for we could not do what we do without you.

We changed locations this year, as the theft and danger of San Jose became too much for us to expect teams, and the organization, to deal with. I was even shot at June 1, 2009, between Guadalupe and Moravia (between the church where teams lodged and my office). We therefore elected to leave San Jose (don’t worry, we’re still supporting and visiting the ministry in Los Guido), as we did not want a violent crime to be perpetrated again a team or one of it’s members. We chose Carrillos Bajos of Poas, just 20 minutes from the airport in the opposite direction of San Jose. Carrillos has a much more rural feel, and this has allowed teams to spend more time in the community getting to know the locals, as it’s much safer to move around even during evening hours. The community has welcomed us with open arms, and the children look forward to seeing teams arrive at the back gate. We are active with both the Evangelical Methodist Church located and the Assembly of God Church located here, in construction, with their new feeding programs, and with worship and VBS activities with their children. At this time we also have the Carver family from Kentucky, Bruce, Kathy, Chessa & Naomi, here for 4 months teaching English to the locals. Kathy teaches ESL in the U.S., so this has been quite a service both to my workers and the community at large. They have an estimated 65 people or so to whom they’re teaching, ranging from children to adults, with classes being offered several times a week for each group of students. It is quite a ministry in and of itself, and this family has become endeared to us at Strong Missions and to the community at large. Future projects abound, so we expect to continue the work here in Carrillos for several more years at least, before we move to another nearby small town and begin community development there as well. We hope all will come and experience Carrillos, as it is indeed fertile ground.

Chessa and 4 girls of the local community, who also participate in the youth English courses.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

135 new photos on facebook....

Check out my Alpha Phi Omega/High Point North Carolina fall 2010 pictures under the Strong Missions facebook page. They are not as beautiul as some of yours, but it's a start......Bendiciones!

Where's Warner?

Oh wait, Warner is the only one actually working right now unlike these 2 clowns! (It didn't take much convincing for them to pose for this picture.) Actually, the entire team at Strong Missions works very hard. We love the Ws!


On the chalkboard at Los Guido
How do they stay in the lines?!?

Peak-a-boo! Not really what we had in mind for the parachute, but oh well.

He's smiling because he has 3 new novias.

APO- Fall mission trip pictures

Here are a few pictures from the APO fall mission trip:
Did you know that simple things as bubbles can brighten a child's day?

A local church member gets involved in the project....

Team work!!!! And pass, and dump, and pass back.....and fill, and pass, and dump....what an awesome workout!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New connections

Well since I'm posting, I didn't quit! LOL (see last blog) We are on 3 days of concrete with one day left. Sweet!

Had a very emotional afternoon with the group from North Point University visiting the Posada de Belen in Coyol. Just the story of the girls who were raped, violated, molested, etc. and now have babies.....babies having babies....brought tears to some eyes. It's a very powerful place and we are going to start to work together with them to see what we can do. For those of you who know Geysa from the orphanage she is now working there and my is she blessed and spreads those blessings onto many.

Prayers for this place,

Friday, October 15, 2010

And back to work....

Not that we haven't been working all this time (well I have, not quite sure about Charlie...haha...just kidding), but we are about to receive our first fall team. They are going to enjoy the beach first and then come back on Monday to continue work on the "comedor" the building for the feeding program and pastoral housing at the Methodist Church in Carrillos.

I can't wait to get back to pouring concrete....that's my favorite!!!! Seriously. So if the plans change, I will have to quit, and that would just stink. 1 out of 4 days of concrete would just make my day. 4 out of 4 would rock.

I will be uploading new pictures in less than 10 days. PS....the school looks awesome! It lacks windows, but it's getting there. I wonder if we are going to paint it seems like all the painting since I arrived has been done some shade of green.

In His name,

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Meet the Carver Family

I would like to introduce you to the Carver Family from Hopkinsville, Kentucky, who arrived on August 1st. They will reside here until Dec. 19th.

Kathy, her husband-Bruce, their daughter-Chessa, & Naomi-their granddaughter, felt the calling to teach the people of Carrillos English.

The classes are 3 times a day, 3 days a week. Additionally, they are conducting courses 3 days a week for the Strong Missions team staff.

Please pray a blessing on them and the work they are doing.

For Him and with Him,

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hasta la bye-bye, Christian Cuellar

For those of you who had the privilege to get to know and work with Christian Cuellar, in case you already didn't know, he is heading back to the US today. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with him as he returns after giving almost 9 months of himself to the people of Carrillos, Costa Rica, and Strong Missions. 

Prayers for a safe and uneventful flight back (@205), prayers for his job search and upcoming interviews, and to know that it's all in God's hands and worrying won't get us anywhere. 

Maybe a last bit of advice from him: don't put the hot dogs in the microwave with the plastic! :) 
No seriously, I'm sure he would say something like: PURA VIDA and GNAM GNAM. (YUM, YUM)

It's been a blessing to work with him! All the best for the future and see you back here sometime in the near future.

You will be greatly missed!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

One week later....& fall activity

Wow! It has been a crazy summer. Crazy good that is. :)

It has just been over a week since the last summer team left. Yet, it feels like it was just a day or two ago. I miss so many of you. PS, I finally broke down and got facebook. Some of you asked for it early in the summer, now I have it.

What a great year and summer it has been in Carrillos. I pray that you are as excited as I am for the work that God has laid upon our hearts to continue during here. We ask for your continuing support and prayers as we move forward in this journey. Know also that you are in our prayers.

I hope this was an amazing experience for all of you. If there is anything we can do for you and your teams to make this experience even better, let us know ASAP. Contact either Charlie or myself. We are always looking for ways to grow in our service to the teams. We are here to serve & bless the people of Costa Rica, and also offer the same to you.

We have 2 groups confirmed for the fall. How exciting! If you would still like to bring a team, please let us know "yesterday"....haha, no seriously ASAP. Remember flight prices are down for the fall from locations like Chicago, Miami, etc.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I don't know how many times I can say this, but THANK YOU to EVERYONE for being a blessing to the people of Costa Rica, Strong Missions, and myself.

I can't believe 2 months have gone by so quickly. It was exciting to see old faces as well as getting to know new ones. I pray that your experience was as fulfilling as mine has been.

I have experienced God in new ways with you and through you. Know that you are in my prayers and I hope we can serve together again in the near future.

The work continues here; not just on the actual buildings, but also on building relationships with the people of Carrillos, Costa Rica. I pray that your experience here will foster future relationships with people of your community in the U.S. and the people of Carrillos.

Updates on sites to follow soon!


Rebecca Rusnak (

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Building Up!

Hola everybody:) Here are some updates on everything that has been going on at Strong Missions.

+The Work Sites+

The Carrillos community park construction project-

The retaining wall that surrounds the park area and built in front of a high hillside is just about complete. All the cinder blocks have been laid and all that is left to do is fill the wooden forms with concrete that will be used make the the support columns and headers. A smaller and shorter wall is being built around the boundaries of the park that face the street which will be key in maintaining the safety of children from oncoming traffic. Recent groups have had more than their share of trench digging and concrete work. Through the strong spirit of service that each missions team brings, it is all coming along nice and smoothly despite the occasional refreshing downpour of rain that floods the trench with water!

The San Luis Elementary school office building project-

The construction of the school office building is really coming along quickly as well. What was only trenches a maze of trenches with some re-bar placed down in them, is now an actual the near completion of a building structure. On every work day that there's a missions group serving with us, the children of the area happily see the work of the groups and are eager to try to communicate and play with the 'gringos'.  Needing to be completed in this high volume season of groups (typically lasting into mid-August), greater priority is being placed on finishing up this work project for the community of Carrillos. This construction project will greatly benefit the elementary school since current office and administration space is small, cramped, and needing of a  greater space to better manage and administrate the school and its young students of the community.

Palabra Viva Iglesia Metodista de Carrillos-

The construction of an additional building has gone quite a ways in this past month. Despite the problem due to the great rainfall that easily flooded and muddied up the trench area, the mission groups proved to be real workhorses and laid the foundation concrete and re-bar to move on to the great deal of block laying that needed to be done. As a fruit of the servant attitude, the wall is rising quickly section by section.

updated photos of these construction sites can be viewed HERE

+Interaction with the children of the area+

In addition to the various construction sites that Strong Missions is involved in, a majority of the groups that come to work and serve had conducted vacation bible schools (VBS) for the children of the community. They have been held at the local pentecostal church, the methodist church, and at the San Luis elementary school.    Typically the VBS's involve art and craft activities along with interactive games for the kids to take part in. It is  such a great interaction and time of sharing for both the people visiting from the U.S. and for the children of the small community here in Carrillos where safe open space to play is very limited resulting in the children either forced to stay home or risk playing in the unsafe street traffic.
But with each group that comes to serve, they continued to be taken to the methodist church of Los Guidos to experience the impact that this small church is making in the poor area of its community. They help with the children's feeding program by serving the kids food and interacting with them, play games with them, and even partake in a lively worship times of music and dancing! Each group that comes is greatly impacted by Los Guidos and by the service that Pastor Edgar Ponce and his family do there.

For detailed information about giving and the needs of Los Guidos please click HERE to see a previous blog post containing all of this information.

+The Wet Season+

Though it is the summer season in the U.S., here in Costa Rica it is the winter season or better known as the wet season. On a typical day, it is quite sunny and warm during the morning hours, and cools down significantly during the afternoon and evening with cloud cover which more often than not, leads to rain. In regards to the groups, rain boots and rain jackets are very much helpful and highly recommended to get around the work sites. However despite, the continual rainy weather, cold weather is not much of an issue; thus minimizing the need for much cold weather clothing. Simply having a rain jacket and a longsleeve t-shirt is enough to keep warm especially if traveling up to the Poas Volcano and/or the cloud forest of Monteverde.

That's all for now!
May God's grace and peace be with us all.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

NOW!!! Cheap tickets to San Jose! & fall discount

If you are looking for an amazing mission experience in which you can bless others and be blessed and experience God's work in a different part of the world, come work with us. Between our fall discount rate and tickets are now on sale from Chicago to San Jose for $239 round trip from August-Nov. blackout date of Labor Day weekend, you can get a great deal.

Also from Orlando to San Jose (Sept. 7th- Nov. 10th) $99 each way!

check out travelzoo for rates.....also possibly orbitz

The fall discount rate that is now being offered to groups of 10 people or more that come anytime from September 1st or after and departing no later than November 15th is $100 off the cost for each person in the group.

This discount is made possible by the fact that the annual budget made for Strong Missions only takes into account having groups from January and into the middle of August. Any other groups that come are bonus.

Please let us know ASAP if you are interested in joining us for this amazing life changing experience. Whether you are new to Strong Missions or have joined us multiple times, we would love for you to be with us to experience Carrillos and the people of Costa Rica!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

some new pictures on the Flickr photostream:)

hey all! please click on the pictures on the right to see recent photos taken of the 3 work sites, Los Guidos, and of people of the recent mission groups: West University from Houston, Texas and Impact Mentoring Academy from Bermuda!

God's grace and peace be with you all...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Getting Into Full Gear

As the opening week of the summer 2010 season comes to a close, every worksite has already seen major progress and visible change thanks to all the hard work put in by the 39 member crew from Houston-based West U. United Methodist Church. We broke ground at the elementary school and have provided countless hours of entertainment for the students. Apparently there is something very intriguing about a bunch of gringos armed with pick-axes and shovels, but although the sight of over three dozen hot, sweaty, and energetic young workers has become a daily occurrence for the local people of Carrillos, the Strong Missions crew has also positively impacted the community, especially the local children, in a variety of ways. Over the last two days, West U has held an exciting VBS program for the local kids, which included arts and crafts, games, and of course, plenty of soccer. The kids' excitement about the program led many of them to follow the group to the local indoor soccer field afterwards for an evening of 6 on 6 competition. However, as the folks from Texas have surely learned, one of life's greatest joys is found through the act of service. Today we took them to visit the Methodist Church of Los Guidos, which is situated in one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in the country, where they literally gave up their own food in order to provide lunch for the children there. As always, the very presence of volunteers lit up the kids' eyes and put smiles on all their faces, giving them plenty of energy to participate in the scheduled activities that the group from Houston had prepared for them. As the first group of the summer season, the people from West U. have definitely set the bar high, and we at Strong Missions are stoked to see what else God has in store for the local community as we look forward to welcoming the hundreds of volunteers still to come this summer.



Monday, May 31, 2010

The start of busy season

With today's arrival of the 39 person group from West University UMC located in Houston, Texas- we find ourselves in full swing with the busy season of mission groups lasting from June, July, and into the beginning of August.

Tomorrow we shall start working on the 3 work projects that we have initiated here in Carrillos:
1) the continuation of the construction of the community park/playground in the small city center
2) working on the foundation of a building that will house restrooms and a space for a children's feeding program at the local methodist church
3) and breaking ground to build up an building for office space at Carrillos Elementary School.

So long for time off. Hello missions work. It's time to shine.

Thank God for having summer interns- Johnnie, Serena, and Rebecca (coming soon:)



Monday, May 17, 2010

The Strong Mission houses- a visual experience.

Updated Flickr photos of the Strong Missions house

Howdy ya'll! Click on that top link to see some photos showing the current status of the houses where most of the groups coming over the next few months will be living while working here with us in Carrillos!

Recently completely work projects on the houses:
-awning was added to the the front porch area of the main house.
-additional toilets and shower stalls were added to the side of the main house.
-a water holding tank installed in case of unexpected water shut offs.

This week the work crew will be focusing on constructing additional bunk beds for both houses which can hold 2 dozen people in each house. More sleeping space will be added as need be.

Enjoy the photos and thanks for the comments.

God is Good.


Monday, May 10, 2010

the summer work projects and a Fall team discount

The summer work projects for 2010:
1)  For the Methodist church in Carrillos: construction of feeding area that is needed for the feeding program, a battery of bathrooms, and pastoral housing which will be in on the 2nd floor of the same building housing the other two construction jobs.
2) completing the construction on the park/playground area in Carrillos which has been started and progressed since the beginning of the year.
3) constructing administrative office area for the elementary school located next to the construction site of the park and playground area.


The fall discount rate that is now being offered to groups of 10 people or more that come anytime from September 1st or after and departing no later than November 15th is $100 off the cost for each person in the group.
This discount is made possible by the fact that the annual budget made for Strong Missions only takes into account having groups from January and into the middle of August. Any other groups that come are bonus.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Details on gift giving and donations

*this post provides details and info about how to donate to the needs of Strong Missions. If you need a tax receipt please select the Advance Gifts options of donating. The first two options (bank transfer and mailing a check do NOT provide you with a tax receipt). Also, please refer to these earlier blog entries for Los Guidos Methodist Church to see the current main financial needs with those ministries and programs.

Program Donations/Gifts through Strong Missions

1) For large amounts, teams might want to send the money through a bank transfer. The fee is between $30 and $40. its quick, safe, and easy. Please contact Strong Missions at or call Charlie Strong  at 011-506-8357-9893 (cell) in order to receive the bank transfer info by email or fax.

2) Pay by check. Checks made out to Charlie Strong and sent to: 
Charlie Strong 
32702 Westwood Square West Drive
Magnolia, Texas 77354

1) If you want to give through Advance Gifts, use the Advance# 982465. Checks should be made payable to the "General Board of Global Ministries" ( or just "GBGM") and PLEASE WRITE IN THE MEMO LINE OF THE CHECK: Advance #982465, for Charles Strong.

2) The check should then be mailed to: 
Advance GCFA
P.O. Box 9068, GPO
New York, NY

3) Send an email to: (very important step) indicating the date, amount sent, and name of designated project.

Thanks and God Bless

what's happening at Strong Missions?

Well since April 11th there has been no work groups here at Strong Missions- not until May 31st anyways, when West Univ. UMC from Houston, TX will be arriving here in Carrillos.

Despite this gap of having no missions groups working with us, there still is much going on around here. Wilbur, Wilmer, and Wagner are here at the house Monday thru Saturday getting the house ready for the large number of people and groups that will be coming to work all during the June, July, and into the first couple of weeks in August.

Current Work Projects at the house include: a canvas awning over the open air area of the front porch of the main house is being installed. Outdoor bathrooms and showers are also being built on the side of the first house. All of this is to help better accommodate the people of the groups to come during the rainy season here in Costa Rica- which starts during the summer months of the continental U.S.
Work at the local Pentecostal Church is also being done. A small wall is under construction to help the church in its operation of a feeding program that it does.

Some updated photos and videos have been posted to the Flickr account. 
Please browse through to get a visual of it all.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Hey all, some updates over the last few weeks- Since March 14th we have had awesome mission groups from the U.S. come and serve with us here in Costa Rica. A recap of the groups that we had during March:

Alamo Heights UMC CollegeLIFE, San Antonio, TX  -> such an awesome and amazing group of young people with such different personalities and gifts. I had lots of laughs with ya'll and seriously enjoyed the time and memories we shared together. Texans- I get along really well with you guys for some reason. Logan, Cici, Sarah- I am excited to see you all again here in July...with my fratbro ;)
Mile High Academy, Denver, CO-> this group was like a bunch of army ants! always high energy and did major work on the retaining wall at the construction site. This was the first Adventist missions group that I've worked with and you guys taught us all here that Adventists DO WORK!
Whobodies, Mt. Pisgah UMC, Greensboro, NC -> the current group that I am with and will be traveling to Poas Volcano, Los Guidos, and then to Cahuita for a 1-day excursion trip. I like this group and definitely look forward to continue sharing with them and showing them around all the sights of Poas, Los Guidos, and Cahuita. Small group of only 8 people but a lively bunch of workers that work hard and play hard.

Other updates for March that I can provide (financial needs/info will be given later) :
The retaining wall for the park at the Carrillos construction site is going along very smoothly and about less than 25% remains for it to be complete. God willing, it will be all done by the mid to late June. After the retaining wall is fully built, a shorter and smaller wall will be built that will serve as a protective barrier between the park area and the street traffic that runs alongside it all.
No painting or other work at the nearby elementary school has been done this month- plans to return there are in June as well as starting some other construction work at the local Methodist Church in Carrillos.

That is all for now. A dozen new pictures have been uploaded to the Flickr Photostream, a facebook and a twitter account for Strong Missions have been created. Just search: Strong Missions on Facebook or twitter to check us out.

Gotta go pack for tomorrows full day of traveling.

Please keep praying and God Bless you all!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Update: Pastoral Support for Los Guidos

Strong Missions is currently paying $850 in support to Pastor Edgar Ponce and his church staff. We have received a gift of $5,000 this year so far but more consistent and regular support is needed to provide sufficient pastoral support for the entire year. This money helps pay the church leaders who serve the church community in the impoverished area of Los Guidos; this helps them to supports their own families and living expenses.

Please contact via email ( or just add a comment to the blog  if you are able to help the Pastoral Support of Los Guidos or if you have any other questions.

Thanks and God Bless, Christian

Update: School Scholarships for Students in Los Guidos area

The current situation:

  • 15 students in 8th grade and up in private schools and special learning institutes- much better quality and faster pace of instruction than the public schools.
  • Average yearly cost: $1,100 per student. $16,500 total.
  • We've received $2,200 so far.
The students chosen to receive a scholarship are selected by the leaders in the church of Los Guidos and are noted for their strong desire and potential to learn given the opportunity to overcome the financial burden of going to school (i.e. transportation costs, books, supplies, uniforms)

Please contact via email ( or just add a comment to the blog  if you are able to help support the needs of providing school scholarships to these students of Los Guidos or if you have any other questions.

Thanks and God Bless, Christian

Update: Los Guidos Feeding Program- Panes y Peces (Bread and Fish)

Details about the current needs for Panes y Peces- feeding program at Los Guidos Methodist Church.
  • $4,000/month needed to be able to feed 120 kids 2 meals a day (breakfast and lunch) in the low  income and needy area of Los Guidos.
  • Currently there is $1,540 being received each month from churches and individual donors.
  • Strong Missions is providing $760 each month to help out with the financial needs of the feeding program.
  • With the approximate total $2,300 available each month- 80 to100 children are being fed on average during the 6 days that meals are served; however the food of the meals are with significantly diminished nutritional value.
  • The forming of a foundation for Panes y Peces is in the works to help make supporting this ministry more convenient and accessible.
Regular financial givers and donors as well as one-time donations are needed to help meet the $4,000 goal mark that will allow to feed more children with food that has a much higher nutritional value for their growth and development.

Please contact via email ( or just add a comment to the blog  if you are able to help support the needs of Panes y Peces or if you have any other questions.

Thanks and God Bless, Christian

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Start of 2010- so far...

Just to 'formally' introduce myself, I am Christian Cuellar, Program Coordinator for Strong Missions. I have chosen to create this blog in order to help past and future missionary volunteers interested in the vision of Strong Missions informed and updated with all of the progress. Shortly before the actual start of 2010, Strong Missions was already doing work within the community of Carrillos.
Since Dec. 26th, 2009 until Feb. 24th of this year, there have been 9 groups of church and family missions volunteers that have come to work with Strong Missions. These hard working people have traveled from their homes in the U.S. such as Oklahoma, Texas, Indiana, Illinois, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Minnesota.
Since the beginning of this year, all of these groups have helped to construct a significant portion of a community park and playground; a work project that is estimated to be finished by mid-August...

Go to the Flickr Photostream link on the right side for a collection of pictures of the park/playground work project and of other work and events that groups will do in the future. I will be updating the Flickr account with new pictures as much as I can as the year rolls on.

The next several weeks we will be working with the following groups:

March 14-21        Alamo Heights UMC CollegeLIFE, San Antonio, TX
March 16-24        Mile High Academy, Denver, CO
March 27-April 3  Whobodies, Mt. Pisgah UMC, Greensboro, NC (returning)
April 4-13            Stone Bridge Church, Marietta, GA

     After April 13th the next wave of groups start coming in on May 31st and keep coming all the way until about the second week in August. A lot of work lies ahead and I sure do hope that the work done through Strong Missions continues to grow and impact the lives of those in need.

PEACE, Christian

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Under Construction

The next batch of mission groups arrive on March 14th. Pictures, info, and updates of the work sites, Los Guidos, and are all to come soon! Please keep checking this blog as I will be posting new entries about once a week.

Please pray for:
Pastor Edgar Ponce, his family, the church of Los Guidos, Charlie and his family, as well as the rest of the Strong Missions staff.

Much Love and Respect.
God Bless you all,

Christian Cuellar
Strong Missions- Program Coordinator