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

Visit for group info and many more details...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Looking for summer interns....

Yes, I know it's December.

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.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Education and Feeding Program News

God's grace to all!

With the cooperation of the bishop of the Evangelical Methodist Church in Costa Rica, Strong Missions is opening up 2 additional educational centers at the end of 2011. Approximately 200 students will receive an elementary and high school education in the Methodist churches located in Alajuela, Palmares and Los Guido de Desamparados. The 3 centers will cost a total of $19,058.82 for the 2011-2012 year. Additionally, we will offer 15 educational grants, from elementary school to college students. The total cost of these grants is $8250.

In addition for the feeding programs to continue, one year round in Los Guido feeding 50 children, plus an additional 50 children during the summer school break, and 2 programs in Carrillos during the same break feeding 100 additional children, we will need $23,600 for the food, cooking gas, electric, water, and salary for cooks, not including repairs/replacements of kitchen items.

We absolutely need your help with this work. There is nothing more important than education if we really want to break the cycle of poverty and it's very hard for students to concentrate on their studies if their stomachs are growling. Every donation counts, whether big or small, and God will take your gift and multiply it. To see more visit:, and to partner with us, contact us at:

Thanks so much for your consideration and your generosity for those who have so much less than do we.

Paz y bendiciones, Charlie

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sign-up for 2012!!!!

Hi Everyone,

Make sure you are signing-up early for 2012, especially if you want to lodge at the Strong Missions House or Hotel Horcones. We are filling up for some dates. Remember, based on team size, we can host multiple teams at once.

So get your info sheet in please, so that we can hold your dates and your lodging request, and start to make reservations for your fun trip too.

Hope to see you back in 2012!

PS....check out the educational blog post from 2 days ago.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Strong Missions Fishin' Mission

Hello friends and family, the Strong Missions Fishin' Mission is now up and running. Check out the new page at for details, and come and enjoy some of the best fishing in the world, fresh and saltwater.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Education News

I need to say a few words about the ever-growing education program we are sponsoring for the Bishop of the Evangelical Methodist Church, Fernando Palomo, and the churches for which he cares. In addition to the Education Center we opened the beginning of 2011 in Los Guido, and its success this year, we are at the end of this 2011 opening two additional sites in Alajuela and in Palmares.

2011 is ending with 58 young to older adults studying all day every Saturday in Los Guido, with 32 taking exams the end of October. Others are still working on their legalization papers, and until those are finalized they cannot take such exams. Regardless, the education they are receiving is helping them to better educate themselves and the children in their households as well as providing the example to those children and to all the community that such education is important and necessary. Ideas and mindsets are being changed, and that is a miracle in and of itself.

Now at the end of November and beginning of December 2011, education will be provided in Alajuela and Palmares Methodist Churches, each open two nights per week. We expect between 100 and 200 students to participate in these two programs, based on those who have already signed up. Depending on their economic situation, some students are asked to pay a little for material and exam costs, which also helps cover the costs of their fellow peers who are less fortunate. We are providing the remainder, including salaries and travel expenses for the teachers, books, and other expenses when the students cannot afford them. Of course this is the case for the majority of Los Guido students, who cannot afford much if any to offset material and exam costs.

The overall cost for the 3 education centers, beginning the end of this year and carrying forth until October of 2012 (exams are held in April and October) is $19,058.82. In addition, we now have 7 students signed up for educational grants, ranging from elementary school to college students, and we expect as many as 15 total by January of 2012. We begin the scholarship program the 1st of January to help with uniforms and supplies for the new school year, which kicks off the first week of February. To provide scholarships for all 15 students, it will cost approximately $750 per month or $8250 for an 11 month year, with our last scholarship payment to families falling at the beginning of November.

We absolutely need your help with this work. There is nothing more important than education if we really want to break the cycle of poverty. Do not believe for a second that a small donation does not help us in this work. Everything counts, and God will take your gift and multiply it. Believe it! We certainly do. Let us know if you want to partner with us. These folks are working hard to better their lives, they deserve it, and you and I are called by our Lord to help. I look forward to hearing from you…

Paz y bendiciones, Charlie

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A short greeting from Charlie.....

Hello folks,

First I want to thank all of our partners in 2011 who helped to make it a successful year for the project recipients. We certainly were able to get a lot done, and it looks like with so many returning and so many new partnerships being made, we’ll be able to accomplish even more in 2012. God is so good!

I also want to say a special thanks to the folks who helped us construct our own office and dormitory space for our U.S. full and part-time staff, and I hope you know that your work is helping us to work more effectively and efficiently. How nice it is to have an office, and not have 8 people working out of a closet! Thank you for your work and your continued faith in us as we work to meet needs here in Costa Rica all year long.

Paz y bendiciones, Charlie

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Strong Missions August Team Pictures

We have added pictures of each August team to the facebook site. Check it out! That's a lot more pictures! We are working hard on signing up 2012 teams.....sign up now! don't delay! We would love to have you back with us.

Thank-you to all our teams this year for your hard work and support. May God continue to bless you and your families. And may He continue to bless our work for the glory of His Kingdom.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Strong Missions July Team Pics

We have added pictures of each July team to the facebook site. Check it out! Not professional quality, except maybe Molly's pictures but we just wanted to share with you a little of that which we have. Come back soon!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Strong Missions June Team Pics

We have added pictures of each June team to the facebook site. Check it out! Not professional quality, except maybe Molly's pictures but we just wanted to share with you a little of that which we have.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A blast from the past....

Check out pictures of Whobodies (NC), Mile High Academy (CO), and Peace UMC (WI) on their trips this past April and May on the Strong Missions Facebook page. Ah, the good ol' days :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Strong Missions Brochure....

Hi everyone,

Please pass this brochure to your friends, family members, pastors, church members, well to..... help us get the word out about Strong Missions.

Please click on it to enlarge it and make it clearer and easier to read.

If Scott is coming to speak at your church, he will also be bringing you some copies.

We greatly appreciate your help. Hope to see you all very soon!

(outside page)

(inside page)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Testimony from 5 time team leader-Bruce Black

Strong Missions has been driven by the needs of Costa Ricans and their children. I have watched over the years as Charlie, his family, and staff have worked with God's blessings to meet these needs. It might be a house for a family, money for student to afford school, supporting a feeding program, building a building, church or playground, working with the handicapped and orphans, the list is always growing. Every year I am amazed by how Strong Missions programs touch the lives of those they serve. God has found an advocate and worker and he is Strong!

Our Group has returned to work with Strong missions many times and each time is a unique experience. Charlie and his staff practice awesome hospitality. They customize our trips by matching our resources and team abilities to the needs of those they serve. When it comes time to explore Costa Rica, you'd be hard pressed to find a better guide in Country, as they know and can take you to places you will never forget.

Bruce Black, Wesley UMC & WIU Wesley Foundation, Macomb, IL (5 time mission leader)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Farewell from Molly....

It is not what you give, but what you do with what you have been given. In June 2007, I was called to become a missionary. At first I was like why me……I am just a small, tiny woman, I don’t know another language, I don’t want to give everything up……but God doesn’t pick the equipped, he equips those he picks. So I trained and became an UMVIM (United Methodist Volunteer in Mission) through the General Board of Global Ministry (GBGM). I sold everything and went to Costa Rica to be a volunteer with Strong Missions for the summer of 2011.

I didn’t know what to expect, but I know I was called to serve. Little did I know how much this experience would transform my life. Many groups think they are “building” a home, but they are really building hope, dignity and restoring faith to people. Many will ask “but why God?”, but let’s change that to “but what can we do God?” Every week for 10 weeks, I met a different group or family……17 in total. I enjoyed learning your names, your story and why you were here serving and I hope you enjoyed mine. Y’all will forever be in my heart and prayers. I was touched by so many people (groups, staff, interns, etc..) and I will always treasure all of these great memories.

I would also like to share a prayer that was written by Archbishop Oscar Romero.

This is what we are about. We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities. We can’t do everything and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something and do it very well. It may be incomplete, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest. We may never see the end results but that is the difference between the master building and the worker. We are workers, not master buildings, ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not of our own. Amen.

Blessings and hugs,
Molly Cook

P.S. My next assignment is with Pharr Literacy Project in Pharr Texas until May 2012.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Oscar's house....almost done

A seed was planted on June 6th as the demolition of Oscar’s house began. This project was accomplished by 17 different groups/families and is expected to be finished at the end of August. Lives were transformed while building and we all know that Oscar’s family has been transformed…..a full circle effect which warms everyone’s hearts. As groups would leave, Oscar would pray over them and many cried as they heard him speak. Sometimes God has to break our hearts to see what is breaking his heart. The seed(s) couldn’t be planted without all of you doing what God called you to do while you were here. Strong Missions would like to thank each group/family for all of their hard work this past summer. Enjoy the pictures and video and we hope to see you again next year. Blessings.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

An awesome far!

Thank you so much to the following teams for coming and serving the people of Costa Rica this year. We look forward to working with each and every one of you in the future. It was a blessing to serve alongside of you. These teams account for 500 people so far this year!

Wesley UMC & WIU Wesley Foundation, Macomb, IL

Akron UMC, IN

Minnesota Annual Conference UMVIM

Edwards Family, Ohio

Mauston UMC, Wisconsin & Eliz. Rusnak (Rebecca's mom- 1st mission trip at the age of 60, and not the last. An extra thanks for letting her join your team)

Oakwood UMC, Pleasant Hill, Iowa

First UMC Carthage, IL

Kingsbridge Youth, St. Peter's Parish, Goderich, Ontario

Stonebridge UMC, Marietta, GA

Whobodies Sr. Class Mission Trip, Mt. Pisgah UMC, Greensboro, NC

Mile High Academy Senior Class, Denver, Colorado

Peace UMC, Brookfield, WI

Carver Family, Kentucky

West University UMC, Houston, TX

Morley Family, Christ's Church, FL

University UMC, San Antonio, TX

Plainfield UMC, IN

St. John's UMC, Kansas City, MO

Alamo Heights UMC, San Antonio, TX

First UMC of Elkins, WV

Varrell Family, MA

Chickasaw UMC, AL

King-Bendler Family, Fall River, WI

First UMC of Celina, TX

Fortville UMC, IN

Davidson UMC Sr. High Youth, NC

Heart of the Rockies Christian Church, Ft. Collins, CO

Valparaiso FUMC, IN

University UMC, San Antonio, TX

Baylake UMC & Oakgrove UMC, Virginia

Gillette First UMC, WY

Windsor Village UMC, Houston, TX

We are still accepting teams for the fall. Remember the fall discount of $100 off per team member. Please email us at if you are considering a fall team ASAP.