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

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Monday, December 1, 2014

REMINDER: Giving Tuesday Starts Tonight!

The day has come! Tonight starting at 12:01 Easten Time the General Board of Global Ministries will be matching up to $1 Million in donations with a max of $2,500 per individual donation and up to $25,000 per project in matching funds!

Last year the matching funds were gone very quickly, so if you would like to increase the chances your donation will be doubled, make sure to get your donation in early!

As a reminder our Advance is called “Strong Missions Loaves and Fishes” and the Advance number is 3021552.


1) Remember that the Matching Funds starts at 12:01am eastern TONIGHT or:
  • 11:01pm Central Time
  • 10:01pm Mountain Time
  • 9:01pm Pacific

3) Click the Red “Give Now” box in the upper right hand corner

4) Enter your donation and payment information and click Submit

5) Please email to let Darryl know that you have submitted a donation. This allows us to keep track of all of the donations and ensure that they are credited to our account.

We can't thank you enough for everything. God's Blessings to you all as we enter the Advent Season!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

From Our Family to Yours, Happy Thanksgiving

God is good, all the time. It is that time of year again! The time when families together at take time to give thanks for all the blessings they have received over the past year.

Here at Strong Missions, we are no different. God has continued to bless our ministry and we were blessed to host just about 650 people this year. Marking the highest amount of people we have had in one season.

Through that generosity we have seen the completion of several projects and have been able to continue our ministries in feeding and education. Learn more at

With that in mind, we also wanted to quickly remind you about Giving Tuesday that is less than a week away.  That’s right, this coming Tuesday December 2 the General Board of Global Ministries will again be taking part in the day of giving.

This year GBGM will be matching donations up to 1 Million in donations with a max of $2,500 per individual donation and up to $25,000 per project! For more information click the banner below. To donate to Strong Missions, please use the Strong Missions Advance #3021552. 

Again, THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING, we literally could not do this work without your spiritual and financial support.

From our family to yours we wish you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 14, 2014


Over the last two months Strong Missions put out a call for your help and we have received an AMAZING response. God has truly provided and we now have enough money to continue the Strong Missions feeding and education programs until well into the first of the year.

You also responded in droves helping to fund the land purchase. We are poised to purchase a property before the end of the year and we are excited to work with future mission teams creating the permanent Strong Missions center.

Thank you to all that have already sent financial support, every donation has been gratefully received and has dutifully been put to use to serve our God.

You may remember that last year, the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries joined in an annual global tradition call the “Day of Giving.” In the US we are accustomed to after Thanksgiving traditions such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday and the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is now known as “Giving Tuesday.”

The intention being, after we give thanks for what we have, after we start our Christmas shopping both in stores and online, we would take Tuesday to stop, be thankful, and give back!

Last year over 6.5 Million Dollars were given to 880 projects around the world. Strong Missions received almost $20,000 on that day alone.

This year GBGM will be matching up to 1 Million in donations with a max of $2,500 per individual donation and up to $25,000 per project in matching funds! For more information click the banner on the right hand side. 

We at Strong Missions would, again, like to thank you for all your support over the years. If we were to receive the same amount of support as we did last year, we would easily be able to fund our feeding, education, tutoring, after school, scholarship, fine arts, and pastoral support programs until the end February and if those donations were matched, we would be extremely blessed to continue for several additional months. 

For more information about our programs click here!

Please prayerfully consider a donation this year on December 2, 2014 starting at Midnight Eastern Time.

Last year the matching funds were gone very quickly, so if you would like to increase the chances your donation will be doubled, make sure to get your donation in early.

We cannot thank you enough for answering the call for support and allowing us to be the hands and feet of Christ here in Costa Rica!

Blessings to you all, and thank you in advance for your support!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Farewell From Rebecca

One, two, three, and three, and, two and three, and okay, and JUMP!

Well, it has been 2 weeks. 2 weeks since I no longer work for Strong Missions. 2 weeks that I have been trying to think of how to write my “goodbye”. 2 weeks of decompressing and I still can’t believe that after 4 years of full-time work, I now am “jobless”. The mission was my life. Serving the groups was my life. Serving the community was my life. The relationships I built with the staff, community members and locals is my life. I can’t even begin to summarize what the mission has meant to me- how it has made me grow as a person and grow closer to God. I’m speechless and for those who know me... crying, tears of sadness and tears of great joy, so very emotional.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


If you missed our end of the year updates click here Construction and Loaves and Fishes.

But as you know, just because the groups have ended for the year, doesn’t mean Strong Missions is done serving. Our busiest time for the feeding programs is during December, January, and February, when the children are not in school. This means we are heading directly into the most expensive time of the year for Loaves and Fishes and we need your help!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Brief Loaves and Fishes update

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to give a quick Loaves and Fishes update here at the end of the busy season.

Feeding Programs:

Friday, August 22, 2014

Farewell from Taylor Hemphill

My name is Taylor Hemphill and I was an intern at Strong Missions this summer. 

I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to work with such great people in a beautiful country for close to three months. I loved getting to know our staff as well as each of groups that came down this summer. 

From Florida to California it was exciting to get to know people from all over the country... in another country! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

End of Summer Update

What an amazing summer we have had at Strong Missions! Thanks be to God and to our numerous volunteers, we have been able to make huge strides on the projects here in Carrillos as well as working in our new community of San Isidro where we will be moving in a few months. This year we have had 638 volunteers from 38 groups. We had a record breaking week of 96 folks working while 26 others were out traveling. Glory to God!

There are still some finishing touches to do, but the 3 W's (Wilbur, Wilmer, and Warner) work year round and are working hard to complete the work that is left!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Goodbye from Lanier McClain

Unfortunately the summer has come to an end and I have returned to North Carolina where I am completing my senior year at UNCG. I could not have dreamed of a better way to spend my summer than working as an intern for Strong Missions. I was blessed with the opportunity to meet some wonderful groups and individuals, as well as witness the impact they made in the communities we had the pleasure of serving this summer. I had the privilege of watching the spiritual journeys of so many youth and adults grow and prosper, letting God work through them. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Urgent Plea for Donations

This is an appeal for donations for our feeding and education programs. We are eternally grateful for all the gifts and prayers, but must let you know that we are running short on money for this month to continue giving a meal to children in need and money to pay our professors in our education program, which by the way has grown so much that the 7th grade group is crammed into the same room like sardines. These programs run year round, however many times we are running only on faith, and lacking funds. Please prayerfully consider giving, so that these efforts can continue. We can't do everything, but we can do something and together we can do great things. 

Thank you for your prayers and support. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Summer Interns - Katie

My name is Katie Wig and from late May through the end of June, I was blessed to serve as an intern with the Strong Missions team. Now, as I look back on my month in Carrillos, I am certain that it was the most incredible experience of my life. Growing up in a big family in a small town, my life was enjoyable, safe, and comfortable. While a part of me longed for adventure and to try something new, I had always subscribed to the belief that I wasn’t brave enough or strong enough for a real adventure, especially a long-term one. Then I found Strong Missions.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Summer Interns - Lanier

My name is Lanier McClain. I am from Greensboro, NC and am blessed to be serving with Strong Missions another year as an intern. I am super ecstatic to meet all the hard working groups coming our way and kick off the summer here in Costa Rica! It has always been a pleasure to work alongside such amazing individuals and groups that serve with us, as well as serving the people of this beautiful place. I cannot thank God enough for providing me with such a rewarding opportunity yet again. God Bless and hope to be seeing you real soon!

Lanier McClain

Friday, May 16, 2014

Hunger has a face, and a beautiful smile!

This is reposted with permission from Katy, the Youth Director at Sunbury UMC in Ohio, who visited with a team in April this year.

This evening I have been working on the video for the Costa Rica mission trip, and as such have been thinking about the children we met at La Carpio.

There was one moment on this trip that really broke my heart. We were at La Carpio and I was serving juice. Each kid received one glass of juice, and after we finished pouring the last glass, a little boy came up and asked for more. I asked the woman if I could give him more, and she said no because there was not enough for everyone to have more. All he wanted was more juice. Something we all take for granted. Another kid wanted more food. And the same answer. There was only enough for one bowl per kid. This was probably the only meal these kids would have all day. 70-80 children who get one bowl of food a day.

The Wednesday after we got back from Costa Rica, I was at Be 5:6 (SUMC's 5th and 6th grade ministry). There was plenty of food and drink for everyone to have as much as they wanted. And I found myself thinking back to that moment of the little boy asking for more and being told no.

Hunger is a very real problem in the world. In poor areas like La Carpio, and right in our back yards. When we took all that food to Big Walnut Friends Who Share from the Upwards food drive, they told us it would last 2-3 weeks. It can be easy to forget when we have plenty to eat every day. When we can afford to spend money on junk food just because we want it. Every time the teens did the 30-hour famine I always tried to bring the point home that even though we were not eating for 30 hours, we still knew when our next meal was coming, and that there would be plenty. That is not true from those dealing with real hunger.

The problem is that for most of us this hunger doesn't have a face. When it's boiled down to numbers, it doesn't seem as important to do something about it. The personal connection is what makes it really click in us. My time in La Carpio reminded me that hunger does have a face. It's the face of the little boy asking for more. It's a little boy asking for water and it's a simple request that you can't fill. When you experience these moments, you realize how much it matters. Because it really, really matters.

And it's not just about filling their bellies. Because while these children are the faces of hunger, they are so much more. If you look at these pictures, especially the one below (which is my favorite), you see true joy. They melt my heart. Even with the challenges that life has dealt with them, these kids are still just that - kids. They know how to smile and laugh and dance and love. And it was truly my honor and joy to help serve them and to dance and draw and play with them for just one day. These children will be forever in my heart. They changed my life, and I will be forever grateful.

P.S. If you ever have the chance to experience anything like this, do it! It is worth whatever time and money it costs you. You will never be the same.

View the original post here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Loaves and Fishes Update From Our New Program Assistant

Hello Strong Missions Community!

My little friend and his kitten!
My name is Brooke and I joined the Strong Missions Team in January this year. I am originally from Kansas, but San Diego, California is my most recent home and I am a member of First United Methodist Church of San Diego. I was called by God to service 2 years ago, and as of June 2013, I was able to realize God’s will for my life by becoming a full-time missioner. I have been serving with the Individual Volunteer Program of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries and spent last year placed with Agua Viva Serves in Los Chiles, Costa Rica near the Nicaragua border. When that placement ended, I was looking for another place to serve here with the amazing people of Costa Rica, and Strong Missions invited me to join the team. I look forward to working with all of the incredible volunteers that help make our work possible!
The Loaves and Fishes program is growing and it is time to have someone devoted to full-time administration so Rebecca will be transitioning into that role and I am transitioning into her Program Assistant role working with the teams. We are still feeding year-round, 5 days a week, at the La Carpio Evangelical Methodist Church and the Los Guido Evangelical Methodist Church. La Carpio has recently expanded their ministry to include a neighboring community on the edge of the river called Cuervo Sapo (Toad’s Cave) which Pastor James says has even more need then the area immediately around the church. That has brought their numbers up and they are now serving around 70 kids daily. Los Guido is serving about 50 children daily and we are working to expand there as well with the help of Pastor Humberto. Our goal, God-willing, is by 2018 to be feeding 100 children twice daily in both of these locations.
Pastor James & Pastora Kristina with the children of
La Carpio as they begin to arrive and line up for lunch!
During the Christmas (summer) break here in Carrillos, we were feeding approximately 50 children 5 days a week at the Evangelical Methodist Church and approximately 70 children 5 days a week at the Pentecostal Church. This year, with the help of our amazing volunteers who will number over 600 people coming in over 40 teams, we expect to be able to complete the facilities at the Carrillos Evangelical Methodist and Pentecostal churches which will allow us to expand these programs to feed year-round. Our goal by 2018 is to increase to feeding 100 children once daily year-round at both of these churches in Carrillos.
Team from Oakwood UMC in Iowa working on leveling the ground
in front of the Carrillos Pentecostal Church
and digging a trench for the foundation of a front gate for security
There is also an Evangelical Methodist church in Tuetal, which is about halfway between Carrillos and Alajuela, that is working to finish a new kitchen facility thanks to the help of some other organizations and volunteers. They have approached Strong Missions for help utilizing their kitchen to begin a feeding program and we hope to be able to add them as an additional location soon!

Glory to God for allowing us to help these churches realize their missions reaching out to their communities!
This week begins our first push of the season as Spring Break hits the states. We are indeed blessed over these 3 weeks to host 99 volunteers from 6 different groups and families. We are going to be working at the Pentecostal Church, at an elementary school in San Isidro, the home of one of our cooks, Ana, as well as other projects. over the next few weeks to take advantage of the dry season with outdoor projects. 

Thanks in advance to all who will be serving with us in-country throughout the year, supporting us financially, and also those who will be praying for us from near and far. Every one of you is in mission with us and we could not do this without you!

I look forward to working with all of you!
Peace and Blessings,

Please LIKE us on Facebook for other updates and photos!

Monday, March 10, 2014

As March commences, Strong Missions is already in full swing. With the help of teams in January and February from Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Indiana (all very happy to leave the polar vortex behind!) we have installed the ceiling in the Iglesia Metodista here in Carrillos, leveled the tomato patch and planted a fresh crop, added a covering in the Carrillos Park for some much needed shade, begun leveling the ground in front of the Iglesia Pentecostal in Carrillos for a new parking area, painted a classroom and built lockers at the Carrillos school, packaged up school supplies for children in La Carpio and Los Guido, sewn new aprons for the cooks, and most importantly... shined Christ's light on the communities in which we serve! Can't wait to see what all God has in store this year!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Due Feb. 1st!!!!

Hey everyone!
Don´t forget that intern applications are due Feb. 1st!