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

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Feliz Navidad 2015

To all of you, we at Strong Missions pray that you have a safe and enjoyable Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

We wish you all the peace of Christ's blessings as you gather to celebrate His birth and whether near or far we know we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas and God bless.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Giving Tuesday Starts at 12:01am CST TONIGHT!

The day has come! Tonight starting at 12:01am Central Time the General Board of Global Ministries through the United Methodist Church will begin matching donations dollar for dollar for the first $1 million in donations.

Because of folks like you, Strong Missions has been able to raise a around $20,000 on Giving Tuesday each of the past two years and we can't say thank you enough!

Large or small every gift from a generous heart has the ability to make double the impact on Giving Tuesday. To make sure and spread the love, GBGM has put in place individual matching limits of $2,500 per individual donation and $25,000 per project. We know that it is late, but because of the $1 million total matching limit only the early donations were matched the past two years.

So brew some extra coffee, or set your alarm for 11:50 central time and go to THIS LINK and submit your donation starting at 12:01 am Central Time.

If you have any questions feel free to email

In addition, once your donation has been submitted to GBGM, please email and let us know the amount of you sent in. We ask for this in an effort to track donations and make sure they get attributed correctly.

They are just simple words but your prayers and support continue to grow and we are eternally grateful for your generosity. So Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!

Wishing all God's blessings on your and your family as we enter the Advent Season.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

As folks gather to enjoy family, fellowship, and give thanks for all God's blessings, the Strong Missions family has so many reasons to be thankful.  God continues to bless us with your prayers and support and we know that we could not do any of our work without you.

As we sit around the table, bow our heads, give thanks, and pass the gravy we will also remember those across that world who may not know where their next meal is coming from or may feel isolated without the ability to gather with friends and family.

We are so thankful that God has blessed us with so much and we pray for love and blessings to your families on this day and for the future.

God bless and Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Internship Application

Across the country the temperatures are dropping and folks are settling in for the winter. But here at Strong Missions we are already thinking about June, July, and August of 2016. Teams continue to sign up and we are looking at having a great year as groups across the country come to share of themselves and serve here in Costa Rica.

During these times we always need some additional hands and we are happy to announce that Strong Missions is now accepting applications for our 2016 Summer Interns.

If you are at least one year out of high school, have a working knowledge of Spanish and available for the months of June, July, and August we would love the opportunity to serve alongside you!

For more information or if you are interested in applying, please contact Darryl Teske at

Applications will be due January 15th, 2016 and applicants will be notified no later than February 15th, 2016. We have limited positions, so make sure to get your applications in early.

Monday, November 16, 2015

How to Turn $1 into $2 (SPOILER: It isn't magic)

Two short weeks from tomorrow, United Methodists around the world will once again join together to Activate Love, Transform Lives and Change the World by taking part in Giving Tuesday.

Last year on UMC #GivingTuesday, United Methodists collectively raised $2.5 million online through The Advance. As always, when you give through The Advance, 100 percent of your gift directly supports the ministry you designate; overhead costs are covered through other channels.

This year on Dec. 1, United Methodists once again are invited to extend the spirit of giving thanks into the Advent season by participating in UMC #GivingTuesday. Starting on Dec. 1, 2015 at 12:00am CST every gift made online through The Advance to Strong Missions Loaves and Fishes on will be matched up to a maximum of $2,500 per individual gift and a maximum of $25,000 per project.  The Advance will be matching a total of $1 million worldwide. 

Last year through your prayerful and generous support, we raised over $17,000 which goes a long way in supporting all the programming that we offer. Many of you stayed up until the middle of the night to support us and we saw that faithfulness pay off as many of those early donations were doubled! Again this year we expect a lot of traffic and encourage you to donate as close to 12:00am CST as possible.  

As you prayerfully consider a donation, we also wanted to remind you exactly what you are supporting:

Strong Missions has served the people of Costa Rica since 2003 by providing resources and assistance to children and families in at-risk areas.  Now we are beginning the construction of our permanent home in the mountains outside the Central Valley and expanding the program into Nicaragua as well.

Strong Missions began feeding children in Los Guido, Costa Rica, in 2006, and since that time the program has grown into Loaves and Fishes, consisting of construction, feeding, education, and extracurricular activities designed to provide basic needs and raise self-esteem, build character, and enhance the level of academic work of program participants.  In addition, Loaves and Fishes financially supports local pastors serving churches that cannot afford to pay a full salary.

Costa Rica and Nicaragua are also facing the same challenges with drugs, poverty, and gangs as much of Central America. For this reason we continue to implement feeding, education, and extracurricular activities aimed at nurturing Central American youth. We are seeing great benefits, including rising grades and changes in behavior. Some participants even turn from gangs and drug use to participate in such programs. We are blessed to have had students finish university studies and good jobs just after and even been able to move out of the slums. We also have sports and arts students winning local and national events, and even have students being accepted onto national teams.  We suspect that we will see many more success stories in the lives of program recipients as the programs have more time to grow, and as we open additional programs throughout the two countries.

In addition to construction of churches, homes, parks, schools, etc., Strong Missions’ currently provides the following programs.

Feeding – We provide 1 nutritious meal 5 days per week for children in poverty.  We expect to feed 200 children per day in 2016., and 700 per day by the end of 2018.

Education – GED programs are available for teenagers and adults.  Tutoring programs are available for children to supplement public education.  And although public education is free in Costa Rica, there are many costs associated with attending school. These include transportation, uniforms, supplies, etc. Strong Missions therefore provides scholarships to students with little or no resources to help keep these kids in school, rather than follow a trend to drop out at an early age to assist with the household economy.

Sports and Performance/Fine Arts – Various sports and arts programs are in place and many more are being opened to teach children and adolescents self-confidence, discipline, concentration, and provide them positive role modeling through he instructors and parental boards for each program. These programs also help to involve parents in the lives of their children.

We truly cannot thank you enough for your prayers and support! As we enter into Thanksgiving, Strong Missions has so much to be thankful for, without YOU these programs and the lives they are changing would be drastically different. 

May God continue to bless you and your families!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Giving Tuesday - Double Your Impact!

It is that time of year again, Giving Tuesday is only a month away!

Last year through your generous support we raised almost $20,000 on Giving Tuesday.  This allowed us to continue and expand our feeding, education, and extra curricular activities throughout 2015.

This year, on December 1, United Methodists will join hands to support the work of Advance projects and missionaries to transform lives on UMC #GivingTuesday. Every gift made online through The Advance at on Dec. 1, 2015 will be matched up to $1 million.

To give directly to Strong Missions follow this link - Strong Missions Loaves and Fishes Advance

There is also a big change this year UMC #GivingTuesday will be on Dec. 1, 2015, between 12:00 am and 11:59 pm CENTRAL TIME. This is 1am Eastern Time and will be 11pm Monday night Mountain Time and 10pm Pacfiic Time. Matching will not start until then, but also the matched donations usually go very quickly so please plan accordingly. 

If you are unsure what time 12am central time is where you live, you can follow this link to find out here.

A couple of notes about the restrictions:
  • Global Ministries will allocate matching funds dollar for dollar up to the first $1 million in gifts to Advance projects received online on Dec. 1, 2015, between 12:00 am and 11:59 pm Central Time.
  • A maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds. A project may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.

As always, we want to thank you for your generous support. If you or your church are considering a donation to Strong Missions this year, Giving Tuesday is a great way to double your impact.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Friday, October 2, 2015

We Got the Land!

Hello all,

It is official we have been approved, the papers are signed, and Strong Missions finally has a place to build our permanent home.

Here is a note from Charlie:

Howdy folks.  Amen and hallelujah!  The land has come through so we’ll begin building our permanent home in just a few short weeks.  We’ve already begun clearing coffee plants for the entryway and the dining hall. 
We do need more teams to help us, however, especially this Fall/Winter/Spring, as there are just a few signed up for the first part of the year.  If you find a good deal on airfare (usually cheaper now during low season), we can usually set something up for you with just a few days notice.
Please join us in this endeavor.  We accept individuals, couples and groups, and we of course accept donations to pay for materials and local labor to work in your absence.  
It will cost us approximately 80K for the new building and the entryway, of which we already have 25K.  In addition we’d like to raise 20K more for a large school bus to bring more kids to our after school programming.  
Donation can be made to the 501(c)(3) Public Charity office in Texas, and are tax exempt.  Please contact us directly if you wish to donate and we will be happy to help!
Thanks so much in advance, and God bless you for your continued prayers and support.
Paz, Charlie

In addition, we want to make sure you see this video that was put together for us by Mark Shevy. The video - God Shows Up - can be used as an informational and promotional video to help you build teams. Thank you again to Mark for all the hard work.

God is good and we hope to see you all in 2016!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Last Week to Take Advantage of the Great Coffee Deal

Hello All,

Just a quick reminder that the great deal on Sircof Coffee expires one week from today! That is right, on October 1st the prices go back to normal and you will have missed this fantastic opportunity! 

As a reminder the deals are as follows:

If you order $50 or more and use coupon code "StrongBulk", we'll cut your price in HALF and give you FREE shipping (in the US) too.

Sadly, we can't offer 50% off on our subscriptions at this time. But we can give you FREE shipping anywhere in the US for any subscription $20 or more. Simply enter the coupon code "StrongDeals" at checkout.

Don't want to spend more than $50 or order a subscription? We totally understand and want to give you FREE shipping regardless. Enter "1StrongDeal" at checkout to let us pay for shipping.

Combine "StrongDeals" and "1StrongDeal" if you like!

To recap:
"StrongBulk" gives 50% off AND free shipping to anyone spending $50 or more BUT it doesn't apply to subscriptions.
"StrongDeals" gives you FREE shipping to anywhere in the US for your subscription of $20 or more.
"1StrongDeal" gives you FREE shipping on non-subscription items for any size order.

More information about Charitable Grounds click here

Take advantage of these deals while you can!

Friday, September 4, 2015

50% Off & FREE shipping on Sircof Coffee

Hello All!

Some concerns were expressed over the pricing of the Sircof Coffee the first time around. We at Strong Missions sat down with the Charitable Grounds folks to talk about opportunities we may have to address those concerns.

Here is a note from Chris about some special offers. These officers expire on October 1st, so we encourage you to take advantage now!

No more sign-up fees. No more added shipping costs. Just delicious coffee deals...

We heard you loud and clear: the prices are just too high! Well we don't want that to stop you from enjoying Marcos Oviedo's delicious coffee so we cooked up this deal:

If you order $50 or more and use coupon code "StrongBulk", we'll cut your price in HALF and give you FREE shipping (in the US) too.

Sadly, we can't offer 50% off on our subscriptions at this time. But we can give you FREE shipping anywhere in the US for any subscription $20 or more. Simply enter the coupon code "StrongDeals" at checkout.

Don't want to spend more than $50 or order a subscription? We totally understand and want to give you FREE shipping regardless. Enter "1StrongDeal" at checkout to let us pay for shipping.

Combine "StrongDeals" and "1StrongDeal" if you like!

To recap:
"StrongBulk" gives 50% off AND free shipping to anyone spending $50 or more BUT it doesn't apply to subscriptions.
"StrongDeals" gives you FREE shipping to anywhere in the US for your subscription of $20 or more.
"1StrongDeal" gives you FREE shipping on non-subscription items for any size order.

Again, I want you to be able to share and enjoy Sircof coffee BUT we also need to do so sustainably. We truly appreciate anyone who decides to purchase from us. Thank you for supporting a small business that wants to do well and do good. With your help and God's providence, it's definitely possible.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Registration now open for Nicaragua!

Hello Strong Missions Friends and Family!

Registration to work with us in Nicaragua is OPEN!

We are very excited to announce the opening of a brand new branch of Strong Missions in Nicaragua! Starting this January, 2016, we will be very happy to welcome teams and/or individuals to partner with us in our new work there. Nicaragua is going to be a great opportunity to do some familiar, Strong Missions style work, but in a very different atmosphere than most of our volunteers have ever experienced in Costa Rica.

To start with, we will primarily be working on some projects to help improve public health in a community called Ochomogo, in the southwest part of the country. Ochomogo falls on the dividing line between two government districts and is therefore often ignored and lacks infrastructure. We plan to drill and install a large well in the community to provide the people with free and convenient access to clean drinking water for the first time. We will also be working on some home improvements for local families, like installation of concrete floors so that those families don't have to live on muddy, dirt floors, as many of them now do.

If you are interested in joining us in our work In Nicaragua anytime in 2016, please contact us at to reserve your space on our calendar.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Dance Program Updates!

In the summer of 2013 a team from Holly Springs School of Dance served with Strong Missions and ran a dance clinic with local children. At the end of the week there was a recital where the kids showed friends and family the results of all the hard work they had put in during the week. To say the least, this dance clinic was a success and almost immediately parents and students started asking when we would host the next clinic.

Although Holly Springs didn’t know exactly when they were going to be back, they too had an amazing experience and wanted to find a way to continue reaching children through the art of dance. By the time Holly Springs had left for the US they had come up with a plan to fundraise in order to hire a full time teacher and start a dance class with kids here in the local school.

Fast forward to 2015 and not only does Strong Missions support a dance program with a great teacher, the kids have entered into a competition!

Early August 2015 at the school in Carrillos the Dance Teams that are supported by Strong Missions competed at the local level in the “Festival Estudiantil de las Artes” which means The Student Art Festival. This competition starts at the local level, and then moves on to the Canton, the Province, and finally the National Level.

Lots of great competitors turned out for the event and the kids had a great time. Check out the pictures HERE and some videos HERE

We are proud to announce that two of the teams have advanced from the local competition to the next level. These teams will be competing again on September 24 with groups from all over the Canton of Poas!

Obviously, this program isn’t just about winning competitions and as you can see from the pictures, the kids had a great time. Regardless of the result, we are proud to support such a great group of kids coming together and to share something positive to touch the lives of children.

Thank you again to the Holly Springs School of Dance and everyone who continues to support our programming. Without your blessings this program, as well as so many others, would not be possible.

God bless!