Recently I was out visiting with a local Costa Rican pastor. We were getting him all set up for his upcoming team coming from the U.S. Everything was going fine until the pastor said one thing that really got me thinking. As we were preparing to leave he said, “we are here to serve you in anyway.” This defines our Costa Rican pastors! They are so humble and ready to serve us, but it still made me think. Have we been putting on the impression that we need the Costa Rican pastors to serve us and our teams?
It grieved me for a while because we, as Praying Pelican Missions, are not running around trying to find pastors to serve us and make our teams feel good. That’s the last thing that we want. Praying Pelican Missions seeks to come alongside of local pastors and churches and serve them. We want to see the pastor’s vision come to life by bringing in a short-term team to build momentum for the local church. This is sustainable ministry.
So what now? Our summer trips have ended and we are busy meeting with pastors to improve the amazing ministry that already exists within our trips. In the past 4 days we have met with 5 different pastors around Guanacaste. One pastor of a small church was telling us how she keeps praying for God to send a new pastor, but it keeps getting confirmed that she is the one. She said it’s hard work, but such a blessing!
Would you pray for us? Pray that we have creativity in how to encourage our pastors here in Costa Rica! I was blessed to see that in the simplest form of meeting and showing love through genuine concern, that we can encourage the hearts of these pastors that serve day in and day out. When I felt like I had nothing to give them, we ended the meetings with prayer. I know all about emotions and how they can be manufactured, but when you see 2 pastors wiping away tears after praying, you know that God is at work! Pray that our hearts show through clearly and that the pastors continue to serve and lead their congregations with integrity and new life!
Bringing this home: Have you thought about how you can serve your pastor? Pastors are people who have needs, worries, concerns and are in need of encouragement just like you and I! They are constantly giving and working around the clock. Don’t wait until Pastor Appreciation Day, appreciate your pastor today!