I have always been fascinated with fire. No, I never burned down a house or anything too crazy. Being in Costa Rica allows me to burn things, like our garbage. We have two side yards that are not technically ours, but periodically someone takes a machete to them and lowers the weeds and trees so that snakes don’t come sneaking in. When this happens, we have a lot to burn. If we don’t burn it, the logs become home for those nasty skunks that we have talked about before.
Recently we had trees get cut down in our front yard. Our landlord wanted to sell one of the huge logs, but when it started collecting termites we were told to burn it. I don’t own a chainsaw, so my friend Kyle and I started creatively and strategically burning the huge log from the center of our lawn.
That turned into an endeavor over the last two weeks to burn up all of the tree stumps in the front yard that were collecting weeds. I also don’t own a weed-whacker, so those stumps collect a lot of weeds growing near them.
Yesterday I had seven stumps burning and it all started from one fire. I would take the coals from one fire and share it to the next dry log. Add a little bit of kindling and a fire starts. Today I started an eighth stump on fire just by sharing a coal.
In the midst of my pyromaniac ways, I saw God showing me what my job here in Costa Rica is. There are dry stumps all over Costa Rica. Dry stumps of churches, pastors, families, homes, and individuals. Essentially their fire is out but they are giving God one more chance to reignite their lives.
We get the opportunity to help facilitate and see these dry stumps become a roaring flame as short-term missionaries bring their hot coals and sow into a community for a week. By the end of the week, their coal has caused hot spots to burst up. Hot spots of God’s love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, hope, and acceptance.
That is what this summer has been all about, building a bridge between the cultures of the USA and Costa Rica in Christ’s name so that passionate fires of redemption can roar all over Costa Rica because of Jesus Christ!