Inside Look: PFK Costa Rica

The following was written by Cassandra Tartter, IGNITE alumni and current IGNITE and Potter’s Field Kids overseer in our Costa Rica location.

Whenever people hear the words “Costa Rica,” a few things will very quickly pop into their minds: luxuries waterfalls, beautiful sunsets on the beach, hammocks, and a freshly chilled coconut. While these things are fitting, once walking past those touristic walls, they all become quickly forgotten.

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Potter’s Field Kids Costa Rica is located in the small town of Villarreal, Guanacaste. Dirt roads, scorching sun, barbed wire, and children playing in the street would be a quick description of this place we call home. PFK Costa Rica is a smaller location, currently looking at about 50 to 60 children. Some may say this is a weakness, but how beautiful it is to be able to know each child by name; to know where they live, their parents, their struggles, and to be able walk with them as they grow.

In Costa Rica the children we minster to are our neighbors. They are the ones that you walk to the store with, the ones that block your door when you come home (to get the news about your day), the ones you go through droughts with, play soccer in the street with, and the ones you stay up till 12pm with because their parents are still not home.

Many of these kids live in broken families. They live in small metal/concrete squares for houses with dirt floors (which turn into mud floors during rainy season). We find that most of the kids are born to single moms not yet old enough to even get a drivers license or vote in the U.S. Whether their own fathers are part of their homes, or other men callers, these vulnerable, and often neglected kids learn, day in and day out, that drug addiction, crime, indiscriminate sex, and alcoholism are part of the “normal” way of life, and the expectation is that they will follow suit. Everyone lives a life with a “party” mindset, leaving the broken remains on the street.

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Through Potter’s Field Kids these children are able to hear about their Savior, Jesus Christ, who loves them so much, and that He died for them. Instead of spending all of their time on the street, they now have a place they can go where they feel safe and loved. One of the girls once said to me, “I don’t want to leave.” When I asked her why her response was, “Because this is our favorite place in the whole world. Because here we can feel love and safety and we all laugh and sing together.”

Potter’s Field Kids Bible Club is every Saturday from 10am to 1pm. We spend that time fellowshipping with the kids, dancing and singing for Jesus, doing dramas/puppets, Bible studies, crafts, lunch, and games. It is so amazing watching the kids talk and sing to Jesus with huge smiles on their faces, or to be walking home from church at night and be attacked by kids telling you the memory verse of the week. We also have English classes on Mondays for the kids and their parents, and we visit their homes regularly to check in and pray over their families.

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Parents have come to us sharing how their kids have changed. Other children have come to us asking why PFK attendees’ friends are different or why certain kids aren’t bullies anymore. We are even seeing our youth group, filled with PFK graduates, now coming and helping us every Saturday with our PFK ministry. Our Heavenly Father never ceases to amaze us with how faithful He is to work in each one of these precious hearts. He truly is an awesome God and we are so blessed to be able to watch His hand at work, through Potters Field Ministries.

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Next Stop: Kid’s Club!

The following is written by one of our 2.0 interns Ryan Fowler. Ryan served in Kenya for six months during his field time as a part of IGNITE Class 8, and currently serves with us in Guatemala.

“…Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Mark 10:14

As the kids load up and the buses begin to pull out of the gate, the reality of what God just did begins to set in. Every Wednesday we have a Kids Club here in Antigua, Guatemala where we provide lunch, games, Bible lessons, and a moms study. God has placed us on an amazing property with plenty of hands to pour into the kids that show up every week, but what about the hundreds of kids that can’t come because of no transportation?

The answer came after much prayer and trust that the Lord would provide and show the way moving forward. This past Wednesday two buses set out to pick up children and mothers from five schools surrounding the area. The smiles on each face as they stepped off the bus was just the beginning of a blessed day. Over 220 kids were not only fed, but also heard the truth of Jesus Christ. The women’s study had over 30 moms that sat through a Bible study and were invited to church here at Calvary Chapel Antigua. The tent, that usually has plenty of room to sing and dance, was filled with hundreds of smiling faces and the once empty soccer field was full of running children.

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PFK Bible Study

The difference between this week and the previous weeks was just a couple of buses, and through Gods provision we were able to reach more kids and their families. What happened on our property on Wednesday can only be described as the grace of God and the power of prayer. This only marks the beginning of the work that has began, and it has not come by anything that we have done but rather what God has done.

In Matthew 18:14 Jesus says in the parable of the lost sheep, “So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.” God is not concerned about numbers, but He desires that no one perishes, that is why He sent His one and only Son.

What God is doing here in Antigua, Guatemala is way bigger than any of us, so continue to pray for the kids here and the people that are pouring into each one. To God be the glory.

‘Til The Whole World Hears

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