In the jungles of Costa Rica

cabecar jungle


So I’ve been AWOL for a month here, in a flurry of activity that has kept me largely away from my computer and for sure away from doing things like blogging. One of the best of these activities, in a month packed with fun, (Thanksgiving, deer hunting, etc), was a week long trip to Costa Rica, where I found myself climbing mountains in the jungle on a remote Indian Reservation doing a feasibility study for development work for an inter-agency cooperation.

From 2012-2014 I did an MA in International Development at Eastern University in St. Davids, PA at Eastern’s  (Tony) Campolo School of Leadership and Development. As a pastor, I’ve always believed in putting your money where your mouth is, and a degree in development would, I hoped, help me comprehend better how to do good work in the under-developed world, instead of blundering through with good intentions.  It was great fun and very stimulating and put me with an incredible group of people I am blessed to call friends. One of the organizations looking at development work among the Native Americans in Costa Rica knew me and asked me to come along on an assessment trip as their ‘development specialist.’ An all-expenses-paid chance to hike around in the jungle and maybe even do some good? Easy choice.  My folks paid for our 17 year old son to come along as a student observer and that made it even better.

So it was pretty sweet, interviewing folks all over, taking a look at their water and sanitation issues, and education, health services and infrastructure needs. We spent three days in the jungle and the next three days hammering out reports and sitting in long, long meetings. All in all, it was dream work. The dream job. I’m grateful to belong to a denomination with a vision for transformation of not only peoples’ spiritual lives, but all of their existence, in culturally appropriate, missiologically and anthropologically sound ways.

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