quick update from central america

I’ll be coming home in a few hours after a full and rich week in Costa Rica. Last weekend I was in San Jose speaking with the good people of Casona and Comunidad Pas and had the chance to catch up with my old friends Anthony and Ruth Chamberlain. It was also a great pleasure to work with another good friend, Junior Zapata, one of the funniest people and best speakers on the planet.
This week I’ve been with the good people of La Red del Camino in Fraijanes and Poasito, at the base of the Poas Volcano. This was the epicenter of the recent earthquake. It was sobering to see so many homes and farms damaged or destroyed … and it was beautiful to see and hear the response of our host church here, Comunidad Cristiana Shalom, of which Roy Soto is pastor. They opened their facilities to become a shelter and feeding center. It’s going to be a long process of rebuilding.
One theme especially caught my attention as I talked (in my serviceable but highly flawed Spanish) with many local residents. Several people mentioned to me “las vacas” – the cows. This is a farming community, and cows are important to them. In the aftermath of the earthquake, fences came down and farmers were in crisis, so the cows didn’t get milked. This of course causes them pain and often leads to infections. Several people mentioned to me the haunting sound of cows in pain … through the night and day … until they were milked and given appropriate antibiotics. Several people also mentioned how in the aftermath of the quake, all the birds seemed to disappear for a few days. The people here prayed for the cows and they prayed for the birds to return (which they have now begun to do). Something about this struck me as … good, and meaningful, and very human in the best sense of the word.
Next week I’ll be in North Carolina, then at the National Prayer Breakfast, and then off to San Diego. Check my schedule for details if you want to come to the various events.
Also – if you’re interested in being a virtual part of the NPB, you can do so for the first time online … check here …

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