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Costa Rica Mission Trip First Hand Experience

I don’t believe that distance or difficulty should ever be what prevents us from going

on a mission trip. Christ commanded us to make disciples, and there are no

“exception clauses” in my Bible about the countries that are far away and hard to

reach. At the same time, I have to admit, the trip to Costa Rica sure was an easy one.

The flight from Atlanta to San Jose, Costa Rica took a little over three hours, so we

landed in-country just after noon. Our Servant Life Partner, Joe Pent. Jr of La

Montaña Christian Camp met us at the airport, and we traveled about an hour and a

half to the La Montaña encampment. Spending time with Joe is a treat in itself

because Joe is a visionary and a man with great passion. He was born in Costa Rica,

then spent a lot of time in the U.S. growing up, going to college, and serving as a

youth pastor before returning to Costa Rica to start La Montaña. He has been back

in Costa Rica for 20+ years now, and his love for his country is evident.

More than 15,000 Costa Rican teenagers come through La Montaña each year, which

is an incredible testimony to the quality of their ministry. Joe and his staff have

made the camp a place that teenagers want to be. There are incredible recreation

opportunities: “the blob,” a giant water slide, a bike ramp that launches into a lake

(how cool is that?), options to play volleyball, basketball, foosball, ping pong, inline

skating, and perhaps the most exciting option of them all—a mud run adventure

course! But the beauty of La Montaña is not found in these activities. The focal

point of the camp is the good news of Jesus Christ. Students participate in Bible

studies and devotions, and each night there is a worship service for the whole camp,

led by dynamic speakers and worship leaders.

I fear that Costa Rica is often overlooked by Christians because it is known for its

nice beaches, fishing opportunities, and tourism. It is often labeled as a “Christian”

country. However, only about 15% of the country is evangelical Christian. The

majority have inherited Christianity or Catholicism as a cultural tradition, which

means they have no problem talking about God, but cannot clearly articulate what it

means to have a personal relationship with Christ and to trust in him alone for

salvation. These teenagers want to be at La Montaña because it is a fun camp, but it

is also a place where they will clearly hear the gospel message and have an

opportunity to surrender their lives to Christ.

Joe estimates that as many as 50,000 teenagers have trusted in Christ through the

ministry of La Montaña over the years. When asked, he said that he has no plans to

retire from this ministry. “Maybe I’ll retire when every teenager in Costa Rica has

responded to the gospel. Wait, no, never mind,” he corrected himself. “Then I will

move on to the rest of the world who hasn’t heard.”

Don’t you see why we love Joe’s attitude and the ministry of his team? La Montaña

would be a fantastic place for any group to serve. Your team could serve as the

support staff for one of these camps, spending time with recreation, in the kitchens,

helping with the mud run course, and ultimately building relationships that point to

the greatest relationship of knowing Jesus Christ our Lord.

Our team at Servant Life would love to help you plan a mission trip to serve in Costa

Rica. Reach out to our office today or visit!

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