Costa Rica

This morning I had breakfast with DJ Lovelace and Troy Benham. For months Troy has been trying to get me to visit with DJ, who has a dream of starting a mission effort in Costa Rica. So, finally, today was the day.

It is an amazing “God-thing” that Troy “happens” to know DJ.

DJ grew up as a missionary in Africa but returned to the states when his parents retired. After getting a degree in education he decided to teach abroad. He applied at like 200 different international sites and told himself he would move to the first place that responded. Costa Rica was that place.

While teaching elementary school there, he fell in love with the people. . . but one person especially stole his heart. . . so he married her. He and his new Costa Rican bride returned to Corpus Christi so DJ could earn his Masters and Doctorate degrees; but they have always wanted to return to Costa Rica and do mission work.

But how?

That’s where Troy–a fleet mechanic and a fairly new Christian–comes in.

A couple of years ago, DJ met Troy. Together, with Glenn Kelley and others, they began meeting for a weekly Bible study and mission outreach. That’s where Troy learned of DJ’s passion to return to Costa Rica and build an orphanage, drill water wells, serve the local people, and start a seminary for indigenous (local) pastors. He sees an openness to Christ but recognizes that without strong indigenous leadership protestant Christianity will not flourish.

But how could his vision become a reality? As it turns out, Troy also “happens” to know a local attorney. Years ago this attorney had received some property in a business transaction. He had never done anything with this former coffee plantation other than just let it sit vacant. After all, what is a Corpus Christi attorney going to do with land in (you guessed it) Costa Rica?

Not knowing any of the details, but just wanting two of his friends who both loved the Lord to get to know each other, Troy introduced this attorney to DJ. The attorney almost instantly caught the vision and passion of DJ and has now offered to GIVE DJ all the land he needs to start his mission efforts.

DJ has already made a trip to Costa Rica and is now in the early stages of working through the Costa Rican legal channels to obtain the rights to the property (Good thing he knows an attorney!).

DJ is still 9 to 12 months away from moving permanently back to Costa Rica. He will need state-side help that includes financial support; but more importantly, DJ is looking for churches that share his vision and will personally actively help build a ministry to this Central American country. He is praying for people to travel with him, groups to come down and help build foundations, erect walls, dig wells, evangelize local people, prepare local pastors, and more.

DJ did not come to Christ Point asking for help. Troy Benham got us together.

Troy just “happened” to know an attorney with some land, a missionary with a dream, and a pastor who is looking for ways to help his congregation be more mission minded.

Go figure!

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3 responses to “Costa Rica

  1. DJ was a cute little boy. His daddy was a brand new Christian the same time as us. Craig and Doug and a couple other men did a new believer testimony thing for the church in ’84. I think Craig is the only one still alive now.

    We lost Doug Loveless just a couple years ago. Couldn’t make it to the funeral. He was a surfer (dude) who was nuts about Christ, but couldn’t quite fit in a pew. That’s how come DJ was raised in Africa.

    It’s also why we were willing to move Refugio, Las Vegas and Atlanta when we got orders. Scared silly that if we didn’t, God would send us where he sent Doug and Gloria.

    My kids adored Doug. Craig adored Gloria’s smile. Give DJ our love. Is he still cute?

  2. We’ve been reminiscing about DJ’s daddy. Pretty sure his was the first baptism we ever witnessed. Right there in your church. Many years before you came.

    What are the chances of that chance meeting, Pastor?

  3. Okay, one more thing. In your office — I’m pretty sure it was across from your desk on the wall next to your door — our preacher had an amazing framed photo. I’m sure he still has it.

    It was Doug and DJ Loveless standing at the top of a cliff overlooking a magnificent waterfall. Gigantic landscape, tiny figures. Breathtaking and unforgettable.

    I think it was near their home in Zambia.

    All done now : )

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