Cookies for COVID in Costa Rica
Often times we think of courage as having no fear, but as Christ followers the better description of courage can be defined as having action in the midst of fear. During COVID-19, fear is everywhere and we are no different.
You know that feeling of stepping out and trying something new? The feeling of awkwardness and unworthiness? We will be honest and say we have those thoughts all the time, even out in the mission field of the world where we are currently living, learning, and serving in Costa Rica. We suffer from over-thinking that leads to inaction. But our main question is always, “What can we do to have love in action and service for a lost, broken, hurting world?”
In reality, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. So many leaders and disciple-makers from GFC take part in Cookies for Kairos, which is an event where our church makes cookies and prays for the inmates that will receive them as part of a faith-based weekend in an East Tennessee prison. We personally have benefited from their work and ministry. Sure enough, through praying and asking for a way to bring the Hope of the Gospel to many downtrodden Costa Ricans, the Holy Spirit revealed Cookies for COVID.
It started as a family adventure to share with our neighbors, to let them know that Christ is here in this neighborhood and available to all of them. We want to have new and continuing relationships with our neighbors where we can have opportunities to share in life and pray in these difficult times together. How else can we share, without first earning the right with our neighbors by truly listening and caring?
Much like Cookies for Kairos, Cookies for COVID starts with preparing the cookies. Then writing love notes and copying Scripture. Praying over the recipients. Then ultimately, the delivery brings joy and encouragement to all! Each cookie contains a hand-written note and Scripture verse. Each cookie represents the love of Christ available for free for each of our neighbors.
After delivering cookies two times as a family, the Lord brought in another five people who saw an opportunity to serve and teach their children the meaning of love and service to our neighbors. With the added people, our coverage area grew and more people heard the Gospel.
Then miraculously something amazing happened. God brought out His children to explode the opportunity. The big “C” church! It was a multi-national church of God following in the teaching of Jesus, coming out to serve the most vulnerable and love on our neighbors. People from Chile, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, Costa Rica, and the United States set out on a newly formed mission of service and hope. This time, instead of going door to door, we were given a location to set up shop at the busiest corner in our barrio (area of town). A not-yet follower of Christ offered us his storefront to set up shop and deliver cookies and the Gospel to all who passed by.
The consolidated effort proved worthwhile and close to 1,000 individuals received a personalized love message and personal sharing of how Christ overcame the world and that our hope lies in His resurrection. An army of volunteers shared in different languages whatever the LORD placed on their hearts. Children, adults, and seniors. God’s glorious church on earth!
During the pandemic, it is not hard to see broken and hurting people all around us. However, it is hard to have courage. Those we see are truly our neighbors. With the Holy Spirit’s power guiding and leading the church of Jesus Christ, we can be courageous. We can be available. We can serve our neighbors and love in a way impossible without Christ.
Cookies for COVID is a crazy and simple idea turned powerful when God’s children were available to be used! How is He calling you to be courageous?
Jeff, Michelle, and Simon Peter Champlin