Paul & Jeanne Johnson are establishing their ministry in Costa Rica training people for Church planting and evangelism. They are working hard to learn the language and culture.
A vision for meeting Puerto Viejo’s
- Develop Home fellowship
- Develop Interdenominational Youth Group
- Build Music Cafe and Skate Park
We pray for you often and thank you for your prayers and support. Please pray for Costa Rica.
About 18 months ago we were meeting with a local expert on residency in Costa Rica. He told us that the easiest way to become residents was to have a child born in Costa Rica. We laughed and told him we had already waited nine years for a child so he better continue to give us other options. What we didn’t know then was that Jeanne was already pregnant with Azán! God has both blessed us with an amazing son who reminds us of His goodness every day, and also confirmed that He wants us in Costa Rica.
Last Tuesday we met with immigration and learned that we are now permanent residents of Costa Rica!!!! We would like to express special thanks for those of you who gave towards this specific need. With permanent residency we will be able to apply for work permits and thus eventually become more self supported. We also can stay in Costa Rica for as long as we want without leaving. This will save us much money and hassle in our future ministry.
During the next few months Jeanne and I will be praying for direction as we continue to live and work with the local residents of Puerto Viejo. We are supportive of Alternative Mission’s vision for Puerto Viejo and pray that the skate park and music café will be a great success. Finally, most of all, we pray that those we meet will encounter God’s love and choose to believe in Jesus Christ.
We are grateful for your continued support in prayer, encouraging letters and financial giving. Currently our financial support will continue to be processed by Alternative Missions. Money you send will reach us through the normal channels. However, we are speaking with other churches and missions agencies to act as our administrative and pastoral support. Once we know who is called to partner with us in this way, we will notify you.
Thoughts on learning to Surf
Two years ago Jeanne and I were preparing to move to Costa Rica. We had been to Costa Rica and even Puerto Viejo, but nearly six years earlier. Our recollection of where we would soon be serving had faded. In many ways it was like going to a place we had never been. During our preparation time in Phoenix, I (Paul), discovered Fuel T.V., a cable show devoted to board sports. I started learning to surf even then as I watched professional surfers take off on huge (sometimes the size of a two-story house) waves.
I had the confidence that comes from watching something but none of the experience. The pros make it look so easy. I soon realized, on my first day of trying to surf, that it was going to take a lot more practice and patience to learn. I had no idea what waves to surf or what to do once a wave came. I went head over tea kettle several times. I scraped my shin on my surfboard. I got sunburned and felt pretty much like I should focus on some other sport.
I stuck with it though, and little by little, with the help of some experienced surfers, I can finally start to see which waves are good and which ones are not. I heard a surf competition coach teaching some of the really good surfers here that it is not always how well you surf that wins the competition, it is catching the right waves that separates the amateurs from the pros.
What am I trying to say? Becoming an overseas missionary has been harder than we thought it would be. We have made various mistakes and gone head over tea kettle several times in the past two years. We have had various scrapes and bruises along the way. At times we have wondered if we should be thinking of a different vocation. It is always those times that we take stock in what God has done through us. We have learned that most of the big hits have happened through personal relationships. We have een getting better at knowing which waves to catch and which ones to let pass by.
Surfing has taught me that sometimes God moves us along as waves move a surfer.
Jeanne and I have ridden the wave that brought us to Alternative Missions and to Puerto Viejo. We have helped start a vision that God will carry out. However, along with Alternative Missions leadership, we have come to the realization that this is the right time for us to step back from the current team and seek God’s direction for our next phase as missionaries.
We believe the Lord has confirmed our call to come to Costa Rica and we want to be available to whatever He has planned. We are sure it is better than we can ask or imagine.
Paul & Jeanne Johnson
710 Leonard St.
Madison, WI 53711
Home: 011 (506) 750-0595
Cell: 011 (506) 836-8930