On January 19th, I set out on my first trip to the beautiful country of Costa Rica. My teaching colleague and friend, Rol Erickson, moved there from the United States in order to establish a home in Costa Rica. Rol is an Adjunct Faculty member at Luther Rice College and Seminary and teaches classes online in the Leadership Masters Degree program. Rol is a strong advocate for the “followerfirst” approach and invited me to join him in teaching these biblically based leadership processes to ministers in Costa Rica. Thus, he partnered with an already established ministry in Costa Rica and invited ministers from around the country to join us for the teaching. Rol and his wife, Alexis, graciously hosted me and made me feel right at home.
The Pastor’s Leadership Conference was held at a local church even though the church was undergoing construction expansion. While I was able to stay at a nearby hotel, the participants were happy to stay at the church and sleep on mats laid upon the concrete floors in the church building. There was a small kitchen in the church that allowed the church members to serve some really good food and some very good rice and beans, not to mention the excellent coffee.
The spirit of the participants was so joyous and their eagerness to learn was contagious. I wish you could have been in my position as I taught, looking out on the men and women sitting in plastic chairs, fanning themselves in the heat while periodically stopping to take a note. I am so very grateful for the excellent translators we had for the event. I could tell they were communicating clearly the ideas I was trying to convey.
Many of these pastors and leadership were bi-vocational, so it was a real blessing to have Les Paul teaching as well. Les is a businessman from Colorado and loves the Lord and loves to share Jesus with others. His practical approach of how to be a believer on the job dove-tailed perfectly with the material that Rol and I shared. I’m looking forward to returning next year and continuing the teaching and training.
Dr Rusty Ricketson