Over the last couple of years, I have been involved in an organization Pastor Steve McCarty and I started called “The House of Hope.” The House of Hope is a faith-based, non-profit 501c3 organization committed to building an orphanage in Costa Rica. God’s hand has clearly been on this project from the outset.
On a trip to Costa Rica a few years ago, Steve and I began talking about the possibility of beginning an orphanage. We had the vision, but no idea how to begin or where in Costa Rica to build. Steve knew the area well, his family having been missionaries in the country a few years ago. We arrived at the home of Pastor Geovanny Calderón, who Steve had met on an earlier trip. Pastor Calderón, known to us as “Papa G,” has been a pastor of his church, El Tabernáculo, in San Sebastián, for the past 33 years. At our lunch in their home, we first told Papa G and his family of our vision. After eating and talking for two hours, he took us to the second floor of his home. He had really given us no clue as to his thoughts of our idea. He asked us to look out his window across the road – Papa G said that we would build the orphanage on that location. He told us that he had prayed for years that someone would come and use that property for children. We were astounded!
Then Papa G told us of an orphanage called Roble Alto in another part of the country that would be a great place to visit, but that access was severely restricted. The next day we went to visit a missionary in a nearby town. Within an hour of our visit, we shared with this missionary our desire to begin an orphanage. At the school where he taught, the missionary introduced us to a school administrator who grew up at Roble Alto. She made a phone call, and one hour later, we were greeted by the director of Roble Alto and granted full access. What an experience to see a successful orphanage up and running!
Within a month of returning, Steve was visiting Oral Roberts University with his son. While there, he met a Spanish-speaking student ambassador. This young man had a roommate whose parents started an orphanage in Costa Rica. They exchanged information, and on a subsequent trip, our families were able to meet these parents in Costa Rica. They also allowed us to visit their orphanage and generously gave us their entire organizational and operational manual, required by Costa Rica for all orphanages, which took them a year to develop. Amazing!!
We then discovered that one of our greatest needs in country would be an attorney who could help us navigate the legal issues of beginning an orphanage. Last Spring, at an event at Samford University, I happened to be introduced to Scott Myers, the executive director of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Within minutes of meeting him, Scott told me that he had been a street missionary in Costa Rica several years before and that he felt God calling him to be involved in an organization for children in Costa Rica. Guess what … one of his best friends in the world is a highly respected attorney in San Juan!!! Another piece of the puzzle falls into place!
And now, our journey continues as we travel back to Costa Rica next week to visit Papa G and Mamma Cecilia, their son, Jonathan, and his wife, Saray. Jonathan, in addition to assisting his father, Papa G, with his pastoral ministry, is also a medical doctor. Jonathan lives on the property and is willing to manage the health care needs of the orphans we encounter – another answer to prayer! Do you see why we are overwhelmed by the sequence of events and God’s clear hand in all that has occurred?
We are in the process of buying the property “across the road” and have commitments from five partnering churches to pay for and construct the first house. Your help, prayers, and financial support are needed. We are raising $175,000 which will secure the land where we will build the first building.
Is God calling you to reach across national and cultural borders to help the orphans of Costa Rica? Is there a desire in your heart to connect with needy children in Latin America and show them the caring church God has called us to be? I am hoping that you join us in giving hope to those young children so desperately in need. Our organization is The House of Hope and all donations are deductible.
Also visit our website at www.kidsofcostarica.com.
I am acting as Treasurer of The House of Hope. If you feel led to give to such a worthy cause, I would greatly appreciate it if you would send your contribution directly to:
The House of Hope
Attention: Garrick L. Stotser
1780 Gadsden Highwayr
Birmingham, Alabama 35235
Garrick L. Stotser