THE WARNS - Costa Rica

"This past month has brought about some drastic changes in our relationship with this ministry that is going to affect what we will be able to do in the prisons, with the inmate families, and with Carpio.

The Youth Group is an international group of about 50 English speaking young people from ages 13- 18. The group was started by our mission sponser, Latin America Mission, 20+ years ago to minister to the teenagers of missionaries (including all missions) and children of English speaking foreigners who are here on business. Traditionally there have always been Costa Rican kids that participate, but since the meetings are in English they are bilingual and go to the same schools.

We were asked to fill in for a year until the leaders got back from their furlough in the States. They came back last month and we fully expected to turn the group back over to them and get on with our prison ministry.

That didn't happen. In fact we just recently learned that they are not going to work with the youth group at all.

So...we are the leaders until someone else with that specific calling comes forth. Actually, we were planning all alone to continue helping out in the area of discipleship and outreach but we never dreamed that we would have to carry the full responsibility.

One positive result with this is that it is giving us time to strength our relationship with our own children who are in this group.

At the present our vision for the group is outlined in a book called 'Purpose Driven Youth Ministry'. We are training about 10 leaders and have them working with ministry teams in the area of discipleship, evangelism, fellowship and worship. The kids do most of the leading and planning and we facilitate.

Needless to say, Steve and I are stretched to the limit of our energy level - no wonder youth directors are usually young! Our big struggle is how to balance this with the needs that present themselves daily with inmate families (phone calls with crisis situations) and work in the prisons. (We've cut back to just one afternoon a week in prison discipling leaders)."

They can be contacted at: warnink@sol.racsa.co.cr