El Tigre is a community of more than 900 low-income homes in one of the counties with the lowest human development level in Costa Rica. Like many low-income developments worldwide, El Tigre is plagued by unemployment, poverty, addiction, crime and teen pregnancies. When squatters from Esterillos went to live there, they took Pura Vida Church with them.
For three years, Pastor Dennis from Pura Vida Church Esterillos faithfully went to lead Bible studies there. The small group grew and prayed for a local leader. God spoke and sent Pastor Roberto and his wife, Leonor, to Pura Vida Church El Tigre. For the last three years, this pastoral family has served the community of El Tigre, and we have seen amazing transformation in the lives of many families. The church grows deep and wide while reaching into the community though UNO+, an after-school program and a weekend kids club with more than 100 children in attendance.
The church in El Tigre had to move last year out of the small house it had been renting for services, and, with no other buildings to rent in the area, church members came to a crossroads — give up or decentralize. They believed God was not done with El Tigre.
Using the Community Church planting model, Pura Vida Church El Tigre multiplied into three small house churches. In the last year, we have seen exponential growth as those three house churches have grown to seven. Pastors Dennis and Roberto have been training and empowering the leaders of these groups to start more groups in neighboring towns, and we already have seen two more house churches start in the nearby towns of Sitradique and Playon Sur. God is at work, and we are moving to reach Latin Americans for Christ.
Kyle Leon and her husband, Dennis, focus on developing ministries that restore hope to individuals, families and communities through church planting in Costa Rica. Visit fmchr.ch/dkleonfm to contribute to the Leons and fmchr.ch/smdcr to contribute to the annual $25,000 support budget of the Shoreline Mission District, which includes Pura Vida and is less than 35 percent committed.