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November 15, 2022
by Mark Kuzdas

Tin Shacks—Barbed Wire—Raw Sewage—Mud Floors

We were excited 20 years ago to finish language school in Costa Rica and finally go full-time into the challenging and forsaken places of violence and hopelessness. Surely, these places would be fertile ground for sowing the seeds of evangelism. But it was hard.

We learned many things in those first months. The gangs would do whatever was necessary to protect their territory and power. Violence was a way of life. We were warned while in language school that these areas were to be avoided. However, God also opened our eyes to the needs that resulted from the poverty, lack of education, drugs, abuse, and violence.

It was not about sharing the gospel with as many people as possible. No, it was going to be about meeting the many needs and building relationships and trust. It meant not giving up and trusting God for long-term fruit.

God has shown us many ways to show God’s love, earn trust, and, more importantly, earn the right to be heard. The children’s feeding center, where hundreds of kids come every day for a hot lunch, is just one example. When we talk about God’s love for us, the message is accompanied by actions of love. The results of sin? They are living it. Many hearts are made ready to hear and respond to the gospel.

If the gospel had been the end game, Jesus would have departed from this world content that His disciples were “saved.” But no, it was the starting point. It is a glorious and amazing starting point but not the end. It was time to go and lead others to Jesus and teach them what it means to love and follow him. “Go, and make disciples.”

Here is what the Lord has taught us. Through a loving relationship, share the gospel. Don’t leave them when they respond. Instead, continue to love them as never before by teaching them what it means to love and follow Jesus and train and challenge them to do the same. The light of the gospel penetrates the darkness through disciples making disciples.

Mark and Meg Kuzdas are the founders and directors of Christian Light Foundation Costa Rica. Their primary focus for the past 20 years has been sharing the gospel and discipleship. Their ministry involves providing for children in poverty, seminars, youth activities, counseling, and church planting.