I could not be more excited.
To see the POP strategy in action is humbling.
Below is a picture of the pastor and staff at El Camino church in San Jose, CR.
One of POP’s Board Members, Timothy Mark, also graciously joined us on our trip.
These are some unbelievable leaders with huge hearts.

The first thing we did when we arrived in CR was to sit down with the leaders of the church and go over the purpose for being there.  We (POP) were there to serve the church, not vice versa.  We wanted to collaborate a long term orphan care strategy.  So, we met for a couple of hours and answered some great questions.  Then, we prayed and set the schedule for the week.  Below is the first place we visited.  It is called Albergues Glorioso Dia at Renacer.  We witnessed a great Christmas program by a local church youth group and then the orphan/at-risk kids performed a drama.  It was raining so we crammed all the locals into the building below to enjoy an incredible program.  There must have been 40 people crammed into that small room, but it worked.
After the program was over, we stayed to meet with the Director, Stanford Reid.  He was meeting with the biological mothers who were getting ready to take some of their kids back for the Christmas break.  He was training them to know how to handle different situations should they occur.  Many of the kids had mothers and no father.  Some had neither father or mother.  Stanford is a former architect who was moved to care for the kids in this community.  So, he has struggled to care for the kids without much government assistance.  He is extremely smart and we learned a lot about the overall system.  It was obvious to POP and El Camino that they could use support from the local church and just some good encouragement.  Thank God for people like Stanford, his family and his two kids who care enough to put their dreams on hold and take care of those who would otherwise be on the streets, in jail, or dead somewhere.
As you will see in the upcoming posts, as we (POP) and El Camino leaders visit 6 different orphan works, it becomes obvious who the Lord has prepared for a partnership.  It was amazing to see how God was using POP to help bring together the church and orphan organizations to better care for the children over the long term. It really is working and it really is making a HUGE difference.  Stay tuned for some more moving photos and stories of our week in Costa Rica.  Please pray for El Camino church and Stanford Reid as they put together an agenda to care for these kids.  And, let our churches in the states be challenged by the work happening in Costa Rica.  They want to lead the way in Latin America, not just Costa Rica.  Inspiring.

Merry Christmas,

Steve Gillis
Founder/Exec. Dir, POP