Thursday, February 13
The reality of migration is increasingly harsh. Young adults between 18 and 30 continually leave their countries of origin in search of means for survival. This involves not only breaking up families, leaving study programs, and seeking employment that barely covers basic physical needs but also sending money home for family that remains behind. Youth from Nicaragua who come to Costa Rica often work in jobs on the banana and pineapple plantations or harvest pepper in the northeastern region of Costa Rica.
This kind of work is seasonal, which means the young adults are continually moving to other parts of the country to make a living. Costa Rica has labor laws, but immigrants are often unaware of them and are exposed to abuse. These situations—emigration and labor conditions—are a challenge for churches in the context of migrant communities. Geraldine Alvarez, a young Nicaraguan woman and student of theology at the Latin American Biblical University, has accompanied these immigrant young people in two communities in the Atlantic region every weekend for the last two years.
For Geraldine, these communities are a place where the mission of the church is made flesh: to be with the poor, to feed on the Word as a community, and to share the bread of the Eucharist. Gatherings are lengthy times of sharing, laughing, and talking about upcoming changes in their lives. The mission of the church is a field where seeds are sown and harvested, together, in the midst of the multicultural community of immigrants. Faith for these young adults is lived amid change, and the challenge is to discover God’s presence in the everyday life of the poor.
—Violeta Rocha, former rector, Latin American Biblical University
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) People in Mission
Costa Rican Evangelical Presbyterian Church: Rev. William“Stacey” Steck, associate for development and congregational growth • Latin American Biblical University (UBL): Elisabeth Cook, theological educator and curriculum developer, Rev. Dr. Karla Koll, professor
of history, mission, and religions
Costa Rican Evangelical Presbyterian Church: Ronald Herrera, president, Rev. Carlos Tamez, executive secretary • Latin American Biblical University: Dr. Edwin Mora, rector
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
God of the harvest, you are in the midst of our arduous work as young adult migrants. You manifest your tender care for us. We thank you for the privilege of being part of a church that welcomes us with our life stories, our pilgrimages, and even our mistakes. Amen.