Costa Rica Year-End Bible School ￼
December 2021 arrived, along with the Costa Rican Year-End Bible School. In a very rare occurrence indeed, I was in Costa Rica for the second time within six months. This came out of several circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 Pandemic. It is truly a blessing that we were able to hold this Bible School in person, as well as provide a link for those who could not be here in person. Technology truly is a blessing in these circumstances.
The theme the Costa Ricans chose for their Bible School was How to Love Yourself to Love your Neighbor. The Costa Ricans invited two speakers, Bro. Rene Castillo from El Salvador and me. Bro. Rene gave classes on the topics: Forgiveness for Ourselves, Learning to Value and Accept Ourselves, and How to Love Yourself According to God. I developed the topics, Knowing How to Choose What Helps Us to Grow, andHow to Know to Be the Temple of God. There were also other classes, including a sisters’ class given by Sis. Silvia Ostorga from El Salvador, and a brothers’ class given by me on the subject, True Principles and Uncertain Details, which dealt with the theme first introduced in Bro. Robert Roberts’ article of the same name. The brothers considered the importance of staying true to the first principles, while being careful to differentiate these from opinions that brothers may have on various topics, and always looking toward edification of our brothers and sisters and avoiding divisions.
The classes for the very young were given by Sis. Marcela Castellanos from Honduras, and classes for the older children were given by Sis. Marisol de Armas from El Salvador. Bro. Juan Diego Vargas gave the exhortation for the Memorial Service. In the exhortation, speaking on the theme of the Bible School, loving ourselves to love our neighbor, he considered the fact we have that we have been called and chosen. This is a great blessing, and, therefore, we should accept the fact that we have been blessed with abilities which can be used in service to God and to our brethren. This not self-love, as taught by popular psychology, but rather an acceptance and wonder of the fact that God has seen something in us and called us to a wonderful hope. Instead of diminishing ourselves, we can look for ways we can serve our brethren, according to the abilities God has blessed us with.
A Bible School is not complete without good food and fellowship. The Costa Ricans provided both, including delicious meals despite the difficulties of staying within the COVID guidelines. There were also some great family activities and plenty of time to socialize. The organization was amazing. There was a family movie, The Lion King, which we enjoyed while munching on popcorn and other goodies in little bags. After the movie, Sis. Denisse Vanegas tied the themes in the movie with the theme of the Bible School. There were games to help promote the spirit of fellowship, as well as a musical presentation which was both entertaining and funny, and displayed the musical talents in the ecclesia.
All in all, the Bible School was a huge success, due to the hard work behind the scenes. It also provided spiritual nourishment to all in attendance, both in-person and virtually.
Written by Bro. David Collister, Link for Costa Rica