The Lord is using people across our City, Nation and World to bring more and more to Himself, to baptize, mobilize and to plant churches until there is #NoPlaceLeft.
The last week of September I (Troy) had the opportunity to help lead a First Touch Swarm Training (Gospel Conversation Training) in partnership with Christian Surfers International in Costa Rica. We were joined by Oggie Martin (Port St Lucie, FL), Braden Olsen (Boca Raton), Kylie Price (Boca Raton, FL), Robbie O’Brien (Ormond Beach), Andy Navarette (Atlanta) & Cole Malphrus (South FL). Christian Surfers International has a vision to lead individuals in the tribe of lost surfers to the Lord- bringing their love of surfing and love of Jesus together to reach their community. Their strategy includes Costa Rica, Mexico, Brazil, and the Canary Islands. Our team was excited for the partnership, along with Pastor Robbie from Salty Church in Ormond Beach, FL to help lead this training.
Pre-Training Day in the Harvest: Dennis Leon is the local pastor serving in Esterillos Oeste, Costa Rica as part of Pura Vida Church. He has held a title of National Surf Champ and now wants to multiply and expand the Gospel on and beyond the beach. Isaiah and I arrived on Thursday evening. On Friday morning we were able to meet with Pastor Leon to see his vision beyond the beach and into the cities–one of the key communities they are reaching is made up of l900+ low income houses. That morning Oggie (our Spanish speaking trainer) led an entire household to faith. We met Ovie, the local thief, well known in the area – Oggie shared the gospel using 3 Circles and Ovie accepted Jesus as his Savior, immediately shared with his wife, and they were baptized by the local pastor and Oggie right then and there. Ovie, with the Holy Spirit, has a new commitment to reach his neighborhood with the gospel. We pray that the community will see power of the Gospel, their local thief has been made new through Jesus Christ. Shortly after, Andy (our team member from Atlanta) was able to share the Gospel to a nearby fisherman, he said he knew the Lord of the Bible but had never been baptized – Ovie (new disciple) baptized him there where he was fishing.
Pre-Training Swarm Practice: After a fruitful afternoon in the harvest, we met in the evening for swarm team training practice. We use this time to review the training schedule, assign training roles, model each module and have every person practice their part. This gets the swarm team on the same page, allows for an additional touch with leaders and makes sure the training is sharp and will reproduce with consistency.
Our first touch training began on Saturday, we had two different locations for training, one for English speakers, and one for Spanish speakers. 15 people joined the English Training and 45 in the Spanish Training. It was an amazing time of equipping & vision casting. The Spanish-speaking team went into the harvest and saw 6 more come to Christ and 4 were immediately baptized!
Here are some highlights and lessons learned from our time in Costa Rica:
- Value of Spanish speaking leaders in a Spanish speaking country.
- Often, translation can become tiring and distracting for attendees – we found it extremely helpful to have two different trainings (English & Spanish). To prepare for this, we had Spanish-speaking trainers swarm with us in South Florida and Atlanta.
- We learned that an English Training was also needed. For example, the English training drew in a few leaders in Costa Rica, committed to making disciples we didn’t know were there. This training was beneficial and created a new vision for their community. We met 2 American pastors on the beach who were in Costa Rica to surf. They are taking what they learned back to their community in FL.
- Importance of going into the Harvest day before training with LOCAL Pastors
- We have learned to ask the Pastors if it would be beneficial for foreigners to come along into the harvest – we don’t want to distract from the Gospel message.
- Value of Swarm Training
- This allows us to include more people and raise up more trainers and teams of trainers who are competent and confident.
- Partnering with other Networks
- Christian Surfers Internation opened up doors by obeying Jesus. We were humbled to partner with them to reach the Surfers in Costa Rica.
- Power of Children in the training and leading training
- Pastor Leon stopped into the English training to hear Isaiah lead training. He ran back to the Spanish training to tell them there is no excuse – if a 9 year old can make disciples, train and mobilize, then so can adults.
Our team was made up of people from Costa Rica, multiple cities in Florida, South Carolina, and Atlanta. Here’s what we are doing now:
- Cole, has trained his family in South Carolina and will join us on our second touch training in Mexico (with Christian Surfers International).
- Braden and Kylie (FAU, Boca Raton) are planning a swarm training in Boca Raton as part of their campus ministry.
- Isaiah, shared the gospel with his friend from school at lunch the day after we got home, he is continuing to reach his classmates with gospel.
- Oggie, has a vision to reach the latin american community locally and across the nation. He is raising support to become a full time missionary.
- Pastor Robbie of Salty Church, has gone back to his church with his team to reach his community.
Please keep praying for fruit, trainers, and for Christian Surfers International as we have our second training in Puerto Escondido, Mexico at the end of January.
Below are some pictures by Kylie Price: