Dear Pastors and Leaders,
On behalf of the Canadian Foursquare Missions Committee we would like to make an announcement that after almost nine years on the mission field, John and Debbie Overholt will be coming back to Canada.
“As we transition back to Victoria in September I see us continuing with the mission that the Lord has called us to but doing so from a different format. Debbie and I feel that we have accomplished the assignment that we first started with in 2006 as Canadian Foursquare Missionaries to the nation of Costa Rica. As stated in our initial letter of agreement with the Foursquare Gospel Church of Canada, our assignment was to help plant healthy reproducing churches, partnering in the development of indigenous national leadership and facilitate the expansion of the Central American Foursquare Church family. When we moved to the Northwest part of Guanacaste there were no Foursquare churches in this region. Now we have eight indigenous leaders who are reaching out to nine communities where we have a foursquare presence (two in Martina Bustos, Pijije, Playas del Coco, Filadelfia, Bambu, Belen, La Guinea, Coralillo, and Bolson). Plus we have started a vibrant street church ministry in Playas del Coco that has been running for two years now. Working with the Costa Rica national board, we have set it up that these smaller rural churches come under the umbrella of a network called Multi-Campus church. Our church in Belen is the headquarters with Pastor Jorge Guzman as the lead pastor. As this gets established, we see that this can be a model for many others regions in Costa Rica.
Over the years we have received thirty eight mission teams from Canada (two more to come) and the US and also have made inroads into Nicaragua and established connections with our Foursquare family to the North. We have trained leaders who are more than capable of leading Short Term Mission Teams from local churches in Costa Rica to minister in Nicaragua.
We also have leaders trained up who are very capable to work with Short Term Mission teams from Canada that want to come and minister in the area.
With all of this established we feel comfortable that what has been started will be able to continue and multiply without our assistance, although we will miss the close relationships that have been established over the years.
Our hope is that we will be able to come back to minister but more as leaders of Short Term Mission teams. I would like to be able to focus on promoting Short Term Missions and being a resource person for those in the church who would like more information on how to get involved or to help in any way we can. I am developing new website that I hope will be a good resource for this www.missionteams.info
We wholeheartedly thank the Foursquare Church of Canada for supporting us and encouraging us over the years.
John and Debbie
We are extremely grateful to John & Debbie for faithfully serving as Canadian Foursquare National Missionaries for the past nine years. They have been such a huge blessing to our churches here in Canada, training and teaching many short term teams over the years (thirty-eight in all!!) about how short term teams can make a lasting long term impact. They have also been a wonderful blessing to the nation of Costa Rica, sharing their knowledge and expertise in church planting as well as deeply touching the hearts of so many people from those who they have just met to those pastors and friends who have truly become their family.
They were also recognized in Costa Rica last week for their years of service, commemorated by a beautiful plaque honoring the investment they have made and the impact it has had in the nation of Costa Rica.
Isaiah 52:7 "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!"
We celebrate this huge accomplishment with them and will have the wonderful privilege of welcoming them home soon! Please feel free to email them directly ([email protected]) to offer your congratulations.
Thank you to all the churches across Canada for your incredible support of John & Debbie over the years. By sending short term teams, financially supporting Foursquare Missions and lifting them up in your prayers, your partnership has been vital and has led to the tremendous fruit that we can see now!
Thank you for your support!
Canadian Foursquare Missions Coordinator.