Costa Rica 2014 – Part 1

Flag_of_Costa_RicaTom Duley and John Gates arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica last night, a little tired from travel but none the worse for wear. We have settled into the Hotel Franco which is a bed and breakfast in the heart of San Jose. San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica with a population of 2 million. It is a busy and bustling place. Hotel Franco is an urban version of the Hostal at El Vergel we stay in when we go to Chile.

There are eight members on the team. All of us are from Alabama. We come from Birmingham, Huntsville and Demopolis. We all have extensive experience in Kairos prison ministry. We are here to work on a Kairos team with the Costa Rican Kairos community. The Kairos weekend begins on Thursday.

We will spend the day today touring two prisons. Rev. Carlos Cunningham is the leader of the Kairos community in Costa Rica. He is also chaplain to several prisons in Costa Rica and the pastor of a small church. Through his efforts the Costa Rican government has dedicated one prison as a faith-based prison. The first prison we will visit is this faith-based prison.

The second prison we will visit is San Sebastian prison in the heart of the city. This is the prison where the Kairos weekend will be held. There are eight cell blocks in the prison. Each cell block has an inmate pastor who has been trained by Rev. Cunningham. These pastors care for the men in their cell block in much the same way that all pastors do. They teach, counsel, visit, lead worship, preach, etc. As a part of our time there today we will worship and celebrate communion led by the inmate pastor in one of the prison’s cell blocks.

It promises to be an enlightening and inspiring day.

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