Shadowbrook Baptist sends mission group to troubled Costa Rica town

SUWANEE - The mission for a group from Shadowbrook Baptist Church this week will be to provide hope to a troubled city in Central America.

Pastor Bobby Linkous will lead a group of eight people from Shadowbrook to Carpio, Costa Rica, a town of more than 100,000 located near Costa Rica's capital, San Jose. The Shadowbrook group will do construction work, and help build a day care center that would serve hundreds of children. Linkous said the church last month contributed $4,800 to purchase supplies and materials for the project.

The group will add bathrooms and permanent walls to the facility, and a second floor, Linkous said.

"Hope is the one word we'll be saying a lot during the week," Linkous said before the group departed on Friday. "We're not leaving bricks and mortar. They need (hope) like a thirsty man needs water."

The connection with Carpio came from a member of Shadowbrook's praise team, Sara Edwards, whose parents are missionaries who worked in Costa Rica and identified the need six months ago, she said.

Edwards said Carpio is a refugee camp of Nicaraguans that is isolated from the rest of Costa Rica. Carpio lacks indoor plumbing, police, a census and high schools.

"The children just sit around all day," Edwards said.

While this trip is a week long, Linkous said he hopes the church can develop a relationship that's a repetitive ministry where Shadowbrook could send a group annually.

"That's the limitation when you have a one-week relationship with somebody, you're there and you're gone," Linkous said. "That can be very self-serving. That's not our purpose whatsoever."

Linkous said a pressing issue in Carpio is "if you're born in Carpio, you're going to die in Carpio," and Shadowbrook hopes to continue the hope and optimism that every kid has early in life, but seems to fade when kids there become teenagers.

"These children have no idea that people love them and care for them, and we want to show them the love of God," Edwards said.

Linkous said Shadowbrook tries to plan at least one international mission trip a year. Last year, the church sent a group to Moldova, a country between Romania and Ukraine in eastern Euruope.