img_8096In the fall of 1995, I was attending school in San José, Costa Rica when I was asked to minister at an orphanage.  It was a small home with ten children under five years of age sharing two bedrooms and bathrooms.  The house was dark and the roof full of holes.  Despite poor living conditions, the children were lovely and the two women parenting them cared for them deeply.  Daily, I left there knowing that God was working in my heart yet not fully understanding his call.

Ten years passed.  Ray and I visited missionary friends who had partnered with a local church to begin a day care center and orphanage.  We left there with positive confirmation of our own call to begin a Methodist children’s home.  We met with the Bishop and he felt it was the right time in the life and ministry of the Methodist Church of Costa Rica.  PANI, the government welfare agency, embraced our proposal.  It was clear God was creating a means of changing lives by providing the children of Costa Rica with loving arms to hold them, food to fill them and a warm and safe place to call home.

I believe that you and I, as the greater family of Christ, can provide children in Costa Rica with a loving, Christian home where they can grow in their faith as a member of a Christian community.

Lidia Zirkel, Missionary to Costa Rica

Ray and Lidia Zirkel at dedication of first home, Casa Esperanza (March 2011)