Rev. Dr. Karla Ann Koll
Serving in San Jose, Costa Rica
Latin American Biblical University
Presbyterian Church (USA) Mission Co-worker
Greetings from Costa Rica. I am easing my way back into life here in San Jose. My dog and cat are happy to have me here again. I am thankful to the friends, students and volunteers from the Latin American Biblical University (UBL), who took care of them during my absence. I have come back in the middle of the rainy season, but thus far I have managed not to get caught in the rain. My husband, Javier, is currently in Nicaragua, but I am expecting him here soon.
I am very grateful for all of the churches in the United States who invited me to share God’s Word and the work of Presbyterian World Mission. Thank you again to all of the folks who welcomed me into their homes during my travels. I am especially grateful to my father, who made many of my visits possible by allowing me put more than four thousand miles on his car. My father and his wife took good care of me while I used their home in Colorado Springs as my base of operations. To be able to do the crossword puzzle in the morning newspaper with my father was a wonderful gift.
In each church I visited, people were interested in hearing how the UBL is preparing leaders to work for the transformation of churches and communities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. I hope and pray this interest will result in more support for Presbyterian World Mission and the UBL. I was especially encouraged by the invitations I received from churches that had not previously invited me to speak. I am thankful for the congregations that have decided to join the circle of churches that support me through their prayers and gifts.
As you may have heard, Presbyterian World Mission is facing a serious budget shortfall. The good news is that designated gifts from congregations and individuals for mission co-worker support are increasing. However, this increase has not been great enough to offset the decline in other funding sources. Without increased giving to Presbyterian World Mission, more of our mission co-workers will have their mission service ended and our ability to colaborate in mission with our partner institutions around the world will be seriously diminished. Thank you to those of you who have already given to my support this year. If you have not yet sent a gift, please consider doing so.
I am sorry that I was not able to visit all of the churches that wanted to invite me this year. There simply was not enough time to visit every place. I will be back in the United States in the middle of next year for three to four months. Already I am receiving requests to visit churches during that time, so please contact me if you are interested in a visit. I know that the summer months are more difficult for visits because churches generally have fewer activities, but I will try to visit as many churches as possible.
I have already returned to work at the Latin American Biblical University (UBL). This month the members of the faculty are receiving training on the use of the on-line platform Moodle in anticipation of putting our programs on-line soon. I am looking forward to gaining new skills that will allow me to interact better with students who are far away from our campus. We are gearing up for the next semester which begins on August 31.
I promise more news about the UBL soon. The link below will take you to a summary of my work over the past year that has been posted on the webpage of Presbyterian World Mission. In the meantime, I ask your prayers for Violeta Rocha, one of our New Testament professors. Her mother is recovering from surgery in Nicaragua and her sister is hospitalized here in San Jose. Thank you for your prayers for me, my family and my colleagues.