Southbound on humanitarian mission

Group heading to Costa Rica on home improvement mission

A Costa Rican family with two young disabled girls will find themselves with housing that befits their needs, thanks to the efforts of local residents who are heading to the Central American country on a mission.

Members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church congregations in Cranbrook and Creston are going to Costa Rica at the end of this month to work on a home just outside the town of Jaco.

Tammy Molina, whose husband Josue Molina is Pastor of the Cranbrook and Creston churches, said the idea of a Costa Rica mission has been percolating since they moved to Cranbrook a couple of years ago. Josue Molina lived in Costa Rica for several years, so returning there on a mission made sense.

Some 29 people are going, from Cranbrook and Creston and a few from Victoria, Molina said.

“We were looking for a single parent, or needy family, that we could help out,” she said. “We contacted the mayor’s office of Jaco (on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica), who told us about a family who lived outside of town. The family had put in a request for funds to redo their home because they have two disabled daughters — ages six and seven. But those funds weren’t available from the town.” So the group is able to help.

Once in Costa Rica, the Canadians will be building an accessible addition on to the family home, with en suite washroom facilities. They will also be working on a new roof and repairing the sidewalk around the home. If funding allows, Molina said, they work on new glass for windows, some kitchen improvements, and a few beautification measures.

The group will also be hosting a basketball camp for the community, run by one of the mission members who played on Canada’s Olympic Basketball team — Gerald Kazanowski.

The group is leaving January 31 and returning February 10.

“We are working with local contacts who are getting supplies ready for our arrival,” Molina said. “It’s been quite a lot of work for us. We’re not going through a travel agency, we’ve been setting things up on our own.

“But the group is excited, and looking forward to going and blessing people’s lives,” she said.

The group is also looking for further sponsors, or donations who help support the mission. Anyone wishing to contribute to the project, contact Pastor Molina at 250-464-5848.