“Happy, Happy,” is how North Costa Rica (Central America) District Superintendent, Rev. Johnny Calvo, described the day.
Rev. Calvo spoke to over 150 people packed into the new sanctuary at Quebrada Grande, and another 50 plus crowded around the exterior doors and window. Calvo told the gathering that his English vocabulary was limited but he certainly knew “happy” and he knew it applied to this church and growing community.
Sunday, July 30, 2017, was the culmination of 5 years of praying and working, capped by a 1-year partnership between the Southern Florida (USA) District, the Quebrada Grande Church and the Costa Rica North District.
“It is always amazing to see how God beautifully directs and weaves our plans to expand His church,” said Dennis Moore, former Nazarene Missions International (NMI) District President for Southern Florida. “For over 10 years our family has been looking for just the right church to be a fitting memorial to my parents who served the Church of the Nazarene for over 34 years. The Quebrada Grande church was a perfect fit.”
Moore and his family had contributed nearly $15,000 to Southern Florida to memorialize his parents, Rev. C. R. and Lucille Moore, in a global mission area. C.R. and Lucille Moore’s entire ministry was served in Southern Florida, 32 of those 34 years as founding pastor of the Lake Worth First Church of the Nazarene.
What the Moore family didn’t know prior to this trip, was that the Quebrada Church was a church plant formed from the nearby Central Nazarene church in Liberia, Costa Rica, where Rev. Alvaro Arroyo is senior pastor. Rev. Francisco Madrigal, a new minister and building contractor, was commissioned to begin the new church, with the help of a few others from Central Church. Pastor Madrigal dreamed big and wanted to see a well-built, modern functional church facility that would serve his community well. The mother church and daughter church congregations focused their prayers on Pastor Madrigal’s big dream.
Dennis Moore “retired” at the 2016 District NMI Convention after 30 years of district NMI leadership. District Work & Witness Coordinator, Rev. Roy Shuck, wanted to help fulfill the Moore family’s desire for their parent’s memorial. After research and prayer with Costa Rica volunteer missionary, Bruce Wilson, God guided the Southern Florida District to supplement the initial Moore Memorial Fund and to commit to the Quebrada Grande project.
“It was the easiest money we ever raised at a mission convention,” said Shuck. The churches and individuals of Southern Florida contributed $27,000 to provide the Quebrada Grande church nearly $40,000 to build their dream facility. The funds were not only enough to build the 150-seat sanctuary, but the church is now constructing a needed educational unit.
Under the leadership of the new District NMI president, Diana Rambarran, the Southern Florida mission council approved two Work & Witness teams to assist the Quebrada Grande church. The teams painted, built a pulpit, completed electrical work, began construction of the educational unit and conducted “Bible Adventures” in the nearby public school. The two teams, with 56 total members, scheduled their travel dates to overlap so they could be fully present in Quebrada Grande as one team on dedication Sunday. Eleven members of the Moore family also participated in the effort, including 4 young grandchildren.
During the Sunday service, Rev. Shuck unveiled a bronze plaque dedicating the church as a memorial to Rev. and Mrs. Moore as well as a tribute to Dennis and Wendy Moore for his 30 years service as the Southern Florida District NMI President.
“We have been overwhelmed by the tremendous generosity of our Southern Florida family and the amazingly beautiful people and church in Quebrada Grande,” said Moore. “God’s presence for this entire effort has been astonishing.”