January 2023 Prayer Letter
Dear Beloved Brethren and Co-Laborers,
As always, we cannot over state this, we thank and we will keep on thanking our Eternal God, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for sending us on this glorious mission. It is truly a joy as we do His will even in difficult times.We pray that His Holy Spirit will keep on guiding us in the right path of righteousness, to be obedient and faithful until the end, no matter what. We understand that we are living in difficult times and we do immensely thank you for your support, prayers and we praise the Lord for your faithfulness.
1. Our health in order to continue and work in His vineyard. I am still having the procedure of hydrotherapy made of my stomach every Wednesday until February 1, 2023. Also for my wife, she is still coughing ever since we got back to Costa Rica from the States and losing a lot of weight. We went to a private clinic to get a second opinion and all the test are being made. We are waiting for the results.
2. Place for the ministry – Praise the Lord after relentlessly looking for a place for the ministry after three years, with pandemic or not, we have finally found a place to rent. We believe that God sent us there because there are no fundamental, independent Baptist Churches in the whole area, we will be the first one. It will be for a one year contract then renewable at the discretion of the owner. We are looking at formally starting in March or April because we have a lot preparation to do. We are signing the contract by faith by paying $2,000.00 ($1,000.00 for a deposit and $1,000.00 for the first month rent); above that we are going to need another $2,500.00 to $3,000.00 to purchase 50 chairs, 3 tables, electronic, etc., and get a simple pulpit built because it will be more economical. We are trusting in the Lord for His provision. We pray that God’s people will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit by helping and supporting us in order to prepare for the coming services. Enclosed you will find pictures with a Pdf format of the space below. Besides these expenses, we have to pay per month about $100.00 for Internet/TV, $75.00 per month for Electricity then another $10.00 per month for water. So we are looking at about $1,185.00 dollars per month for everything.
Once we start, we will be sending updated pictures of our progress. Also, we cannot put up a sign yet until the Church is registered as an Association with the City; and for us to do that, we have to have ten members which includes me as the pastor/president, a vice-president, my wife as the secretary, a treasurer and six more members in order to form the Association.
Continue praying with us as we are still looking at properties where we can have a church building of our own, this is truly our deepest desire according to the Lord’s will. Continue praying for Pastor Roberto, a national pastor who is helping us finding that place and we are also helping him in his church in the mountains of San Jose, Escazú in the meantime. The Lord has the perfect place according to His will.
Another option that we are looking at is to purchase land, it may be the best way because the Municipality has updated their codes regarding existing properties for churches, we have to have adequate parking and that is very difficult in the city. We saw a property about 30 minutes from where we live in Ciudad Colon – Mora of about 3,000 m2 (square meters) which was approved by the City for a church property according to my research. According to my calculation and preliminary site design, we will have enough space for a sanctuary that will hold about 100 people, lobby with adequate bathrooms, classrooms for all ages, multipurpose room with kitchen, storage rooms and adequate parking and also an area for the Baptist College and Theological Seminary; that will be the first that I am aware of in Costa Rica. There are many Bible Institutes. Brethren, this is our vision according to the Lord’s will.
In regard to that property, the owner is asking about $400,000.00 which is about $133.00 dollars per square meter which is about right because all properties now go for about $90.00 to $150.00 per square meter; and it is more, much more in the city ($150.00 and up per square meter) and on top of that we have to demolish buildings and build which makes it more expensive. See below for pictures of the property and a short video. In the long run, it will be much better for us to build versus renting because the rent will keep going up; it will be like throwing money down the drain.
If the Lord lays on your heart to be part of that vision, all money shall be deposited in the Building Fund/Property with Macedonia World Baptist Mission (MWBM).
Another thing worth noting, in that particular area, there no fundamental, independent Baptist churches. Lord willing we will be the first one.
Help us pray for at least 70 churches or more and individuals to help us accomplish this vision, it will be truly a blessing to make this vision a reality and for God’s glory. I will be doing all the preliminary designs (civil, architectural, structural), then a local architect and engineer will be doing the construction documents; by me doing all the preliminary designs it will save a lot of money.
3. Pandemic – Apparently there is a new wave of COVID – 19 sweeping the country. We are back to restrictions; for us it is on Mondays, we can’t go out, due to our license plate.
Praise the Lord, our support has gone up to 83%. We are praying and trusting in the Lord that it will go up this year; with God everything is possible. By faith we are going to start. We have been patiently waiting on Him and it is hard to do sometime knowing without a doubt that our will is synchronized with His will.
Safety with Travels
Safety as we are back in Costa Rica. Protection on the road as we traveled to churches, especially in the mountains.
Schedule of Meetings
We had a meeting in Liberia, Guanacaste at the first Baptist church of Liberia on January 29, 2023, that is the pastor that wrote for us the invitation to come to Costa Rica as a Missionaries; it is about 4 ½ hours away from where we live. It was a blessing!
Softness of Attitude
To stay close to God and focus on Him and the mission that is set before us, not on our circumstances because it very easy to get discourage at times and Satan, as always, wants to put his nose in God’s business.
- Praise the Lord for His continued protection and provision as we serve Him.
2. Praise the Lord, we have received our new temporary residence for the next two years until January 10, 2025. We had to pay $196.00 dollars for the renewal and another $102.00 dollars to the lawyer who had to Apostilled the new letter of invitation that the pastor in Guanacaste wrote for us to Immigration. According to Immigration, we can start applying for a permanent residency after January 2025. If we are granted one, it will be much easier for us to get things done and having other benefits such as: e telephone plan for our cellular phones because at the moment we have to have a prepaid service each time when we use it and when we go out.
3. Praise the Lord for Pastor Roberto of Bible Baptist Church of Escazú for his continued help. He is the one calling all the people in regards to finding a place for us, the reason for that is, when I call they will notice that I am not from Costa Rica and they will take advantage as the Ticos do with all foreigners. VERY SAD!
4. Praise the Lord for the place that we have found in order to start the ministry.
5. Praise the Lord for the meeting we had in Liberia, Guanacaste at the First Baptist Church of Liberia. I had the privilege to preach there. Also, while we there, we have distributed more booklets of the book that I have written. It was truly a blessing to see the people of the congregation asking for one.
My Beloved Brethren, we are extremely excited to see what God is going to do with us and the people of Costa Rica.
Beloved Brethren, may the Love of the Almighty God, the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you All. Amen!
Brother Jean-Claude & Sister Matilde Guilbaud
Reach the World, Reach for Christ; Under His Wings Reaching the World for His Glory!