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The messy beautiful


Keri was raised in Montgomery, Alabama, but her heart longed to experience ministry outside of her hometown. She applied to serve for two years as a cross-cultural worker with TMS Global in Costa Rica. A shorter term gave Keri the flexibility to explore cross-cultural ministry and work with longer-term missionaries who could serve as mentors.

Keri arrived in Costa Rica full of expectation and excitement, but also overwhelmed by some of the situations she encountered. “God taught me a lot about overcoming my fears and surrendering to Him,” she said. “One of the most important lessons I learned in Costa Rica is that, because of Jesus and His love, I am motivated to do things I’m afraid to do.”

The TMS Global team in Costa Rica serves with an organization called Conexion. This group, consisting of Colombians, Costa Ricans, and North Americans, engages in outreach to connect with vulnerable people. The team holds medical clinics, teaches Celebrate Recovery in the local women’s prison, and consistently invests in relationships with schools and pastors to help meet every day needs. Their goal is to communicate the love of Christ through action.

“My favorite part of living in Costa Rica was ministering to the women in the prison,” said Keri. “All of the women were from other countries and were so alone. I developed deep relationships with them during my years visiting the prison weekly. God sees these women as valuable, and our team tried to communicate that to them as well.”

Keri describes so many of her experiences in Costa Rica as “messy beautiful.” “There are so many aspects of ministry that are challenging, but they are beautiful at the same time. God will walk with you and lead you through the dark places, if you will allow Him to. He can take a difficult situation and work all things for good.

“In the last two years, I was put into situations in which I really had to trust God. Things were very difficult at times, and I could have chosen to go home. But I was motivated to stay because of Jesus and my love for Him.”

If you are interested in serving for six weeks or two years to explore cross-cultural ministry, click the button below and complete a short form.