God radically changed the lives of Scott and Ann Werlein both in Costa Rica, and the United States following their missions trips to Tirrases. After his second trip on the Presidential Vision Tour, Scott (the Senior Pastor at Heartland Church) felt the Lord laying it on his heart to give an entire years salary to the ministry. $20,000 for the purchase of a new building, and $500 per month support to Horacio and Esther. And to his huge credit, he did just that.
Scott has a big heart for evangelism and leadership development, and has been to Costa Rica with Christ For the City International three times over the past three years. On their first trip in 2013, Ann developed a huge heart for Horatio and Esther and their children’s and women’s ministry in Tirrases.
“At that time they were renting space and were praying for a place they could call their own,” says Scott. “Our church was able to raise $8,000 during December 2013, and this money was used for a down payment on a building in Tirrases! It was cool that we could see the building in February of 2014 on the Presidential Vision Tour. There was much work to be done to the building in order for it to be suitable for ministry. So on that visit, I promised Horacio that Heartland would bring a team to work on the building in January of 2015”.
In the interim, other short term teams were able to come and help with the building project, but the problem of the neighboring building remained. The house next door was being used for drug distribution, and was overrun by unhelpful characters that frightened the children, and made ministry very difficult.
It was at this point that God intervened with a miracle, and pressed Scott to donate one years wages. On the very night that Scott informed our President, Dr. Chip Anderson, that Heartland would be providing the $20,000 for the building, the drug house burnt to the ground.
Through this entire experience, Scott shares about the faithfulness of God. “HE is so very faithful. During the year I gave up my salary, we just lived off of my wife’s income. Ann and I didn’t go into any debt, even though when I worked out our budget, we were staring at a $385 shortfall. God provided through the generosity of people in so many unexpected ways. OH yes! We also didn’t discontinue tithing during this time. We gave 10% to the church, even though that 10% would have covered our shortfall.”
Due to their love for the Tirrases ministry, Scott and Ann have chosen to highlight the needs of Horatio and Esther.
“In Tirrases they need money for their building projects, and they need people to help them build. Because most church teams can only go on a trip for 10-14 days and that is not a sufficient amount of time to build the buildings that Horacio desires; I would love to see a number of Church teams partner together and send teams one after another to the field and complete the project that God has laid on Horacio’s heart.”
On their last day at Tirrases, Esther and Horacio went around the room and washed all of the feet of the Heartland team, an act which greatly blessed and humbled Scott and his team.
“We go on mission’s trips NOT so much to ‘help’ and ‘serve’ a community; but because God does such a powerful work in each person who goes on a trip”.