Tirrases Family Outreach

Around 16,000 people call the 0.73 square mile space of Tirrases home.

This incredibly impoverished shanty town community lies on the outskirts of San Jose in Costa Rica and is home mostly to single mothers and their children; the majority of which have experienced severe emotional and physical abuses. It is also the location of our children’s Bible School ministry where in 2016 we began an after-school tutoring program to assist these children in need.

Guanacaste Ministries

Christ For the City International works in the slum neighborhoods of Guanacaste, Costa Rica through a number of different ministries, including:

  • Women’s Vocational Training: skills such as sewing, knitting and crafts
  • Children’s Clubs
  • Bible Teaching
  • Discipleship
  • Local Church Ministry: teaching and preaching

The slums in which we work are areas high in poverty, abuse, teen pregnancy, violence, single motherhood, and school truancy.

Jaime* is 10 years old and lives in the slum community of San Martin, in Guanacaste. He is a typical child of the community, a delinquent, roaming the streets each night and day and dropping in and out of school. He never knew his father, he has relatives in jail, and when the government agency for the protection of children came to his home, his mother asked them to ‘please take the child.’ Despite all the hardships in his life, Jaime comes faithfully to the boy’s club every week to learn about the Bible and receive love and prayer in a safe, encouraging community environment. Our ministry is Guanacaste is the only opportunity Jaime has for edifying positive role models.

*Name has been changed for privacy.

Project Renuevos

The community of La Carpio in Costa Rica is made up of about 35,000 people living in squatter settlements in an area no larger than a quarter of a square mile. Christ For the City International has been working in this community for twenty years, bringing the life and love of Jesus Christ through facilities such as a medical clinic, a refuge for girls, ministry to boys and a youth center.

The ministry of RENUEVOS in this community has three main projects, The Refuge, New Horizons and Camp.

The Refuge is the ministry for girls which offers an academic program for those who have dropped out of school, including daily devotionals and a feeding program. On the weekends there is a time for crafts, games, activities and spiritual teaching. Additionally there is a sports ministry, and a Christian psychologist available to the girls and their mothers.

New Horizons is the ministry for boys aged 8-18. Each Saturday an all-day sports and discipleship program is offered, including a feeding program, Bible Study, and sports training. In addition, there is a carpentry program for older boys to gain an employable skill, as well as English classes and a computer lab to assist the young men in establishing skills for future employment. The space of New Horizons is also available all week long for boys who want a safe, positive environment in which to hang out and play sports.

Every year, the participating boys and girls of The Refuge and New Horizons have the opportunity to attend Camp Roblealto, during the first week of January. For most of these children, who come from extremely impoverished homes and rough backgrounds, it is the first and only opportunity in their lives to get away, for the purpose of having fun, playing games, being a part of a supportive community and growing in their relationship with Jesus.

Donations to RENUEVOS will change the lives of the boys and girls of La Carpio.

Pavas Ministry

The area of Pavas is home to 117,000 people, and is one of the most dangerous areas of Costa Rica in terms of gang violence, drug and alcohol abuse and poverty.

Christ For the City International runs six ministries out of our building in Pavas, with many sub-ministries including:

The Art House: A crafts and sewing ministry for women. For over 25 years, our missionary Damaris has been training women in arts and crafts as a means to make an income, and bring in support for their families. This ministry provides food for the often hungry mothers and their children, as well as fellowship, prayer and the opportunity to hear the Gospel.

A feeding program for over 250 people each week including children, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We have dreams to expand this ministry, as hungry children still come to receive food the rest of the week.

“The Lion of Judah Congregation” meets in our building, and is a church led by our CFCI missionary and pastor, Christian Leon. The church is made up almost entirely of people that Christian himself has evangelized and taken off the streets; out of drug and alcohol addicted lives and into the freedom of the Gospel. This church congregation runs a youth group, as well as street ministry (evangelism, clothing, food and haircuts for the homeless among other things). In 2015, the church also spearheaded a crusade in which 8,000 people attended each night, and many (including gang members) came to the Lord. Pastor Christian also leads teams to do “extreme evangelism” to gang members. They go into drug dens to practically show and speak the love of Christ. They take youth that come out of gangs on camps to get away and be with one another and the Lord.

Pastoral training and alliance. Under Pastor Christian’s leadership, 40 pastors in the area of Pavas have come together to receive training and teaching for the purposes of uniting and working together. The dream is to build a second floor on our existing building for the purposes of providing pastoral training, as well as English and other classes.

Alturas is a children’s ministry for kids living in poverty. The kids come for a games and Bible programs, as a means to give them a community and discourage them from entering the gang life.

These are a few of the many and expanding ministries that we operate out of our Pavas location in Costa Rica.

Carpio Medical Clinic

Each day at the medical clinic begins with a short devotional. General out-patient medical care is given four mornings a week, patients with acute and chronic conditions are seen. Our doctors also do minor surgeries. A gynecologist comes once a month to perform gynecological procedures for women who need them. There is dental care and physical therapy once a week. In addition there are medical/evangelistic caravans that go out from the clinic to serve a community of Guaymi Indians in the southern part of the country.


You have an amazing opportunity to sponsor a child in need through this wonderful ministry. For many of these children, traditional sponsorship and one-on-one correspondence is not possible for a number of reasons, including government and legal regulatiions of photographing minors. They have stories you will never hear, and sweet faces you will never see. But we work with, support and love them, knowing that our Father in heaven not only sees them, but adores them unconditionally.

Over 30% of our ministries around the world at Christ For the City International minister to impoverished children. Along with meeting their spiritual needs, and showing them the love and hope of Jesus Christ, we provide food, clothing, education, daycare and healthcare. We work with orphans, as well as homeless, drug addicted, incarcerated, abused and neglected children. Our missionaries work in prisons, daycares, schools, camps, youth groups, slums, homes, sports fields, clinics, orphanages and on the streets.

Individuals, families, youth groups, small groups, sports teams or churches can change the life of a child in need. Would you consider sponsoring this program today?

“All Emily* could remember from her childhood were the drugs. Her mom doing drugs. Dealing drugs. Herself, doing both. Growing up to date older men, to drink with them, to sleep with them. She was abused by them, often not coming home with nowhere to run. Hating everyone, her mother, herself. She was into sexual experimentation. At that time, she was 13. Angry, drug and alcohol dependent, and hardened beyond her years. “But now”, she said at her graduation, “I love myself. I am excited for my future. I know who I am, with God. I am strong.”

*Name has been changed for privacy.

Bring hope to girls at Renacer “Rebirth” Home in Costa Rica, recovering from life on the streets – drugs, sexual exploitation and brokenness. These young women voluntarily commit to an intense 18-month rehabilitation program, through which we communicate the love of Christ to them through Bible studies, discipleship and other activities.

Josue & Nicole Sanchez

Josue Sanchez is a Salvadoran who obeyed the voice of God, and left everything to go to Costa Rica to serve as a missionary. On that trip, he met Nicole, a Costa Rican who decided to give up her life and profession in order to serve God and become a missionary.

Both met within God’s purpose, and together they have a heart to support, help and serve people with the greatest need, proclaiming the name of Jesus to those who do not yet know Him, and giving a voice to those who have no voice through their skills and professions.

Enrique Carrillo & Kattia Mari­n

Enrique is a missionary in Tirrases. A community in the eastern part of San Jose, Costa Rica. He is a Costa Rican and has been married to Kattia for 27 years. They have 2 children, Daniela (22) and Gabriel (25). Kattia and Enrique oversee a Discipleship program called Nueva Vida (New Life Discipleship) and The Multicolor Robe (La Tunica de Colores in Spanish) where they collect clothing for the homeless and others in need. Enrique is also teaching Basic and Conversational English for advanced students and leading the Youth group (Youth of Hope). He is a certified counselor helping the youth and works with drug addicts (Charlas ministry). Enrique is also part of the Translators Team and has helped with several short-term teams in Costa Rica. He also hosts a monthly Popcorn and Prayers Nights ministry, a night to watch a Christian-oriented movie and pray.

Damaris Estrada

Damaris has been with Christ For the City International for over 25 years, with a passion and heart for women’s ministry. Each day she travels more than 2 hours by bus, carrying all her supplies, to meet and minister to the hurting and impoverishes women of Pavas, La Carpio, Tirrases and others in Costa Rica. Damaris ministers to women living in poverty, many of whom can not provide for their families, are single mothers, or are living in situations of domestic abuse.

Damaris runs “the art house” which teaches women art and craft skills, including sewing, embroidery, clothes making, crochet, painting and other arts as vocational skills. Along with the skills training, she provides food for the women who often come hungry (an expense which comes out of her own support), as well as prayer and Bible teaching. Through her ministry she has multiplied her program to several locations, and 13 shops have come about as a result of her training.

“Many times we have to stop class to take a lady outside to pray for her. Many times they ask for something to eat, as they have nothing in the house. Many are under domestic violence situations,” shares Damaris, “this is not so much about teaching as it is about loving.”

In addition to personal support, Damaris is in need of resources to sow and make crafts, as well as sowing machines.

Fernando Bolanos

Fernando Bolanos Guevara has developed “Impulso Vital,” [Vital Impulse] a ministry that serves high school students living in extreme poverty and high-risk communities. The goal of the ministry is to prevent students from dropping out of school, by working to prevent student pregnancies, helping students deal with the situations of their daily life through discipleship and pastoral counseling, and assisting them to finish their studies.

PLEASE NOTE: Per IRS guidelines all contributions to Christ for the City International are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by law and made with the understanding that Christ for the City International has complete discretion and control over the use of all donated funds.

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