Rod Light | April 25, 2018

Nine LPC students visited one of the poorest regions of Central America and left behind a trail of benefits for residents and their families.

On March 16, LPC student leader Sean Hampton boarded a plane at LAX part of his 9-member student team embarking on a 10-day experience in Costa Rica that would change countless lives, including his.

These students were about to meet new people, encounter new cultures, and build new relationships that would strengthen team members and those they would meet.

As their flight left the runway, team members understood that impact during such a trip happens in the midst of personal relationships.

They were ready for whatever God had planned.

Costa Rica TeamThese students were about to meet new people, encounter new cultures, and build new relationships that would strengthen team members and those they would meet. Students that could sleep during the flight, tried get some rest knowing once they arrived at their destination, they would hit the ground running.

After the six-hour flight and 3.5 hours of driving through mountainous terrain in the Turrialba Province, the team spent Spring Break in Jicotea, with Foursquare Missions International (FMI) workers Josiah and Cynthia Hubbard.

The Life Pacific / Costa Rica Partnership, now in it’s fourth year, is a year-round, multi-disciplinary field experience sponsored by LPC Global Life and the BA in Business Administration program.

Nearly three years ago, the Hubbards purchased 575 acres of mountainous, tropical rain forest and formed a for-profit business venture called Mountain of Dreams to help bring economic, social, and spiritual change to the region.

When the student team arrived this Spring in Jicotea, Josiah and Cynthia were excited to introduce them to friends and neighbors. A six-mile familiarization hike through the mountainous reservation provided the team with firsthand cross-cultural missions among indigenous Cabecar and Tico people.

During local church services, students led worship, preached, prayed for the sick, and prophesied over residents. Ministry students partnered with local elementary schools helping teach English and facilitate a sports day for students.  

Business administration students used skills taught in courses at LPC to help Mountain of Dreams develop a marketing strategy. Students developed a website, a social media presence, and an online merchandise store to help generate additional revenue.  

Costa Rica house

Future student teams will continue to be multi-disciplinary in nature encompassing the fullness of the Business as Mission model that is the foundation for Mountain of Dreams. 

One student focused on financial accounting and helped teach local staff how to manage the day-to-day financial records. Another student is building a feasibility study as his senior project focused on an eco-tourism business for Mountain of Dreams. While in Costa Rica he was able to accomplish vital market research for the project as well as capture film for a future promotional video.

Mountain of Dreams provides employment to a variety of residents and the growing business relationships are boosting the economy in and around Jicotea. In the 27 months of Mountain of Dream’s operation, the business has grown into a modern, sustainable lumber mill, construction, and woodworking business that provides quality wood products and affordable housing for the Costa Rican middle class.   

The venture has experienced favor with government officials through school building projects and opportunities to host training events for local students and teachers on site. More, the company is having a spiritual impact on the community. A technical training center is in the works to provide locals with skills for employment along with a strong Christian discipleship program to prepare them for life.

StudentsLPC Business Administration Department Chair Dr. Mick Bates believes opportunities abound for future LPC involvement as Mountain of Dreams continues to grow. “It makes sense to apply resources where it is evident God is at work,” Mick says. “There are ways for majors of all types to become engaged and it is the task of leaders at Life Pacific and Mountain of Dreams to identify the priorities that make the most sense for all concerned.”

Future student teams will continue to be multi-disciplinary in nature encompassing the fullness of the Business as Mission model that is the foundation for Mountain of Dreams.  

Team members experience life change while serving with partnerships like this one. “Students are able to add value to our FMI partners in country,” Sean Hampton says. “They in turn add value to our lives by providing experiences and opportunities for all of our members to grow.”

Costa Rica - Global Life