In naming a ministry, there are many things to take into consideration, especially when naming one across languages. There are the obvious: Does the name in both languages sound good? Is it easy to say in both languages? Is it a universally understood word or is it too odd? Then there are the more obscure: Are there any ill connotations in either language? Does the word fully capture the depth of what the ministry is doing?

While praying about the best name to label the work we are doing for the Lord here in Costa Rica, we had to think about what we are creating. In considering the scope of our work here, it is important to note that many Latin countries, and therefore their citizens, are heavily Catholic either religiously and/or culturally at the least. When it comes to families and bringing new life into the world, there is much joy and excitement. Abortion is generally a path less taken, in fact, it is illegal in Costa Rica. However, while there is an overall acceptance of bringing life into the world, many young ladies are fearful of their social status and/or ability to raise a child, in many cases alone, it is becoming increasingly common to find “abortion clinics” in obscure areas of the highly populated capital city of San Jose filled with ladies and teenage girls who are willing to go through a very unregulated already tragic procedure because their fear of choosing life alone is much greater.

We are creating a refuge

a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble.
  • something providing shelter.
  • an institution providing safe accommodations for women who have suffered violence from a spouse or partner.

The Lord placed it on our hearts to be intentional with every detail just as He is very intentional with every detail of our being. From the location of the facility, the decor, the colors, the layout, the services provided. It was to be a refuge from the hard hitting waves surrounding each lady, wether it be a pregnancy due to rape or incest,  a boyfriend who left, or fear that they won’t be able to provide a safe environment for their newborn child free from abuse and drugs.

Every lady has a story. Every story is their truth. The Refuge wants to share the one story that is The Truth.

Our center is located just north of the central valley to offer some anonymity and escape but accessible by a $1 30-minute bus ride. When the ladies enter the center, it offers the comfort of a nice welcoming home with a lovely waiting area and staff providing them with coffee, juice, and cookies/crackers and two small clean comfortably sofas for them to sit down and relax while feeling the cool continuous mountain breeze throughout the open air facility. Children’s play activities and toys are provided for those who have and bring their children with them. Each lady has the privacy of their session in an adjoining office and the use of their own private restroom for pregnancy testing and personal use.

God has truly blessed The Refuge as we have heeded His instruction to find Him and reflect His love for us through the details. We bring ladies out from the heavy waves that seem to overwhelm them and bring them into His refuge, where they can feel safe, welcome, and prayerfully, find His love is ready to flood their lives.