The town of San Isidro de Peñas Blancas, Costa Rica does not occupy much space. It doesn’t even register on Google Maps. Just a short drive from La Fortuna in the province of Alajuela, the tiny community has served as base of operations for FUMC Coppell’s Costa Mission trip for the past two years. A group from FUMC Coppell has been traveling to Costa Rica for more than 10 years.

As a predominantly Catholic country, non-Catholics are often hard pressed to find a house of worship. According to Samuel Duff, one of the trip leaders for the Costa Rica Mission, the Methodist congregation in San Isidro de Penas Blancas originally met in a reclaimed root vegetable processing plant acquired by the church a number of years ago.

“There’s something beautiful about a place where the harvest of yucca was gathered in being used to gather in worshippers, but practically speaking, it’s not an ideal space,” Duff said. “We’ve gradually been helping tear down the agricultural building that was on the site when the church acquired it, and in its place build a Sanctuary to accommodate the growing fellowship of believers in that town.”

Said Duff, “We had to place the benches used as pews around the giant holes and piles of dirt resulting from digging out footings for the foundation of the new building. It’s a little nerve wracking to watch toddlers waddle past six-foot holes on their way to children’s time! Last year, the church met for worship on the building’s porch as we spent the week mixing concrete and pouring the new building’s slab. We poured a 3,700-square-foot slab by hand, with buckets and shovels and wheelbarrows.”

Members of the Costa Rica Mission Team have also hosted a successful Vacation Bible School for local children.

“Not only is the school a great way to help the kids learn about Jesus, it’s also a really effective way to get people who otherwise wouldn’t try a Methodist church to come by and see what the whole thing is about,” Duff said.

2019 trip dates are March 9-16.

Mission Leader: Samuel Duff at