BATTLE CREEK, Mich.—Members of Calvary Baptist Church took a missions trip to Costa Rica to work on a project they started two years ago: laying a brick road at a Word of Life camp. The original half-mile road “was rocky, rough, and a mess in the rainy season,” says Steve Cary. Joining Steve in the project were his son Kevin and Peter Momeyer. The three men, joined by others around the U.S., laid just under 50,000 bricks. “It’s a lot of work, but it sure looks nice and should be functional for many years,” Steve says.
This is the sixth year Steve has served in Costa Rica. The first year, he and his team poured a sidewalk, complete with stone walls, and laid cement blocks to close in a room. The next year, they built a retaining wall and laid blocks for a dormitory. Year three, they installed a suspended ceiling in the dining room, which significantly reduced the temperature in the facility and updated its appearance. The fourth year, they began laying paver bricks for the road coming into the camp. They laid about 35,000 pavers that year and continued the task the next year, laying about 50,000 more.
Steve says, “The challenge before us is to complete the project next year. The prayer is for 70,000 pavers, $60,000, and many willing hands to finish the road in 2016.”
Steve learned of the opportunity to serve in Costa Rica from his father, who began serving short-term in that location in 2001. “I had thought I ought to go with him but always found ample reasons not to go,” Steve says. “Among the excuses I had was I could not see leaving my busy world as a dairy farmer and taking a ‘break’ to do some more work in 100 degree heat.” But Steve became involved in 2010 when a man planning to take the trip had to cancel. Steve’s excuses fell away, and he has been back every year since then.
Since 2001, Steve’s dad has encouraged many people to serve in short-term missions. He has taken more than 30 people to Costa Rica, including Pastor Tom Townsend; John Lippard, pastor family and student ministries; and five young people.
About four years ago, Steve’s dad had to stop traveling due to his health, “otherwise he would still be going,” Steve says. “He still loves the work and the people involved in ministry in Costa Rica and supports them in prayer and finances.” Steve says being involved in this ministry is now “a family legacy” that he is “privileged to carry forward.” Even more, it has significantly impacted his stewardship of his time and resources. “That’s why I wholeheartedly encourage others to take the leap and get involved.”