Costa RicaStories by Curtis and Linda Doell
To enable a leadership network in this region facilitating local (Spanish and Canadian) Alliance churches to initiate community transformation through initiatives of community development.
Curtis and Linda met at Red Deer Park Alliance in Red Deer, Alberta. They have two children, Jordan and Briana, who both live in Calgary. Briana was recently married to Paul. God has directed Curtis and Linda in many moves; they have called Canada, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Costa Rica home.
Curtis grew up in a family that followed Jesus with parents who role-modeled what it meant to live by faith. Curtis sees his life journey as a zig-zag, not a straight line, as he has lived through life experiences that have allowed him to develop his relationship with God on a deeper level. Today, he can look back and know that God has him where he is for a reason.
Linda was brought up in a loving home by Christian parents who were very active in the Nazarene Church. While attending Canadian Nazarene College, she took a semester off to travel overseas to South Africa to visit missionaries, where their real and deep relationship with God impacted her for international work.
On top of the quiet influence of Curtis’ parents’ involvement with cross-cultural ministries, he felt God’s call to serve as an International Worker when he went to the Philippines on the PSALM program. This opened the door to his heart, where God continues to work to this day.
As a youth, Linda’s parents often hosted missionaries in their home. She was impacted by the stories that they told of the remarkable experiences of what God did in their country of service. Linda longed for a deeper relationship with this same God. She experienced this longing again during her short tour of South Africa and when she saw the incredible trust of the missionaries she visited. At that moment, she declared her openness to serve internationally.
Curtis and Linda work as team leaders for the justice and compassion ministry track in the Caribbean Sun. Their work takes them to a variety of countries where the people, culture, and geography vary greatly.
Their work has many looks depending on the local needs. This may be through disaster response, direct leadership development with pastors and leaders, emergency food aid, or livelihood initiatives. Their intent is to enable local Alliance churches to transform their communities for Jesus Christ by using sustainable community development as a vehicle.
By responding to physical needs, they follow a Biblical mandate while building into the church and community leadership. As they strengthen leaders, they are able to transform teir community through natural opportunities of outreach and discipleship.
In Costa Rica, they have two projects; one rural and one urban. These pilot projects include developing God-driven national leaders, feeding programs for children, women’s education, Bible studies, basic education, providing school supplies and clothes, and Christmas programs. These are integral responses to the local needs.
In the Copper Canyons of Northern Mexico is an indigenous, unreached group called the Tarahumara. Mexican Alliance IWs (International Workers), Brenda Granados and Tomás Benecomo, have been investing the last nineteen years of their lives reaching out to this forgotten people. The Doells have partnered with them to assist them in reaching this people group. Recently, the National Women’s Ministries raised funds to respond to a proposal that Curtis wrote of the need for a women's shelter and clinic.
The Doells are now starting to develop work in Haiti, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.
Curtis and Linda have previously ministered to third culture kids in Venezuela and Ecuador.
For Curtis, the best thing about being an International Worker (IW) is knowing that he is where God wants to use him and Linda. The most challenging aspects are being away from family, language issues, not being part of any culture, and understanding/respecting cultural issues.
What Linda enjoys most about being an IW is the incredible relationship it allows her to have with the Father. This then transfers to the people she loves. She is also fascinated in seeing how God transforms lives when she loves on them and builds them up holistically. The most challenging aspect for Linda is not fulfilling the desire to speak the heart language to those to whom she ministers. She also misses sharing deep family moments with those she loves in Canada.
GAF SUPPORT: Living allowance. (Learn More)
WORK FUND: Ministry expenses.
OUTFIT FUND: Personal expenses.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT READINESS TEAM: Funds raised enable local Alliance churches to be a catalyst for their community through direct response to a local disaster. Affected churches will receive direct support of trained personnel and supplies in a time of crisis.
SUN COMPASSION - COSTA RICA: This project enables local Alliance churches to reach their community through initiatives that include: micro-business, community savings and loans, leadership development, business development, food aid, and women-focused programming.
SUN COMPASSION - COSTA RICA - BUY A PIG OR CHICKENS: Providing a pig or chickens to a family increases income, impacts the local economy, and improves the family’s socio-economic status.
SUN COMPASSION - COSTA RICA - HOPE FOR A CHILD'S FUTURE: Funds raised for this approved special allows a child to attend school, providing needed textbooks, supplies, and uniforms.
SUN COMPASSION - COSTA RICA - SKILLS TRAINING: Your contribution provides one person with skills and basic business training.
TARAHUMARA PROJECT: The women's centre’s strategy is two-fold: physically there will be a nearby solution to physical abuse, child birth issues, and tuberculosis issues, and spiritually, the centre will come alongside the needy and the poor, the widow and the child.
You can also view most of their approved specials in the Justice and Compassion gift catalogue.
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Linda writes a weekly prayer letter while Curtis writes a quarterly blog; both can be subscribed to by email.Updated July 19, 2017