Costa Rica: Study Abroad & Missions

Dear friends,
I am currently studying Business Management at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (UMHB) in Belton, Texas. Back in April I was selected by the UMHB College of Business to go to Costa Rica as part of a study abroad program. I along with my team will take a 3-credit-hour course, Culture and Global Business, in preparation for our trip in December 2013. This ten-day trip will expose us to various businesses in an overseas setting. Also, one of our bigger focuses will be on how both local and foreign believers use their businesses to support their Kingdom work in Costa Rica.

I Corinthians 9:11-16 ~Paul As a Tentmaker~ "If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel. But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting [tent making]. For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!" [ESV]

We will travel to three different "cities": Santa Elena/Monteverde, Puerto Viego, and San Jose. In Santa Elena/Monteverde we will visit and observe a cheese factory, a coffee farm, a cocoa farm, an eco-tourism business, and we will meet some local businessmen who are engaged in Business as Mission (BAM) work. Puerto Viejo is on the Caribbean coast and will present a slightly different economy. It is mostly populated by indigenous people, and there is also some BAM work going on there. We will also travel to San Jose where our main point of interest will be the central market.

Your prayers would be much appreciated! Pray that we will learn to be adaptable to the culture so that our trip will have as much meaning and have as many learning opportunities as possible. Also, please be in prayer for the local and foreign business owners we will interact with"”pray that we will be able to encourage and share with them as much as possible.
Also, if you would like to give toward my trip financially, you may mail a check payable to Elise McDowall to the following address: 3520 Grove Ln., Auburn Hills, MI 48326. ~Please write Costa Rica in the memo line. I need to raise $3,800.00 which would cover the cost of tuition, fees, group transportation including airfare, lodging, trip insurance, two meals a day, and entrances for group activities. You can also give through GoFundMe!
In Christ,
Elise Marie McDowall
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Elise Marie McDowall 
Belton, TX
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