We are a Finnish – Costarican family of 5 (Diego & Salla and Troy, Julia and Nic Markus).
We met and worked in Costa Rica as YWAM (Youth With A Mission) missionaries since -94 and -98. In 2005 we moved out from the city to pioneer a new ministry location in the rural areas of the north-west province of Guanacaste. In December 2014 we moved to Finland to a new beginning and more adventures with God.
Our life and ministry in Costa Rica
We lived and worked in small countryside villages of Guanacaste, in north west Costa Rica.The life in this area is a mixture of spiritual, political, cultural and development issues. The area is beautiful by nature, mostly cattle farm lands. The Catholic religion has been mixed with naturalism, witchcraft, superstition and cultural heritage. This has brought confusion to the people and keeps them away from encountering God. Government institutions and helps don’t often get to the small villages, the people feel alone, abandoned and out of reach of change and development. The macho-culture allows and expects the men to be irresponsible, alcoholics, abusive, men of many women and fathers of many children without really ever being part of their lives. The youth don’t have opportunities to learning, hobbies, dreaming… they often don’t finish their studies, they don’t have hope for the future.
Our heart was to guide the people of Guanacaste to a personal relationship with God. As they learn to see themselves and their lives from God’s perspective, we believe that it will bring healing to the families and even biblical development to whole communities. Through our ministry we worked to see the youth of Guanacaste find their identity in Christ, getting excited about life and start doing great things with and for God.
In practice our work included many different kinds of tasks. We led a missions base, YWAM Nicoya, Guanacaste, for long-term workers as well as short-term teams and volunteers. At the base we ran regular activities for children and youth from the closest villages. From the base we would go out to work in many different villages with local churches and pastors, to speak and teach in local schools, work with teen mothers, teach English, organize camps, outreaches, visits, work with handicapped children, implement building and fixing projects, community development etc. A lot of our time was used in leadership responsibilities of leading the ministry and the base, administration and maintenance.
One of the biggest projects we started and worked with in Costa Rica was the Bible Project. The vision is to give a Bible to every home in the province of Guanacaste and in the whole nation of Costa Rica. When we moved to Finland in the end of 2014, about 35 000 Bibles had been distributed in Guanacaste and 120 000 in the whole nation. We will continue to work for and support this project from Finland until the goal is reached: all of the 1.3 million homes in Costa Rica with the Word of God! We raise funds and mobilize people to distribute more Bibles in Costa Rica.
Our Life and Ministry in Finland
We are called to reach the young people and to mobilize them to missions to reach the unreached. Diego is a YWAM missionary in Finland. He is also studying the language to function and communicate in better Finnish. The natural tools that Diego has to use to connect with people are his smile and outgoing personality together with soccer and music. We often bring people over to our house for coffee and meals. Besides reaching out to the Finns, we have a heart for the immigrants living in Finland and spend time serving them as well.
Salla works in a Finnish missions organization as a fund raising coordinator.
We live in the Tampere region, about 1,5 hours north of Helsinki. We are involved with the ministry of YWAM in Tampere and in Finland, with the King’s Kids ministry and with local churches.
We still continue supporting the ministry in Costa Rica. Diego is traveling regularly to participate and do ministry in Costa Rica.