Most of the conversions have come through a net of personal and family relationships.

In less than seven years, the spiritual harvest of Edwin and Carolyn Kerr has bordered on the phenomenal. Between 600 and 800 persons have made Christian commitments through their ministry, which is based on the 32,000-student campus of the University of Costa Rica in San Jose. Most of these new believers are participating in 18 Bible study and prayer groups led by the Kerrs or people they trained.

The Kerrs had considered an organization to preserve and disciple these new Christians. And in this day of the parachurch group, many people were asking for one. “But we’re rolling in organizatins here,” said Carolyn. The Kerrs are affiliated with the Latin America Mission.

“Since almost all the new converts are involved in local churches, and in leadership positions with other Christian groups, we would be hurting their own outreach where they are by taking them out,” added Edwin. The two see their work as serving the local churches: “Basically, what we’re doing is providing trained, discipled people to the national church.”

Parents of three children, the oldest aged 13, the couple came to Costa Rica about eight years ago to attend Spanish language school. Edwin, who holds a physics doctorate from New York University, and Carolyn, with a master’s in chemistry from Columbia, wanted to find a way to integrate their science with evangelism. They found it as part of MINAMUNDO (A Ministry to the Student and Professional World). The group’s 14 or so couples in Latin America develop ministries to students and professionals—often through work and social contacts. They began a campus outreach even during language school, and Edwin joined the faculty of the ...

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