Through the windshield of the truck, we watch Pastor Gabriel as he leads the way to a house up the hill where we are going to deliver a benevolent food package an older couple in the community. Ten minutes later we follow him back to the store to pick up another delivery. Then he tells us he will be gone just a minute and when he returns on the motorcycle he brings with him a bag of mandarins or pineapple that he picked up in another town. Then he is off to get the church ready for a conversation style meeting with the youth and after service he gives someone a ride home and meets us back at his home. Are you getting the picture of a busy man? You should.
Pastor Gabriel, who is not yet thirty years old, is a husband, father of two, a university student and on occasion a teacher at the Free Methodist seminary as well as the pastor of a large church, supervisor of two church plants and four cell groups in Navas. His young family has experienced frequents health concerns and limited financial resources. He also welcomes missionary teams in his community and connects with the community, praying weekly at the medical clinic down the street. Above all Gabriel is an upright man with a servant’s heart who is concerned that people know the Lord.
He teaches by example: when there is a program to reach out and visit house by house, he takes with him four or five people and demonstrates then involves those with him in the process. At the first home, he will speak but at the second he will ask someone with him to bring the greeting and another to read a short scripture or to invite the residents of the home to a special event in the church. Then at the next house, he will ask one of the visitation team to pray or lead a chorus. Gabriel is like the angel Gabriel, a messenger of God.