by Norma Gunter
In the April BEAM I told about my stay at the CEDCAS clinic with missionary Lillian Solt in San Jose, Costa Rica. This month I want to tell you about our own American Baptist Missionary, Susan Hegarty, that we also visited with while in San Jose. Susan was the missionary in Nicaragua for the First Baptist mission work team led by Dick Christeliet in 1993. Lonnie had prostate cancer surgery in 1993 and we couldn’t go so we made plans to go in 1994. Susan was also the missionary when we made our second mission trip to Nicaragua.
Susan was at our home when we had a going-away party for Dick and Louisa and she came to First Baptist Church several times over the years. One time she missed her flight in Charleston when we were delayed on the West Virginia Turnpike due to an accident. They put her in a hotel for the night and she flew out the next day at no expense to her. The last time I saw Susan in West Virginia was at Camp Global at Camp Cowan about 4 or 5 years ago.
After leaving Nicaragua, she was our ABC USA missionary in Cuba where she met and married a Cuban pastor. They had a daughter Katherine who is 14 years old. About three years ago she left Cuba, with her daughter, and was reassigned to Costa Rica.
Her work for the American Baptist International Ministries is with the Baptist Federation of Costa Rica. She works with pastoral students at the Baptist Seminary and with the Pastoral Care for Women Ministries. We got in touch with Susan when we arrived in San Jose and made plans to spend Sunday with her after church. She knew where the church was located for the church is a part of the Baptist Federation of Costa Rica. Susan also knew the pastor at St. Tomas and was at the dedication service for the new church about two years ago.
After church she took us to San Ramion, a town about and hour away, to the Maderas Restaurant. What beautiful scenery on the way and the view from the restaurant was amazing. Susan’s daughter Katy is a beautiful young girl fluent in English and Spanish so she ordered our food. The food was good but expensive. Most of our sight-seeing was done on our way to and from work.
After lunch we went grocery shopping for lunch food for Katy who was going back to school after break the next day. Katy goes to an American School which is Susan’s biggest expense before housing and a car. By the way her car was old and in need of repairs.
We saw the Baptist Headquarters and some of the small churches where she works with women. We spent the rest of the afternoon at their apartment. When she took us back to the clinic we missed our evening meal due to the heavy traffic in San Jose. Carrie and I ate our first meal from the snack food we had taken with us.
Our next visit with Susan was at St. Tomas Church when she came to help with Bible School. Since she speaks Spanish she was able to help enroll some of the 80 children. She also helped us with translation when we worked with crafts.
Since we were in Costa Rica Susan hosted a work team in March. They spent a day seeing the ministries Susan works with. They heard testimonies of women who had been impacted by Pastoral Care for Women. Susan says, “The reason we minister is to show how our loving and just God is the only one who can transform lives on many different levels, including those affected by abuse.” Abuse is prevalent in the Latin American culture. Pray for Susan, Katy and their work. You can follow her work on Facebook and through the ABC USA website. Susan is one of many missionaries we support around the world. Please pray for all of them.