Today I want to tell you about missionaries named Bob and Janet Wilmarth. Many years ago Bob had a successful veterinary practice in Florida. Then God called him to sell his practice… move to Costa Rica… and live for God’s glory by ministering to the people of that nation. Bob and Janet are a great example of joy while ministering for God in a foreign land (Bob is on the right… getting ready for a “Goat Race”).
Bob started a mission venture called “Goats For God” that has provided goats for the people of Costa Rica for over two decades so that they can have a way of providing for their families. They have a camp and retreat center called Mission Challenge that is a hub for sending mission teams to proclaim the Gospel.
But what I’d like to do is tell you about Bob and his wife Janet because their disposition and attitude is an inspiration.
When Bob and Janet moved to Costa Rica in the early 80s there was not much of an Evangelical presence there. He worked for weeks to memorize one sentence in Spanish so that when people engaged him in conversation he could tell them… “The reason I am here is because of Jesus Christ. When I learn how to speak your language better I’ll tell you about Him.” Which he has now been doing faithfully for 25 plus years.
After watching Bob and Janet for a week, here are some things I observed:
They have an unparalleled joy while serving God away from their family in the states.
They have a settled trust in God to provide for every need they have and therefore their worry factor is very low.
Because they have lived a life of integrity for decades in Costa Rica, the people there have a trust in them that is strong and therefore people listen to them when they talk about Jesus.
They live a life devoted to God that is characterized by love for all people.
They live a life of sacrificial giving… no matter who they are or what they have done.
At the age of 74 Bob still has a passion for evangelism and building the Kingdom of God in Costa Rica (Even if I knew Janet’s age I wouldn’t tell it!).
I count it a great honor to have met Bob and Janet. Their love and devotion to God inspires me to follow their example of following God’s call no matter what it is or where it leads.