God’s timing often looks different than ours. And through unforeseen circumstances, God surprised his people with a hidden gem. This expresses the back story of Árbol de Vida.
For Phil and Durley Hogan (Founders/Investors), the longing for ministry began in the mid 70’s when they lived, worked, and farmed in Costa Rica. 36 years later, through God’s divine plan, Lou Richie (Investor) came to their front door and shared the dream God laid on his heart. Out of this meeting, Árbol de Vida was born.
The Lord provided the funds to purchase the property debt-free in 2005. The original goal was to allow US churches to serve in Costa Rica and to assist as many communities as they could. Since then, over 30 short-term teams have tasted the Lord’s goodness through work projects—both in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
Located in beautiful Guanacaste, Costa Rica, this lush 94-acre property at the base of the Miravalles Volcano, is gradually being developed. Because of Covid, 2020 brought uncertainty as to the future of the property. But the Lord was faithfully preparing hearts for a new season of ministry.
God brought the Gortmaker family to join the Árbol de Vida team in 2021. Already serving locally as missionaries in a similar capacity, they knew the Lord was stirring a fresh vision with those who had planted the first seeds.
Today, Árbol de Vida is an opportunity—an opportunity to disciple believers to follow Jesus completely. The vision, to be a Christian camp and thriving ministry center, is equipping the local churches and communities with needed resources to disciple their people. Through camps, retreats, classes, service projects and more, many will grow to bear much fruit for the glory of God.