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Meeting people along the way . . .
Introducing ourselves and Other Sheep as we go.
Costa Rica, April 19 - May 2, 2008
               Each picture has a story . . . .
Wednesday, April 30. 2008, I met Horacio Marin (picture 1) on the
campus of The Latin American Bible University, San Jose (
Universidad
Biblica Latinoamericana - UBL
).  He is the coordinator for an LGBT
community that meets monthly under the auspices of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church (so I understood him to say).  In fact, that Thursday, the
pastor's wife was to speak to the group on
?Dice la Biblia algo sobre la
homosexualid?
The church's website is www.ilcocr.org.  You can email Horacion Marin
at
inclusion@ilcocr.org.

During our first week of travels together, Jose and I met a gentleman from
the
Netherlands (picture 6) and a fellow New Yorker named Alex
(picture 2)
who lives in the Village and is a medical doctor in residence.  
Both men are straight allies.  We ran across both men (separately) twice
on different days and in different regions. We spent a day with
Alex at the
Manuel Antonio National Park near Quepos.

Picture 3 shows the partner (left) of the owner and manger (Canadian) of
Banana Azul with a staff member.  Banana Azul was full.  I had not made
reservations in advance.  It is a gay establishment just before you enter
Puerto Viejo with a third of its cliental gay and two-thirds straight.  Banana
Azul invited me to use their wireless during the day, to join them for meals,
and to enjoy their beach front (public).  I spoke with both these men about
Other Sheep.

Picture 7 shows two straight women who work together in a small,  
local eatery where Jose and I quickly purchased some chicken-to-go and
hopped back on our shuttle van which was taking us from our hotel to the
rain forest near
Santa Elena.  These two women are representative of the
many, many individuals we introduce ourselves to as a gay couple.  There
response is what we get more times than not:  "That's wonderful!  Did you
say ten years together!  Fantastic.  You love one another and that's all
that matters."  They were happy to let this gay couple take their picture.

Picture 4 shows the Baptist church in Puerto Viejo (Caribbean coast).
Learning their Friday night prayer meeting ended at 8:30pm, I arrived at
that time to introduce myself to the speaker and a deacon.  A couple other
lay people looked on as I was granted permission to speak about Other
Sheep and introduce myself as a gay Christian.  To say the least, to them
I was a lost black sheep, not an other sheep.

Picture 8 is Lincoln, a gay Christian man who lives in Limon
(Caribbean coast) who I happened to meet when I stopped in front of his
café to ask for directions to a bank and to an Internet café.  He invited me
to use his personal computer in his shop.  I did.  As we visited I learned
that there used to be a gay Christian group in Limon which he attended.  It
no longer meets.  He was, of course, very interested in Other Sheep and
the gay-religious contacts in San Jose.

Picture 5 shows the 20 year old Cartago gas station attendant who
works behind the counter and seems to manage the whole station.  I had a
flat tire.  With less than 24 hours to go in San Jose, I had the attendants
put on the spare without fixing the flat.  I didn't need my gay-dar to know I
was with family.  I immediately began telling him who I am the kind of work I
do.  "Oh," he said, 'I'm gay, too."   Of course, I told him about Bernal and
the gay Christian group in San Jose, just a 15-20 minute drive away, traffic
permitting.
Above and at left:  Cartago, east of San
Jose.  Above, a flat tire.  At left,
Basilica of
Our Lady of the Angels
, the site where the
Black Virgin first revealed herself to a
peasant girl in 1635.
Ships outside of the
port at Limon.  
Christopher
Columbus was here
on his final voyage to
the New World in
1502.  Today,
bananas is the major
export.
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  • Other Sheep
    Coordinator for
    Central America,
    Bernal Esquivel, and
    his partner Rafael


  • Executive Director
    speaks to la
    Comunidad Arco Iris
    group in San Jose


  • Executive Director
    meets professors and
    staff of the Latin
    American Biblical
    University.


  • Executive Director has
    lunch with students of
    the Latin American
    Biblical University


  • Hispanic Focus on the
    Family grants meeting
    with Executive Director;


  • Additional contacts
    made along the way
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Other Sheep 2008 Costa Rica Contacts
The Executive Director also introduced
Other Sheep to:

  • Two newspapers:  La Nacion
    (April 30) and The Tico Times
    (May 5).  La Nacion took
    materials I gave them about
    Other Sheep and the contact
    information of Bernal Esquivel.  
    The Tico Times gave me the
    name and email address of their
    human rights contact person,
    Gillian Gillers.

Also, Pastor Isaias Ramos Corona
showed me materials printed by
Editorial Epifinia that Pastor Lisandro
Orlov, Coordinator of the Pastoral
Ecumenica VIH-SIDA of the  
Federacion Luterana Mundial, Iglesia
Evangelica Luterana Unida en
Argentina y Uruguay, had provided
The Latin American Biblical University.  

Contact information:
pastoralsida@hotmail.com

Website:
www.pastoralsida.com.ar.

Editorial Epifinia is located in Buenos
Aires and was founded with Rev. Dr.
Tom Hank's help.

Pastor Lisandro is a friend and
colleague of Tom Hanks' and is on the
Other Sheep Latin America Advisory
Board.
Follow the arrow (click it) and take a tour of
scenic Costa Rica.  Visit the Arenal Volcano.
Take the road to Santa Elena. See the
Caribbean coast, rain forests, wildlife, and
some personal shots of Steve and Jose.