Vida Abundante isn’t anywhere near the tourist zone of Cozumel. But Steve and Pamela Sikkila followed the street signs to find the church in the Emiliano Zapata neighborhood. They’re regular visitors to Cozumel. Who could argue with leaving a Minnesota winter for a few days of sunshine and beauty on the island? This time, however, they brought along more than their beachwear.
“We saw photos of some friends taking donations to people in Isla Mujeres and that planted the seed,” said Steve.
“There is a great contrast between affluence and the less fortunate,” said Pamela. “We asked ourselves ‘What do these vacations mean? What should we be doing?’”
Steve says they started to “pay attention to the messages” and soon decided to talk with the small congregation at Prince of Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. “It’s where I grew up—just 80 or so people attending on a regular basis,” he said. “I was stunned at the willingness to help.”Their help turned into more than three dozen pairs of new children’s shoes, a pile of school supplies, and a monetary gift to help with the church pastors’ living expenses. At Vida Abundante, the pastors rely on weekly offerings and donations rather than a salary for their full time work.
After a prayer shared with Pastors Mariela and Salomón, Steve said “Don’t thank me. I’m just following the road signs.”