(Photos in this article are courtesy of Korina Slabach)
Korina Slabach: Misssionary in Costa Rica
By Selma Komisky
Korina Slabach is a missionary and pastor’s wife currently serving alongside her husband, Pastor Ryan Slabach in San Isidro, Costa Rica. She also is a new mommy to their six month baby daughter, Emery Hope. This is her testimony.
She was born in Washington State until the age of 18 but after her father retired after 20 years in the Navy, Her parents relocated to Texas. They moved seven times and she believes it helped to prepare her later for the mission field. She remembered learning as a teen that her true home was with Jesus saying, “until I’m with Him, I won’t feel at home anywhere.”
It was at the age of nine years old that all the VBS stories, Sunday school and Picture Bible stories “clicked” as she confessed her sins with her mom who led her to the Lord. Slabach later rededicated her life to the Lord in high school and after a period of time of compromise in college, she confesses that God’s loving pursuit broke her. After that confession she began deepening her faith and grounding her roots deeper in Him.
“Becoming a missionary was a desire since grade school,” recalls Slabach. “In fact this may sound funny, but I remember having a heart for missions at the age of four – I was sitting watching a program about an orphanage.”
While watching a program about a orphanage in Poland, what stood out were the children who were mentally and physically challenged and had a lack of affection and handling. She shares, “I remember crying telling my mom, they just need Jesus and someone to love them. I continued to tell my mom that’s what I want to do when I grow up. Later God began growing the desire for mission work then and continued to cultivate that heart through my teen years and into adulthood.”
So Slabach left behind being a physical therapist assistant and became a missionary in Costa Rica. There, the Lord God put the desire in her heart to share the love of the Savior and share with the the Ticas (a.k.a the Costa Rican women).
She initially met her husband Ryan at Calvary Chapel Bible College in Murietta, California in the fall of 2010. Attending the Costa Rica extension campus because there was a mission’s emphasis offered, she didn’t know the director and teacher at time would be her future husband. She graduated in the spring of 2012 and they were married on January 11, 2014. Today, they have been married for a year and eight months and have one little girl named Emery Hope.
Their church is called Calvary Chapel Palabra Viva, which means “Living Word in Spanish.” Ryan has been the pastor at Calvary Chapel Palabra Viva for approximately two and a half years and the overseer of CCBC (Calvary Chapel Bible College) Costa Rica for two years. At Palabra Viva, there is simple expository teaching of the Word and solid doctrine that is the basis for worship (not mere emotionalism). Their church is made up of a precious group of believers growing together in God’s grace.
The vision of the church is: “Seek the lost, disciple the found, and send the equipped.” Korina leads the women’s study saying, “The primary focus of our ministry is meeting spiritual needs.” Two ministries outlets at the church are the church itself and Bible College. At the Bible College, American students have the privilege of studying the bible abroad and participating in mission work and Costa Rican students has the opportunity to join them. They are seeking to establish a Spanish Bible College for the purpose of training and preparing future leaders, pastors, teachers and missionaries among the Costa Ricans. The Lord has also opened doors locally here in San Isidro convalescent ministry, boys orphanage, kids clubs, and outreaches at local parks as well as at an indigenous reservation about two and half miles south.
Slabach is also began a new ministry as mommy. She states, “Within these last two years I’ve experienced a new country, new language, and new roles as a mom and wife, and pastor’s wife.”
Even as Emery Hope is a baby, she is choosing to pour into her life early on praying with her, singing worship songs with her in their home, reading bible stories, and fellowshipping on a weekly basis. She confesses, “Our biggest testimony to her is us! We pray for grace because both Ryan and I want to practice what we are teaching and counseling others in and Emery will see us on good days and bad days; we pray by His grace we point her to Jesus on any kind of day.”
She adds, “I believe that there are seasons in life and in ministry we must ask God which seasons call for different things. Right now our daughter is so young that her dependency is entirely on Ryan and I. I stay very sensitive to Emery’s physical needs while serving and supporting Ryan and leading women’s ministry. I stepped down from two other areas I was leading and one I assisted in because our baby needs more one on one and Ryan has always been so supportive in encouraging me to be as involved or uninvolved in ministry as God has called me to be.”
Slabach leaves readers with this encouragement when it comes to raising children sharing Deuteronomy 6:6-8. She shares, “This passage – that speaks of the Lord commanding the Israelites to teach their children diligently the Word that the Lord had spoken to them. It says, ‘You shall them and talk of them as you sit in your house, when you walk by the way. When you lie down, and when you rise up .You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.’ This was shared with us by Ryan’s dad and we have taken this to heart in our home.”