Name: Karen Del Rio
Hometown: Ohio, USA
Current Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
As a child, Karen decided that she wanted to grow up and become a missionary. She heard the story of Amy Carmichael, Jim Elliot, and other missionaries, and dreamed of using her life for the Lord in the same way. In her 6th grade yearbook she wrote, “When I grow up I would like to be a missionary- teacher.”
Karen first got involved in foreign missions in 2004, when she moved to Honduras to work with the Banegas Ministries. As a 19 year old, taking a year off college, she began her career as a missionary. Karen taught high school science at the Christian school affiliated with the church, and served in the church wherever needed. She returned to college in the fall of 2005 at Texas A&M University to study bilingual education (Spanish-English).
While in college she began working at a local children’s home, Still Creek Boys Ranch. While working with the hurting children and teenagers, she began dreaming of working with orphans overseas.
She graduated from Texas A&M in May of 2008, and returned to Honduras in July, 2008. During the next few years Karen served as a teacher in the bilingual Christian school, and full time in the ministry. During those years her responsibilities included teaching 5th and 6th grade, preaching in chapels, preaching and working with the youth group, helping with a church plant, leading the youth group at the church plant, training youth leaders, preaching at retreats, translation, etc.
Karen has also taken short term missions trips to Costa Rica and Guatemala, working with orphans, poor communities and helping in translation.
Karen joined Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in January 2011. She attended YWAM's Discipleship Training School, spending 3 months doing missionary training Tijuana, Mexico and doing a 2 month outreach in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
She joined the YWAM-San Jose base in July 2011 and currently continues to serve with them. She was trained to work with children by doing the Children at Risk School. After a 3 month lecture phase in San Jose, she went to Africa for 6 months with a small team to gain experience working with children at risk. They served with different children's ministries in South Africa, Lesotho, and Mozambique.
After returning from Africa, Karen & her now husband, Isaac, served with The Refuge in Jacó, Costa Rica. Isaac began furthering his education in San Jose at the beginning of 2013, while Karen stayed on the coast ministering to young girls at risk of under-age prostitution. Isaac & Karen were married on Jaco Beach on April 27, 2013. After the wedding Karen joined Isaac in San José and took over the leadership of Metro Ministries during the current leader's one year Sabbatical.