Spencer Boulter, President of 6:8 Ministries, is a mission in motion. Fifteen years ago, while working as a youth pastor in St. John’s County, Boulter felt a deep calling to help the needy in Costa Rica. With the help of his wife, he acted on that calling, selling everything and moving to Costa Rica in 2006, where he officially started the non-profit in 2007.
Boulter’s travels in the military opened his eyes to life outside the United States. It opened something inside his heart as well.
“I was in the military before I was a youth pastor,” he said. “I spent time in South America; I saw the need.”
Part of the non-denominational mission of 6:8 Ministries is to “strengthen and expand God's kingdom here on earth” and this is accomplished through its various ministries, which provide care to Costa Ricans in need.
“We’ve been operating for 15 years and have ongoing ministries in Costa Rica that includes children’s Bible clubs, feeding centers, a ministry for single mother’s where we provide vocational and occupational training, as well as actual work and living conditions for single mothers while they are going through the program,” Boulter said. “We also buy uniforms, backpacks and school supplies for children whose parents don’t have economic resources. Those are our big initiatives.”
This outreach is what prompted Rob Hooper, CEO of Atlantic Logistics, to select 6:8 Ministries as this month’s recipient of a $3697 donation from his company’s Service 365 program. Each month, Service 365 donates one dollar of every load moved to a non-profit organization chosen by an Atlantic Logistics' team member.
“6:8 Ministries was started by the youth pastor at our church,” Hooper said. “ He felt a burden to assist the people of Costa Rica and reach out to them to help with their spiritual and physical needs. Since then, my kids and I have been down there numerous times to help with the ministries of 6:8. Each time, the people are so warm and friendly and appreciative of the feeding center, Gospel lessons and other programs. I have been on the Board of Directors of the ministry for many years.”
For 6:8 Ministries, the work to provide care, love and hope is only one half of the spiritual coin. The flipside is transformation.
“A large part of my heart was dedicated to helping Costa Rica, but I also wanted to give people in the U.S. an opportunity to serve, to broaden their cultural experiences and open their eyes to the ways people outside the U.S. live,” Boulter said, who helps his team prepare about 300 meals a week to feed homeless people.
“We always feed the children first,” he said.
Having been on several trips, Hooper has seen the power of service in action.
“Their mission statement is to ‘provide affordable, high quality, life-changing mission experiences,’” he said. “The affordable trips make it possible for many youth groups to make a trip to another country, see a different culture, experience a radically different standard of living and meet incredibly warm, appreciative people, and this has a real impact on their lives.”
But it certainly isn’t easy and sometimes, Boulter says, the level of poverty is just overwhelming.
“The most difficult part is the realization that the need is greater than any one organization could help address,” he said. “Dealing with the apathy of sheltered Americans can also be difficult – people who haven’t been transformed by getting outside of their own culture. There are so many resources and opportunities here but getting people to see we need to expand past our own borders and help others can be really challenging.”
Boulter continues to do what he can, though, and in doing so, creates a path for others to do the same.
“We consider it a blessing and obligation to give back to the community and the world,” Hooper said. “I love that the money you spend does not go into large overhead of the ministry. The missionaries raise their own funds, so the money that is invested goes to help the Costa Ricans on the ground. The donations we have been able to give are changing lives and remind us there is more to life than work and meeting our own needs. We are blessed to be blessings to others.”
For Boulter, inspiration to continue his work resides in empty bowls and full bellies.
“The staple there is rice and beans, so when we are able to give the kids something different – even simple meals – they just light up,” he said. “When you feed these children and see the smiles on their faces, you know you can be an instrument of change, that the mission works. That’s why we do it.”
Atlantic Logistics provides truckload and partial service on flatbeds, stepdecks, lowbeds, vans, and reefers throughout the United States and Canada. Moving over-dimensional/over-weight freight with specialized equipment, Atlantic Logistics is an approved Department of Defense and General Services Administration broker, qualify as a woman-owned business, and are members of the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA), the Transportation Marketing & Sales Association (TMSA),the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA.)