Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Always Somewhere

in Our Home

The story of a young couple in Costa Rica seeking ways to gather their family for daily devotion time is like many testimonies I have heard while serving as Publisher of The Upper Room. What a blessing to hear—and share—stories about the impact of our ministry!

During the 1970s and 80s, Oscar and Flor Abarca sought creative ways to gather their eight children for prayer.

David, the youngest Abarca, remembers the constant presence of a small magazine that helped develop his relationship with Christ. “A copy of El Aposento Alto was always somewhere in our home: my parents’ bedroom, the living room, or our kitchen,” David recalls. He notes that his mother, now a widow, still keeps a copy of the Spanish edition of The Upper Room daily devotional guide close at hand.

Now living in the United States with a family of his own, David has become managing editor of the very magazine that has drawn him closer to God since childhood. It is surprising to know that as a teenager, David failed English language classes and dropped out of school. His father, a Methodist minister, urged David to complete his education and get a GED. Months of study paid off. He passed the exams—including English—with flying colors, and was later offered a scholarship to Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, where he graduated in 1999. He went on to receive a Master of Arts in Theology in 2008 from Wesley Seminary in Washington, D.C.

Following seminary, David prayed for a meaningful career where he could use the gifts God had given him. “My wife and I were struggling financially, so I started looking for translation jobs to bring in more money. My search connected me with El Aposento Alto,” he says. After a few months translating for the devotional guide, David learned Rev. Carmen Gaud was retiring as the Editor of the beloved publication. He prayed an opportunity would open for him. 

This year, Upper Room Ministries celebrates the 75th anniversary of El Aposento Alto, and we welcome David Abarca to the team as the magazine’s Managing Editor. [Click here to watch a short video clip of David sharing what The Upper Room means to him.]

David’s story reminds us of the influence and reach of The Upper Room, an essential resource that helps families around the world—in 35 different languages. The Spanish version is distributed in twenty countries, including the United States, where over 1,800 churches use the guide to minister across cultures and languages.

The devotional is still gathering the Abarca family together for prayer. Geovanny, David’s older brother in Costa Rica, is blind and subscribes to the braille edition of The Upper Room, while their mother Flor reads El Aposento Alto, proud of her personal connection.


Stories like this are possible because of 

your donations to the International Editions of The Upper Room. 


Your gifts directly sustain the translation and distribution of the devotional guide, helping deliver its messsage of hope to areas of the world with few resources. 

Consider a gift that will equip families around the globe to have a daily practice of prayer together. 

Thank you for your support!



Thank you,

Sarah Wilke

Publisher of The Upper Room


To read about the history of El Aposento Alto, click here.