Sunday, December 20, 2009
We are so blessed to be able to visit The States for Christmas!!! We are visiting friends and family and have been so encouraged and uplifted with everyone we see! We will not be blogging much until we return to Jaco in January, however, we will blog about the Christmas Outreach soon and post pictures. We just want to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year! We love you and thank you for your support and prayers!!! God bless you all!!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Sorry we have not blogged in a few weeks---we have been really busy between hosting our church Thanksgiving Dinner to planning for the big Christmas Outreach and everything in between. We are so blessed daily by all that God is doing here. We continue to meet new people every day and just listening to other's stories and pouring in to them when the opportunity arises has blessed us more than anything! We took a bike ride 2 weeks ago and found a little "barrio" tucked away across a wooden walking bridge. The poverty took our breath away. There were five little makeshift houses and all the people that lived there were a family. The Grandmother has 4 children and each of them has a house. Among the 4 of them there are 13 children. They have no power and dirt floors. They cook over a stove outside, yet many of them are suffering from health problems because of breathing in the smoke all day long. We talked to them for a long time and they really touched our hearts. The boys had a great time playing with all of their dogs and chickens. We went back and visited last week and Thomas and Jacob took the kids some toys to play with. We have prayed and as a family are going to "sponsor" this neighborhood for Christmas. Our boys are really excited about going and buying Christmas gifts for the family. We will also share the Christmas Story with them--similar to what we are doing with our Christmas Outreaches in the other 2 barrios. We are looking forward to developing a relationship with this extended family with the hopes of sharing the love of Jesus with them. Daniel is really praying about how to reconstruct the outdoor stoves (possibly adobe style) in order to help them with their health problems. Join with us in praying about how we can be a part of helping this family.
Below are a few pictures from the Thanksgiving dinner as well as random pictures of daily life.
Our new iguana friend in our back yard...
Sunday, November 22, 2009
What an AWESOME day we had yesterday! Daniel led a team of men from the church in a "clean up the park" day in the barrio where we do kid's club on Saturdays. The little playground was falling apart, the soccer field was grown over and there was trash everywhere. The men did a wonderful job and the kids were soooo excited! Many of them were right there watching and helping as the men worked. We were entertaining the rest of the kids in an empty field beside the park with water games and races. It was such a blessing to the kids and to the community and as soon as the men were done there were kids playing soccer again and others climbing all over the play equipment! What a joy it was to be a part of this special day! Below are a few pictures of the day.
Soccer field before
Soccer field after
rope ladder before
rope ladder after
clean park at last!!!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Wow, we have been extremely busy but having so much fun! We just kicked off CORE groups with the church--one in English and one in Spanish. They are basically home fellowship groups and we are studying through the Book of James. Daniel is leading one of the groups and we are having a lot of fun! It is a great way for us to go deeper in the Word with those in the church as well as develop relationships to a deeper level. We are excited about what the Lord is going to do through these groups!
We are also gearing up for our big Christmas Outreach this year. We are having 2 separate outreaches this year in 2 of the poorest "barrios" (neighborhoods) in Jacó. We are sharing the Christmas story, serving refreshments, having clowns lead games, and giving each child a gift. We are getting people in our church here as well as people in The States to "sponsor" a child for only $10 which will pay for the gift. The gift will include clothing, a toy, a Gospel coloring book, crayons and candy. We are SOOOO excited about being a part of blessing these precious families this Christmas! It will definitely bless us more than it blesses any of them for sure!
Below are a few pictures of our Kid's Club kids that will be participating in the Christmas Outreach! Please join us in praying for these families now--that their lives will be forever changed by hearing the truth of Jesus' love!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Here are a few pictures of Daniel and Thomas cutting bananas down at Warren's house. (Warren attends our church) Thomas thought this was sooo much fun!! There are also a few pictures of us with Carolyn and Ashley who came to visit us over their Fall Break from Palm Beach Atlantic Univ. Carolyn was in our youth group at Calvary Chapel in Lexington and Ashley is her roommate in college. We had so much fun with them and they were a true blessing and help to us while they were here!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
As many of you remember, we met Maria and Lester right after moving here and have been ministering to them since. They have come to church with us for about 2 months and we have developed and incredible relationship with them during this time. We shared the Gospel with them one night at our house about 3 weeks ago or so and they were very interested in learning more. Since that time, Daniel bought a Bible and devotional book for each of them and I have never seen anyone so excited to receive a gift. It was such a beautiful moment for both Daniel and I. They began reading their Bibles and one day Maria came over and said they were ready to accept Jesus as Lord of their lives!!!!! We had them over last Saturday night for dinner, walked them through the Gospel and THEY BOTH PRAYED AND INVITED JESUS INTO THEIR HEARTS!!!!! Praise the Lord!!!! We were and are sooo excited! With tears in their eyes and pure joy beaming from their faces, they prayed with us and it was such a life changing moment for all of us! What is more, Sunday we had a baptism celebration and dinner at our house for the church and they along with 4 others were baptized in our pool!!! What a celebration it was!! Please see the attached pictures of the baptism! It was such a night of rejoicing to see what the Lord is doing in the lives of people here who are surrendering to Him! We feel so blessed to have already seen the fruit of the ministry we are doing here--this is a true gift from the Lord!
Thanks to all of you who are continuously praying for us and for Jacó. Please pray for Maria and Lester as they begin this new journey with the Lord!!!!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Thanks so much to all of you for praying for Daniel while he was speaking at the Youth Conference in the mountains! He definitely felt the prayers and the conference was incredible!!! All of his talks were very well received and he had an awesome time getting to know kids from all over Central America. Here are a few pictures from his time there.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Here are a few pictures of Maria teaching us how to make homemade tortillas. Tortillas are a staple both here and in Nicaragua. Thomas helped her cook and they had a great time cooking and playing in the dough. We love Maria!!!
The finished product--Thomas's favorite--black beans and cheese on a tortilla dipped in sour cream...he got a little carried away with the sour cream!!!
Monday, October 5, 2009
I just wanted to ask everyone to pray for Daniel (and me) as he will be leaving Friday morning to speak at a 4 day Youth Conference 2 hours north of San Jose. He was invited by the International Youth Group in San Jose and they will be traveling to La Cumbre Youth Camp in the mountains. Pray that the Lord would give him clarity as he teaches and that student's lives would be forever changed and drawn to Jesus as the Lord speaks through Daniel. Please pray for safe travel as the roads are not great where they are going. Also, please pray for me. :) It will be our first nights alone in Jaco without Daniel and 4 days and 3 nights with 2 crazy boys (and no Daddy around) can be trying. Pray for peace and safety for us as we are here alone.
As always, thank you so much for praying and serving alongside us here in Costa Rica.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Here are a few pictures we thought we would share....
Here are Daniel and the boys headed to the store. The boys LOVE to ride on the bike and this is the second most popular mode of transportation here (behind walking)...
Here is the trailer that you, as our supporters, bought so that we can "do church" every week. We load it and the car up with the sound equipment, chairs, etc and transport it every Sunday morning to the open air soccer field where we meet for church. This trailer has already been such a blessing--thanks so much for your continued support of the ministry here!!!This last picture is of our team at a restaurant celebrating Gabo's birthday (guy to the far left by Daniel) Gabo is a Tico from San Jose who moved here to work with us. He speaks fluent English and Spanish. Mike and Revae and their 3 girls (Naomi, Abby, and Michaela) are pictured as well. We are really enjoying getting to know them and partnering with them here in ministry.
Thanks for your continued prayers....
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
We just wanted to thank all of you so much for all of the encouraging words, scripture, and prayers that we have received over the past week. We truly feel the prayers of all of you and are truly humbled by all of the care and concern. Our God is so faithful and we are doing just fine. Besides a few sleepless nights for me and a lot of extra caution, everything is great and God continues to blow our minds with the work he is doing here. Of course, this is probably the very reason Satan has attacked us in this way. Again, THANK YOU so much for encouraging us---we are all a team in this and all of you teammates are so special to us!!
We wanted to share a little story about how the Lord is working in the lives of people here. About a month ago a girl named Maria and her friend showed up at our gate asking if we had any work they could do (cleaning, taking care of children, etc). We talked for a long time and something struck me about this girl Maria, but I told them Daniel and I would have to pray about it. She left me a phone number of someone in her neighborhood so I could contact her later. I talked to Daniel, we prayed and about 3 days later, one Sunday night, I felt like the Lord told me to call Maria and offer her work. I called her and she came by the next day and I asked her if she would like to work maybe 2 days a week for a few hours. I felt like this would be a great ministry opportunity with her. Well, she asked if she could come 5 days a week a few hours a day and I agreed. I know the Lord orchestrated this meeting between us because she has been a blessing to us and we have really been able to pour into her. We talk all the time about the Lord and she has asked me to pray with her on 2 different occasions so I am really praying about the time to share the gospel with her. She is married to Lester (they both came here from Nicaragua 2 years ago) and he is unemployed as well and looking for work. They are extremely poor yet so humble and full of joy. He has been able to help Daniel build a few things for the church and Daniel has paid him in return. More than that, Daniel and I have been able to pour into this couple spiritually in an amazing way over the past 3 weeks. We found out that Lester has NEVER been to church in his life, not even a catholic church, which is so hard to fathom. Well, they came to church with us last week for the first time!!!!! We were SOOOO excited and they both LOVED it!! Lester was really nervous about going...we picked them up and they looked so beautiful all dressed up and excited! We then took them to lunch afterwards and were able to talk to them about the service. They came with us again this past Sunday and really enjoyed it again. Again, I am praying for a time to share the gospel with Maria so pray for us as the Lord prepares her heart! She is very open to the things of the Lord. Below are a few pictures of us with Maria and Lester.
Again, thanks so much for all of your prayers...we love you and are so thankful for you!!!!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Despite getting settled and celebrating Costa Rica's independence over the past 2 weeks, we have had some trying times as well. In short, a guy showed up here from Nicaragua and was told to find our church and we would help him find work and continue to disciple him (There is NO work in Nica) So, he showed up and we as a team came along side him--fed him, gave him a place to stay, a bike to use--he got a job, etc. He is a believer and a really sweet guy. Well, last week we noticed our camera missing and were extremely baffled. We have had many people in and out of our home and we had no idea what could have happened to it. (Of course we initially "accused" the children of hiding it) Anyway, long story short, we found out last weekend it was our friend we have been ministering to who stole the camera. In addition, he stole some money from us last Saturday--Daniel caught him. We were, of course, very hurt and had to make him leave our home. We gave him food, prayed for him and told him we needed time. Of course he was very apologetic and we forgave him but we were very hurt. In the meantime he lost his job and was living on the street this week. We continued to feed him and he came to church last Sunday. After much discussion and prayer with him, we sent him back on a bus last night to Nica to his family. This situation was different because he wasn't some heathen off the street--he professed the name of Christ...he knew Christ...he was sent here by his Christian mentor. We have learned very quickly that theft is such a part of the nature of so many people here--this survival mentality--that they are in bondage to...
Anyway, what is worse, we woke up this morning and we had been robbed. Praise the Lord they did not get in the house but they took all of Daniel's tools and 3 pairs of shoes that were drying right beside our front door (inside our gate). It poured rain last night and in the rain Daniel helped a guy fix his bike so he took his tools out of his car and didn't return them there because he didn't want to get wet again. He hid them under a chair but we think someone saw the shoes and climbed our BIG fence (with spikes on top!) to get them and saw the tools as well. I will be honest, I am a little nervous...I just don't want anyone in the house. I know the Lord did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind and this is what the Lord has reminded me of all day. I am writing all of this just to ask you to pray for us because it has been a difficult, emotional 2 weeks. Please join us in praying Psalm 91 over our family and our home. We love you and thank you for praying!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Yesterday, September 15, was Costa Rica's Independence Day. This is a huge day of celebration here just as the 4th of July is in the States. There are usually big parades and everyone dresses up in the traditional campesino clothing. Because of the big swine flu scare this year, the big parades were cancelled and the local school here in Jaco had a "mini" parade. We dressed the boys up in their campesino outfits that Concepcion made them and with our teammates we went and experienced the festivities. Here are a few pictures from the day.