Thursday, January 29, 2009

Instituto de Lengua Espanola

I thought I would post some pictures of our school, Instituto de Lengua Espanola, where we are studying Spanish (since we are spending soooo much time here during these few months!).   There are also a few pictures of Thomas and Jacob with their teachers.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays we have a break in the middle of the school day and we have chapel.  There is worship and teaching and each one we have been to so far has really blessed us tremendously!  It is a great way for us to be fed spiritually 2 extra times during the week.  And to be able to worship with the friends we are in classes with has been a blessing as well!  Daniel had the priviledge of leading worship this past Tuesday in Chapel and it was amazing!  He has really missed leading at Calvary Chapel Lexington so this was a treat for him.   He is now going to be in the rotation to lead each week so we are really excited about that!  He has been playing and singing at home a lot with the boys and Thomas keeps asking for a guitar because he wants to learn how to play.  I would love to have another musically gifted member of our family!!!  

For those of you in the northern United States, we have been praying for you today and will continue to after seeing the news of all of the ice storms and power outages. We love you and thank you for your prayers!
This is me and my favorite professora, Alejandra   Thomas and his teacher, Pamela 
  Daniel leading worship at chapel                         Jacob's teacher, Kattia, and her assistant
Here is a picture of the chapel at schoolThese are classroom buildings...
                                                                                 This is the entrance to the school
These are pictures of Thomas and Jacob's school..their building is right behind our classrooms

Monday, January 26, 2009

El Museo de los Ninos and other news

Saturday we decided to get out of the house and take the kids to do something fun.  We went to El Museo de Los Ninos. (The Children's Museum) with some friends from school.  It was so much fun!  It cost less than $6.0o for us all to get and it was definitely worth it.  The local "Ticos" are very proud of the museum.  It is located in the old prison (from the early 1900s) and it is now a huge tourist (and local) attraction.   Attached are a few pictures of our time there.  Thomas and his buddy, Cohen. 
Space shuttles are his favorite!!     Here is a simulation of a "terremoto" (earthquake) in a home. Only in Costa Rica would this be a part of the museum.  The kids loved it!

Below is a picture of a man in front of our home who was walking the streets selling furniture that he had made.  We heard him yelling as he walked down the road that he had highchairs and table sets for sale.  It was Sunday morning and we were getting ready to leave for church but we couldn't resist looking at what he had and we did end up buying the table and chairs set shown below for about $20.  The most amazing part of this is that when we were packing up to leave in the US, we knew we couldn't take any furniture and one thing I really wanted to bring but was unable to was the table and chairs set that Faith (Daniel's brother, Ben's wife) painted for the boys.  They loved it and always played at it or ate at it.  It was so great for them, but we had to leave it at my mom's.  Well, the Lord knew that and I know this was Him blessing us with an authentic Costa Rican set and as a result we were able to bless this man by supporting his woodworking business.  We were so blessed by this and the boys LOVE their new table and chairs.  Here are the pictures below.

In front of our house...and this one is in our house...

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Friday morning I was studying in 2 Corinthians 3 and verses 16-18 really spoke to my heart.  It says, "But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.  Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."  What powerful Words from the Lord and His desire for us to be always reflecting His glory, His love, His grace if we have been transformed by His love and have accepted Him as Lord of our lives.  I then read In Oswald Chambers the following powerful words "The outstanding characteristic of a Christian is the unveiled frankness before God so that the life becomes a mirror for others.  By being filled with the Spirit, we are TRANSFORMED, and by beholding we become mirrors.  You always know when a man has been beholding the glory of the Lord;  you feel in your inner spirit that he is the mirror of the Lord's own character.  Beware of anything that would cloud that mirror in you, it is nearly always a good thing that clouds, the good that is not the best.  The golden rule for our lives is to keep the life open towards God.  Let everything else--work, food, clothing, everything on earth--go by the wayside, saving that one thing.  The rush of the "other thing" always tends to obscure this concentration on God.  We have to maintain ourselves in His place--keeping the life absolutely spiritual all through.  Let the other things come and go as they may, let other people criticize as they will, but NEVER allow ANYTHING to obscure your life that is hid with Christ in God.  NEVER be hurried out of the relationship of abiding in Him.  It is one thing that is apt to fluctuate but it ought not to.  The #1 discipline of a Christian's life is to learn how to "Keep reflecting as in a mirror the glory of God."  

Wow---what a challenge for me.  Am I truly reflecting the Lord's glory and grace and peace and love to my family, to the local Costa Ricans I meet daily, to my professors, to my neighbors, to my friends?  My desire is nothing more than to kneel before my Lord, my Creator as a mirror that He may reflect His glory through me each day.  And for those who still have the veil covering their spiritual eyes, as we reflect God's love and glory we may be the very tool God uses to remove that veil--what an honor to be used by God!  What freedom there is in Christ!  I challenge you as I challenge myself to focus this week on reflecting Christ Himself in all you blessed! 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Learning Daily

It seems that every day we learn something new while here in Costa Rica.  The interesting facts that we have learned this week are as follows:

*Spanking your children is illegal and is considered corporal punishment. (Thomas and Jacob love this one!)  :):)

*Blowing your nose with a tissue in public or around any "Tico" is considered very bad manners.  You are to either leave the room and blow your nose in private or sniffle your way through the day.  

*We discovered last week that the "sand" or "dirt" on the playground that our children play at on a regular basis is manure.  No wonder they are so filthy dirty when they come home from the park!

*Stop signs don't serve any purpose--they don't even mean "yield."

*All of the man hole covers and tops of gutter drains are missing everywhere.  People steal them to sell as scrap metal.  We had a "Tico" friend here tell us they are "gringo traps." (Gringo is a slang term for Americans)

In all seriousness, thank you for your prayers as we are adjusting more and more every day. Please pray for our language study.  It is tough and we both desire to speak it perfectly now....please pray for patience and perseverance.  Please pray against discouragement and frustration.  We know that the Lord has called us to His service and will equip us for every good work.  He who has called us is faithful!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Very "Special" Birthday

For those who don't know, my birthday is today and I have to say it has been the most unusual birthday I have ever had!  There is never a dull moment living here in Costa Rica.  When I arrived to spanish class this morning, my favorite profesora (teacher) had a gift and card for me.  It was a beautiful bracelet and a very sweet card.  She also had the class sing "Happy Birthday" to me in Spanish.  It was very thoughtful and she really blessed me!  School was fine, but we came home to no power.  We spoke to our landlord and found out that the people who lived here before us did not pay 2 months of power and they were behind 6 months on water so the power company came by this morning and cut our power off.  The water company was on their way to cut our water off as well.  Well, the first thing we needed to do was to get the bills paid, however, here in Costa Rica it is a process to pay any kind of bill.  Our bills are left in between the bars in the gate in front of our home so sometimes you get them and sometimes you don't.  Then you take the bills to any bank or grocery store to pay them.  We left the kids with a Tica friend and walked to the bank to withdraw money to pay the bills and the ATM was broken so we walked to another bank.  We got the money, paid the bills and then had to call the power company and BEG them to come back out today to cut the power back on.  After an hour of trying to get through, I finally spoke with someone who said we would have someone at our house by 5:00PM.  For the first time since we have been here, the electrician arrived ON TIME and we have power again--Praise the Lord!!!  (We also have wet laundry hanging on ropes all over our back yard because we were unable to finish washing or drying anything...we just had to laugh!)  So, we did go out to a little restaurant for my birthday since there was no time or power to cook.  Daniel and the boys made me the worst tasting brownie cake (we all agreed it was terrible!) we have ever had!  Everything tastes different here and the brownie mix here is no comparison to Duncan Hines or Hersheys!!!  But we had fun nonetheless and the boys enjoyed singing to me and blowing out the candles.  We have definitely had enough excitement for one day and this is definitely a birthday I will never forget!  And yet God is still so faithful to us and continues to make Himself known to us on a daily basis!  What an honor it is to serve the King of Kings!!!

Here are a few pictures for your enjoyment...
Here are the boys reading together in our den
   Here is Jacob in his favorite hiding place in the kitchen  Jacob in our makeshift bathtub--they don't have bathtubs in Costa Rica!!  Daniel and Thomas baking the brownie cake...My birthday party...           

Friday, January 16, 2009

We Finally Have Internet!!

Well, today we got internet service installed and we are so excited!  It has been difficult with such limited communication with everyone, but now we are connected!  There is so much to write about since we have been here for a full 2 weeks.  It seems as if we have been here a lot longer because we are adjusting well.  We finished our first full week of language school this week and we are exhausted!  Being in school 5 hours a day with no english spoken is challenging, but we are learning a lot!  Thomas and Jacob are adjusting well and enjoying their school, Reyitos del Sol (Little Rays of Sunshine).  Their teachers are wonderful and they only speak Spanish as well so the boys are learning quickly.  Our school is about 15 minutes from our house by foot so we enjoy walking to and from school each day.  The sun is up here by 5:30AM so we get going early and our days are a lot longer.  By 9:00PM we are falling asleep because of each day's activities.  Tomorrow (Saturday) we are going to La Feria (Farmer's Market).  Local farmers come to the park each Saturday morning and and sell fresh fruit and vegetables for very good prices.  This has been a lot of fun and a good way to practice Spanish.  The park also has a great playground and has quickly become a favorite outing for the kids!  We have made many other missionary friends here in school with us who are going all over Latin America to serve when school is done.  It has definitely been an easier adjustment for us coming to language school first because we are with others who are exactly "where we are."  Last week we experienced a "first"...we had an earthquake here in Costa Rica that registered 6.2 on the Richter Scale.  The epicenter was 20 minutes from where we are, but we sure got a lot of movement and shaking.  It was really scary and it scared the boys as well but we are all okay.  Many died or are still missing so we are blessed to have been protected.  Please pray for all of those families who have lost loved ones.  I am going to post some pictures and I will continue to blog regularly now that we have internet.  Thanks for your continued prayers--we know this is the primary reason why the transition has been so smooth.  God is so faithful! This is a picture of us with all of our bags on our front porch right when we were dropped off at our new house by the taxi.  
             This is our new home..  This is our kitchen...                                                      This is the view from our porch... Daniel and the boys in the hammock in the back yard....Daniel's favorite pastime...  
This is our shower is called a widow maker and the exposed electrical wires provide the only warm water in the house                                                               This is "La Feria" (the farmer's market)          Here are the boys playing at the playground...and Jacob is snacking on a green bean that we bought at La Feria
 This is Thomas and his buddy Cohen...they are in school together and live about 6 houses down from us...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

We are here!!!

We have finally arrived in Costa Rica!  Our transition has been very smooth, but we don't have internet service in our home yet so we are borrowing a computer until our service is connected.  I will post pictures of our home and our life here so far as soon as we get service.  Thank you so much for your prayers--we feel them daily and God has been so faithful to take care of us!  Sorry this is so short but I am limited due to lack of service.  I will begin updating very soon!!  Thanks and we love you!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hasta Luego

Well, the next time we write we will be in Costa Rica!  We leave tomorrow morning at 6:10AM from Columbia.  The Lord is so amazing---every detail He has orchestrated and the ways He has provided for us in such a short time.  He has made it so clear to us over and over that we are doing what He desires for our family at this time in our lives!  Thanks to all of you who have been fervently praying for us!   For those who have been asking about Daniel's medical bills, all of the bills but 1 were written off (PRAISE THE LORD!!) and we paid the last bill off about 2 weeks ago!  What joy we have had in seeing the Lord's hand at work with all of this!  It has definitely all been for His glory!  We are truly humbled at all of the love we have felt over these past few months as we have prepared to go.  God has used each of you in a mighty way to share His love with us and we are forever grateful for it.  We look forward to sharing with you weekly what the Lord is doing in Costa Rica so check our blog often.  Until then, Dios les bendiga y Feliz Ano Nuevo!  (God bless you and Happy New Year)   


Christmas was extra special this year with our departure date constantly on our minds. The kids had a great time visiting family and friends and of course we were blessed as well. Two weeks before Christmas my mom treated my sister and I to a trip to New York City to visit my sister, Becca. We had a wonderful girl's weekend--definitely much needed before I go.  The following are a few pictures of the boys over Christmas.