Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Little "Ticos"

Our sweet friend, Concepción, showed up at our house on Friday bearing gifts.  She had her neighbor make outfits for the boys that represent the typical "campesino" (peasant) here in Costa Rica.  She was so excited about them and the boys wanted to wear them immediately!  They had so much fun running around the house with their new "Costa Rica clothes" on (as Thomas called them).  Here are a few pictures of my little campesinos in their outfits.  There are also a few pictures below of my 3 boys star gazing on Friday night in our back yard.  The pictures are adorable and the conversation was even better!  Even more, this morning when we were doing "children's church" with the boys before we left for church, we were learning about Creation.  Thomas was so excited to learn that on the 4th day, God created the sun, moon and stars--even the stars he and Daddy were looking at on Friday night!  It was a sweet moment to see him make the connection that all things beautiful around us were created by God.  I am so thankful for my boys--God reminds me of the blessing that they are each and every day! 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

¡Que ocupados hemos estado!

How busy we have been!  So sorry we have not blogged in 2 weeks, but we have been living in a whirlwind!  We began our final trimester in school and the workload has increased dramatically so we are swimming in homework, tests, presentations, etc. every day.  In addition, the rainy season has begun so every afternoon as we are leaving school it begins to rain and it rains--well POURS--into the night each day.  We are getting used to it, but it is hard to believe that this rain will continue to increase until rainy season is over in December--WOW!!!  The boys were sick during our first week back at school so we were out of commission for a few days.  We have also had some of our best friends, Billy and Suzanne Myers, visiting us for the past week.  It has been a wonderful time of fun and fellowship for all of us!  The kids have had so much fun competing for their attention as well.  They have been such a blessing in both of our lives and we are so thankful they came to visit us!  They left this morning and it was hard to say goodbye but the visit was awesome!  
Our friends, Billy and Suzanne

Over the weekend, we took Billy and Suzanne to Jacó to see the ministry there and to attend church.  There was a youth mission team there from a church in San Jose and we enjoyed helping to host the team Saturday and Sunday.  The youth did dramas and street evangelism late Saturday night and entertained the kids with puppets at Kid's Club on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  This group has been in evangelism training and this was their first time sharing the gospel in this manner.  It was amazing to see what the Lord did through them.  Listening to the stories of drug addicts in tears, repenting of their sins, was such a blessing and we just pray that the Lord uses our church to follow up and reach out to those who were impacted in some way. It was hard to leave Jacó on Sunday night because there are so many needs and we are so ready to get started there!  However, we know that the time will be here before we know it!!!Here is one of the kids from the mission team...Jacob loved him!!

As always, thank you so much for your prayers!  We definitely feel them and they are definitely needed!  Speaking of prayer, last week I received an email from a dear friend saying that she had been praying for me all morning and wanted to know if there was anything specific she should be praying for.  It was such a beautiful thing because the Lord had her praying for me the entire time that I was leading a Bible Study in Spanish!  Wow--the power of intercession in the body of Christ is such an amazing thing!  Thanks to all of you who intercede for us daily!  The Lord definitely knows our needs and uses all of you as a special part of our lives!  We will continue to pray for all of you, our ministry partners...we love you!!

Here are a few pictures from the past few weeks...
Thomas and Jacob at Naomi's birthday party (she is the daughter of Mike and Revae, our new ministry partners)

 The boys on an ant hunt...New hair cuts!!My Mother's Day picture from my boys!!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Jacó Happenings

We are sorry it has been over a week since we last posted.  We have had a week long break in between trimesters at school and we have been looking for a house in Jacó for August.  Praise the Lord we found one!!!  We love the house--it is better than we could have ever hoped or imagined and the Lord led us to this house before we even began looking for one.  My Dad and Stepmom were here visiting a few weeks ago and we took them to Jacó to see the town where we will be working.  We had rented a condo, but the night before we were to go, it fell through.  We did not have peace about pursuing another place so we decided to wait until we arrived in Jacó to talk with our friend who is a real estate agent about a place for the weekend.  When we arrived, he immediately told us about a house he had and we took it.  We fell in love with it while we were there and began asking about long term rentals.  Though it was way above our budget we decided to ask John (our real estate friend and member of our church here) if there was anything he could do.  Well, we returned to Jacó last week for a full week to look for houses and when we arrived he informed us he could get the house for the exact amount we had budgeted (which was $800 less than it normally rents for).  This was before he even knew what our budget was.  We assumed we were going to have to raise additional support for housing and knew the Lord would provide, yet He decided to provide by blessing us with a home right in the middle of town for our exact (to the penny) budget!!  Our God is amazing!!  This was so confirming to us.  It is right in the center of town which is very important for us to be available to those to whom we are ministering.  It is within walking distance to our ministry partner's house.  Everything about it is just amazing!  We are so excited!!  Thanks to all of you who have been praying for a house...the Lord heard your prayers and we have certainly felt them.  

On another note, being in Jacó for a week really gave us a good pulse on the city and it is much darker than we had anticipated.  Prostitution is rampant, pornography is everywhere you turn, drugs and drug addiction are an epidemic (Daniel got offered drugs about 6 or 8 times while we were there), and homelessness is very common.  Satan is also having a field day trying to cause MAJOR division among the very small Christian community.  The Lord has taken our prayer lives to a whole new level and I imagine will continue to do so as we begin to make our home there.  Please pray for protection over our family--for safety, for protection over my boy's eyes, for unity among the body of believers, for our health (rainy season is beginning and certain species of mosquitos carry serious diseases), etc...thanks to all of you for loving us and serving alongside us while we are here. 

Below are a few pictures of our time in Jacó...
Our new house in Jacó
Pictures of us at Manuel Antonio Park near Jacó               Taxis lined up waiting to pick up men with prostitutes in front of the local brothel in the center of town        Local homeless people that we see every time we are in town   Local bar in town called "La Bruja" (The Witch)--this sign is at the entrance of the bar