Monday, December 27, 2010

Please Pray for Us!

We are leaving today for The States for 3 weeks because Thomas, our oldest son, is having surgery. Please pray for peace for him and us and that the Lord would work through the doctors to care for our little one. Thanks so much for praying and we will post updates as we have them.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to all!

We pray that your Christmas is truly blessed! Isaiah 9:6 "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given..."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Camping Trip

So, Daniel decided to take the boys on a camping trip yesterday for the night. They have been talking about wanting to go for a long time and because the evenings here have been somewhat pleasant they decided to take advantage of it. They went with our friend, Bruce, who owns property on the beach in Esterillos, about 20 minutes from Jaco. This was the first "official", out of the yard camping trip for the boys so they were really excited! They had so much fun and look forward to going back sometime soon. Here are a few pictures of their adventures... eating beans in a can
my monkeys scaling our wall at home...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Cookies

Here are a few pictures of us making Christmas cookies today as a family. We had so much fun!Jacob and his best friend, Jude

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Outreach

We had the Christmas Outreach thispast Saturday and it was a huge success!!! Thanks so much to all of you who sponsored children and to all who prayed for us and for the families represented. It was so much fun and the kids were truly blessed! For those who don't know, we do a Christmas Outreach every year for INVU, the neighborhood where we do kid's club. We invite all of the families and we have food, clowns for entertainment, the Christmas Story, presents and clothing for all. It was LOTS of fun and we had so many wonderful volunteers from our church who were a big help as well!! Daniel and I are praying that this is just one more way to reach the families, deepen relationships and gain trust to minister to theindividual parents of these children as well. We are really praying for that in the new year. The following are a few pictures from the Outreach Event.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Our "Christmas Tree"

So, we have been talking about getting a Christmas tree since we will be here in Jaco for Christmas. We have seen a few fake trees that were more like branches and were very expensive so we explored a few areas in different parts of the rain forest here trying to find a tree. Well, much to my surprise, Daniel came home on Friday with this "Christmas Tree." He didn't realize how much taller it would stand in a planter versus in the ground so we have one TALL tree!! It took some getting used to for me but after lights and pretty ornaments it has definitely grown on me (no pun intended.) The boys love it and have realized that there is plenty of room underneath the leaves to put lots of presents :). The name of this palm tree is actually a "palma navideƱa" or Christmas Palm so it is quite fitting. We did have a wonderful time decorating with the few decorations we brought with us from The States. We have also had fun making ornaments as a family. We look forward to this Christmas Season and pray that we are able to bless the people here with the excitement that we have in celebrating the birth of our Savior! May MANY come to know Him this season here in Jaco!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

The boys and I have had fun celebrating Thanksgiving this month by making crafts and talking daily about what we are thankful for. Costa Rica doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving so we have been really intentional about teaching Thomas about Thanksgiving and why we celebrate. We have had so much fun!! We even had a couple come from The States and brought us candy corns so we could make turkey treats--so fun!! Here are a few pictures of our activities...
The boys goofing around...
Our special turkey cookies

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My beautiful friend!

Psalm 45:11 "The King is enthralled by Your beauty; honor Him, for He is Your Lord." This verse came to mind when sitting in the dentist's office yesterday with Zeneyda as she received her long-awaited new teeth. You see, Zeneyda, who helps us a few days a week at the house, is a 28 year old Nicaraguan girl who has come here in search for work to send back to her mother who is raising her 3 children. We met her through a good friend and the Lord opened doors for her to begin helping us out about 6 months ago or more. She has been a real blessing to our family and she is just so beautiful inside and out. Her mother is a Christian and she walked with the Lord as a young person but has since strayed for one reason or another. When she was helping us one day she was complaining about pain in her teeth. Her jaw and right side of her mouth were inflamed and she was suffering from regular headaches. We began talking and she explained to me how her teeth have been rotten for many years due to malnutrition as a child and have caused her much illness. It was so hard for me to imagine how much she has suffered for so long for something that is so rare in The States. Daniel and I began praying about how to help her and decided to first take her to a dentist. He proceeded to tell her that she needed all of her teeth pulled but 3 and that he would replace them with dentures. She was too young to keep the rotten teeth because she would continue to suffer and it would increase in time. The Lord really impressed upon our hearts to help her in whatever way we could and over a two month period the Lord provided the money THROUGH ALL OF OUR FAITHFUL SUPPORTERS to pay for her to have all of the necessary work done. She was without teeth for a month and it has been an emotional ride for her but I can't even begin to describe the joy in her eyes first when we told her the Lord wants us to help and second when she smiled for the first time with her new teeth. I even think the dentist was a little teary as were the 2 nurses helping us. It has been such a wonderful testimony of God's faithfulness and provision and we are really praying and have already seen the fruit of God using us to help her out. We are praying that she will fall in love with her Savior as she was before and that she would give Him all the glory for what He has done. We KNOW that the Lord has used us as a tool to reach her and we are so humbled and grateful that He would allow us the privilege of being a part of His work here. The following are a before and after picture. I have to say the pictures don't fully do justice to the beautiful girl that Zeneyda is...we are so excited for her!!!! THANK YOU TO ALL WHO SUPPORT US IN MAKING THIS POSSIBLE!!!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Feeding for Flood Victims

Well, we had a busy weekend feeding those who were displaced by the flooding. Thomas's school was turned into a shelter for families whose homes were wiped out by the flood waters. We fed them breakfast a couple of mornings and did a movie night on Friday night where we showed Toy Story 2 in Spanish. It was a lot of fun and they were really appreciative. Many of them were at the shelter and only had the clothes on their backs. The river had washed most of their stuff away and looters had even invaded the neighborhood on Saturday night so there was more stuff taken from the area. One lady in particular had a 2 year oldboy and shehad only 1 shirt for him and no shoes. She was asking if I had any extra boys clothes for her son. About2 months ago I cleaned out Thomas and Jacob's drawers and had a garbage bag full of clothes and shoes to give away. I remember praying that the Lord would show me who to give these to in the right time. Well, I knew after talking to her that this bag was for her. So, on Saturday I took the bag up there to her and she was more than thankful! I was so humbled that the Lord used me to meet a need she had. He is so faithful!! The following are a few pictures from the shelter and the feedings we were doing...

(Update---the rain has stopped and the water is receding...there is a lot of mess to clean up and it will take a long time but thank you Jesus the rain has stopped!!! The families from the shelter were able to return to their homes today (Sunday))Our local grocery store inside and out
3 week old twins asleep at the shelter

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Rain, rain go away

We have had rain, hard rain, for 4 days straight. As a result, streets have been flooded, rivers have been rising and it has just been a mess. Well, we woke up this morning to more flooding than I can imagine. All of the roads are flooded. The grocery store has water almost waist deep. The rivers are all overflowing and houses that are near them are being washed away. Many houses and businesses are flooded. It is just a HORRIBLE situation. There have been 17 dead so far and hundreds displaced from homes or missing. We are just so sad for everyone and are praying about how to help. Daniel has already been out 2 times this morning checking on people we know to see how they are doing. The only thing we can do is pray that the rain subsides (the news says it will at least rain through tomorrow) and get out there and help bucket water out of these homes. It is a truly overwhelming problem--one I have never seen before in person. Please pray for the people here. It is truly a mess...

Here are a few pictures...
The center of town A river in the center of town that also runs beside the neighborhood we work in. The little bridge you see is a foot bridge.The river here has risen so high that people's homes are beginning to break off and fall into the river...terrible This road usually has a river running under it but the river is now running over it...This is another part of town near our houseThe beach is trashed and all the water is muddyThis is a river in the center of townThis is a house in INVU where we do kid's club

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

My little tae kwon do boys in action...

In the past few weeks we have had a lot of crazy things happening very close to where we live. A couple was murdered in their condo in the middle of the day a few weeks ago and the guys have never been caught. The condos are located within walking distance of our house. Then last week a friend who attends church with us was shot in the head while working. He is the director of a drug rehab facility and he was on the phone when 5 guys approached him with guns wanting to rob the facility. They shot him in the head but the bullet was not strong enough to penetrate his skull so it entered his head on one side and left a few inches away. He came to church the morning after still in shock as to what had happened and I think all of us still are in shock as to how close he came to death. We have heard of an increase in gang activity in the area and I assume it is happening all over the world. The crazy thing here is that we don't have a good police system working on our side to catch and prosecute these guys so they get braver and braver by the incidence.

The other night Daniel went out for a while and I found myself somewhat fearful for the first time in a long time. It was early evening and nothing had happened but the thoughts of these incidences played in my mind and I became fearful and even felt defenseless. The Lord spoke to my heart immediately as I began to pray and said to me "I did not give you a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7 He also reminded me that "perfect love casts out fear." I felt such peace knowing that the Lord heard me and was with me in that very moment, not wanting me to fear anything. His power and His love are given to me in abundance and I need to rely on it. Along those same lines, He has also given us wisdom to make wise choices. We try to be cautious and use wisdom in all the decisions we make without living in fear or letting fear control us or our decisions. The enemy would love for us to remain in the bondage of fear, but we refuse to do so, knowing that the Lord has called us here and the safest place we can be is in the center of His will for us.

I thank you so much for praying for us on a regular basis and even ask that you would continue to pray for our safety. Crime tends to increase as December approaches so we want to be on guard at all times. Thanks for praying!!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Visit From My Girls...Part 2

The entire week with the girls was full of fun!! Because the eye glasses/exams were such a hit and so needed in our first two ministry locations we ended up not having enough to do this outreach in the riverbed. We did, however, go down there and pass out toothbrushes, toothpaste, and Gospels of John door to door. We offered to pray with people as we visited each home and every person we saw asked for prayer. It was such a blessed time for us to get to pray with these people in such need. One lady's mother had died 15 days before and felt like we were sent to her from God. She wept as we prayed over her. Many others had sick relatives and they, too, were brought to tears as the Holy Spirit was present during our times of prayer. It really blessed us to spend some time with the least of these.

The girls blessed Daniel and I in a HUGE way by sending us off to a hotel for a night while they kept the boys (and spoiled them!). It was so refreshing for us and we were so humbled by their generosity!!! The following are a few more pictures from our wonderful week with them...
bathing in the pool one morning because we had no water!!