Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Prayer Request

As some of you know, we are in the process of adopting here in Costa Rica. It is a difficult process due to many past problems Costa Rica has had with adopting children out of the country. The current law is that only citizens and residents of Costa Rica can adopt here. When we applied for residency a year and a half ago we knew we were in for a loooong process due to every one we talked with about their own experiences. After praying, we felt that as soon as we got residency we would begin the process of adoption. Well, we got our residency in 5 months--record time--and felt like this was definitely of the Lord. We have done all of the paper work (which took time getting everything from The States) and we have been waiting on appointments with a psychologist and social worker. We were finally called 4 weeks ago or so for an appointment at the PANI office (the gov't agency that regulates adoptions). When we arrived for our first of 3-4 interviews, they decided that because English is our first language and they have never had to deal with a situation like ours before, that we should look for our own bilingual psychologist and social worker to do our interviews in English and in Spanish. They wanted us to have a fair chance in our heart language. Well, we left wondering what this all meant and knew we had to get everything done in the 60 days they had given us. By talking and networking with different friends here both in San Jose and in Jacó, the Lord has provided us with the most amazing CHRISTIAN social worker and a wonderful psychologist!!! It has been such a blessing to meet with the psychologist and we look forward to meeting our social worker this weekend as she comes to Jacó to do our home visit. We have felt and seen the hand of God all over this--directing us and hand picking the 2 special ladies with whom we would work! What a blessing it was to have to find our own ladies to work with when initially we left the PANI office quite puzzled yet knowing confidently that the Lord had purpose in all of it. And now we are seeing it played out before our very eyes!
Anyway, I say all that to say please pray for us the rest of this week and this weekend. All four of us have individual interviews on Friday with our psychologist, Mariela, and we have our home visit and more interviews on Saturday with our social worker, Susanna. (I am really curious to see how Jacob is going to sit through an individual interview--should be interesting :)) Pray for God's favor upon our family and that we would be able to minister to these ladies as we spend time with them. Also, a minor detail--it is against the law to spank here in Costa Rica. Today we were asked by our psychologist how we discipline our children and we were honest and told her that at times we spank. I know God is soooo much bigger than that but I also know the enemy would love to use such a minor detail to stumble us....not gonna happen!!!!

Love to all of you and we will keep you posted!! Thanks for all your support and prayers!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Thomas!!

Thomas turned 5 years old today and I can't believe how fast time flies! We had a little Pirate birthday party for him on Sunday and it was a lot of fun!! We also had my dad and stepmom visiting with us for a few days so we were really excited to have them here! Here are a few pictures of the festivities...

The boys with Pops and Mayme

Kids eating the candy after the piñata (Jacob's favorite part!!!)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

More Baptisms

Palmera came to us last week and was ready to be baptized. He insisted on doing it that day and wanted to be baptized in the ocean. Ruhal, another guy we have been ministering to off the streets, also wanted to be baptized. So Daniel and Gabe granted their request and it was a beautiful time of celebration! The sun was setting over the ocean and it was just amazing! Here are a few pictures of the baptism....also, please be praying for Palmera because he was taken to the hospital Monday with major knee pains. He is still recovering from his knee surgery. Well, we found out it is very infected and he has to have an additional surgery within the next week. Pray that this is a time of rest and growth in the Lord for him as he waits.

Monday, April 12, 2010

My Primary Role

Since being down here in Jacó, the Lord is constantly teaching me things about myself and areas that I need to grown in. Some of it has been wonderful and some of it has been downright hard! But I am so thankful that God cares enough about me to be involved in every detail of my life, pruning me to grow more and more like Him. It is a beautiful thing! I was reading and journaling the other day and God spoke to me so clearly about something. I found such freedom in it as a wife and mother and wanted to share it with you. Being down here, (just like being anywhere, really) there is an abundance of needs and many of them are knocking on our doors daily. Sometimes when I am praying in the mornings I find my mind racing as I think about this need or that person who needs this or this person who is in that tough situation, etc. I get worked up at times and want to be able to be used to meet every need immediately and it gets overwhelming. Well, the Lord reminded me so clearly the other day of my primary role on this earth at this moment--first as a wife, next as a mother and last as friend/confidant/mentor/etc to others. It was so freeing for me as I began to remind myself that I am called to respect my husband according to Ephesians 5 and I began to write practical ways to do that on a daily basis. I then began to write out ways to bring my children up in the training and instruction of the Lord (without exasperating them :)--Eph.5) and how I am to practically do that. It was as if I was freed from the pressure of HAVING to try and meet EVERY need every day outside of my home when my home should come first. He also spoke to me clearly and reminded me to have fun--find joy in every moment with my 3 crazy boys...time flies!! And as I have been more intentionally focused on my primary role as wife and mother, God is still bringing others in need to our home daily and he is equipping me daily to meet those needs. It is beautiful! I love our precious Lord and how He guides and directs us as He sees fit---all we have to do is stop and listen...

He gave me this verse that day: 1 Thess. 5:16-18 "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; For this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." I am striving for these three things on a daily basis and I invite you to as well!

My First Ministry (pictured below)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Thank You Jesus for the Cross

I have been pondering all morning what today, Good Friday, signifies and how we are so unworthy of Jesus' love yet He willingly died for us. What an Awesome act of sacrifice---so hard to wrap my mind around yet I am more than grateful and humbled at My Jesus' love for me! As is tradition, every Catholic Church in Costa Rica has processionals (like a parade of people processing down the street) during Semana Santa (Holy Week) that reinacts the events leading up to Jesus resurrecting on Sunday Morning. This year Palmera was asked to be Jesus for Jacó's processional and though he is not Catholic he immediately said yes. They thought he had "the look" with long, wavy hair but to him filling this role was much more. This is the first Easter in many, many years that he is sober and has an understanding of Jesus' true sacrifice for his sins. He was able to share with many there how God has changed his life and he is a new creation in Christ. Though these processionals are very much a cultural tradition it was beautiful to see the truth of Christ's love become so real to Palmera. In fact, he couldn't stop smiling while "playing the role" of Jesus as he was being beaten because he said he felt so happy and free in Christ. The following are a few pictures of Palmera...please continue to pray for him as the Lord does a work in His life...

Isaiah 53:5-6 "He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our sins. The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."

Happy Easter and God bless you!