Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Weed Family and Angela Greco: Family Mission Trip and Tons of Fun!!

We were so blessed to have The Weeds and Angela visiting with us for 10 days! They are a family from our home church and their daughter Kellie and friend Angela were in our Youth Group there so they hold a special place in our hearts! They came to WORK!!! It was great! Randy and Daniel did research and found a more efficient stove that produces less smoke called a Rocket Stove. They ordered it off the internet and Randy brought it down for us. They spent a morning teaching a local woman how to use it as she is having many health problems from cooking over open flames all day long. We are testing the stove on her to see if she likes it and who knows, maybe in the future we can bring more in for other families. Dalia was so excited to try it out and we will follow up with her in the next few days to see how she likes it. The Weeds also built a new picnic table for the kid's club park, cleaned it up and painted everything again. It was great! They then blessed us by taking us for some R&R to Volcan Arenal for 3 days where we relaxed, swam in hot springs, hiked to a beautiful overlook and overall just enjoyed the beauty of God's creation. We had an amazing time with them and they blessed us sooo much by being here. We miss them already! Here are a few pictures from our adventures:
Some of the baseball equipment collected by Lisa Henry (from our home church)--brought by The Weeds to bless the local guys Daniel plays baseball with on Friday...they were SOOOO excited!!!
Randy playing baseball with the guys on Friday

Randy, Gabe, Daniel and the girls working on putting the stove in place for Dalia to use.

Dalia, the owner of a brand new stove!!
The new stove in place next to her old one
The girls tasting "Pipa" (coconut water) and leche de coco (coconut milk). Dalia's friend cracked them open for the girls to try...
The group with the finished product!!

Kellie raking in the park
Jacob was a big help shoveling trash and dirt
Painting the park tables (they built that new picnic table)
Ziplining through the trees
Hiking to the volcano overlook
group shot minus Daniel at the hotel in Arenal

Family photo at the overlook at Volcan Arenal

We love you Weeds and Angela and thank you so much for such a wonderful time!!!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thomas's Decision

We have had a really busy June and July with hosting mission teams and The Weed Family/Angela Greco (from our home church.) Thomas and Jacob have been a part of all the ministry that has been done and have loved every minute of it. 2 weeks ago while a team was here, Thomas (our 5 year old) began asking me very thought provoking questions such as "How is Jesus so powerful?" and "Mom, what exactly is life? What does life mean?" (Alot of this was due to the fact that he has heard the Gospel message over and over for these all of these weeks of ministry.) We had 2 very "deep" (for his level) conversations and I saw his little heart softening for the things of the Lord before my very eyes. He was sharing with me all about the Gospel and what Jesus has done for us as sinners and how we can have eternal life in Him, etc. It was such a wonderful conversation and I felt like he was really moving towards being ready to invite Jesus into his heart but I didn't want to push it in any way. Well, this week at the volcano Daniel and I had another "deep" conversation with him and he told us he was ready to invite Jesus into his heart! You can imagine how elated we were! Daniel asked him if he wanted to repeat a prayer that he prayed and he said "No, I want to pray myself." It was so beautiful---the faith of a child is so sweet! We celebrated with him when he finished praying and he announced to us very proudly, "Now I am a Christian!" We are more than blessed to have seen our little guy put his trust in our Lord and Savior and are so humbled that the Lord let us be a part of it! Even more, it was totally the Holy Spirit speaking to his little heart and drawing him to Himself. It is such an amazing feeling to know that he will be with us for eternity because he has put his faith in Jesus!!!! Thanks for all of your prayers for our family--it is through your prayers that our sweet Thomas has joined the family of God!!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Believers World Outreach #2

Our team from Believers World Outreach left yesterday and we were sad to see them go! They were a wonderful group and we really connected with a lot of the individuals on the team. They finished up the week of soccer camp, surf camp, and vacation bible school. Then on Friday night, a group of women came with Revae and I and ministered to the prostitutes on the street while the men went and fed the homeless with Daniel and Mike just as they do every Friday night. For the women, we set up tables and all of our materials and offered hand massages to women as they passed by "headed to work." We had a few girls walking around passing out flyers about what we were doing and this gave us a non-threatening way to begin talking to the girls. As we massaged their hands, we asked questions and tried to get to know them somewhat. It broke my heart as I talked with girl after girl (and a few guys as well dressed as transvestites) because I could see straight through them and the emptiness that they have inside. Many were very young girls and many had been on the streets 6 months or less. As the night went on, we were able to meet many more of the "veteran" ladies who have been working the streets for years. After each massage, we had a special gift bag of goodies (lotions, soaps, Bible etc) and the Father's Love Letter (a letter from Jesus full of scripture and describing the love He has for them as His children, etc) They were beautiful and definitely a big hit with the girls. We then asked if we could pray for anything specific and we were able to pray with every girl about was a special time. I know seeds were planted this night and we are looking forward to doing it again soon. I also am praying for divine appointments during the day in town where I have a chance to reconnect with some of the women I met. I can't help but look at them through the eyes of Jesus and the love He has for them. It gives me great compassion for them as well and I am praying about future opportunities for the Lord to use us with these precious girls.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Believers World Outreach

All week we have been hosting Believers World Outreach, a mission organization with adults and students from all over the US. It has been a wonderful time of ministry with the team and we have also really enjoyed getting to know the individuals on the team. We have done vacation bible school in 3 different locations, soccer camp, surfing/volleyball camp, and cosmetology (haircuts, manicures/pedicures for any and everyone!). In soccer camp we were able to use the jerseys and balls that Lexington High School and White Knoll High School (from our hometown) sent down for us. The kids had a blast!!! In VBS and the other camps we have connected with so many new kids and families and it is expanding our foundation for ministry here. It has been so much fun to be a part of serving this community this week. For cosmetology, we have 3 ladies from The States who work in salons and they have been working overtime cutting hair and blessing women with manicures/pedicures--all while sharing the gospel and loving on them. It has been such a beautiful ministry! Here are a few pictures from the week thus far...the team will be with us through next Tuesday.
waiting in line for haircuts

Friday, July 9, 2010

Pictures of life...

Daniel's parents came to visit us!

Surprise birthday party for Maria!!

We have been gearing up for a mission team from The States. They are arriving today and are with Believers World Outreach. They will be here for 12 days and we are really excited about all that the Lord will do in and through them. This mission organization is extra special to Daniel and I because this is the group we were with when we brought our Youth Group in 2004. On this trip the Lord planted the seed in our hearts for Jaco, Costa Rica. We are excited to see Mark and Debbie, the couple in charge that led our trip in '04 as well! I will definitely post pictures during next week so that you can see what they are doing here.

Here are a few pictures of every day life here...some of our sweet kids we minister to every week at kid's club. Others are of family and friends...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Our Amazing Intern

Many of you know we have the privilege of hosting an intern for 2 months this summer here in Jacó. Alicia Keel, who was part of our youth group at CC Lexington, is here with us for the summer and she is blessing our socks off! We have a lot in common and she is just like part of our family so we have been having a blast with her here! She is a wonderful help in everything--from washing dishes to helping Thomas and Jacob with whatever to helping us plan and host mission teams. We are so happy to have her here and I really am going to cry when she leaves in August. Maybe by then she will just decide to stay forever :) We love you so much Alicia--you are truly a gift from the Lord for us this summer!!!