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Monthly Archives: February 2009

Our 10th wedding anniversary!

Friday night, Jacob and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary with a bunch of friends.  A mission team was visiting the school and offered to keep the children of our school for 3 hours so the adults could have a night out.  It happened to fall on our 10th anniversary.  So we went to this restaurant with our friends.  It was quite an exciting night…Tully ended up needing to do the Heimlich on one of our friends who got chocked on a piece of meat.  Everything ended up fine and she is now okay, but it was scary there for a bit.  God is good.  Dawn (Tully’s wife) was going to sit next to Esther, but for some reason Tully ended up sitting next to her.  God provided, because he responded so quickly and literally saved her life.  We will try not to get chocked up everytime with remember our 10th anniversary! 😉

10th anniversary dinner

10th anniversary dinner

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Posted by on February 23, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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God Truly Loves Us – I am keeping my eyes on Him

Okay, so just so you know, this is Courtenay writing this.  It is my perspective on our lives here in Costa Rica.  So for me, these last weeks have been the hardest yet.  I have really missed the United States and my family, friends and old life.  I think when we first arrived here we were kind of in shock because we were going to have to live without many of the things that we were used to.  Friends, family, cars, fast-food (okay, that is here, but without a car, it is not easy to get, so we don’t eat it), initially TV, worship in English…  Then we got over that and we were really excited about living this life.  It was/is fun walking to the grocery store down a crazy, dirty street and carrying back my purchases.  My clothes started to fit better because of all of the walking.  There were many wonderful, new places to explore and we are learning a beautiful language in a beautiful place.  We are doing the work of the Lord.  He is awesome.  Our family is thriving here….  Then, Sophia fell, and in all of the excitement of the week, I got tired.  I started missing my friends and family terribly.  I really missed our home church.  And this Spanish is hard.  It requires a lot of work and memorization, and I was tired.  Entonces (So) I took my eyes off of Him.

I shared with Jacob my longings for things and people.  Just the thought of hopping in my minivan 🙂 and going somewhere…the mall, book-club, Chic-fil-A…singing with the praise-team from Mt. Moriah…eating a good steak (for those of you who don’t know, I basically have become a vegetarian here)…I could go on, but you know what?  God really loves me, so He did not leave me there….

As I sat in my linguaje class this morning things started to change.  I was leading my class in a Bible study on Martha and Mary, yes in Spanish, and I was doing great.  The teacher did not have to correct a whole lot and, honestly, I did little to prepare.  I just knew what I wanted to say, and it turned into me talking in Spanish about Mary and Martha and the lessons Jesus taught through them for about 30 minutes.  I thought to myself…God is at work…someone is praying for me.  I did not even think about who it might be, but I could really feel that someone had been praying for me.  After class a friend of mine walked up to me and said that the Lord had laid me on his heart this morning and he just wanted to let me know that he had been praying for me.   I was blown away.  I had just been feeling so blessed by the power of prayer, not even thinking that I would be able to know who was praying for me and here the Lord just showed me how much He loved me.  He loves me and my family so much that He laid us on another’s heart so that He could be glorified through the whole thing.  Later this afternoon, right as I was getting ready to lay down for a few minutes, I checked our e-mail and another friend from the States e-mailed us and said that he too had been praying for us and he just wanted us to know.  God loves us so much that He touched not just one person, but now two and this other was all the way in the US to pray for us.  And we can feel it.

Man, do we need it.  We feel so much here on the front lines and we need prayer.  The Lord is so good to us and we are so happy to serve him.  I find myself trying to take on things I shouldn’t and I am trying to be more diligent to lay things at Jesus’ feet and not pick them back up.  We will eventually speak this language fluently.  As long as the Lord wants us here, He will provide the money we need.  I wrote this out of being encouraged by other’s perseverance.  I wrote this to let others know that the Lord is good and when we start focusing on ourselves and take our eyes off of Him, we can get discouraged even when we are doing good things for Him.  I am putting my eyes back on Jesus.  Thank you all who have been praying….PLEASE keep it up.

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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Sweet Sophia

So here’s the story of what happened to Sophia.  We were at our friends’ house and we had finished eating pizza.  Jacob and I were just starting to play a game (it was game night at their house, so people were talking and fellowshipping and playing games) when Lizzie and her friend came up to me and said calmly that the bed broke and Sophia fell off of the bed.  So I got up to go back to the bedroom and when I turned the corner I saw Benjamin shaking with a panic look on his face, so I ran in the room and found Sophia just standing there with blood covering one side of her face and a hole in her forehead.  So I scooped her up and took her in the kitchen.  As soon as I got a better look at her I knew we needed to get her to the hospital as quickly as possible.  So we got a taxi and Jacob, Sophia, Johnny and I were off to Clinica Biblica (a private care hospital in San Jose where the care is supposed to be the best and you just have to pay for your services as you receive them).

As soon as we walked in the emergency room they sent us to the pediatrician.  We walked in her door and she was on her phone and she took one look at Sophia from her desk and quickly got off the phone and took us back to an operating room.  She thought it would be best to get a plastic surgeon to do the stitching.  So we were off to X-ray while we waited on the plastic surgeon to arrive.  Back in the x-ray area this really nice janitor walked up to us and was so concerned with Sophia.  He asked what had happened to the princesa (all of this in Spanish, of course, doctors included).  So I told him.  He was so sweet with Sophia.  He assured her that God was good and He would take care of her.  And he stayed with us until they took us back to x-ray.  She did great with the x-ray and did not even move.  The guy who took the x-rays left to develop them immediately and within 5 minutes was back and he said that he did not see any fractures, but it was ultimately up to the radiologist.  So I was relieved with that news.  So we headed back to the emergency room to wait on the plastic surgeon.

Once he arrived, we went back into the operating room.  Now here in Costa Rica, our experience has been, that things work differently for the parents.  You are completely involved in the experience, even assisting.  So when the plastic surgeon had to numb her head, Jacob and I had to hold her down.   Needless to say, that was very difficult.  He numbed her and we were hoping that things would be easier from there.  Well, I am not sure as to what she was feeling or if she was simply scared of the fact that we were holding her down and she had a cover over her face, but she would not stay still.  He tried multiple times to start to stitch her, but it was just not working.  Sophia got so worked up that she threw up.  So they tried to give her a relaxing medicine through her nose and she was too smart for that.  When she felt it in her throat, she simply spit it out.

They went to talk over the situation with the anaesthesiologist and he would not put her to sleep since she had just eaten supper.  We tried bribing her with promises of toys and ice-cream if she would just let the plastic surgeon finish his job, but in the end it did not work.  The cute thing about it was that some of the medicine to calm her must have gotten in because she was so funny, when she was not screaming.  She was talking really slowly.  She would ask me to sing to her, so when I would, she would just smile sweetly at me.  She would rub my hand with her hand really slowly and just smile.  She was so sweet, but I think a little drunk from the medicine.

So the pediatrician came back to find the plastic surgeon gone and she was not happy, needless to say.  She and I both were not happy with the fact that the plastic surgeon suggested that we just use tape to close the wound that went all the way to her skull.  Our options now came down to going to another hospital or having the pediatrician do the kind of stitches that end up looking kind of like railroad tracks.  I asked her if Sophia was her baby, what would she do.  She said that she would do the stitches and not take her to the other hospital.  Being a momma and this being my baby girl, I was hoping for as little scarring as possible, and that possibility just seemed to have left  with the plastic surgeon.  My heart sank, but I knew I just had to leave that in the hands of this pediatrician and God.  The pediatrician was so wonderful with Sophia, she called her “Mi muneca (my baby doll) and mi princesa (my princess) as she worked on her and tried to soothe her as she screamed.  Johnny had gone to get someone who spoke English earlier to help us and I guess they could hear Sophia screaming from the waiting room, so at some point, she returned with her sweet mom and she came in and helped us hold Sophia and talked to her in English when we were no longer able to speak.  It was really hard to hear her calling out to me, asking me to make them stop.  She did not understand that we were helping her.  It was hard.  But when she was finally finished I picked up Sophia and she stopped crying.  It was over.

Next, I could feel myself starting to get angry.  Angry at the system.  Angry at the plastic surgeon.  I started wishing we were back in the United States where we would have been back with our wonderful pediatrician Dr. Bass who would have not let things happen the way they did here.  But I knew immediately that those thoughts were not glorifying to God.  What was He trying to teach me?  So many things.  How many times have we fought with God, when He was trying to do something that was best for us and we did not want it and in the process we make things harder on ourselves?  How much emphasis do we put in looks that something as simple as a scar can make us think differently about someone?  Is that Christ like?  Is that where Sophia’s true beauty lies that I should get worked up about it?  Absolutely not!

That night as I laid next to Sophia, soothing her as she slept and continued to dream about it.  I started talking to God.  It made me think that if it was that hard for me to hear Sophia crying out to me when I knew I was doing what was best for her.  How hard was it for Him to see Christ suffer on the cross for us?  How hard is it for Him to hear us continually complain about the processes that we have to go through for Him to mold us?  Some scriptures came to my mind.

Romans 5: 3-6

3 and not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4and perseverance,proven character; and proven character, hope; 5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 6For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

I am praying that God will use this experience with Sophia for His glory.  I feel that He already has.  It was a growing and molding experience for us.

Sophia is up and running around like nothing happened.  It has not slowed her down one bit.  She is mi princesa and mi muneca.  Here is a picture of our sweet Sophia with her bandage…

Sweet Sophia

Sweet Sophia

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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