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Our week with Enon!

We have just finished a fabulous week with a group from Enon Baptist in Easley, SC.  They were a hard working group that worked in the town of Cot for the week!  They were able to paint the outside of the library where Francisco holds church.  They also held kids clubs with a great turn out of an average of 30 kids.  And some of the kids that they shared with even showed back up for church on Sunday!!  It was so exciting.  Here is their picture!!

Enon Baptist mission team!

And for those of you keeping up with the jalapeno eating contest…..  The last team to come through was the Enon team!  So they had 4 contestants trying to beat the old record!!!  Well, their pastor, Scott Willis is the official winner for the summer contest!!!  He blew all other contestants out of the water!!  His official count was 42 jalapeno slices with the closest other contestant eating 34!!!  Way to go Scott!!  You are the official winner and have bragging rights until next year!!!  LOL!!!

The champ!!

Please keep the prayers coming for my health and the mission going on here on the Irazu volcano!  The new Sunday morning Bible study going on in Cipreses has been so encouraging and all the new believers there are so eager to take in every word taught from the Bible!!  God’s work has been amazing this summer and we are praising the Lord for all of the teams that have come to work on the volcano!!!  God used each team member tremendously and He continues to bring fruit from your labors here!!  I am sick for the first time with a cold here in Costa Rica.  God has been good to have provided some Zyrtec here to help me with this.  Please pray that this does not turn into an infection.  Also, I have had a bit of a flair up, but each day I am improving – Praise the Lord!!  He is so good!  Living on the missionfield with dermatomyositis has been such a time for me to grow in His grace and love.  It continues to draw me closer to Him.  All praises to Him who created us all and who continues to work in each of our lives for His glory alone!!

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Posted by on August 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Meet Andre

Me and Andre

Me and Andre

This is a photo from today after church of myself and one of the newest members of our Christian family.  He is a glorious testimony of how awesome our Lord and Savior is!!  Andre and his family opened up their house for us to use as our place to have our Sunday morning Bible studies in Cipreses.  We started having Bible studies there about 3 weeks ago.  When we started, Andre was very interested in what we had to share.  He looked very sickly and even one time needed to go get his inhaler to make it through the service.  About a week and a half ago he prayed to receive Christ as his Lord and Savior!!  Last Sunday he looked physically like a different person.  His color was better and he just looked happier and healthier!!  He hung on every word that was said in the Bible study.  After the Bible study I shared a little with him from my counseling experience about how he should handle battling alcoholism.  I gave him a daily battle plan consisting of reading his Bible and spending time in prayer.  Especially in moments when he was facing decisions about drinking and spending time with his old friends.  He seemed so encouraged by all of the prayers and the time spent with new friends in Lord.  Well, today after Bible study I asked him how his week had gone.  He is so honest and open.  He said that each day is a struggle, but that he had not had a drop of alcohol in 1 week.  This is who I had asked you all to pray for in my last blog and we so appreciate all of your prayers.  Andre is a true testimony to God’s goodness and God’s strength.  He is taking it day by day.  I had encouraged him to memorize Scripture and Lizzie made him sticky notes with pictures on them to mark Scripture that he felt helped encourage him during times of hard decisions and desires to drink.  I asked him had he done that.  He quoted to me, “If God is for us, who can be against us.”  He did not even hesitate.  He also said that he has been reading Psalm 23 a lot.  He again did not hesitate.  I am so happy for Andre and for the work the Lord is doing in his life.  I am humbled by the fact that God continues to use our family to bring others to Himself and encourage and help new Christians.  I am also so encouraged by all of the teams that continue to work on Irazu.  Right now we are working with a team from Enon Baptist in Easley, SC.  They will be here until Thursday morning!  The work the teams have done this summer has just been amazing.  Each one has been a blessing not only to our family, but to the people who live on Irazu.  God has used each team and their gifts and talents for His glory and to draw those like Andre to him.  Thank you to all of you that have been praying and to all of you who have come to work.  We are all working together for God’s glory alone!

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Week with Glenwood!

Sorry for the delay in posting a new blog about our week with Glenwood!  We have been really busy.  However, that does not mean that we did not have a great week working with them and they did not bring tremendous glory to our Lord this past week!  We were so excited about the teams arrival and they worked so hard here.  They went door to door sharing the gospel in Ciprese and Santa Rosa.  They conducted a men’s and women’s Bible study.  They played with and encouraged the children at Don Victor and Dona Melba’s house!  They played soccer in Santa Rosa and again the gringos won!!  We may need to start loosing or they may get discouraged and we don’t want that!!!  LOL!!  They had a great time!!  This group also ministered to our family!  They were so sweet to our children and our family!  They were such a pleasure to work with.

And for the chili jalapeno eating contest results…… I know you all are really anticipating this….. 🙂  They had two contestants in their group and two different strategies (I will not tell strategy!!  LOL!)  It ended up being Kristen that triumphed for their group!  Not only did she triumph for their group, but she also beat Victor from Mt. Airy’s record!  On a side note, she is such a tough little lady that earlier in the week, she fell in the rain and hurt her wrist.  Pastor Dale’s wife Marianne is a nurse and she encouraged her to get it checked out.  I also let her know that we had a family doctor in San Jose and I would take her personally to him if she felt she needed it looked at.  I talked to Pastor Dale today and he said that she went to the doctor back in SC and that her arm is broken!!!  She is one tough cookie!!!

As far as my health goes, please keep me in your prayers.  I have gotten back into some pain.  I am putting off going up on my Prednisone.  I am doing better today than I was yesterday and yesterday better than the day before, but I really do not want to have to take more Prednisone.  I have started the new medication Methotrexate and my body seems to be handling it well.  So thank you for your prayers for that.  I have been so encouraged by you guys’ prayers and encouraging words.  Thank you!

Please also just continue to pray for the work here on the Irazu volcano!

A new team is coming in on Saturday from Mt. Airy!  26 people strong!  And mostly high school and college students!!  Please pray for their time here!!

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Another Fantastic Week in Costa Rica!!

What another fantastic week working for the Lord in Costa Rica!!!  This week we were able to host our first team in our house!!  The brave team to be the first was a wonderful team from Unity Baptist Church in Mississippi.  They were such troopers!  No complaining!!  Even when two ladies did not understand for three days how to get the hot water to come out of the showers!  They just patiently waited and finally asked, “Do any showers have hot water?”  And Kelsey was able to show them!  By the way, next week an electrician is coming to hopefully install “widow makers” in the back three bathrooms, so hot water in all five showers!!  Yay!  They also seemed very content with my cooking!  I had purchased extra bread and peanut butter and jelly in case someone did not like or want what I had scheduled to eat.  And you know what?  No one used it!!  The group was happy to pitch in and help out where ever/however we needed them to, in the kitchen or cleaning or whatever.  They were awesome to have in our home.

They were also hard working in the towns of San Gerardo, Cot and Cipreses.  They painted the inside of the library that Francisco has church in Cot.  It looks wonderful with fresh new paint!  They also went door to door spreading the gospel in San Gerardo and Cipreses.  On Thursday they met a bunch of kids in San Gerardo and challenged them to a soccer match for Saturday.  One great thing about planning it in advance was that we had time to recruit some ticos to be on our team 🙂  We had Monica, a young lady that is our new neighbor and her boyfriend Manrique, Suling, and Egidio on our team!  Amazingly, we won!  6 to 3, I believe that Egidio scored 4 goals and Jacob scored 2.  We also had an amazing goalie in Casey which the kids said was too big because he was so tall and blocked amazingly!  It appears that everyone had a great time.  The kids on the San Gerardo team kept saying, “Let’s just play for 5 more minutes!”  They were not used to loosing and we were not used to winning, so we were happy to quit when time was up!   Not to mention the elevation difference!  They are probably a good 1000 feet higher than our house and our house is already at around 6000 ft above sea level!

Another neat thing that has happened between the last two teams is that as we go out, we have been taking along with us local teenagers to help us with translating and spreading the gospel.  It was such a blessing to have Monica (our neighbor) join us.  We have also had another young lady named Maria join us.  She is a member of the church in Boqueron.  To me, there is nothing sweeter than to see the young people being involved in the work of spreading the gospel.  Last night at dinner Maria shared her testimony with a few of us and it too is so wonderful to see God working here.  It is always wonderful to hear the testimony of how someone comes to trust Christ as their Savior.   God is so good.

The Unity Baptist team flies out on Tuesday and a team from Glenwood Baptist in Easley, SC is arriving on Tuesday!!

Oh and for those of you keeping up with the jalapeno eating contest on chili night, Casey gave a valiant effort, but he was not able to beat Victor from Mt. Airy.  We are not telling the amount of jalapeno slices that need to be eaten to beat Victor, but he has set the bar high!  So we will see who challenges Victor’s record from the Glenwood team and keep you informed!!

We also just found a place in Cipreses to hold a church!!  Praise the Lord!  We hope to have our first service either this Sunday or the next!!!  Our long term goal is to have a Tico take over this church so that it can be long lasting here in Cipreses, so also please pray that God would raise up just the right man for the task!

As far as my health goes, the team from Glenwood is bringing my medicine for the next 9 months!  I will be starting Methotrexate (the new medication) on Wednesday.  Please pray that my body will easily handle this new medication so that I can continue to work my way off of Prednisone.  Thanks!!  🙂

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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What a week!

Wow!  We have had a wonderful week!  Where to begin?  Well, a group from Mt. Airy has been here for the past week!  Jacob has been able to translate for them all week and they have been working in Cipreses!  The team did many activities there including showing the Jesus Film for kids one night and for adults another night.  They also came to our house and helped us build bunk beds for the future men’s bunk room and helped seal up the house!  Oh, and I got to host my first event!  We had a baby shower yesterday for a young lady in the church in Boqueron!  There were 60 people at our house!!  It was so exciting!!  God really moved this week and we feel so blessed to be here and that God has called us to this wonderful country to serve Him!

Another really amazing thing that has happened this week is that…..well,…..ok, let me start back in November of 2009 when we returned…. Jacob started going to Cipreses to try to start some Bible studies there.  Well, he had started 2 before he had to return to Charleston to be with me.  When he returned he has been so busy with finding us a house, getting the house ready for us, and now working with teams that he has not had time to restart the Bible studies.  However, he asked Francisco to take over for him back in February while he was in the States.  And Francisco has continued (he is such a hard working, faithful servant of our King).  Well, Francisco shared with us this week that 12 families from Cipreses have come to him asking for their own church!  And not only that, but asking that “the curly haired North American” be their pastor!  We were all very excited and emotional about this!  This has been a prayer for many over the past year, that a church would be established in Cipreses, and here it appears that the Lord is working it out.  To quote Francisco, “God does not always call the qualified.  He calls those with the heart to serve Him.”  Although Jacob is humbled by this request and does not necessarily feel qualified, he knows that the Lord will equip those He calls!  We are praising the Lord for this!!  Please join us in prayer over this, not only for our preparations, but that the Lord would open up just the right house to have church in there.

Also, our first team that we are going to host is coming tomorrow!  I am so excited!!  We have spent so much time in preparation for this and now they are getting ready to arrive!!!  🙂  Please pray for us this week!  We are so excited!!  Please pray for the people in San Gerardo where they will be serving this week.

As far as my health goes, I had some tests done last week and went to the doctor today to discuss the results.  I have been going really hard and I must say, I am a little sore, but I am feeling great considering my lack of sleep and excitement over work!  It has been decided that I need to start a new medication, so that I can continue to work my way off of Prednisone.  So I am hoping the Glenwood group can bring it when they come in another week.  Please pray that we can work all of this out.  And pray for my body as I transition to another medication.   Gotta run….I will update with pics when I can!!

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Panama 2010!!

So as most of you know we have just arrived back from Panama to get Jacob and the kids’ passports stamped.  We were blessed to find out 2 weeks ago that a group from ILE (the language school that we attended last year) was leaving this past weekend for Panama and we could join them.  The trip would cost us $115 per person, except Sophia, she was free!  It included a private bus trip, hotel stay and breakfast.  That was by far the cheapest and safest route for us.  The problem was that it was to Bocas del Toro – the place that we went in 2008 for this same process and, to put it nicely, was probably the worst trip we have ever been on.  This was the last place we wanted to go and yet it seemed that this was the answer to our prayers, so we agreed to go with the ILE group.

We woke up at 4am and set off at 4:30 to be at the bus by 5:30am and also drop the car off at the Leckie’s house.  Francisco stayed at our house while we were gone to keep Zorro and be a body in the house, so he had come the night before.  As we were walking to the bus and turned the corner to the street it was on and saw the bus – it was this beautiful, private bus!!  We were starting off on a fantastic foot!  We set off through San Jose and on our way towards Limon we went through beautiful rainforest.  We stopped for breakfast which the tour guide from ILE decided to pay $3 towards the cost of each person and again she arranged for Sophia to be free, so we had breakfast for $3 each!  What a blessing.  Then we were back in the bus for the remainder of the trip.  We arrived at the border and all got off the bus to have our passports stamped – we were praying the whole time that we would not have any problems – Jacob and the kids’ passports were 3 days past the 90 day limit!!  Well, I guess because we were in such a big group, the guy at the border did not even glance at our entrance stamps!!  Praise the Lord!  Now, with that over, we had the dreaded walk across the 100 year old bridge!  Jacob, Kelsey and I each had one child and started off.  Well, to our surprise it seems that they have worked on the bridge since we crossed it in 2008 and there was actually enough boards to walk a straight path without feeling like one of the kids were going to plummet into the raging river below!  As we made it across it seems the temperature went up about a billion degrees!!  It is hot in Panama!!  We are used to it rarely getting about 70 at our house in Boqueron and it must have been at least 100 in Panama!  The kids did great though and we were definitely happy to have our stamps on the Panama side and to be back on the air-conditioned luxury bus!!  So we were then off to the water taxi place.  We had to ride through some pretty poor places in Panama.  It is always sad to see the living conditions of some people and here we were in this awesome bus and we had no rooms for complaints.  It is in these times that we certainly see God’s blessing and realize we have no room for any complaints.  We all loaded up in the water taxis, which by the way are no more than speed boats with rows of seats, and took off toward the island of Bocas del Torro.  Again, we passed people living on the edge of the water whose living conditions just broke your heart.  After we were hurled towards Bocas for about 40 minutes, we arrived and walked to the hotel.  We were hot and sweaty, ready to get to our room and get to supper.  When we got to the room we were assigned, it was a single bed and a double bed.  Clearly 6 adults and 3 children were not going to fit in this room.  So I went to talk to Nina – the group leader – and the only other room available was next door and it was just a double.  So we agreed to make that work.  Jacob and I in one room and Kelsey braved the other room with all of the kids 🙂  What a trooper she is by the way!!  We were so thankful that she went along with us for this adventure!!  We then headed off for supper and then came back and went to sleep by like 7:30!!

We woke up on Saturday with no expectations for the day except to be hot!  Well, while we were eating breakfast, Nina came and said that she had arranged a tour for the whole group.  We were thinking we could not do a tour because they are normally $20 per person and now we are being told that we are going to be getting back in the boats and going to see dolphins, swim on a private beach and then go to another private beach where we can see a ton of starfish!  And all of that was going to be paid for by the money that was collected to pay for the trip!  It was quite a surprise and we were so excited!  We had a fantastic time and were so amazed at God’s provision for our family.  The kids got to see dolphins and starfish and play in a safe quiet beach.  The tour lasted from 9:30am to 4:30pm!  It was such an unexpected treat!

We woke up Sunday to another great breakfast and then had a worship service together on the dock/restaurant on the water connected to the hotel!  Then headed back towards the border and Costa Rica around 11:45am.  We went through the Panama border easily and then I had Benja, Kelsey carried Sophia on her back and Jacob had Lizzie and we crossed the bridge.  On a funny note, our bus decided to cross the bridge after we had started across and after our “adventure” doing this in 2008, we were not about to try to move over to the side and let him pass us.  Jacob looked back and he said that it was like the ball chasing Indiana Jones!  I refused to look back and just kept going.  Once we got over to the CR side I stepped off and looked back at Jacob and Kelsey and it was kind of funny to see this huge tour bus looming over their shoulders!!  Back at the CR side we again were praying that nothing would happen with our stamps and guess what….when they guy went to pick up Jacob’s the phone rang…it distracted him and he again did not hardly look at anything and just kept stamping away!!  Praise the Lord!!  So we got back on the bus and headed back to San Jose/San Francisco.  We arrived back at our house around 8:30 or so.

I cannot say enough what a blessing it was to go with the group from ILE.  They welcomed us and loved our kids.  On another funny note, we got to see Sophia (our 4 year old) come out of her own little shell and into her personality more.  She has always been friendly with most people and loves to make new friends.  But she had to have met and had a conversation with everyone that she met from the ILE group.  They might not have known our names, but they knew we were Sophia’s parents!  She said at one point, “Mommy, all of these people are my friends.  They like me and talk to me and want to be my friend.”  Who cannot love Sophia or Lizzie or Benja?  All three were such troopers and did wonderfully the whole time!  God has blessed us with such amazing children!!  And we are also so thankful for Kelsey!  She was such a blessing to have along as well!   I asked her, if we ever have to do this again, would she please fly down and go with us?  LOL!  🙂  We are also so thankful for your prayers!  God was so wonderful to us throughout this trip!  Here are some pictures!  Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Quick Update and Prayer Requests

Just wanted to thank everyone for your prayers for our upcoming trip out of the country.  We will be leaving tomorrow at 5:30am CR time to go to Panama.   We hope to pass through without incident.  We will be traveling by bus to the border, we will most likely have to walk across the bridge to Panama, then the bus will take us to the dock where we will take a 40 minute water taxi ride to the island we will be staying on.  We will be returning on Sunday. We would appreciate your prayers as we cross the border, both for safety and for our passports to not cause us any problems.  We do not want to pay any fines, so please just be in prayer for us.  We really appreciate it.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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