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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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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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Reflections and thoughts

As the anniversary of our commissioning service has just passed, it got me thinking about this journey that our family is on!  It excites me to see where and how the Lord has taken us through more than we could have ever imagined possible and we are praising Him for that.  Back in early 2007, Jacob and I submitted to the Lord that we would move where ever He wanted us to go to be a witness for Him.  At the time, we were assuming we would move somewhere else in the US.  After much prayer, in August 2007 a team from our home church (including Jacob) went to work in a small village called Cot on the side of the Irazu Volcano in Costa Rica.  As Jacob was gone, God was moving in my heart that Jacob was going to come home and say that we were to move to Costa Rica.  And at the same time He was moving in Jacob’s heart as well.  Even other team members from that trip said they could almost watch God move Jacob on that trip, not even knowing at that time that we were called to move there.  Once Jacob returned to SC, things just started moving at a whirlwind pace as our house sold with out even putting a sign in our yard and we began to sell our things and then before we knew it we had moved to Costa Rica and then the first year was gone and we had, by God’s grace alone, learned Spanish, we came back to the States to share with everyone, then moved back to Costa Rica and here we are now.  WOW!!  What a whirlwind 🙂

I say all of that to say that things have happened over these past years that had you told us we would go through or face we would have said, “No way!  I would never be able to make it through that!”  And yet God has been faithful to us and has showed us His strength, peace and faithfulness through it all.  He has guided us and provided for us in such a manner that it is just exciting to watch!  I know that you all realize that I am writing this from Charleston, SC while Jacob and my babies are in Costa Rica, and that alone has been such a journey demonstrating God’s grace and faithfulness to our family – and it may seem weird (weird is a word that many have used to describe me anyway 🙂  but aren’t we all weird when it comes to Christians living in this world?) but I am thankful for this disease because it has given our family a unique opportunity to draw close to our Father and rely on Him and experience Him in a way that otherwise would not be possible.

I am taken back to one of the most special days for our family and that was our commissioning service back in May of 2008 – please go back to read about it in our archives for May of 2008 (Special weekend or something like that) if you have not read about that weekend.  My favorite part was that our praise team allowed me to pick out the music for the service.  I picked Mighty to Save and My Desire by Jeremy Campy.  That song “My Desire” sums up still our hearts.  I will place a link here so you can listen to it on YouTube but I also invite you to read the words.  We are committed to being used by God however, where ever He sees fit.  Thank you all for praying for us, following us and standing by us on this wonderful journey that our God has us on!  We are all working hard for our family to be reunited in Costa Rica and serving/loving on the Ticos.  We are standing in awe of our Lord and thankful for His constant guidance, love, by our side, comfort, peace…..

Here are the Words….. “My Desire”  Jeremy Camp

You want to be real, you want to be empty inside
You want to be someone laying down your pride
You want to be someone someday
Then lay it all down before the king

You want to be whole, you want to have purpose inside
You want to have virtue and purify your mind

You want to be set free today
Then lay it all down before the King

This is my desire, this is my return
This is my desire to be used by You

You want to be real, you want to be emptied inside
And I know my heart is to feel You near
And I know my life
It’s to do Your will
It’s to do Your will

This is my desire, this is my return
This is my desire, to be used by You
Oo yea
This is my desire, this is my desire
To be used by You

All my life I have seen
Where You’ve taken me
Beyond all I have hoped
And there’s more left unseen

There’s not much I can do to repay all You’ve done
So I give my hands to use

This is my desire, this is my return
This is my desire, to be used by You
Oo yea
This is my desire, this is my desire
To be used by You

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiQaRn0k88w


 
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Posted by on May 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Update #2

First of all, all praise, glory and honor go to our Lord and Savior who suffered for all of His children on the cross of Calvary to pay for our sins. He endured more than I could ever imagine. When I (Courtenay) think of what I am going through, I know that it could not even compare to that. I do just want to share with everyone where we are with my diagnosis.

First of all, I am invigorated everyday by God’s grace alone. I never thought that I would ever survive being separated from Jacob and my babies like this. And each day I make it. And not only do I make it, but I am not experiencing any type of constant sadness or loss over the time apart. Don’t get me wrong, I do miss them, but it is so energizing to feel God sustaining me and holding me during all of this. He is also doing the same for Jacob and the kids in Costa Rica. All praise, glory and honor to Him, because this would be impossible for our family without Him.

Second, as many of you already know, I flew in Sunday January 10th and the next day I was able to see the best of the best at MUSC. We began blood work and other testing that day. Results began to come in to point us in one direction. On Friday, I had a CT of my lungs and a MRI of my thigh muscles. As far as I know at this point (I have an appointment in the morning Wed.) they are continuing to point in the same direction. So we are making progress, but still do not have a diagnosis. I am taking a pretty heavy dose of steroids daily and that is keeping much of my daily pain at a manageable point. Praising the Lord for that 🙂

Third, the doctors, my family and our home church agree that after Jacob helps the teams that are due to come in to Costa Rica in the next 3 weeks, he and the kids are going to fly back to SC. Again, a very tough decision, but on prayerfully made. Our desire is to be together as a family while we focus on getting me back to health. Our ultimate goal is to return to Costa Rica to love on the people there, bring them the message of God’s grace, love and forgiveness and serve them as quickly as possible. This is not going to deter us. We will not give in that easily!!!!

How can you help? Please continue to pray for us and the people of Costa Rica. We desire to serve our Lord and Savior there and have full confidence that we will return as quickly as possible. Please pray for our finances as well. My last minute flight was paid for by my parents. However, we are having to meet our deductible ($1500) and pay for Jacob and the kids to fly back ($1336). These are unexpected expenses. If you or anyone you know would like to donate towards these expenses you can either mail a check to Global Outreach International PO Box 1 Tupelo MS 38802 with our name on it. Or you can donate online at http://www.globaloutreach.org and follow the prompts. Just donate to Jacob Folk – Costa Rica.

We are really in awe of the loving responses of encouragement and prayer that we are receiving. It has truly made all of the difference. We will continue to keep everyone up to date as things continue to progress.

Love,
Court

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Update and Prayer Requests

I know that we have not posted in a while and I am I am sorry for that.  I want to update everyone on what has been going on.  Back in October I (Courtenay) began to have pain in my left hand, wrist and shoulder.  Thinking I had slept on it wrong I ignored it.  It continued.  Once we returned to Costa Rica it quickly escalated.  I went to see our family doctor in December and he referred me the next day to a rheumatologist.  I was receiving wonderful medical care in Costa Rica and was happy with my doctors, but was not finding the cause of my problems.  So, on this past Saturday it was decided that I should fly back to SC and have testing done at MUSC.  I flew back on Sunday leaving Jacob and the kids in CR (a decision that was very difficult).  On Monday I saw the head of research for rheumatology and immunology at MUSC.  I immediately had an ECHO done and a ton of blood work.  We are still waiting on much of the results.  One thing that stood out was that my cpk was over 1000 and the normal is 200 or lower.  That apparently explains why my muscles have been so weak and hurting.  Today, hopefully I am going to have a MRI of my thigh muscles and at CT of my lungs.  Depending on the results of the MRI, they may do a biopsy.  The doctor is saying that this could still be a result of a virus, but being that it is pushing 7 weeks of pain, we are nearing the end of time for that.  He has tested for Parvo, Lyme, mono, and many other things, but we don’t have all the results.

Please continue to pray for not only my health, but Jacob and the kids in CR.  Jacob is facing not only doing his job, but all of mine (including homeschooling) and Satan just seems to be throwing things at them left and right.  Two nights ago one of our gates broke and he had to fix it.  Then that night Jacob woke up at 2am to find the kitchen flooded.  And last night our only means of communication, our Mac computer, dropped and the screen cracked.  He could seem my sister Monica’s name on the Skype, so he was able to contact her, but not us and therefore, we have no means of communication.  This is obviously making this time of separation even more difficult.

Please also pray especially for the village of Cot, CR.  We are in need of a place to hold services.  Fransisco is currently staying at our house.  He is welcome to stay as long as he needs, but without a home in Cot, there is also no place to have church services or Bible studies.  Also, on our way to the airport on Sunday, we ran into a wreck on the autopista (Pan-American highway) where a bus had flipped.  Jacob heard that 25 people died in that wreck.  Not to mention injuries.

We must all realize that when we step out to battle Satan that our most powerful weapon against him is prayer.  So we are calling on that.  The area of Costa Rica where we are working is a stronghold of Satan’s and at one point a tica (Costa Rican friend) said to me, “Wow, you guys are going to attack the heart of the dragon here in Costa Rica by going to Irazu and Cartago to minister.”  So please not only remember us in your prayers, but also the Ticos.  This is a matter of eternal salvation.  They need God’s grace and salvation through the finished work of Christ.  We are bringing them that message and Satan wants to stop us.  But we are not going to let him.  We are going to persevere and we are going to continue to do the work of our Heavenly Father.

I will keep you updated on all of these situations as we know more.  Thank you so much for partnering with us and bathing us in your prayers.

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Calling for Truth

Jacob and I with Dr. Paul Dean and Issac after the radio program

Jacob and I with Dr. Paul Dean and Issac after the radio program

Jacob and I have been busy here in SC.   Today we were on Dr. Paul Dean’s radio program today.  It was so much fun.  We have never done anything like that before.  We were able to share our hearts for missions and for the people of Costa Rica.  Thanks Paul for having us on your show and encouraging us.  It is so exciting to see people excited about sharing the gospel with the nations.  If you would like to listen to the program follow this link

http://www.callingfortruth.org/cft/content/blogcategory/2/10/

and it is called  “We are Created To….”  Wed. September 2, 2009.  Please listen and enjoy!!!  Let us know what you think!!!

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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Our house we are renting!!!

The Lord has shown us the house that we are going to start renting to begin our ministry!  Two weeks ago, my tica friend Yoko handed me a paper out of the blue with a name and number on it.  She said that she had a long time family friend that has a house in the “campo” of Cartago and this was his name and number and we should call him.  Later that week, I reminded Jacob to call Yoko’s friend, his name is Jorge.  So Jacob called him two Friday nights ago.  Jorge was excited to hear from us and offered to take us the next morning.  So on Saturday the kids went to stay with some friends while Jacob, Kelsey and I loaded up in Jorge’s truck and headed to the house!

We were in the car for quite some time and were wondering the whole time if the house was going to be as nice as we were told it was.  He said it was a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom house.  With a big kitchen, dining room and an outside kitchen.  And best of all, he kept using the word farm.  He said that it had turkeys and geese and lots of fruit trees and coffee plants.  We were so excited needless to say!  When we passed the statue of Jesus up on Irazu we began to time the trip.  After about 40 mintues and an unbelievably beautiful trip through what becomes the cloud forest, we arrived at the quinta (or small farm)!  It was like a dream!  It was completely beautiful!  Everything and more than we ever dreamed we would want.  To this point, we had not asked the price and were beginning to think, “Oh no, we have come all this way and there is no way we can afford this!”  But we continued to look around and ask questions.  His previous explanation did not even compare to the beauty of the land!  It is like a paradise where someone can think by themselves and be with the Lord all at the same time.  If teams were in, there is enough space to be with the group or off by yourself, checking out the fruit trees or just listening to nature and God.  A place where people can come and minister to the people of Costa Rica and be ministered to by the beauty of the land.  A place of contemplation and praise.

Last wendnesday we borrowed some friends’ car and picked up Francisco to take him to the house.   As most of you know, we have desired for Francisco to be part of our family.  He is such a wonderful minister to the people of Cot and we have all along hoped that we would be able to find a house big enough for him to be able to stay with us.  So his opinion of the place was important to us.  When we arrived, he absolutely loved the place too!  He was so excited with us about all of the possibilities for the property!  So today we have finally worked out an agreement for rental with Jorge and we have the house!!!

He is going to allow us to transform one area in the back (that he had originally built for a jakuzzi) in to a bunk room and the garage into another bunk room, even though we are just renting.  This is such a blessing and we feel this is where the Lord wants us to move to.  Here are some pictures!

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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