Friday, October 30, 2009

(First) Youth Night!!!

The Bro hasn't gathered since the beginning of September, making tonight the first gathering of the 'semester,' so to speak. I'm excited and I've heard that a few of the youth are excited.
And I've guaranteed myself an interpreter. Cuz ain't no one coming back if I simply reply on my Spanish! :P

My lesson tonight focuses on 1 Timothy 4:12
Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.
I really want to start things off on a fresh note. Maybe we'll have some first timers tonight (maybe next Friday, or the Friday after...) because it's the beginning of the semester (and, according to the pastor, maybe because it's led my foreigners) and I really want these gatherings to be as non-intimidating as possible. So I'm banking on printed versus (nothing is more intimidating to me than someone referencing a verse that you aren't familiar with and you feel left out), easy lessons (based on said printed versus), and applicable actions (community projects, hopefully at least once a month) to focus a few of them.

The beginning theme for us will be ServantHood. Something completely borrowed from our Youth Pastor at Lakeshore Church in Montreal.
She's amazing.

Beyond the core verse of 1 Timothy (above) we'll read the greatest commandment(s):

Mark 12:30:
To love your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength... (and) love your neighbor as yourself.

Galatians 5:13:
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature: rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
(emphasis mine)
After, we'll be brainstorming ways in which we can do this. Big or small... Pretty much anything they can come up with (or open up and actually say). My heart's desire is to harness some of the energy these kids have and put it to good use, showing what they can do for others, etc. And that doing things for others is actually fun.

Please pray for us tonight and in the weeks to come. Let relationships build, youth feel welcomed, and energy focused on loving our God and serving each other.

And who doesn't love pizza???

Monday, October 26, 2009

Update: results of board meeting

Tom and I now have many, many kids.


And they don't understand us.

But who's kids do, really?

Our desire to work with the youth was well matched with the board's statement: We don't have a youth pastor... and the things we have tried to get going with the youth group have not been very successful.

So, we are to do as we like... With the intent to have the group grow, and grow in their walk with Jesus. Well, for most, it's to at least start a walk with Jesus. Drugs are a problem here. Like most small towns, there ain't much to do, so trouble brews.

We understand that this means we may be inviting trouble right into our living room, but that's something we are willing to take as it comes. Our hearts have grown immensely for this age group over the past few months as we became youth leaders at our church in Montreal. And by 'immensely' I mean: from ziltch to convicted obligation. We are excited to begin to fill a need in the community... We sanction your prayers!

In addition to helping with the youth it has been decided that Tom will lead the men's monthly breakfast gathering (which, according to the board, is another group that they have found to be hard to reach) and is leading a weekly prayer meeting before church services; we will both be participating in all outreach projects to the indigenous people in the remote mountain communities (first excursion on Dec 3-7); I'm assisting with the weekly woman's ministry group and both of us with the weekly small group bible class; we are also assisting in planning, decorating, and implementing Christmas celebrations for the Tuis region (planning began last week, decorating on November 14th, and subsequent Christmas celebration events on most Thursdays from then until New Years) and for the celebration for the indigenous people...

And that is the general plan from now until the end of the year... And we'll evaluate where we are and where we want 'to be' in the new year.


More details to come, but I figured I'd give you a general update as to how the board meeting went.

(To God)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week 1 Update

(Taped: Friday, October 23)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Here's a little clip from our small group meeting on Wednesday!

And a little "Where's Waldo" for you: Can you pick out our North American classmate?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day 3...ish

Well, we've only been here for a few days, but it already seems like we are settling.

Today was our first day of Spanish class... Seems as though Tom didn't whop me too bad in the placement test, becuase we ended up being in the same Spanish class.
There are two people in our class... Us :P

We've befriended two other students at the Spanish school; Micheal and Crystal. Both are fantastic people... I convinced Crystal to join me in attending the ladies meet this afternoon. Us ladies have started the series Purpose Driven Life, which is fantastic considering I actually brought a(n English) copy of the book with me to Costa Rica. How perfect!

We are still getting used to the customs and culture here. Many things are different and we have yet to understand them, as would be expected. The whole folding up used bathroom tissue and placing it in a waste basket to collect over a few days I can understand because of the weak septic system, but the practice still takes some getting used to.

Same goes for the ants. They are everywhere. You leave a grain of sugar on the table and it results in the Great Migration. They were also all over (and in, and under, and on, and through) the laptop this morning when Tom picked it up. Nothing like a freshly infested laptop to start off your day! lol!!

But even that couldn't really shake the smiles on our hearts today... As we celebrated our second anniversary (by taking a long gorgeous walk first thing in the morning... To Spanish class)!!!

Tomorrow looks like it's going to be busy: We have class from 9:00-12:00... But first start the day off with a bible reading and a few songs with the other students. The Mission asked Tom to play the guitar at these morning gatherings... He's a bit nervous about this, but of course accepted the task. After class we'll have lunch, then a meeting, then a few of the women are going to show us how to cook some Costa Rican food! After (eating it) we'll go to a prayer meet a few more miles down the road. It will be dark by the time it's done, which means we may have our first taxi ride. (The cars on the 'highway' come crazy-close during the day, so there ain't no way we are walking home at night!)

We'll it's almost time for bed. All the best to you all.
Also, please leave a comment if there is anything you want to hear about or ask about, or just to simply say hi. We'd love to hear from any readers out there!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day 1

What a glorious, glorious day.

We sanctioned prayers, and they must have come! The Lord has put me on the road to recovery, and I am thankful. We were able to make it to church (1/2 hour walk from our homestay) for the Sunday service.

Today church ran from 5:00pm-7:30pm. We were introduced to the congregation and asked to share a bit about ourselves and why we are here. The head pastor (Hector) helped with the translation. After the service we met with the church board members to introduce ourselves and for them to introduce themselves (again, with a bit of help from Hector). It was decided that we will be given two weeks to 'settle in' before creating solid plans to jump in to ourselves. That said, I am meeting with the leaders of the women's ministry on Tuesday, Tom and I both have a prayer group to attend on Wednesday, and our first night with the youth is this coming Saturday. Currently, we are to focus on cultural and language acquisition and, most importantly, relationship building.

Tomorrow is our official day of 'orientation'. We have placement tests at the Spanish school in the morning, and in the afternoon we will go to Turrialba (a nearby town) with a local to learn the ropes of the bus system, bank procedures, grocery store, etc.

I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

The GPS reads...

9 50 46.80 N 83 35 47.90 W

Check it out on Google Maps.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Praise the Lord!!!

After a beautiful send off from Lakeshore in the early hours of this morning, we've arrived in Tuis de Turrialba this evening. We were met at the San Jose airport by nothing less than the smiling faces of both Hector and Daniel! What a blessing it was to start off as a team with them. We rode with Hector all the way back to Tuis (2.5hour car ride), which provided a great opportunity to get a feel for the current happenings and what some plans are. All I have to say is this: We are going to be busy!

However I sanction your prayers: In the last week leading up to the trip, I hadn't been feeling all that well. Now that I pushed my limit and stayed up most the night with the youth, I was granted the opportunity to chuck my airplane cookies a few times today. Let me tell you - I thought a long airplane ride was rough to do on an upset stomach (those little airplane bags are effective though, aren't they?) ... little did I know the tough part was still coming: sitting in the back seat of a van whipping and winding along mountain side roads (for 2.5hours). RALF! Please pray that my health recoups very quickly and I will be able to partake in tomorrow's activities. Hector wants us to introduce ourselves to the congregation, and I'd rather not be green. Tom is heading to the men's breakfast first thing and I hope to be able to share a meal with our house mother while the men are away. Currently, eating, for me, is completely out of the question. I was able to keep down a herb-tea type-drink our house mother put together for me for my stomach when we arrived. I don't know what it was, but it was pretty delicious. I'm restricted to a horizontal position (nothing to do with an ingredient of the tea, don't worry)... But praise God our laptop has picked up the wireless signal from the rental house next door!!!

Also, although most of our bags made the journey with us, our pretty red one is still in Toronto. Air Canada is suppose to deliver it early next week... please pray it will make this journey and that the Costa Rican's in Tuis won't notice I only have one change of cloths until it arrives (!!!).

All that said, we are thrilled to bits to be here!

Friday, October 16, 2009

And they're off...

Well soon at least.

Yes, we need to be at the airport in 3 hours. Fancy that!
Thank you to everyone for your support and encouragement.

God bless and take care!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Last Sunday in Canada


So far in our visit to Manitoba we've experienced plus 35 then yesterday we drove through a snow storm.
What fluctuation!

In Costa Rica they are calling for an average of +26 all week, with thundershowers everyday.
Now that's consistency.
Let's go there!