Diary

November 13,2018

Well, we have now been in Costa Rica for over one year.  We have learned a lot and still have so much more to learn.  We have made some strategic alliances with several local churches.  God has been moving mightily and we are very humbled by all He has allowed us to do.  However, we are still waiting on His time frame and the “yes” to move forward into all He has planned for us.

We are learning to be patient.  That is not an easy test and we keep going round that mountain again and again.  Thank goodness, God allows us to take the test as many times as it takes for us to pass.  This morning I was reading Psalm 105 in the Passion Translation. ( By the way, my favorite translation for the Psalms.)  In verse 19 of Psalm 105, it says of Joseph, “Until it was time for his dreams to be fulfilled, God’s promise to Joseph purged his character and tested his patience.”  That spoke volumes to me today.   I want to be like Joseph, I want my character purged and my patience tested if that is what it will take for me to fulfill the dreams God has given me.  I know God is faithful.  But am I faithful?  Will I be still and allow God to speak and direct my path?  Will I allow my character to be purged without complaining?

I can feel in my spirit that God is about to accelerate things and I want to be ready.  He has a great work for us to accomplish here in Costa Rica and we want to be in the center of His will.  Galatians 6:22 states, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.”  So, I already have the fruit, I just need to cultivate the soil, so the fruit can grow and be used to feed others.  Everything that God gives us is for others.  My prayer for today is,” Lord, thank You for allowing me to be tested so that I may be used by You to bring Your Kingdom to earth.  Amen.”

Be blessed today and light your light shine!

August 1, 2018

We have had a busy couple of days.  On Sunday, Ritch gave the message to a very small church in Santa Cruz, Costa Rica.  It was their Harvest Sunday, so we shared a meal afterward.  The kids just love Ritch.   I watch them play and it reminds me of my childhood when life was simpler and we played outside and made up games with whatever we could find.

I was honored to be able to help cook the arroz con leche.  That is a huge task, to make sure it does not burn and ruin the whole pot!  It is so much fun to serve in anyway that I can and to feel a part of the community.

The people of this church are very humble.  They love God and love to share whatever they have with others.  They are teaching Ritch and I how to receive.  This is a lesson that is not easy for us.  We are used to being givers, but the Kingdom works best when we can give and receive.  It is in their nature to give and humbles us to receive.  We cannot steal their blessing by not receiving whatever they want to give.

We pray for everyone in the United States as your summer is coming to a close and school will soon start again.  Another chapter of your life is being written.  Whatever is done for the Kingdom will last and everything else will fade away.  Make your life count.

 

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June 21, 2018

Hello to the first day of summer.  However, here in Costa Rica we only have two seasons, dry and rainy season.  We are in the rainy season and that officially started in May and will end the first of November.  So far, the rainy season is my favorite.  Everything is green and the temperatures are a little cooler.  Typically it rains every evening, which makes for great sleeping.   The roofs are either metal or tile and there is no insulation, so you hear the rain on the roof very well.  So well, that at times it is hard to hear each other speak, but I find I am adjusting to that too.

Tomorrow Ritch and I will be celebrating 45 years of marriage.  My goodness how time has flown!  God has been so good to us and I cannot imagine doing life without him.  He is my rock and my best friend and my partner and the love of my life, plus my best half in ministry.   Saturday night we have been invited to another Tico church to give our testimony.  Not even sure where the church is located, but the invitation came through Brian, who interprets for us, so I am sure we will follow him.  God keeps opening doors and we just keep walking through them.  We gave our testimony at another church on June 10th and prayed for everyone at the church.  We have heard that God showed up in a major way and we can’t wait to hear the testimony of one man’s healing!  It is from that service that we have received invitations to other churches.  It is such an honor to be used by God.  We are not special, we are just willing.

 

I have a praise report!  Our container was finally released from Customs and is now on our property!  We have even removed a couple of boxes and I have some of my items around me.  There is a lot of work to be done to unpack the container and find exactly what we need.  When Customs repacked our items into the container from the warehouse, where they had stored them, they were not careful how they repacked it, so we do have some damage, but praise God, we have our items.  Now, we still have to wait for them to release our Polaris.  That is an entirely different matter, so that requires prayer now.

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I have started private lessons for Spanish.  It is 4 hours a week, but along with my Duolingo, it is starting to make a difference.  I don’t know if I will ever be fluent, but I will be able to communicate in easy sentences, which is exactly what I need now.  I really don’t like having to say, “No hablo espanol” all the time.  Last night, we attended a local church service and I could understand most of the sermon!  Yeah!  I do understand more than I can speak.

Ritch and I are extremely thankful for each one of you that reads this blog and supports us with prayer and finances too.  We are blessed to be able to help when we see a need.  On July 2, 3 and 4th we are going to help a ministry with Vacation Bible School.  They are expecting 500 to 700 children during these 3 days.  All these children need fed too.  The need is very great!  We have no idea how God is going to use us for these 3 days, but we know it will be amazing and tiring too!  Please pray for discernment for us and stamina and patience.

One more prayer request from us.  When we went to immigration the other week, they still did not have our paperwork done and told us to come back in 45 more days.  We need to get this situation resolved.  Please pray for a swift resolution.

We love you all and pray God’s blessings over each and everyone of you.

June 3, 2018

Good Morning Everyone,

We have had an amazing May.  Trina Olson and Edith (Ede) Houghton from Radical Launch Ministry came for the whole month.  The first week was spent here in Samara and then we all went to Jaco for two weeks and then back to Samara for the final week.  Celine Baker also flew in from the States for one week in Jaco.  Trina and Ede’s heart is to empower people to fulfill God’s call on their life and walk it out in practical ways.  They love to do street ministry, so we did a lot of that.  God showed up and showed off every time.  So many people touched by the love of God!  One man that stands out to me was named, Jose.  He was an alcoholic, and possibly a drug user, but God showed me that he loved his mother very much and that God saw that in him.  When I told him that, he started crying.  It touched his heart so much.  I just held him while he sobbed in my arms.  I can’t tell you I changed his life, but I can tell you that he will remember the love of His Father and hopefully one day the seed I planted will grow and blossom.  For you see, we are all called to plant seeds and allow God to do the watering and growing.  Some seeds will fall by the wayside, but some will grow and bring a bountiful harvest.  Keep planting seeds!

We had the privilege of visiting a children’s home, Hogar de Vida in Atenas.  They take in children from 0-12 years of age.  We got to hold babies and play with toddlers.  So much fun!  We prayed with the staff and asked what we could do special for the children.  They told us that everyone really likes fried chicken and it would be such a blessing to them.  So we arranged to come back another day and provide fried chicken and Coke for everyone.  What an awesome day that was!  We blessed the children and also the woman in the town that makes and sells the fried chicken.  She said it was the largest order she had ever had.

While in Jaco, we attended Horizon Church and God gave us providential appointments.  We met Daniel and Chloe Murdock, who work for Seeds of Hope.  They invited us to their home that Sunday night and we got to spend time with some of the staff and pray for their needs and just love on them.  Then later in the week, we visited the Clubhouse in Parrita, all of this before we even had our meeting with Penny Williams, the founder.  Not sure what God has in store, but I know we will be obedient to whatever He has in mind!

The last week of May, we were back in Samara.  God was not done yet.  We finally met Anabeli and her family.  We had tried to get together with this pastor from Nicoya, but the timing was always bad.  However, God’s timing is always best!  Anabeli took us around the area meeting pastors that are under her covering and then speaking at a conference with her pastors.  I cannot even begin to tell you what a blessing that has been.  Seeing their faithfulness and their love of God in some very dire conditions.  It really opens your eyes.  We complain about such petty things!

I started my private tutoring lessons in Spanish from my good friend Carmen.  Please pray for me!  I need to speak Spanish so I can minister effectively.  I do not always have an interpreter with me and that hinders Him.

Please continue to pray for our container.  It is still being held in Customs and needs to be released soon!  On Thursday we went to Immigration to pick up our papers. but they told me we need to come back in another 45 days.  Pura Vida.  Need prayers for them to be finished too.

The rainy season is upon us.  It usually rains everyday around 3 pm.  But everything is so green and fresh now.  This is my favorite time.  Plus it is not so hot. It is also a good time to visit since this is the off season.  The crowds are gone and the rates are lower, but the beach is still beautiful and warm.Seeds of Hope 4

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

On Sunday, after church, our friends, Trina and Ede who were visiting from the United States, and Maurice and Anna and their children from church and also Travis and his girls from the Finca  went to pray for a nearby family to the Finca.  The little girl in the picture with Ritch is  Crystal.  She is 6 years old and was injured at birth, so that she has to use a walker to get around.  She also does not speak very well, but her spirit is amazing.  We were able to get her up and take several steps without her walker!  Praise Jesus.  Her face lit up when she was able to do that.  We also prayed for the Grandma who has diabetes and is losing sight in one eye and finding it very difficult to walk.

Even though we did not see a 100% healing, it is not about the healing, it is about obeying God and praying.  When we are obedient, He will come through.  We will continue to visit this family and pray.  People need to see you care.  Just love the one in front of you.

Prayer is so powerful.  It should be our first weapon, but sadly, it is usually our last.  We try everything else, then we go to God in prayer.  We say, “Well now all I can do is pray”.  No, start by praying.  Ask God what He wants to do in this situation and then “Do it”.  Praise is also very important.  God inhabits our praise.  So, give thanks.  Fill your mouth with praise at all times, in all things.

This is Holy Week.  Spend time reflecting on all the good God has given you.  And remember the same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the grave dwells in you.

May you be blessed this week and fall deeper in love with God each day.IMG_20180325_162319613

March 15, 2018

Good Morning,

On Tuesday afternoon we had the privilege to bless a young mother and her daughter.  Carmen came over to our house and told us about this family.  She had never meant them either, but just heard their story from her cousin.  The little girl, about 8 years of age and had been attacked by a dog, and had bites on her face.  The mom had not been able to work while she cared for her child, so she was out of food.

We immediately went to the local grocery store and bought supplies to take to them.  We weren’t sure how we would be received, since we were not known to them and we knew they were not Christians.   However, we were received with open arms.  The little girl is doing well and her stitches are supposed to come out today.  I believe she will have minimal scarring, Praise Jesus!

I was able to pray for the mom and tell her how much Jesus loves her.  She told me I remind her of her mom.  I held her in my arms and just loved on her.  I know we were sent there for her.  She needs a new revelation of the Father’s love.  Her name is Annielee.  Please lift her up in your prayers and pray for more opportunities to release the love of God.

This is the mandate for each of us, to love the one in front of us.  We just happen to be in a foreign country, but God’s love works no matter where we are.  Today, be intentional about loving the one in front of you.  It may be your child, spouse, neighbor or a stranger.  A smile, a hug, a touch, a kind word, all represent love to someone in need.

Have a great day and be blessed.

March 7, 2018

We are now back down off the mountain and have internet again.  Hopefully, I will be able to post a little more regularly and get this website updated.

This Saturday, the 10th, we are delivering a new washing machine to Grace.  It is going to be a surprise for her.  It should also make her life a little easier.  She has been doing laundry on a washboard since her old machine broke.

For those who see our posts on Facebook, we have asked for prayer.  Your prayers have been felt and answered.  We have been under attack from the enemy, but our God is faithful and we are more than conquerors!  I know the battle is not over yet, but we are standing firm on the Word and taking territory back.  When the storm is raging, you know to stand back and get ready for the upgrade in the Kingdom!  We are believing for the salvation of the country of Costa Rica and for the evil to be eradicated!  The battle is His.

As for our container, no, it still has not arrived in Samara.  We are getting closer.  Pray it is released and we can get it this weekend or next.

We have friends from the States coming to do ministry with us in two weeks.  We are really looking forward to spending time with Trina and Edie and watching how God is going to move.  So if you feel you are a intercessor, please cover this time in prayer and prepare the hearts and minds to receive.  We will be fasting and praying.

We love each one of you and feel so blessed that you feel led to partner with us. We have been in contact with Penny Williams of Seeds of Hope here in Costa Rica.  We will be planning a trip soon to visit her and see how she has developed her program for at risk youth.

February 27, 2018

We had to take a trip to the capital, San Jose last week to take care of some legal business.  We took some good friends along as we wanted to celebrate her birthday.  As we started our trip we asked the Lord to lead us to people to bless and pray for.  Well, the Lord came through as always.  We got stopped for a few minutes for road construction and there was a man asking for money for his son’s cancer treatments.  We gave him some money, but more importantly we prayed for healing for his son and blessings over him and his family.  We may never know how effective our prayers were this side of eternity, but we were faithful to the one God put in front of us.  But, just like God, He wasn’t done with us yet.

At the hotel the next morning, we met a woman from West Virginia. We spoke for awhile and found out she is a widow, she lost her home in the floods of West Virginia a few years back and she was in a bad car accident.  But through all her adversity she has maintained a beautiful attitude and really loves the Lord.  We prayed for her and she wanted the address to our website to share with her church back home.  God is so faithful and loving.  It is such an honor and privilege to get up each morning and serve Him in any way He leads.

On a personal note, we are still awaiting our container to be moved from Customs in San Jose over to Samara.  The process is longer than I ever anticipated, but I know God’s timing is perfect.

We are slowly making connections here.  I had a conversation with a friend of mine here from Costa Rica (a Tica).  We spoke at length about the cultural differences between our two countries and the perceived differences, whether real or not.  She was cautioning me to make sure I go slowly and communicate to the locals as openly as possible.  Their perception of Americans is that we look down upon them and consider ourselves superior.  We think of them as poor and helpless, which is a major affront to them.  Of course, we don’t feel that way, but we have to earn their trust slowly.  Very good advice that I am trying very hard to implement in my every day dealings.

 

 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

We have been very busy, but unfortunately have not had access to the internet.  One of the many challenges to living in another country.  On Saturday, the 10th, we went to see our friends, Grace and Anna that we minister to every month.  We took our usual bags of rice and beans, as they are very poor.  While we were back in the United States for a couple of weeks, Grace’s grandson and his girlfriend have moved into the house too.  Both of them are battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol.  The grandson, Juancarlo, asked for prayer for his addiction.  His girlfriend is too afraid.  They were sober for 2 weeks and her depression was just too much to handle.  All in God’s timing.  She is very curious about the things of God and asks alot of questions.  Ritch and I are still learning Spanish (which seems like a never ending battle) so we take our very good friend, Carmen as out interpreter.  She is a Christian also who loves to pray for others.  We make a very good team.

Sunday we went to church and heard an excellent sermon from our pastors wife’s father visiting from Tennessee.  His sermon was about the importance of studying God’s word.  After church, we invited our new friends, Maurice and Anna and their three children up for lunch.  We swam in the pool and hung out talking about the things of God.  My favorite way to spend the day!

Yesterday, we drove with our lawyer to Liberia, a 2 hour drive each way, to the immigration office.  We are proud to say we are on our way to becoming legal residents of Costa Rica.  It is a long process, but well worth it.  As in all of Costa Rica, it is hurry up and wait.  We arrived at the office and the line was out the door.  Costa Ricans are the most patient people I have ever met.  No one complained.  We just all got in the line and waited for our turn.  It probably only took about another 2 hours, but now that process is over.  The next step is to get in line at the office of CAJA, which is equivalent to our Social Security.  They will determine how much we have to pay into the system each month for healthcare, etc.

So today, I am in Samara and sitting in the shade with internet.  I am also doing my laundry as I wait.  The laundry facilities are also outside under a covered patio.  It really is quite pleasant.  The temperature is in the high 80’s right now and will be in the 90’s later.  This is the dry season of Costa Rica.  There are two seasons, dry and rainy.  We will not see rain until the rainy season starts in May.  Then it will rain every day for about an hour until October.  October is the wettest month here.  By December, we are back in the dry months.  Come April we will see the highest temperatures of the year.  So, if you do not like the heat, avoid Costa Rica in April, at least on the Pacific Ocean side.  Costa Rica actually has a climate for just about everyone depending on where you want to live.

This morning, the howler monkeys came to eat out of the mango tree right beside our patio.  I love to watch them climb and swing through the trees.  Ritch and I even enjoy the sound the males make as they stake claim to their territory!