Monday, December 03, 2007

Video link of Rachel's Spanish

Many of you have told us that you just could not imagine the children being fluent in Spanish. Last week while we were in Artolita, I made a little video of Rachel playing with some of the kids there. This is a great example of her with her Spanish. We have had many people tell us that the children sound like they are from Nicaragua! I am still having a bit of trouble getting video and pictures loaded individually, so here is the link to the video and you can see it there! In this video, the "ball" they are playing with is a grapefruit! LOL!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Church in Artolita

Last Sunday, November 25, was our second service in Artolita. One thing we did not share in our last post was the way we have to get to this town! There is a creek that separates the town of Artolita from its sister town of Artola. The only way to get to Artolita is to cross this creek in your vehicle, during the dry season that is! In the rainy season, the vehicles have to be parked near the creek, and then you can walk across on a foot bridge. As of yet, there has only been "talk" of putting in a bridge that will allow vehicles to cross all year long! Since we are in the dry season right now, the creek is not too high, and we are able to cross. The kids love the "adventure" of having to cross the creek each week!

Dave began a series of teachings on the importance of unity. We had about 15 people there, and this was also the service where we told the church we will be coming each Sunday to work with them and minister to them. The church was very open to having us return each week! At the end of the service, three of the youth in the church presented a dance that they choreographed. It was such a blessing to see these youth so ready and willing to praise and worship in the dance!

We have made plans to be able to spend each Sunday after service in Artolita to be able to establish relationships with the people, and get to know others that are not a part of the church as well. Last Sunday was a great day walking around and meeting a few of the families there. One of the ladies we met was named Maria. We had the opportunity to pray for her concerning paralysis she has been experiencing in her face. We are believing that God will show Himself strong and bring healing to her body! After we walked around a bit, and the children were able to enjoy the creek some, we went to the home of one of the ladies in the church named Florita. It was a great time of just getting to know each other. We were invited to stay for dinner with her, before heading back home. It was a great time, and we look forward to what God will do each week as we return!! We ask you to please keep us in your prayers as we make this transition, that it will not only be smooth for us, but for the congregation as well! May God bless the little town of Artolita!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More blessings from the Lord!!

We have received so many blessings from the Lord lately, but we have to tell you about one of the most amazing yet! While we were living in Jinotega, Nicaragua, we met a Pastor that lives here in Costa Rica in the San Jose area. About 8 years ago he began a work in the Guanacaste area, which is the province we are in. He has had a couple of people over the last 8 years working and Pastoring this church, but it was just getting to be way too much for someone to travel so far every weekend to be able to minister. Our province is about a 6 hour drive from San Jose. Dave was in San Jose visiting with this Pastor friend of ours. Pastor Marcos talked to Dave awhile about the work over here and asked him if he knew where it was. He explained where it was and we found out that the church is only about 10 miles from us when traveling by a mountain road that is near our home. Unfortunately, during the rainy season this road is impassable and not able to be used until it is scraped in the dry season. So the other way to get there is about 40 miles, which takes about an hour and a half. After talking, Pastor Marcos OFFERED the church to us and asked us if we would like to take it over. We knew that this would be something we would need to pray about...and we knew that the Lord would have to provide us with a vehicle so that we could make the drive to the church. While our Pastors were here, we prayed with them about the situation, and when Dave and Pastor Craig went to San Jose to purchase our van they were able to meet with Pastor Marcos. We decided to have one service in the new town of Artolita and see what God was saying in the matter. During the service, my husband and I both just felt like we were at "home" once again. We knew that God was opening up our hearts to receive this church and our Pastors are in agreement that this is the will of God for us. We called Pastor Marcos and let him know that we would be accepting the church he offered! What a gift from the Lord! The building is debt free as well as the property that it is on. There is room for about 75 people as it is right now. The church even has all the instruments for a worship team, there just isn't a team yet! The first service we had, there were about 17 people there! It was such a blessing to see! We will be going every Sunday to minister to them and have church service. Pastor Marcos will be coming to share with the congregation, as he is the original authority over the church, about the transition. We are very excited about what God is doing and we look forward to updating you on the progress!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

We have a NEW VAN!!

We were honored to be able to have our Pastors come and visit with us this month! It is always such a blessing to see them and be able to spend with them! On this trip they were able to bring two of their grandchildren, Nicolas and Madison. Our kids were thrilled to have some of their friends come along for a visit as well!! Since we arrived in Costa Rica our home church, Spirit of Life Church, in Tn. has been giving offerings to help us to purchase a van for our family here. Dave's stepfather, Micheal Watkins, also blessed us this year with a donation to go towards the purchase of the van. We are pleased to announce that we now have a vehicle!!! God blessed us with a wonderful deal on a 2005 model Mitsubishi! He gave us favor with the previous owner by bringing the price down to a more reasonable one. The van has low mileage and it is a diesel van which makes it so much more economical! It is a 12 passenger van, if we are speaking in American terms...but more like a 15-20 passenger if talking Latino! LOL! This is a huge blessing for our family. It now means that we are able to get out more as a family to purchase our groceries. My husband no longer has to fight the rains on the motorcycle during the rainy season to try to get food for our home! We are able to do so many more things together now! PRAISE GOD!!! He is so faithful and so good!! We want to say a VERY special thank you to all that gave to go towards the purchase of this wonderful blessing! We are so overwhelmed at the goodness of God..but it takes special people like you that gave to hear His heart and give towards a need. You are all so appreciated and there just are not enough words to be able to say a proper, honorable thank you! We pray that God blesses you one hundred fold for everything that was sacrificed and given!! We love you all very much and appreciate your support!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Our Thanksgiving miracle!

We have so many wonderful things that the Lord has done lately that we want to share with you. God has truly blessed us during this wonderful season of thankfulness!! I want to start off by telling you about a Thanksgiving miracle that happened to us this week! With this being our second Thanksgiving away from the States, we were really beginning to crave a somewhat traditional Thanksgiving meal this year. Seeing as how Thanksgiving is NOT a national holiday here in Costa Rica, turkeys are not exactly easy to come by. The going rate for a turkey here is about $50 for a decent sized one. That is a little bit steep for we were planning on just celebrating with a nice chicken and then adding some fixings to go with it. But God had other plans for us! On Monday afternoon we had a very nice surprise!! A turkey was delivered to our home, bought and paid for as a gift for us!! We were so overwhelmed at this gesture and we just knew that God was telling us that He truly is in control! It amazes us to think that something like having a turkey for Thanksgiving is important to our God because it was simply a desire that we had! Our God is so awesome!! We want to say a very special thank you to Dan and Hilda Carter for their wonderful gift of having a turkey sent to us. We pray that God blesses you abundantly for hearing Him and meeting this desire of ours. Thank you so much!!

Here are a few Thanksgiving pics. One of course of our miracle turkey and everyone of us Southerners know that Thanksgiving would not be complete without a wonderful dressing! You can see the girls here having a good time mixing it up the right way!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

October update

It has been quite some time since I have been able to post an update and I have several things to be able to tell you about! First of all, one of the reasons for a delay in posting is because about 3 weeks ago our laptop was struck by lightening! We have had quite a bit of rain over the last month, which is not too unusual, but periodically we suddenly have lightening that comes with the rain. We really have no warnings when this happens and it does not happen often. So this particular night we had been having some heavy rain and within about 30 minutes we literally had ONE lightening strike in our area and it must have either hit our house, or somewhere VERY close to it. Our computer was connected to a surge protector that was untouched, but we did notice that our cable box for the internet was dead. We figured this must have been what was hit and it traveled to our computer. We are praying that it can be fixed! For now we are using an internet cafe that is directly behind our house. It is very nice to have one so close by!

As of October 1st we have been living in our new home! What a blessing it has been! We are really enjoying it. We have more space in the home, but I have to say one of my favorite parts is having a real washer and laundry room! Before I used a plastic washing machine that would have to be stored in my hallway when it was not in use and then carried outside to be connected to an outdoor sink. This washer had two sides to it, one for washing and the other for spinning the water out of the clothes. It seemed like it would take forever to just wash a load of clothes! First of all...the washer only held, at the most, maybe 5 towels. For a family of 6...we go through alot of clothes...and towels...and sheets! I would put the clothes in the washing side, let them wash for about 15 min. until the washer was done, then have to remove the clothes to put in the spinning side. Once the water was spun out, I would place them in the washing side again to go through a rinse cycle. After that was finished, I would once again put them in the spinning side to remove the water. Just imagine going through all that...and then it starts to rain! The old house did not have an area outside to put clothes when it was raining. During the rainy season, which lasts for 6 months, it can rain almost everyday for a couple hours a day. This is not good for a family of 6 that goes through alot of clothes,towels and sheets! LOL! Thankfully now, we have a great carport to hang the clothes when it is raining! And we have had our share of very heavy rains over the last couple weeks, especially the last 7 days straight! I don't think we have seen the sun for more than an hour in the last two weeks! We have had so much rain, that the country has been under a red alert for flooding. Dave left Saturday with Jeremiah to do our weekly grocery shopping. He had to take the bus and when he got about halfway to Santa Cruz, one of the main bridges there has collapsed into the river! There is only a small area that is still connected. The buses have been taking the passengers to the bridge, everyone exits the bus and walks across the bridge to get to another bus waiting for them on the other side. We have seen on the news many areas of Costa Rica that has been flooding and where roads have literally been washed away!
This is our street coming into town! The road and the river are one!

We have received so much favor through the owner of the house. The house was fully furnished with all appliances, including a new stove and washing machine, but the only thing we were going to have to get was a television. The owner decided to go ahead and purchase a new TV and placed it in the house as well! He replaced the living room furniture, which what he had was fine with us, with a new living room set. He also expanded the carport to where it is the full length of the house now. This is a great blessing to us because we are using the carport for our Bible classes now! For our first children's class in our new home, we were outside under the carport and we had 8 children from our neighborhood come! It was the most we have ever had in a kid's class so far and they all really seemed to enjoy themselves. Our neighbor that was watching from her kitchen window seemed to enjoy it as well! We are so thankful for the many blessings we have been given and now we look forward to new souls being added to His Kingdom! Because of the rains, we were not able to have a kids class last week, but today we had 5 children come and two of them were new ones. During our prayer time today, all 5 children gave their hearts to the Lord!! PRAISE GOD!!

First children´s Bible class in our new home!

We have received favor with the public school director in the town of Brasilito where we wanted to hold weekly Bible studies! The director gave us permission to use his personal classroom on a weekly basis to hold a Bible study. We have been going for four weeks now every Friday night. As of yet, we have not had anyone come, but we continue to pray for the town and invite people to come.
We can't tell you enough how much we appreciate your prayers and support for us. As of this month, we have completed our first year here in Costa Rica. We have seen God open up doors of oppurtunity and we are just so excited to see what else He has in store for this next year.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Mother's Day in Costa Rica

Last week we were able to experience Mother's Day here in Costa Rica. August 15 is always Mother's Day here, it doesn't matter what day it falls on. We were invited by our neighbors across the street to have lunch and spend the afternoon with them. The lady that lives across the street has 6 adult children and most of them live close by here in Potrero. She and her husband have been having a new home built next door to the house they are currently in. We were able to enjoy lunch with her in her new home! This was a special time for Dave and I because we have been reaching out to this family since we have been here in Costa Rica and this is the first time they invited us to be a part of a family event with them.

I would like to share with you a little of our experience having lunch with them. We knew that they had been raising a pig for a special occasion and found out that it would be for Mother's Day. We enjoyed a huge lunch of two different types of pork, rice, salad, potato salad (provided by yours truly) and a tradional drink made from rice, milk and sugar. I have learned that many times I do not really want to ask about what I am eating. To me it is just better not to ask because whether I know what it is or not, I know I will need to eat what is provided for me so as not to offend our guests. So everyone of us enjoyed our lunch without any question of what we were having. Sometime later, after our lunch had already been consumed, I find out that we were eating pig tongue! If I had known this little bit of information before I sat down to eat, I am afraid I would have had trouble getting it down! So now you can see why motto is...if I don't need to know...I will not ask! I have to say though, that the way it was prepared and the spices used, it did not taste all that bad. Of course, it tasted much better to me BEFORE I knew it was pig tongue! LOL!

After lunch, there was a surprise for our neighbor. Her children had hired a Mariachi band to come to her new home and play for her. She had no idea about this until they walked in the door and began singing to her. It was so cute to see her come in the house from out back and dance her way through the kitchen as the band played and sang. The band performed for about 3 hours. It was a great experience to be a part of.

Later that evening there was a competition to see who would be crowned Queen Mother of Potrero. The votes were based on donations given to the local Catholic church in the name of the mother you want to honor. The winner was our neighbor, Casimira. She was crowned Queen and was able to share a special dance with one of her sons. We have noticed that Mother's Day here is a huge event and it was a blessing for us to be able to experience it here in Costa Rica.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

July/August update

We reached another end to our 90 day visas and had to leave the country once again to renew. We are believing this will be the last time we will have to leave the country to renew our visas for being in Costa Rica. We are in the process of working with a lawyer friend on getting a 6 month visa that does not require us to have to leave to renew it. All we have to do is renew our paperwork every 6 months. This will be a huge blessing to us and will be so much better.

We spent another 10 days in Jinotega, Nicaragua when we had to leave in July. It was a good trip. While we were there, Dave was asked to preach at the Wednesday night service. The following Sunday there was a large group of Americans that came to visit the church, so Dave was asked to translate Pastor Serafin's sermon into English during the service. This was a first for Dave and he did an excellent job.

Trying to get home from Nicaragua on this trip was a real adventure! We left Jinotega on Monday to go to the capital city of Managua and spend the night. This always allows us to be able to take the first bus out of Nicaragua to Costa Rica. Tuesday morning we woke at 4 am to prepare to take the 6 am bus. Our bus left Managua at 6 am and it took us right at 3 hours to get to the border. This is always where the adventure really begins! We spent an hour and a half on the Nicaragua side exiting the country and another hour and a half on the Costa Rica side entering! The bus stop that we need is one hour from the border in the city of Liberia. We exited the bus and arrived at the next bus station just in time to get on the bus we needed to head home. I have to tell you that the "bus system" in Costa Rica has been an adventure in itself to try to learn! In our town of Potrero, we are the LAST stop on our bus route. The buses that go to our town only run 5-6 times a day. So catching the bus at the right time is very crucial. Missing the bus means waiting hours for the next one to come through! So we knew we needed to be in Liberia by a certain time so we could catch the bus we needed to get us to the NEXT bus stop to get us home. We were very excited to see we had made it to Liberia "just in time"! We knew it would be at least an hour to get to our next stop and we should just make it! Everything was going great...until about 30 minutes into the trip the bus starts smoking and you could smell something burning! All there was to do was wait for another bus to come by to take us further on. The buses here are always jam packed with people. You not only have all the seats full...but every area of the aisle is usually full of people standing. So waiting for another bus...we knew the ones coming by would most likely be full! After waiting about 45 min. or so we heard the driver say a bus was coming. Our driver knew we needed to get to our next stop, and he knew that everyone that was on his bus would be fighting to try to get on this one. He told the driver we needed to get to the next he allowed us to get on first. There was no room to get in the front door of the bus so we had to enter the back side door. I get on with Rachel, Levi and Hannah. It was so full that we had to squeeze into a corner of the bus where the handicapped area was. I turned and looked behind me just in time to see my husband step in and put the suitcase in with one hand....and the bus driver SHUT THE DOOR! Dave had one arm and one leg in the bus and Jeremiah was still outside waiting to get on with his suitcase! Everyone in the back of the bus was yelling at the driver to open the door. He finally opens husband and Jeremiah get on...and we were off again! We got to the bus stop and realized we had missed our bus to get home. It began to pour down raining while we were waiting, so we proceeded to get soaked along with our bags! We ended up waiting for about an hour before a bus came through that would take us close to our town...but was not going to Potrero. An hour and a half later we exited the bus and took a taxi the rest of the way home. We arrived home 12 hours after we started our journey! Anyone else want to join us on the next trip? LOL! Now you can see why a 6 month visa will be such a blessing to us!

We also ask you to continue to pray with us about the crusade coming up in January. We are very excited about this and we are praying for God to open all the correct doors for us to be able to secure the soccer field in the town of Brasilito for the crusade. We know that God will provide and meet the needs of this event!

We have not moved into our new home yet. We are still waiting either for a renter to come for the house we are in presently or for the end of September which is when our contract is up.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

June Update

The month of June has been a month full of favor from the Lord. Our Pastors from Tennessee came to see us for about 10 days and we had a wonderful time visiting with them. God really used them to minister to us and renew vision and purpose within us. We are so thankful for Pastors that are sensitive to God's Spirit and allow Him to use them to speak truth into our lives. When our Pastors come to Costa Rica, they always stay at the same hotel and God has opened many doors for them to be able to speak to and share God's love with many of the workers there. One of the workers in particular, Milton, is a manager at the hotel. He, his wife and his son came to our home and had lunch with us and Pastors. We had a great time getting to know him and sharing God's love with his family.

We are in the process now of making plans to hold a children's crusade in a town close to us, Brasalito, in January. God is already beginning to show His favor in this area. Dave has been to the town and has talked to the director of the school there about having the crusade at the school, as well as using the school for weekly Bible studies. He has an appointment to go back in mid July to find out what we need to do to secure the school for this. We are asking you to be in prayer with us concerning this. We want to reach out to the children, but we also plan to have a time to minister to the adults, as well as the youth! There are members of our home church in Tn. that want to come and assist with the crusade. We are believing that the Lord will open up finances and provide for them to be able to come.

We have been asking the Lord to open up doors of opportunity to share His love with people and He has been answering. We have reached out to our neighbors across the street to us many times, but had not seen any interest in them as far as God is concerned-until now! One day a couple weeks ago, one of our neighbors had a problem with his neck. It was swollen twice its size and it was very uncomfortable for this man. He knew where to go for help though...he asked for prayer! Dave prayed for him and asked God to show His love to this man and heal him. The next morning we saw him outside and asked him how he was. He said he was doing great! The swelling had gone down and he was able to sleep the night before better than had before! He knew it was God that touched him.

One day not too long ago, Dave was in Brasalito waiting for someone to meet him for dinner. He started talking to several men that were hanging around and God opened the door for him to be able to share several things about the Lord. The men were receptive to what Dave was sharing and invited him to stay there and watch the soccer game while he was waiting. A few days later, Dave returned to Brasalito and saw one of the men he had been talking with. In conversation, Dave found out that one of the men he had been sharing with a few days before was one of the drug dealers in this town! We are asking the Lord to continue to open up doors to talk to him again and many more like him.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

June Update (con.)

Another area we have found favor in is finding a new home for our family. We have found a house to rent that is less than a block from the home we are presently in. The new house is filled with things that we have desired in a home. It has a beautiful patio, a carport (which we want to use to hold Bible studies here in our town), and it is bigger! The home we are in now has just about 900 sq. ft. The new house, including the carport and patio, has about 1290 sq. ft. The inside of the home is opened up so much more than the one we are in too. It is completely furnished with better furniture. There is a REAL washing machine in the house with a small laundry room. In the house we are in now, the small plastic washer I have has to be taken outside and attached to the outdoor sink. We store the washer in the hallway when it is not being used so that it is does not get taken. The kitchen is bigger, as well, and has so much more cabinet space! Right now we have only 3 cabinets, two small ones above our sink and one big one below!We have found so much favor with the owner of the home. He dropped $150 off of the rent, he is going to put in a NEW stove (gas, not electric, for the wonderful power outages we get to experience from time to time), NEW refrigerator, and a NEW washing machine! He knows that we have a contract on the home we are renting now until the end of September and he has agreed to hold the house for us until we are able to move in! We are praying for someone to come along and want to rent the home we are in soon. This will enable us to go ahead and make the move and still get the deposit back that we put on the house when we moved in. Here are a few more pics of our new home! God is so good!!

Prayer requests that we ask you to stand in agreement with us on:

1.Pray for the children's crusade coming up in January. Pray for continued favor with the town of Brasalito to hold the crusade there. Pray for provision for those that wish to come and help.

2.Pray for continued open doors of opportunity to share about God's abundant love and for favor to hold Bible studies in Brasalito.

3.Pray for a renter to be available soon for the home we are presently in or for the owner of this home to release us from this contract and give us our deposit back! We are believing to be in our new home by the end of July!

4.Pray for a hunger and a thirst for righteousness in our town of Potrero.

Psa 5:12 For You, Lord, will bless the [uncompromisingly] righteous [him who is upright and in right standing with You]; as with a shield You will surround him with goodwill (pleasure and favor).

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

We want to wish a wonderful Mother's Day to all of you mothers that are such a blessing to so many people. May the Lord bless you today and throughout the year.

We had a great trip to Nicaragua once again. It was nice to see and visit with friends there. While we were there, we were able to attend a quincinera, which is a special birthday party for a young girl that turns 15. It is significant of the young lady entering into womanhood. Katia, the girl that lived with us for some time while we were in Nicaragua, celebrated her birthday while we were there. It was a nice celebration and fun to be a part of this popular cultural experience.

Dave preached at one of the services in Pastor Serafin's church and I was able to spend some time with the youth dance team helping them choreograph and practice new songs. It was nice to see the growth in the young ladies of the dance team as they are continuing to minister.

Youth dance team of Nicaragua

The children's Bible classes have been continuing to do well. The children look forward to coming each week and learning more. It thrills us to see how quickly the children learn the Bible verses and the songs we have been teaching them. Last week we did a lesson on fear and how the Lord is always with us. Dave taught on the story of David and Goliath. He asked the children to raise their hand if they had ever heard the story before...noone raised their hand! It was their first time hearing the story! We are overjoyed at the being able to present these stories to the children for their first time. In two weeks, we will be inviting the parents to come to the children's class with their kids and see what they are learning. It will be a good time for the parents to see what the kids do in class...and will give us an oppurtunity to reach out to the parents. We appreciate your prayers concerning this.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support for this ministry. We pray that the Lord will continue to bless you! We appreciate each of you!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

April update

We pray you have all had a wonderful week and that your Easter was blessed as well. We wanted to let you know how things are going here in Costa Rica. We are continuing with the children's Bible classes every Sunday. They are going well. The children really enjoy coming and having a great time learning about the love of God. We have had as many as 9 children here for class so far! Praise God!

We are believing that through the children's classes we will also be able to reach some of the parents in our community. We are already seeing God open up doors of opportunity to spend more time getting to know our neighbors. The parents of one of the little girls in our Bible class invited our family to spend a day with them at the beach last week. We had a wonderful day of getting to know them and just enjoying time together. Praise God for opening doors and pouring out favor that we have been asking Him for!

Easter Sunday our family woke up very early to go to the beach and have a time of reading the Easter story and thanking God for the things He has done for us. Rachel and Levi made the decision to be baptized on Easter Sunday too. What a joy it was to witness two of our children's baptisms in the beautiful waters of Costa Rica.

As a side note, we would like to add a couple pictures from the rodeo that was in our town a little over a week ago. The rodeo travels to a new town every weekend and they set up in the local soccer fields. There is bull riding, cowboys on horses, and rides for the children. We had a great time visiting each night and watching the bulls.

We have been in Costa Rica now for 6 months, so this means it is time to renew our visas once again. We will be leaving tomorrow morning to travel to Nicaragua for a week long trip to visit with friends there in Jinotega. We ask you to keep us in your prayers during our traveling time and that we will have ease crossing the borders going and coming. We appreciate and covet your prayers. May God continue to bless you in all you do!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Children's Classes started

Last Sunday morning and today we had a children's class in our home! We had two children that live close by come. It was a wonderful time of watching these kids "have so much fun" as one of the children said! We have been teaching them on the love of God and how special they are to Him. It is such a joy to see these kids so excited about wanting to come to Bible class! We began teaching them a Bible verse last week on the love of God and this week they already had it memorized! One of the songs we did in class was "Jesus Loves Me". Now in the States you could probably say that MOST of the children have at least heard the song somewhere, if not have it memorized themselves. Last week we introduced the song to the children and they had NEVER heard it before!! Such a precious song that so many of us take for granted because we have heard it all our lives. Teaching it to children that have never heard it before brought a whole new meaning to the song and the importance of it. Our hearts were singing as class ended with a fun game with the kids, and the little girl that was here (this is the girl that Rachel prayed with several weeks ago) was singing the song over and over throughout that day! Everytime she came over to play with our could hear her singing "Cristo me ama"! Jesus loves me!! It was so precious to see the joy on this girl's face as she was singing the words! We plan to continue Bible classes for the children every Sunday morning and we have encouraged the kids to invite their friends to come each week.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


It has been a little while since our last update, so we thought we would let you know how things are going. We have had a little bit of a change with the weekly Bible studies. We had one faithful family attending every week, and they have decided to go to the local Assembly of God church that is also in our town. So for the last few weeks, we have had only our family at the Bible studies; but we are still inviting and expecting people to come. It is taking time to get to know our neighbors around us. We make ourselves available to them and also put ourselves in situations where we can be around them more. For instance, Dave enjoys going across the street and just hanging out with the men that are normally there chatting. We are praying that the Lord will continue to place us in the right place at the right time and that He will open up doors of opportunity for us to share His love. We have invited two families to our home for dinner, just to be able to get to know them better, but we have not had any takers as of yet. We are realizing more and more how different we are than the "normal" American family that lives or visits around here. We think our neighbors are still a little taken aback with us and wondering what we are all about. We actually take the time to try to know them and invite them over. I am sure they do not normally see this with "strangers". Our desire is to see that boundary broken so that we will have more of a common ground with them. We continue to ask the Lord for favor according to Psalm 90, "may the favor of the Lord rest upon us, establish the work of our hands Lord".

Our children have been experiencing many lessons on how important it is to always show and portray the character of Christ. For all of their lives, they were surrounded by friends at church in Nashville. They had neighbor friends too, but the bulk of their friendships came from our home church. This was the same for them in Nicaragua as well. Here in Costa Rica, things have been quite different for them. They have made friends....but these friends come from unsaved homes where Jesus is not the center of everything. The children they play with are not Christians...and our children are getting a taste of how important it is to have the attitude of Jesus. At is difficult for them, but we see them maturing and growing stronger in what they believe and why it is important. Rachel has become a little evangelist! She was out playing one day with one of the little girls that seems to be at our house daily, or outside playing with my girls. This little girl is 5 and on this particular day Rachel had asked her if she was a Christian and had Jesus living in her heart. The little girl said no, so Rachel began to explain to her what it meant. Rachel asked her if she would like to pray and ask Jesus in her heart...and the little girl said YES!! Rachel has been teaching her and showing her different things about being saved. We are so excited to see this little child, who has never known much about Jesus or who He is, learning about Him! Dave and I are praying about starting a children's Bible study on Saturday's and ministering to the children. We know that God has a heart for kids...and this is a tender area with us. We love to minister to children.

We covet and appreciate the prayers of all of our family and friends. We would like to ask you to keep several issues in prayer for us.

1. Pray with us as we seek God's will on beginning a children's Bible class.
2. Pray for divine opportunities to reach out to our neighbors, and that God will open their hearts to receive from us.
3.Pray for us concerning residency in Costa Rica. This is a somewhat difficult task because of all the laws here concerning residency. There is a missionary residency available, but one of the laws states that you must be affiliated with the Catholic church to obtain this.
4. Pray for us to have wisdom each day to carry out His will for that day! We do not want to miss any opportunites that He has for us!

We love and appreciate each of you. Our prayer is that God will continue to bless you in all you do. May His face shine upon you!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

We have an address!

We finally have a mailing address! We have been able to set up a post office box in Santa Cruz since we do our grocery shopping there every week. It has to be addressed just as it is listed. Our address is:

Charles Davis Anderson
Apartado 183 - 5150
Santa Cruz, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Monday, January 22, 2007

Trip to Nicaragua

We arrived back in Costa Rica Wednesday after spending 8 days in Nicaragua. It was a great trip....a bit tiring...but wonderful to meet new friends and visit old ones. I thought I would give you a day by day account of our trip to give you an idea of what it is like for us to have to leave the country and travel.


We awoke at 4:30 am to get dressed and ready for our 6 am taxi to pick us up and take us the hour (sometimes hour and a half) ride to Liberia, the capital of our province. We arrived around 7:30 and knew we would have time to get breakfast before our 9 am Ticabus came to pick us up. Since there is not a terminal for Ticabus in Liberia, the bus would pick us up on the corner of town. We finished up our Burger King breakfast (yes we have one!) and made our way across the street to wait for the bus....and wait...and wait!!

That is the main game that you play when it comes to buses here! So around 8:45 we see a Ticabus heading down the road...gather up our bags and get ready to board...and the bus flies right past us!! OK...what do we do now? Dave ran to the office where he purchased the tickets and found out that was not our bus...another would be coming at 9. It actually showed up at 10! It took us one hour to get to the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua but it took us 2 hours to cross the border and get our passports stamped! Everyone has to exit the bus...and when you enter the new have to remove all luggage from the bus to be inspected. But this time after getting our luggage and waiting in line....and waiting...and waiting...we get to the inspection table and they wave us checking! So we board the bus again and settle in for the three hour ride to Managua, Nicaragua, the capital of Nicaragua. We had a Pastor friend meet us there and he secured a taxi for us to get to the bus station so that we could catch another bus to the town he is from, La Paz Centro. We board this bus and ride for about 2 hours. By the time we reached the Pastor's was 6 pm. We walked up the roadway to the Pastor's home and waiting to greet us was his praise and worship group along with his wife and sons. What a welcome committee! They sang a wonderful song of welcome to us and greeted us warmly. At 6:30...after quickly eating..we went to the church building right next door to the Pastor and enjoyed service with them.
I would like to take a minute to describe the home of the Pastor that we stayed with. This house was built 2 years is a very small rectangle size home with exposed wiring and beams in the ceiling. The rooms of the house, there were only 4 of them, were seperated by sheets of black plastic. They had two rooms set up for bedrooms, one for a living area and one room was the kitchen. They gave us the best room of their home which had a twin bed and a full size bed. The twin bed, where Jeremiah, Rachel and Levi slept, was a wooden bed frame with a sheet of cardboard on top for the mattres, and a blanket on top of that for some comfort. Dave, Hannah, and I slept on the full bed which had a small mattress (maybe an inch or two thick). Not exactly the Best Western...but like I was their best! We awoke early Wed. am and the Pastor's wife had warm milk, coffee, and sweet bread ready for our breakfast. They took tables outside for us to enjoy breakfast. You will notice in the picture of Dave and Pastor Jose outside that there are two buildings outside as well. The building to the left is the bathroom and the brick building to the right is the shower. Just behind the table is an outdoor sink area for washing dishes, hands, face, and brushing teeth. After breakfast, we waited for a little bit warmer temps before we started our showers. Their outside shower is a 25 gallon bucket of water with a bowl in it for dipping and pouring water over yourself. No hot showers here! We were invited to join a family in the church for lunch so we walked to their home. After enjoying a wonderful lunch, the children enjoyed playing in their back patio with the many children that lived here. Many homes in Latin America have several homes behind them where more of their family lives. This was the case at this house. The kids really love playing with the other children. Jeremiah even rode a pig (although it was very brief!). We had many people while we there comment on how easily our children have adjusted to life in Central America. After lunch and visiting, we loaded up one more time to ride yet another bus to go to the city of Leon. The Pastor has two older children living in this city and going to the university there. It took us about 45 minutes to get there and we had just enough time to eat quickly and get ready to go to a house church that is about a year old in the part of town where we were staying. Dave was able to preach an evangelical message to this group of about 25 that gathered to hear the Word. We were told that only a few of the people that come to this home church are believers, yet the house is always full! After service, we took about 2 hours to walk around the city and enjoy some of the historical features of Leon. We spent the night at the home of Pastor Jose's two oldest children.

Around 10 am we left Leon and headed back to La Paz Centro. The Pastor wanted us to go with him to visit several members of his congregation. We visited 5 families, Dave read a passage of Scripture to each family and I prayed for each. It was a wonderful time of experiencing different homes, but each family was the same: very cordial, willing to offer food and drinks for each of us, and just so friendly! At 6:30 that evening the Pastor had scheduled a church service with Dave as the guest speaker. The church building they have is still being worked on. The walls are up and finished, mostly, but they still have dirt floors. It was a great evening of worship, word and fellowship. One funny thing was when two ladies were leaving for the night, they overheard Hannah and Levi speaking in English to each other. They both responded how sweet and cute it was to hear them speaking in English! I told them that English was their first language and they were just overjoyed with that!

We spent Friday walking and visiting more members of Pastor Jose's church. We visited another 5 or 6 homes and each one the same as before...the families were very friendly and open to have us come and visit with them. Once again, Dave read a passage of Scripture and I prayed over the families. That evening, there was another church service. Dave preached and afterwards each member of the church came through and showed us their love through hugs and just blessing us. We really enjoyed our time with Pastor Jose and his wife Reyna. They have four wonderful children, two of them living at home with them and two attending the university. They love God so much and love God's people. They are servants and truly enjoyed having us in their home. We look forward to going back and visiting with them again sometime.
We got up at 4 am to prepare to catch the 5:30 am bus to head to Leon and make our way to Jinotega. We arrived in Leon and waited for the next bus to leave. We left Leon at 7:30 arriving in a town called Matagalpa at 10:30 am. We jump off the bus and walked to the bus station to locate the next bus heading to Jinotega. Our bus left at 11 and we arrived in Jinotega a little after 12 pm! We were tired...but it was so nice to be in a familiar place again. We walked with our luggage from the bus station to Pastor Serafin's house, about 6-7 blocks. We arrived at Pastor Serafin's hungry and Pastor Reina had lunch waiting for us. After finishing up lunch, the children quickly got changed and ready for children's Bible classes that are held every Sat. at 2 pm. This was one of the kids favorites when we were living in Jinotega. They always looked forward to Bible class. We had a good time relaxing and visiting with good friends the rest of the day!

We spent Sunday letting the children play with some of their best friends. I met with the youth dance team and helped them choreograph a new song for them to begin practicing. It was nice to see that the youth dance team is still growing and continuing to learn more in the dance to glorify the Lord. That evening was their regular church service and Dave preached. It was nice to see all the members of Pastor Serafin's church once again. We have some wonderful friends there and visiting Jinotega is almost like a second home for us now. Everything is very familiar there...the people are just wonderful.

Monday & Tuesday
We spent catching up with friends and just enjoying time with them. I spent alot of time shopping for things that are much cheaper in Nicaragua than here in Costa Rica. There are so many used clothing stores in Jinotega...and I have yet to find one here near me in Costa Rica!

We awoke at 2:30 am to prepare to catch the 4 am bus out of Jinotega to Managua. Which meant more waiting for a bus! Pastor Serafin and Pastor Reina waited with us. The weather in Jinotega was so much colder than here in Costa Rica!(very refreshing for us!) We arrived in Managua at 7:30 am and made our way to the Ticabus station. The one thing that is important with securing buses in Central America...make sure you are early! Especially going to never know when you may arrive (Dave has had several buses break down on him!) and you never know how long it can take to get a taxi driver that will not try to rip you off! God was good to us! As soon as we arrived in Managua we found a taxi driver to take us to Ticabus for a very good price; it is not always easy when you have 6 people and we had 7 large pieces of luggage! We arrived at Ticabus station and waited until 12 noon for our bus to leave. It took three hours to get to the border of Costa Rica. Once we reached the border, we noticed there were many people in line! Several buses had arrived ahead of us. Since the line was so long, they were allowing one parent with children to go ahead of the line. I saw when I went through the line that there was one worker stamping people's passports as they were entering Costa Rica. It took us three hours to enter the country! By 6pm we were back on the bus and heading for Liberia. Our neighbor met us there and we crammed all of our luggage...and his vehicle and finally arrived at our home, tired and hungry at 9 pm!
All in all...we had a great trip to Nicaragua. Alot of it was quite tiring...but we are used to the buses by now! The children are old hats at it now! (Maybe we should join the Amazing Race Family Edition next time....we have had lots of practice at it! LOL) Since arriving home, we have been getting back in the swing of things; school starting up once again for the children, Bible studies every Sunday night, and just regular activities of living here in Potrero. We are seeking God on any new direction He would have us take to reach out to the people here more. We feel the people here are still "watching and waiting" to see what we are all about. We are so different than the normal American families that seem to pass through here. We actually have a desire to mingle and live among the Costa Ricans. Please keep us in prayer as we continue to reach out and show love!
One other thing I would like to add in catch you up more. On Saturday my husband was doing our weekly shopping in Santa Cruz. When he finished up in the store, he came out to where he had parked his motorcycle (which this parking lot was fenced and has only one way in and one way out with a security guard); well...lo and behold...the motorcycle was GONE! Someone stole it right up under the security guard's nose! Dave filed all the paperwork necessary and has declared it stolen. Now we play the Central American waiting game...and see how long it takes for something to happen. We are praying that God will take care of the whole situation. We appreciate your prayers in this too.