Monday, June 29, 2009

Costa Rica Update

Here is a picture of the team on the beach in San Isidro!

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9As it is written: 
   "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; 
      his righteousness endures forever."
a]" style="line-height: 0.5em; ">[a] 10Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

 12This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.13Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!       

2 Corinthians 9:6-15

We are on our way out of San Isidro today, and on our way into Nicoya for our 4th week.

We appreciate all the prayers. =)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

blog 3

We cannot believe that it is almost week 4! We feel like we have been here forever, but also not long enough! Its hard to think that in three weeks we will be back home with you all. We are also very excited to see the Costa Rica team. We love and miss them as well!
This week we got to do some painting and will continue to do so in the coming up weeks. Justin was very excited about that.
Swine flu has hit Antigua, so our pre-school was shut down for the week. It is not really a huge deal, people are just being careful, so don't worry about us here. We are all fine and healthy. But before that happened, we had sports day with the kids. That was so much fun! We got to take them out of the school and play lots of games outside! We got rained out at the end, but that was fun with all the kids too.
We are adjusting to the heat and the sun. We have been to the beach three times now and instead of burning, we are tanning nicely...well, some of us at least :-)
After being here for 3 weeks we have learned a lot about the people of Antigua. We have grown to love them. We now understand what we learned about at orientation. Anyone can go on a missions trip and paint a wall. They could hire people here to do that. We are here to share the love of Christ with others. We are here for the people.
"Who will be my hands my feet...To the lost, the last, the least...Who will stand...Who will go?"

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Costa Rica 3rd Update

We are having such a wonderful week in San Isidro!
Yesterday, Josh, Sarah and I were able to go visit a rehabilitation center for mentally handicapped adults. We joined them for their afternoon classes and it was such a blessing. A few of the people who go to the center live in a home nearby that the Army provides. We are about to go there tonight to visit them and do some worship time, and tomorrow we will be having a service at the rehabilitation center. We're all pretty excited for that.
This morning, the corps had a "Cultural Day" celebration type thing. They had all sorts of mimes and a big group of 'cultural dancers', who later tried teaching us their dances and we had a dance off. Sarah and Kelly tied in their amazingness. 
We love the corps officers and the lieutenant! The lieutenant is very young, our age, from the Dominican Republic, and we're enjoying getting to know her. 
We are surrounded by indescribable beauty everywhere we go here! When we open the door of our hotel rooms in the morning theres a perfect view of the mountains right in front of us! And there are so many interesting little living things of God's creations joining us in our bedrooms! 
Kelly has told me to write that as we look at the trees on the mountains, we are waiting to see them rustle and move around like a T-rex is walking through them because it looks so much like jurassic park here. 
More to come soon! Keep praying for us! God is using us and teaching us. 


Monday, June 22, 2009

Costa Rica Update 2

Sarah, David, and I are sitting in a cloud right now. We have just arrived in the mountains in San Isidro!

Last week was incredible! We all had a blast playing with the children in the daycare and having VBS with them. The Captains and their family that we stayed with were very welcoming and treated all of us as one of their own children. It was hard to leave and say goodbye to them and their three sons, and to all the children and the wonderful people we met in Limon. 

We drove out of Limon this morning and into San Jose, to the DHQ of Costa Rica, where we met with the D.C. for a few moments and talked about how the trip was going and spiritual growth.  The drive to San Isidro through the mountains was breath-taking. God's creation is incredible - His beauty is unfathomable!

Everyone is doing good on the team! Stephanie became sick earlier this week and was taken to the hospital just to be extra safe, but it was just a bug and she is perfectly fine now. Claudia has been feeling a little under the weather for the past few days, but tomorrow she will be getting the day off so she can rest and recover. 

I pray that God works through our team and uses us for unimaginable things this week. I pray that he gives us strength, energy, guidance, open eyes and open hearts to share His love. 
And I pray that for the Antigua team as well! We miss and love you guys!


Sunday, June 21, 2009

and another week goes by....

This week has been so much fun! We have really gotten more involved with the people of Antigua! We had open days this week at the pre-school and the parents got to come into the school to see what their children have been doing all year. We also got to do a lot more teaching! It has been so much fun to get to know the kids more and more.
We have had a lot of homeleague this week as well. We got to be in charge at least twice and have developed bonds with the women of the congregations. Our group has also gotten to know the youth of Antigua. They are very nice and has asked us to join them on Saturdays for their swim practices. We went to one on Saturday and almost died! It was so hard! Many of us were not able to finish the whole practice, but we tried our best. Swimming in the ocean is not as easy as it looks, especially after running 2 miles!
We got to meet the Governor General of Antigua this week. She is very nice, British lady, who loves the Salvation Army. We were very honored to have met her and were able to take a few pictures with her.
This Sunday our team was split into two and went to the two corps in Antigua. We celebrated Father's day and honored the many fathers that were with us today. At one of the corps, the congregation prayed a blessing over a set of chairs they received. 10 in all. They were very grateful, and we were humbled to see it.
We have discovered that the Salvation Army is different here, but is still very much the same. We wear different uniforms, sing different songs with different beats, our worship looks different...but our God is the same, and our aim is the same. Our hearts are united together in worship and it is wonderful!
Please pray for us because some of our team members are still dealing with sunburn, but we are MUCH better then before, and we are excited to be here and ready to get to work! Love and miss you all!

Monday, June 15, 2009

first post from ANTIGUA!!!!

Hello from beautiful Antigua!!!!
It is so beautiful here! We are staying at a retreat center run by a nun named Sister Mary Joe. It is hard to explain in words what this place is like. All we can say is that we are very blessed! The people of Antigua are extremely nice and everyone has opened their arms of love to us. Majors Griffin are taking very good care of us and we feel right at home. Although it is a little bit hotter here then it is in the states :-)
Oh my! Our first week is over and we can't even believe it! We have been working very hard all week with the children at the preschool here. They are sooo cute!!! We have fallen in love with them and they with us! They call us "teacher" and a lot of us have gotten the chance to actually do some teaching.
One our second day here, Emily and Justin were chosen to go with Major Griffin to meet the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda. He is basically their president. They got to read scripture and pray with him. It was an honor and very exciting. Emily read scripture and Major Griffin did a devotional. Justin was able to tell the Prime Minister how lovely his country is. It was very neat to see how the goverment here is different then the United States. The whole team is scheduled to meet the Governor General tomorrow, vice president, which we are all very excited about it.
We came at a very interesting time here in Antigua. We arrived in the middle of Unity Week for many of the churches around St. John and we attended a service every day our first week that was a combined service of all different churches, and we got to be a part of one of the services on Friday.
Saturday we had our first day off and we got to go to the beach! How amazing! The girl's home that the Salvation Army runs is right next to the beach, so we got to meet some of the girls and took them with us. The beach is so beautiful and the water is so blue and so clear! We had every intention of not getting burned, but unfortunetly that did not happen and we are now dealing with having to aloe up every night. Some of us are worse then others, but we are all healing. We all had such a wonderful time regardless.
Sunday we had a wonderful welcome at the St. Johns corps and the All Saints corps. The way they worship is different from home, but we are excited to be able to experience new things!
This week will be very different then last week and we think that is how it will be all summer. We are ready to work, grow and share God's love with the people in Antigua! Keep praying for us! We love and miss you all!!!

Costa Rica's First Post!

June 15, 2009
Wow! What an amazing week it has been! We arrived to Costa Rica safely, welcomed by the incredibly friendly D.C., D.S., Capitan Murio, and overwhelming humidity and heat. We were taken to the city of Limon for our first and second week. The first week we worked at the Corps of Limon 2000, which is in a very poor neighborhood just outside of the city. There were many children in the neighborhood that loved to come to the corps and play with us, and a few of the teenage youth of the corps that spent a lot of time with us. Everyone is incredibly friendly and kind.
We were able to speak with a man named John from that neighborhood whos story touched us all. He lead a very dangerous and sad life, and was shot by one of his enemies 7 months ago and is now paralyzed from the waist down, but God came to him during this time and has filled his heart and life with His love and His word. It was amazing to see so much of God in Him.
As for the team, we are all doing well! We are most DEFINITELY learning our spanish! We are enjoying the food. We went on a trip to the beach on saturday. We all love the gorgeous and exotic land, plants, and animals. Some of us are a liiiiittle sunburned though. =) We haven´t had any access to phone or internet until yesterday, so if you haven´t heard from us yet, we might be able to get in touch with you sometime this week, as the officer we are with now wants for us to be able to be in touch with family back home.
This week we begin working at a daycare center just a few blocks down the road from the hotel we are staying in. The Officers, Capitan and Capitana Josua and Marlena Taura, are so kind and treating us like family. The daycare center has 63 children everyday, from the ages of two to six, and we will be doing VBS with them starting Tuesday. We are all very excited!
All of your prayers are very, very appreciated.
God is at work here, and in all of our hearts.
The Costa Rica Team
written by Kalin