Sunday, February 24, 2008


We have always been aware that crime is an issue here in San Jose, Costa Rica. We have been warned about it, taught how to prevent it and taken steps to avoid it. We know that North Americans are targeted because of the higher probability that they are carrying money or technology.

While some of our classmates have been targeted for muggings and break ins, we have continued to feel safe in the knowledge that the roughly 10% (unofficial) crime rate against the students of our school is equal to that of any big city in the world. While we have implemented prevention and street smarts we have never felt at a great risk. While we have not been victimized in our six months here we know those that have.

We know of seven or eight property crimes (muggings, break-ins, etc.) that have occurred since we have been here. But, in the past four days our friends have been hit hard by crime:

Matt Keiser is in Mike’s grammar class and is a missionary headed to the same place we are – La Ceiba, Honduras. Both Mike and I like Matt and have enjoyed doing various ministry work with him. On Wednesday night Matt was walking in a notoriously crime frequented area. He was walking with a friend. He was approached by a man and mugged at knife point. Matt gave up his backpack willingly. In his backpack was his laptop, wallet, credit cards and other less valuable items. Matt was not physically harmed, but, is likely suffering.

We live in a four plex apartment building. Last night a man crawled up on the roof of our neighbor’s home. He laid a t-shirt across the razor wire that encircles our apartments and crawled over the wall. He took a few items that were left on the porch and tossed them over the wall. He tried to get into our landlords car which is protected by an alarm. When the alarm went off he fled. But, not before he inflicted emotional damage on our neighbors. Each family in our apartment building has kids, and two of the kids are under the age of two. In all, not much was stolen, but, our neighbors are a little shaken.

We know that God is in control of everything and we love that about Him. We also know that no matter what we do we can be hit by crime no matter where we live. But, who wants to be robbed. We ask that you pray for us and our fellow students.

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