Sunday, March 30, 2008

Giving Gift Bags to the Kids of La Carpio

Last Thursday Mike and Cam Clausing (missionary to Colombia) handed out nearly 100 gift bags to the kids of La Carpio. The gift bags were contributed by Valley Springs Presbyterian Church of Roseville, CA. This is one of their ministries. The church constructs the bags and fills them with toiletries, toys, candy, paper, pencil, Spanish kids Bible and more. They then ship the bags to missionaries to distribute to the children they work with. This is wonderful ministry.

La Carpio is a neighborhood in San Jose, Costa Rica where the poorest of the poor live in homes made of scrap metal and plywood. Every Thursday Mike goes to La Carpio to play with the kids and share Christ.

Watch this 4 minute and 30 second video to see the joy and excitement in the kids:

Friday, March 28, 2008

Madison And The Bell Choir

Madison is a part of the Bell Choir at her school. On Thursday they played in front of our adult chapel.

Their Bell Choir is the only one in existence in all of Costa Rica. It is made up equally of Costa Ricans and U.S. citizens.

Take a look at this 1 minute and 30 second video to see Madison and the Bell Choir:

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

We And They

I read this on a friends blog site, it's a poem by Rudyard Kipling. The idea behind the poem is becoming more and more real to me. I'm feeling a bit more like "they" every day. Enjoy!

We and They

Father and Mother, and Me,
Sister and Auntie say
All the people like us are We,
And every one else is They.
And They live over the sea,
While We live over the way,
But-would you believe it? --They look upon We
As only a sort of They!

We eat pork and beef
With cow-horn-handled knives.
They who gobble Their rice off a leaf,
Are horrified out of Their lives;
While they who live up a tree,
And feast on grubs and clay,
(Isn't it scandalous? ) look upon We
As a simply disgusting They!

We shoot birds with a gun.
They stick lions with spears.
Their full-dress is un-.
We dress up to Our ears.
They like Their friends for tea.
We like Our friends to stay;
And, after all that, They look upon We
As an utterly ignorant They!

We eat kitcheny food.
We have doors that latch.
They drink milk or blood,
Under an open thatch.
We have Doctors to fee.
They have Wizards to pay.
And (impudent heathen!) They look upon We
As a quite impossible They!

All good people agree,
And all good people say,
All nice people, like Us, are We
And every one else is They:
But if you cross over the sea,
Instead of over the way,
You may end by (think of it!) looking on We
As only a sort of They!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter In San Jose, Costa Rica

Our teammates the McCanns and us organized an Easter celebration for some of the other missionary families here in Costa Rica. There were seven families and over 20 kids. It was complete with the resurrection story, candy and an egg hunt.

Here is a 3 minute 45 second video from the event:

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Madison going for the egg...

Easter. Very different here than in the States. Today, in church, was like any other Sunday in church. Worship, sermon, home. The service was about Lazarus, and what it means to be a Christian Family. We came home, and our teammates, the McCann's had organized an Easter get-together with other missionary families. All in all there were about 20 kids, and 7 different families. Everyone brought their kids, Sean McCann gave an Easter message, and then the kids went to the local park where we had TONS of eggs hidden for them to find. It was fun watching the kids run around looking for eggs. It was just as much fun watching the local Tico's looking at the gringo kids wondering what in the world they were doing. See the post below for other Easter events we saw. Tune in tomorrow for a video on the day. I hope everyone had a fabulous Easter. He is risen....He is risen indeed!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Semana Santa (Holy Week), Good Friday procession

This week my desire has been to have a better understanding of the importance of Semana Santa (Holy Week) to the people of Costa Rica. The Catholic church looks at the week before Easter as the most important week of the year. My goal was to see a procession on Good Friday. The McCann's (our team mates), Madison, and I trecked downtown San Jose to see what we could see. The main Catholic church in San Jose was having a Good Friday procession. It was very different for us, and at times, a little disconcerning. When we saw Jesus in a coffin, we decided to look at it as a cultural experience and nothing more. It was good to see so many people in church on this day.

This cultural experience did much to remind us of the grace we have in Christ and that is all we need. Check out this three minute video from the event:

Thursday, March 20, 2008

VBS Video

Earlier I had a post for the VBS that Madison was involved in this year. I've included a 3 minute video which gives a little more information. I made this for the church that donated all the VBS materials to us. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Visiting The Museum With Kids From La Carpio

Today Madison and Mike joined with a half dozen other missionaries in taking 32 kids from La Carpio to the Childrens Museum in downtown San Jose. They helped provide transportation, lunch and admission for these extremely poor kids.

Take a look at this four minute video to see what went on:

Monday, March 17, 2008

Palm Sunday

Well...yesterday was Palm Sunday, and I'm thinking you really wouldn't have known it here. It's very interesting how the Catholic and Protestants are clearly divided here. This is Semana Santa, or Holy Week, in most of Central America. Most people use it as a reason to get out of dodge and head to the beach for a week vacation. Others, however, use it as a time of reflection about Easter. The Catholics religiously observe "no meat" for much of this week, and especially on Friday. The Protestants don't really acknowledge Palm Sunday because it is a "Catholic" holiday. It has been an interesting look into the culture of Central America. Friday of this week is a huge day for parades - parades that include the Virgin Mary, self-flagellation, nailing themselves to a cross, carrying Christ in a coffin, and other things that shows how devout they are to their religion. I am very interested in seeing how this week plays out.
Christ in his coffin is carried in Catholic parades
The Virgin Mary is also paraded

Saturday, March 15, 2008

New Shower

Our new shower

After 7 months we finally got a "new shower". As you may or may not know (from a video after we first got here), we described how our shower works. There is no hot water heater in our house, so the only hot water we do have is from our shower, and that's through something called a "widow maker". There is a real name for it, but it's commonly referred to as a widow maker because of the close proximity of electric wires to water. So - we have been dealing with a shower that dribbles, in the best of times, with "warmish" water. About 2 weeks ago our widow maker started smoking. Then, the electric tape started melting, and finally it started sparking. At that point we decided it worth mentioning to our land lady. She immediately called the handyman, and out he came. He took one look at it, and said it needed to be replaced immediately. So out he went for a new one, came back, and now it's installed! Still not as wonderful as our shower in the U.S., but a VAST improvement. Ahh...the little things in life that make life "that much better". Yeah :-)

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Madison just got her new grades for the school quarter. Happy for everyone to know that she is doing GREAT! She has pulled her math grade up to a strong C, all the rest are A's and B's! You go girl! It's tough being in a new environment, new sounds, new ways to eat, getting up early, going to bed late, walking everywhere, being on the track team, etc. And in the midst of it all, trying to go to school, and learning a new language. Madison has thrived in this environment, and has done very well in school. So - cheers all around!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Outrigger Island VBS

Madison helping out the young kids with craft

The older kids in the gym playing games

Yep, even in Costa Rica we can have vacation bible school. This week the adults are involved in what is called Spiritual Emphasis Week. We have two speakers come and we have lectures twice a day. The one in the evening is from 5:00 - 6:30p.m. So, instead of just providing child care, this year a couple offered to lead a vacation bible school. This was the first day, and I was helping out with the kids. There were over 60 kids in attendance! Awesome! The theme is Outrigger Island, and it's about the sovereignty and reality of God. Great times! The kids really seem to be enjoying it and learning.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Mission Trip to San Carlos, Costa Rica

We are back from our three day mission trip to San Carlos. We had a great time organizing a youth event for 50 kids.

Take a look at this 4 minute and 30 second video to see what we did:

Friday, March 7, 2008

San Carlos Mission Trip

San Jose to San Carlos

Today, after school, we leave for a three day mission trip to San Carlos, Costa Rica. This is a poor community about three hours outside of San Jose. The Pettengills are responsible for organizing a Youth program for 80+ kids. We have dozens of fun games and a Bible program planned.

We are very excited that Team Honduras (that’s you) was given the ability to sponsor a couple of boys from La Carpio to be missionaries for the weekend. These boys have found the Lord and a desire to serve in a ministry that Mike works at every Thursday. We will get to guide them and have them work under our supervision. It is great to be able to act as missionaries training other missionaries.

We will return Sunday night and report back to you how it all turned out. Sorry in advance for the lack of posts between now and then. Please pray for us this weekend.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I’ve Got The Power…NOT

One if by land...

In the six months that we have lived here in San Jose, Costa Rica we have experienced periodic power outages, internet lapses, water shutoffs and phone disconnections. One of our utilities usually goes out once a week or so. But, seldom do any of the outages last more then an hour. However, it has never been as frequent as it has in the past 10 days.

In the past week and a half both the power and the internet have been out for some duration most every day. The power has not gone out for more then an hour and a half, but, has gone out as many as five times in one day. And, the internet has barely worked during that time.

Neither is a crisis. And, as we are fond of saying, “It’s not bad, just different.” These are simply inconveniences that we must learn to adapt to. We have learned the hard way to frequently save documents you are working on in the computer, and we have also perfected the joy of studying by flashlight.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Dinner With Friends



This evening we hosted a dinner for some students from our language school. Including Maddy and Lucy there were 10 people in attendance. Not bad for our little apartment.

Our missionary friend Cam cooked Middle Eastern food for everyone. And, our friends Jessica and Zoe made dessert for everyone. All we did was host…yeah!

This is a busy time for all of us at language school. Everyone has multiple tests this week and it was a great chance to eat, laugh and blow off a little steam.

Everyone had a great time. The food was great and the company was better. Now, back to our regularly scheduled studying.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Yo Estoy muy frustrada!

Translation: I am very frustrated! Class these days - it's a bit overwhelming! Learning so much new stuff! It's one thing to think that a test is hard/difficult and receiving a good grade on it, and a whole other thing to think a test is fairly straight forward and receive a bad grade. Well...that was today. And, of course, we are moving on. No time to reflect on how we did poorly and digest how to do better because we have so much more to learn. And where we go from here in learning is even more difficult. Oh joy. The other frustrating thing - it's "only Spanish" for goodness sake! It's not trying to start a church, and receiving a difficult time from the government, or starting street children ministry and trying to "get through" to the kids - it's "only Spanish" afterall! So...I need to keep things in perspective - but why my frustration is because I NEED Spanish for all of the above to happen - so I know how important it is. So forgive my ramblings, bottom line - just pray. Pray for my brain to soak up new information, for my frustration levels to decrease, and for my learning to increase - and the bottom line - for God to be glorified in all that I do.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The beach

Cam and Madison

Playa Hermosa (Hermosa beach)

Madison riding in a wave

Taking a break


Yesterday Madison, myself, my friend Cam, Zoe, and another friend from school all went to a beach on the Pacific coast. This is a 2 1/2 bus trip from downtown San Jose, and then another 15 minute taxi drive to the beach. It's a beautiful black sand beach, and perfect for surfing. But, because it has great big waves, it has quite an undertoe - so we had to be very careful with the strong ocean currents. A few times we were caught by some waves, covered, and pulled under - but - we stuck together, and never were in real danger, just had to be careful. We only spent the day - but 6 hours in the sun was sufficient - caught the bus back, and arrived home by 8:30 at night. Exhausted, we both fell into bed and slept soundly! A great day overall.