Sunday, June 26, 2016

Beloved or Son of Thunder??

It is Sunday and we had the pleasure of sleeping in a little later.  We didn't have to leave until 7:15. Today would be more of a normal church worship day. (Sunday school, worship & lunch afterwards)

Orchids outside the hotel

Jon Hackett, a youth minister from Gulf Shores, taught our Sunday School class.  His lesson was on how Jesus chose John as an apostle even though he was know as "Son of Thunder".  He asked if we knew a "Son of Thunder" or if we ourself was a "Son/Daughter of Thunder".  Of course, we all can be at times.

The point he made was that Jesus chose John anyway because he knew what he could be.  Just like 

He knows what we can be if we follow Him.  In John's later years he was known as The Beloved and he wrote this:

Our them has been "Mas Amor, Por Favor" and we have certainly felt the love of this congregation!

We had lunch and fellowship with the members until about 2:00 pm or so and we were able to go back to the hotel for an hour or so to rest, but we will be leaving for La Fortuna early in the morning, so it was a good time to get our things packed and ready.

We returned back to church at 5:30 and the ladies of the congregation prepared us a delicious dinner that was kind of like a taco.  They had homemade tortillas with lettuce, tomato and a kind of sausage, I think.  It was good and not like your typical Latin American food.

This sweet lady named Dulce was traveling back home after Sunday morning church.  Dulce by the way, means sweet.  She and her husband worked tirelessly knocking on doors and studying with people.

This lady traveled all the way from Nicauragua.  Her husband is a minister there.  

We had heard that there would probably be a baptism and were very happy that it did take place.  The preacher's sister in law has been dating a young man and he was ready to dedicate his life to Christ.


The church was so sweet, after the minister said kind works thanking us.  He asked if anyone else had anything to say.  Between them and many of us, we all expressed our gratitude and well wishes.  We have all been blessed by this experience.

We ended the day with a beautiful sunset.  We will be traveling to La Fortuna and that will take several hours on the bus.  We should get there in the afternoon, but I may not have a post tomorrow.  I have several short videos, but again they are not showing up on my camera roll.

View outside the front of the church.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Our Costa Rican debut, God works in mysterious ways!!!

This looks pretty official doesn't it!  Well, it is!!  A public school here in San Jose has let us come and do VBS with their students for two days.  Today, they wanted our help for their English Festival. We had known about it, but we really weren't exactly sure what it would entail.  Actually is was a regional competition of several schools.  The winners would move to the district and could possibly go on to the national competition.

Many of us were asked to be judges for Impromptu Speaking, Spelling Bees, & Public speaking.  I agreed to judge the primary Spelling Bee, it couldn't be too hard.  Well, this folder had our rules in it.

(They requested that we look professional.  Here you can see some of us reviewing the rules.  It was very detailed and I don't know who was more nervous, us or the students!)

Primary Spelling Bee group

The day was full of many things that were all things English.  A young Costa Rican girl sang, Titanium.  A group danced to "Your the One I Want".  (They were very serious!). 

They were playing new and old American pop music all day.  It was especially cool when they played "We are the Champions" when they recognized the winners!  

They also had us Americanos sing "Dust in the Wind".  We had taped music, but I have to say that we sounded quite good!!!

(We are getting ready to sing "Dust in the Wind".  We also gave the "I Will Call Upon the Lord" as an extra.

Those who weren't judging help teach students English songs and game.  All in all, it was an amazing day.  Minor Perez & Diego Rojas are two young Costa Rican ministers who have been helping us translate.  They pointed out a man and women who are members of the local church.  Isn't it amazing how small the world really is??

(Jasmine from Gulf Shores & Jeremy Crump, who just moved from the Tampa area to Texas)

The day started early and we stayed until at least noon, but they fed us both breakfast and dinner.  At the end, we got to visit quite awhile.  That was very enjoyable.  The principal even asked for all of our emails so she could be in contact with us.  We were thanked over and over.

We have rice for many meals.

Julia, Benjamin, Jeremy

(We also got to sing, "BINGO".

I know that many of our group took the time to invite people to our church service for the night.  We invite many people, but we often don't get much of a response, especially in this type of situation.

We were almost treated like celebrities & we all left the school with huge smiles on our faces!!

Yes, I know that sounds like a full day, but, no, it was not over.  We headed back to the church for our afternoon church activities.

Just random pictures of the city.

This lady worships at La Fortuna.  She and her husband travel all of the way for our church activities this week.  Her name is Justina.  We enjoyed the adult coloring so much last year that someone brought more for us.

Believe it or not, it was my night to help prepare dinner.  The local church planned the meals, but we take turns preparing because the ladies' Bible class is such a treat for them that they don't want to miss it.

We might call these tostados, but they called them chalupas.  I may have to try to make them at home.  (Refried beans, chicken, lettuce, tomato & cheese)

We finished dinner and it was delicious if I have to say so myself.  That meant it was time for evening service.  We have been have a few visitors and many of the local children come to the children's class. Our service got started and who walked in............the principal of the school.  We were so happy!  After church, we spend at least 30 minutes chatting and we all had the translators tell her how happy we were that she came. 🙏🏻 So our work in the school with the children ended up bringing the principal to this church.

What will God do tomorrow?  I can't wait to see!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Mas Amor, Por Favor. (More Love, Please)

We had to be up, done with breakfast and ready to leave the hotel by 7:30 am.  Needless to say, I was up early!

We have about a 30 minute drive to the church and we had a short time devo.

Today's morning assignment was a VBS at a local public school.  About half of us would be working in the school and the other half would be knocking on doors & inviting people to our gospel campaign that night.

Going into the school

We really had no idea how many students to prepare for, but we knew it was a 1-6 grade school.

The school's auditorium was quite nice.  

We had to revise our plans because we learned that we would have 5 different groups for about 30 minutes.

Our leader, Terry Reeves, has written all of the skits about these crazy, bumbling pirates.

There were very large classes, but the students were attentive and well behaved!

We had a puppet show and the skit, but I didn't get any pictures of the puppet show.

This is Aaron an ESL teacher from the Memphis area.  He was related a Bible story to the skit.
After spending about 2 1/2 hours at the school, we ended back to the church for lunch.

We had a mens' and ladies' Bible class that lasted over 2 hours.  Diane lead the class and taught a lesson about idolatry.  She taught us how God made the earth and everything in it good.  Good things in our can become idols when we let it become our life and it takes us away from God.

Our campaign started at 5:30 and the skit was performed again for the children.  There was 2 classes for children, as well as our adult group.

We had several visitors from the community and I even recognized 3 ladies who don't regularly attend, but came to last year's campaign !

Maribel & a visitor, Rebekah

Dulce is the lady in the middle in yellow.  She is a member of the church visiting all of the way from Nicauragua. It was her birthday & they surprised her with a cake.


Mas Amor, Por Favor is our theme for this year's mission trip.  For those who don't know, that is Spanish for "More Love, please!"

(I appreciate your comments & questions)