Romans 11:36

"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.
To Him be the glory forever! Amen."

Apr 26, 2009

Colegio Fun Day

Last Saturday, the Colegio Metodista hosted its annual Fun Day in order to celebrate one of the last weekends of summer. Here in Costa Rica the dry season is “summer” and the rainy season is “winter.” During the winter, it rains every day. Without fail. Therefore, to celebrate one of the last clear sky days of the year, the Methodist School threw their version of a carnival.

There was karaoke, worship music, a high-school band, blow up bouncy thingymabobbers, tons of food, mechanical surfing, a dunk-tank, puppet shows, caricatures, and even mechanical bull-riding. It was quite the action-packed afternoon.

I was blessed with the opportunity to talk to many of the Methodist School students and teachers, as well as spend time with Ray and his girls. The picture above is of Sarah at the cardboard-box-sledding station. She loved it.

Pandas in Costa Rica?

I helped to dig up some bamboo shoots in the middle of a bamboo forest the other day. It was breathtaking.

The last team that was here, from Cape Coral, Florida, had the task of digging post-holes for the property-line fence down by the river at the Children’s Home. And wouldn’t you know, but we were digging in the middle of bamboo. Lots of it. With a river running below us, about 10 feet away. Everywhere you looked—bamboo. It was surreal.

I wish I had a picture of it, but that will have to come later. Even still, the picture won’t do justice for the beautifully clear blue skies, the running river, and the lush green bamboo forest that was surrounding us as we dug.

I praise the Lord that the Children’s Home kids will be able to grow up in an environment like this. And no, there are no pandas in Costa Rica.

Apr 11, 2009

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

If you find yourself with a lack of things to do or say on Easter, just say three words, "Thank you, Jesus."

Because as it says in Romans 5:18-19, one man lit a spark and caused an insurmountable bonfire of sin to erupt throughout the world. Then One man came and put out that wildfire, giving us freedom from previously inescapable disaster.

"Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life." Romans 6:4

"Thank you, Jesus. For my new life."

Apr 7, 2009

Back in high school

Well, I'm back in high school. But, thankfully, not as a student.
I've recently been blessed with the opportunity to help out at the Colegio Metodista, or Methodist School, as a Christian counselor. I have been giving messages at the chapel, sharing the Good News, speaking with students individually, and even helping teach Christian education classes.
I'm incredibly excited by the opportunity, as my heart is being drawn more and more into youth ministry here in Costa Rica. With the opportunity to serve the Llano Grande youth (see my previous blog entry) and the opportunity to serve at the Methodist School, I feel like I'm finally carving out my own niche in our ministry down here. And it feels great.
While at school, I spend most of my time with the secondary/high school students (grades 7-11). However, two weeks ago I was able to take my native Texan skills to the primary school. Check out my awesome 4th graders as they perform in front of over 1,000 students at the Methodist School's 88th Anniversary:
I promise they asked me to do that, it wasn't my idea :-)

Late-night youth retreat

A couple of weekends ago, I had the tremendous pleasure of joining the youth group of Llano Grande on a one-night retreat to the mountains, outside the town of Birricito, Cartago. It was 27 youth (ranging from ages 7-22), 2 sweet yet incredibly strong women from the church, 1 wild and crazy youth pastor, and me.

The passion for the Lord that I witnessed amongst that youth group was absolutely incredible. They danced and sang and praised and worshiped the Lord with unrelenting and unashamed spirits.

As our one night drew to a close, the guys were getting ready for bed on the bottom floor of our retreat house, and the girls were getting ready for bed on the top floor. Yet the time for worshiping the Lord was not over. So, at 1:20am, the music was turned on and the dance party began.

After the dancing there was solitary prayer, there was group prayer, and there was more prayer. The youth rallied around one another, shared their burdens with each other, and prayed each other’s burdens away. Spiritual warfare was taking place in many of the youth, but their friends simply rallied around them with love, support, and the name of Jesus. It was awe-inspiring.

At 4:30am, the bedtime call was made. I was positioned in the middle of two mattresses on the floor, surrounded by some of my best friends from that youth group. I woke up to yelling, running, cooking, a shining sun and chants of “dormilón! dormilón!” which means big sleepy head (more or less). I felt worthless for having slept so long, until I asked what time it was . . . 7:10am.

I’m still not certain if that day had just begun or if the previous day had never ended, because more than half the members of the retreat didn’t get even a wink of sleep. And they still praised the Lord all day at the retreat house and then attended a church service until 6:00pm that night.

The Tico youth are nuts. I love ‘em.

I'm now going to be spending every Saturday night with the Llano Grande youth. Last weekend I shared a message and then led a foot-washing ceremony in remembrance of Jesus. It was incredibly moving, to say the least.