Romans 11:36

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

Mar 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Meto!

On Friday, the Colegio Metodista celebrated its 89th Anniversary. Since 1921, the Colegio has offered education to thousands of Costa Rican children, and it currently serves over 1,100 pre-school, elementary school, and high school students.

An answer to prayer was the student band that played two worship songs at the end of the celebration. The entire school witnessed ten of its own high school students singing and playing instruments in service to God, a living testimony to the spiritual awakening that is happening within the student body. The band truly brought the house down, and I even puffed out my chest a little bit on the band's behalf.

So thank you, to all of you, for your continued prayers for the Colegio Metodista and its students.

My Momma in CR

My Momma, Carolyn, came to Costa Rica on a mission trip with her church last week. She and 23 other adults from First United Methodist Church in Dallas worked with us in Coronado, helping to build the Methodist Children's Home--and it was a wonderful time.

One of the best parts of my Momma's visit was her ability to hang out with my Costa Rican mama, Carmen. Carmen spoils me to no end when the teams are in town, always asking me what type of food I want her to cook, allowing me to sneak food from the kitchen once she's made it, and even washing my work clothes for me throughout the week. She's the best. So getting to watch my two moms work in the kitchen together, laughing and hugging and having an all-around great time, was truly a joy for me.

My real Momma even got dirty in the ditches, helping to dig the trench that will support the wrap-around patio at the first house (a spot that will eventually be my Momma's favorite spot on that property, thanks to the great view and a poignant prayer that resides under the concrete).

I'm a blessed son.

Mar 25, 2010

Goodbye Sarapiqui

One of the toughest parts of my time here in Costa Rica: saying goodbye to Sarapiqui. Sure, it's a relief to know that all the time and energy I've devoted to the Children's Worship Center in Sarapiqui is finally coming to an end. But it's tough, too, because I have an undeniable love for the church and the people there.

Sarapiqui is where I found myself in Costa Rica. Sarapiqui is where I realized that I was living somewhere different, somewhere that wasn't spoiled by the Western style of life. It was a place that breathed, a place that had a heart. Sunday afternoons in that town were one of the most peaceful things I got to know in Costa Rica. The shops would close down, the taxis would stay home, and the streets would be empty. All that was left was the beauty and the stillness. A calm. And I will miss that, forever.

The drive to Sarapiqui always brought a sense of joy and wonder to my heart. I'd get so excited about being back at "home," yet I'd also wonder what was behind the scenery. I'd look at the trees and I'd see the houses hidden in the brush or the seemingly endless plantations of pineapples and bananas, and I'd wonder about the people. I'd picture them in their homes, with their families, with their children, sometimes living on no more than $10 a day. It was tough. Yet it was true.

God has been moving powerfully in that area, and the Methodist Church is growing like you couldn't believe. In Puerto Viejo alone the church is growing its membership while simultaneously providing education opportunities for adults and ministry opportunities for women. Soon it will be providing a Medical Clinic for the undocumented and jobless. Before long the church of Puerto Viejo will be synonymous with rejuvenation. Rejuvenation of life. Rejuvenation of the spirit. Rejuvenation of a community.

Above you can see a picture of me with Roberto, Abraham, Javier and Johan. Those are my brothers, my co-workers, and my friends. Roberto, Abraham and Johan are native to Sarapiqui and have had me over to their houses for countless hours of fellowship, food, laughter and soccer. They have opened their lives to me, and they have continued working jobs that don't bring them recognition. The mission teams get recognized by church after church after church, as they should, but the construction workers who toil away for years at a time don't get recognized in front of anyone. But I know that God is smiling upon them, and that's all that matters.

Below is a picture of the sun setting behind the pulpit at the church in Puerto Viejo. That's the pulpit where I heard life-changing sermons, the stage where I saw true worship enacted through music, and the place where I gave my only two sermons in Spanish. That church will forever be a place of refuge for me.

Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to have shared my life with such a wonderful place.

Mar 16, 2010


Team UVA / Chi Alpha came to Costa Rica for their spring break last week and it was awesome. 17 students and 2 alumni (former classmates of mine) came down to help us build our church in Puerto Viejo, and they rocked the Ticos' socks off.

They tiled two classroom floors, plastered countless numbers of walls, hung an office and a classroom ceiling, dug out a septic tank, zip-lined through a rainforest, and led Vacation Bible School lessons for local church kiddos in a six-day whirlwind of laughter and teamwork. The best part about it was that they never lost sight of the reason they came: to glorify and honor God.

Being young, being funny, and being good Spanish-speakers, the team quickly made friends with all of the Ticos--especially the construction workers. The friendships turned into about 2 hours of intense rivalry however, as the Tico men and U.S. women took on the U.S. men in 2 friendly soccer matches. The picture you see above is Day 2 of soccer mayhem, complete with a torrential downpour and filthy clothes.

I was especially blessed by the UVA team, thanks to the rekindling of past camaraderie and the formation of new friendships. It was like God brought a little piece of home down to Costa Rica, and I'm left with no option but to thank Him for his never-ending kindness.
Above: The hole dwellers, taking a bite out of the gigantic boulders they were forced to relocate.

Below: Some of the ladies take in the soccer match with mixed emotions--whether or not those emotions were geared towards the game is a different matter.