Wednesday, August 29, 2007

We had an incredible night this past Sunday at our housechurch. For the first time I can remember, the evening was really in the hands of the people that are attending as they encouraged each other and shared and prayed about the things that are going on in their lives. All of this began as we studied Matthew 24 and looked ahead to the future. I left that night with the distinct feeling that "they really are getting it". Right before our eyes we are seeing lives being changed. We're seeing minds being renewed and we're seeing people becoming eager to have an impact for Christ in their own hometown. That is exciting to participate in. I'm including a photo of our friend Jose who is going through a very difficult time at home. The skatepark and our housechurch have become a major source of strength and comfort for Jose as he learns to give his troubles over to Jesus. Please pray for him when you get the chance. He's an awesome guy and God is really working in his life.

In other news, we (me and the family) are in San Jose again. We came in on Monday so that I could go to my last dentist appointment and then we were planning to pick up a new intern this morning and bring her back to Puerto with us. Unfortunately, she missed her plane and was delayed until this evening. I'm actually waiting at the hotel right now and will be leaving for the airport in about a half hour.

San Jose by nature is not a fun, family friendly city. We usually visit the mall when we're here but there aren't too many safe, fun places to hang out while we're waiting for appointments, etc... This time was the same as usual until mid-morning when our new helper called to let us know she was delayed. Once we found out, we had some time to kill so we decided to go and see one of the nearby volcanoes. It turned out to be a great afternoon filled with cool mountain air (including a slight smell of sulfur) and incredible views. We actually got to walk around in the upper portion of the volcano's crater and looked down into a large lake that fills the lower, main crater. The views on the drive up reminded me of scenes from The Lord of the Rings. We were actually up above several large thunderstorms that were soaking the valley below. We ended up having a great time together and got to see some things that we haven't been able to see since we've been here. Unfortunately, we didn't bring our camera on this trip because we had no idea we'd have any free time. I guess this goes to show me two things: first, you never know what to expect when you come to San Jose and second, always bring the camera.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Earlier this week we said goodbye to the last team of our summer season. It was a whopper of a team...37 people, and most of them were teenagers. We had a great time with them and got quite a bit of work done as well. Since the group was so large, we divided them up into three smaller groups of 12-13 people each. One group went into town each day and worked at the local high school...painting and maintenance. The other two groups worked at the property each day, sanding, varnishing and cleaning the grounds. They also spent quite a bit of time each day with several of the local youth who really enjoyed the interaction.

Speaking of local youth, I have heard a couple of comments recently that really made an impact on me. A couple of days ago, a friend of mine that is the missions pastor of a large church in Florida said that on his last visit, he really saw a huge difference in the spiritual maturity of the youth we have been working with... that he can really tell that they are growing in their faith This means a lot because this was his third visit. He has come to see us each year that we have been here and has witnessed our work grow from nothing to what is happening now with the house churches, skate-park and AWANA's program.

I also had a friend tell me some amazing things. He has lived in Costa Rica since he was 18 and has been visiting Puerto Viejo for over 15 years. He said that he can't remembers a time when he saw so many teenagers' lives being changed and so many of them hungry to learn about God. He went on and on about the changes he is seeing in specific individuals' lives and directly attributed it to the work we are doing. I don't share this to toot my own horn but to let anyone reading this know that God is doing amazing things through your prayers and support. Lives are being changed and God is working in incredible ways and it is happening one life at a time as we live life together with our brothers and sisters here in Puerto. Sometimes all it takes is someone that is willing to say yes to God, to come alongside them to strength and encouragement to live for Him.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Family Time

Every now and then we get some time to ourselves. This past Saturday was a lot of fun as we took a trip to a waterfall about a half hour drive away. We brought Sebastian, one of the older youth, with us along with a family that lives in the next town. It was beautiful. The waterfall is about 70 feet tall and you have to hike through the jungle to reach it. Here are a few photos from the trip.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Ripple Effect

Lots of things are happening...too much to keep up with. I wanted to post this note I recently received from our stateside director regarding several people that visited us last month with the mission team from SkateChurch in Steamboat Springs, CO. Good stuff and it goes to show that God is using this location to work in the lives of more than just the people here in Puerto. Vince was one of the oldest members of the team and a really cool guy. It's awesome to see how God used his time here in Puerto to draw him into relationship with Him.

Ok, so here’s the deal….sitting here in the office all the time, I’m rarely able to be witness to the awesome things that are happening in the lives of those you guys are ministering to on a day to day basis. However, being here in the states, I am able to follow up on the lives of those who have participated in a short term outreach and what God is doing in and through them. Well, this last weekend I drove 15 hours north to the BEAUTIFUL town of Steamboat Springs, CO and spent the weekend with Buck and Tara. While I was there I went and shared at Uzoa Church, (Buck and Tara’s church) and also heard the team share about their experiences. After service there was a baptism service and some of the team was getting baptized. Jessie and Ryan got baptized as did Bucks 10 year old son, Hunter, (he was the one who couldn’t make it down this summer because of his mom). It was a great service.

The awesome news was that Vince got baptized too. Vince was the big tall guy who cooked us all lunch that one day. It seems that since the trip, Vince’s life has been radically changed. His girlfriend Gretchen came and thanked me and you guys for the work that is happening in PV and how it has changed Vince’s life. Vince is a HARD CORE believer in prayer. You should hear the guy pray…it’s awesome! He’s charging for Jesus and he attributed his faith to the time he spent in PV. When he spoke at church, he spoke of each of you and the work you guys are doing. He was really blessed by everyone and God really got a hold of him in a major way!

You see, house churches, children’s church, skate ministry, cafĂ©’s and more are all incredible parts of what we do, but short term missions is another AMAZING way that we partner together in ministry. Yes, these teams are coming down and doing some amazing work, but God is also bringing them down and doing amazing work in them. You guys are doing a great job. Your lives and work are not only affecting change in Puerto Viejo, but lives are being transformed all across the US. Keep charging team…I’m proud of you guys!

Jeremy Dyck
Alternative Missions