Monday, March 31, 2008

Time Flies

It's hard to believe that two weeks have passed since we returned from Panama. What that means is that we've hosted 8 skate sessions, 2 youth nights and 2 house church services along with everything else that goes on in between. Living and working here is interesting to say the least. It can be exhilarating, frustrating, maddening and peaceful...all at the same time. The biggest source of discouragement is watching people begin to grow and change and then fall back into the same old thing again or worse. Exhilarating is seeing the few that are really getting it. God is visibly working in their lives and you can see changes taking place day by day. Of course we will always work for more and of course we will always hope for many but even if three lives are really changed and they are the ones that go on to reach the surrounding community, if that is why God called us here...I'm good.

That being said, we had a good crowd for youth night on Friday. I shared about sharing your faith with others and we watched a surf movie that included several interviews with Christian surfers sharing their faith. I am really hoping that we can reach some of these younger kids before they fall into the traps that seem to bring down just about every other male in town with a few exceptions. Most notable in their growth are Sebas (who I can really see becoming a leader) along with Peace and Jordan who have really developed a love for Jesus. With so many other things pulling at them, they are maintaining their focus on God and on serving him. Please pray that this continues and that God lights a fire under others as well.

In other news, we are getting ready to buy a small plot of jungle so that we can build a house. A friend gave us a generous gift that will enable us to get out of a rental situation that is about to end and have a more stable future here. There isn't much of a decent rental market here in Puerto and the sooner we have something of our own the better. We are very excited about this opportunity and can't wait to get started. Here are a couple of "before" photos of our little plot of jungle.

Can you say "SNAKE!"?

Friday, March 14, 2008


Well, we're back from another short trip to Panama to renew our visas. We left on Monday and returned yesterday late in the afternoon. Since we have to leave Costa Rica for a full three days every three months, we decided we might as well use the time to explore another country. This time, we went to a small town up in the mountains that has become quite the retirement spot for norte americanos (that's most of you if you're not up on your Spanish). I couldn't believe we were still in Central America. The place was beautiful. It took us about five hours of driving to reach Boquete, which is a small mountain town on the Pacific side of the country. It located up in a small valley at the foot of a dormant volcano. The climate is similar to that of San Diego...nice a cool with a constant breeze. What a beautiful place. Here are a few photos from the trip:

This is the view from our truck as we cross the border from Costa Rica into Panama. The bridge is a piece of work...nothing like being able to watch the water flow under your vehicle as you look through the bridge.

Maili and Makena hiking up the trail to Volcan Baru. It wasn't too long after this photo that we started hearing the cries of "Carry me...I can't walk anymore!"

This was definitely one of the more interesting road signs I have ever seen. You know the roads are steep when you see a sign for "Falling Cars".

On the third day, we took some time in the late afternoon to drive around the valley and check out the sights. This was a view of the valley from the mountains above.

We saw some incredible sights on the way back home as well. This is one of the many rivers that we crossed as we headed back to Costa Rica.

One of the funniest things that happened to us on the trip took place in a local ice cream shop. Ice cream cones were only 30 cents, so I decided that I wanted two scoops on my cone. The lady working the counter politely but firmly told me that I was not permitted to have two scoops was enough. I didn't agree but kept my mouth shut. She sort of reminded me of the "Soup Nazi" from one of the old Seinfeld episodes years ago.

Finally, tonight is Youth Night at the skate park. We are going to be having a Bible study on the topic, "Why is it important for me to tell others about Jesus?" Sebas and I got together last week to study and mark down some important verses and yesterday he told me that he is ready to give the study tonight. It should be a good topic and if the past few weeks are any indication, we should have a pretty good crowd and hopefully we'll have some good discussion.