Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Time is just flying. Again, hard to believe that it's been almost a month since I last checked in to the old blog. We have been so busy this summer but at the same time, things have been good. The team from St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Tucson were hard working and got a lot accomplished at the Rio Negro School (the same school that Makena attends).

About a week before the team arrived, Whit, Mike and Melissa (recent graduates of the Horizon School of Ministry in San Diego) arrived to serve with us for three weeks. Sometimes having people show up to "help" can be very draining and can actually result in more work. This was not the case with these guys. It was awesome having them around. By the time they left, we actually felt refreshed and re-energized which is a really cool thing. I can't say enough good things about them. Their goal was to serve and to help us in any way that they could and they really accomplished both. They helped us host the team from St. Andrews, they worked with the team at the school on a variety of projects, they assisted us with the skatepark, they helped me get some work accomplished out at our property and they (along with some friends from Calvary Chapel Vero Beach) helped Ronnie and Tammy get a few things accomplished out at the house they are building. The good news is that Whit is planning to come back and join us here in Puerto to work specifically with me at the skatepark and with the youth group. I am not sure what is in store yet for Mike and Melissa but if they continue to display the heart and attitudes that they had during their time here I know that God will bless them wherever they go and will bless the people that they work with as well. It was a great experience and I'm looking forward to working with Whit in the near future.

Beyond that... we have made a little bit of forward progress on our house. The access road is about 2/3 complete and the backhoe was able to clear most of the downed wood off of our lot. We've been out doing a little bit of land clearing the old-fashioned way... with fire. It has been a slow process up to this point but I have hope that things will really pick up once the title has been transferred into our name and we are able to get the builder involved. Here are a couple of photos of our lot in the clearing stages.

We have also had to make changes to our plans to live in Pablo's house several miles down the road. About a week prior to moving, he told us that it wouldn't work out because of significant problems he was having with his water supply. He didn't want us to move in and then begin having problems after he left for Spain. I am very appreciative that he was looking out for us but it left us in a tight spot. Fortunately (we'll see...) we were able to set up a deal with Delroy (whom we're buying the lot from) to rent his small farm house for the next 6-8 months while we build. The upside is that we'll only be about 50 yards from our house as it's being built. The downside is that the house is basically like a kid's tree fort, except bigger. It is really basic but it will provide shelter and will be an adventure for the girls. It is about 300 square feet, two story with two bedrooms that are just big enough for mattresses. It's out in the jungle so I am sure that we'll have more strange insect encounters but hopefully between our two dogs and two cats, the snake encounters will be kept to a minimum. I'll post a couple of photos of the house soon.

Lastly, we have been enjoying a visit from Calvary Chapel Jupiter this past week. It is always great to see familiar faces and they have been a real encouragement to us. It was also a great thing to have our pastor, Dan Plourde, take time out of his schedule to come down and be with us for the second year in a row. He is an incredible guy, a great friend and I really admire him. We had plenty of time to talk, reconnect and share war stories. Good stuff. The visiting team is working in the local high school, doing English classes in the afternoons. We have tried something different with this team that really seems to be paying off. Rather than scheduling every second of the day, we purposely schedule quite a bit of "free" time for this team with the hope that they would make some great connections during class time that they could follow up on after school. So far, it really seems to be working. Many of the students have invited members of the team to their homes, out for ice-cream and other activities. The team has really enjoyed their connection time and without formally scheduled events, they have been free to enter into other peoples' lives. This was our hope and it's happening. Please pray that we will find ways to continue the relationships that are made with this team. That's all for now.