Monday, August 24, 2009
Well, it's almost time for us to head in to San Jose to begin our trip home. We will be leaving Puerto on Wednesday to take care of a few last items before flying out to Florida on Saturday. We had a great visit last week with Jeremy and Kerbi from texas. Only God knows the outcome but they are a great couple and we really enjoyed spending time with them. We are also excited about the ways that they could get involved here with the youth house church and even various community initiatives. We'll keep praying and hoping and ask you to as well.
Last night was a great night at church. We've been praying for a friend for a long time and last night he decided he really wanted to let Jesus take control of his life. Erik runs the restaurant at the youth hostel, Rocking J's, next door to the skatepark. We have gotten to know him over the last couple of years and have gradually become closer friends. Erik first started coming to church earlier this year and has been coming regularly for about eight or nine months. After a lot of time thinking things through, we had a chance to sit down on the stairs and talk last night before church. It was awesome to hear Erik tell God in his own words that he was done trying to do it on his own. He asked Jesus to be a part of his life... to forgive his past and give him a hope and a future. We had the privilege of baptizing him right out front just after dark. Erik is a great guy and truly wants to walk
with Jesus... not an easy thing in this life. Please be praying for him. Thank God for his decision and pray that he'll grow in his relationship with his saviour. This is an awesome thing!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I don't know if this is more of an update or a prayer request, but here it is. As we move through August, we are getting prepared for a couple of things. We are heading back to the States at the end of the month. We will be away from Puerto for almost two months, spending time with family and friends, getting recharged and doing a little speaking at our supporting churches. There is quite a bit of work to do in preparing to leave the country for any length of time. Due to the unexpected departure of a team member, we are going to be closing the skatepark for the time we are gone. Hopefully, the house church will continue meeting and I am working with one of the guys to make it happen. There are legal issues to address along with a host of preparations both at our house and at the park. We could use prayer in this as we work to make sure everything is taken care of before our departure.
As many of you may know, we have been short-handed down here for quite a while. With the skatepark, youth program, church and all the associated administration, we are constantly bordering on being overwhelmed. We have been praying about new staff and have had some promising leads but nothing has worked out yet. This weekend, we will be hosting a couple from Texas that is considering joining us here in Puerto. This is a very important time for us as well as them, as they are looking to God for direction as well. I have to admit that I am pretty nervous about it all, in part because our need for help is so great and in part because I really hope they are able to see the vision and get an idea of the potential here. It seems like every time we have visitors, nothing goes normally. The weather doesn't cooperate, none of the regulars show up for skate times/church/etc... It is easy for me to focus on these externals, especially when our need for co-laborers is so great. It is easy for me to forget that God is ultimately in control and it is His calling that we need to be looking for... not the externals that we can't control. Please pray for us and for this upcoming week. This is an important time for us but no less important for the couple that is coming to visit. It is a huge decision for them and I remember being at the same point in our lives less than five years ago. I don't want to try and talk them into anything but at the same time I want to share my excitement about the potential that exists. As much as we want this to work out, we want God's will to be done even more. Please pray that God will provide direction and peace and also that he will provide the team members that we need. Thanks for the prayers.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Here it is... the first week of August. Time is flying and it doesn't seem to slow down at all. Last week, we returned from our staff retreat which was a great opportunity to reflect and have some time away. This past Monday, I gave AJ Rhodes a ride to the airport in San Jose as he was finally heading back to Tallahassee. AJ attends Thomasville Road Baptist Church in Tallahasse, Florida which is one of our supporting churches. We were fortunate enough to have him here in Puerto for about a month to help us with our last mission team of the summer as well as our regular skate sessions among other things. It has been a busy year without the long-term help we are praying for but thankfully, we have had some short term help during some of the busiest times.
We are looking forward to the visit of a couple from Lubbock, Texas on the 13th of this month. We have been talking for the past few months about the possibility of them joining us long-term down here and now we are finally going to get the opportunity to meet them and show them around. We'd definitely appreciate prayer for this as it is so important for us to get some help and it is a big decision for them as well. We ask God to be in the middle of it all.
It as been good to have Erik, owner of "@ E's Restaurant", back in town. He was traveling to Cuba, Mexico and then the States for the past few months and we really missed him at church. It seems that good friends are sometimes hard to make down here so you really miss them once when they're not around.
We will be returning to the States later this month. We'll arrive in Florida on the 29th of August. We'll head to Jupiter first and will be there until the 5th of September. Then, we'll be taking a break in Orlando with family before heading up to Tallahassee on the 10th. We'll be there until the 22nd. Next, we'll head to Arizona to spend time with Amy's family, take a short trip to Colorado to meet with the director of Alternative Missions, San Diego to meet with leaders from the Horizon School of Ministry and then back to Tucson for a few days before heading home to Puerto Viejo on the 19th of October. Hopefully, along the way we will get to see many of our friends. It's been a long time and we look forward to re-connecting.
Please be praying for the church while we are gone. Unfortunately, no one has stepped forward to lead in my absence. We are still hoping and praying that one of the local guys will step up and take on the responsibility...that's what we're here for, but it's not a simple thing. We are, however, happy to see people continuing to grow in their relationship with God.
We would appreciate your continued prayers. It is incredible to be living in our home and that has taken much of the negative stress out of our lives. For the first time since we've been here, we are able to devote less time to getting by and more time to our work... simply because life is a little easier and more convenient (not to mention safe and dry). A huge weight has been lifted off of us and we are so appreciative to all who made it possible through prayers and help.