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Showing posts from October, 2008

Friday Prayer Chapel

Every Friday is prayer chapel and different students lead it and we pray for all kinds of things. This morning the person in charge contacted past graduates of CINCEL, who are now on the field, and she made a slide show using with their picture and prayer requests. I did not know any of them but as we were listening to the Revelation Song by Kari Jobe and praying for other missionaries I could not help but be emotionally moved. This morning we were sharing in their sufferings by praying for them. There was one lady, in particular, I would like you all to pray for as well. Her name is Phyllis and she is working in Peru with abandoned children. She is looking for a vehicle which is a much harder process in another country and her mother is severely ill.

The Reason

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"If everyone pursues his own happiness as the ultimate goal, the interests of different individuals will clash and destroy the happiness of all. This is what we see in the world. It is the reason for all the fraud, violence, oppression, and wickedness in earth and hell. As each pursues his own goals, interests clash. The only way to secure our own happiness is to pursue the glory of God and the good of the universe. The question is not whether we should desire and pursue or own happiness at all but whether we should make our own happiness our supreme end." -Charles G. Finney

Is Wassail a Southern Thing?

Christmas season is in full swing down here in tropical Costa Rica. Houses are decorated, trees are starting to be put up, and the stores are playing Christmas music. One of my teachers remarked yesterday, "How beautiful is this weather? It is like Christmas weather." Christmas weather, here, is obviously quite a bit different than what you and I might think. Christmas weather in Costa Rica is no rain, sunny skies, low humidity, and lots of wind. Since everyone around me is getting into the Christmas spirit I thought I would make some wassail. I went to the store and bought the ingredients for making wassail making what few exceptions that I needed to the recipe. I am becoming a professional at making exceptions or improvising recipes since I have been living out of the country. Upon arrival to my apartment, I threw all the ingredients into a crock pot and the wassailing process was underway. Today I brought some to class to share with my classmate and one of my te…

1000 Questions

Returning to the Children

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I worked with King's Castle today. I have not helped the local team here for the past couple weeks because of being in Quepos with Character Connex and last weekend I was not feeling well. We went back to one of the apartment complexes that I have been to. It was good to see some of the same children. It is so nice to be able to help with the Castle program here in San Jose. I find it to be such a huge blessing that the ministry I work with in El Salvador is open to me working with them here. Majority of the missionaries that are here studying do not have that opportunity.

What About Now?

I had never heard this song or artist prior to just a moment ago as I was flipping through the channels on the tv. As I was watching the video it inspired me tremendously and I would like you to watch and inspired as well. We must be the change! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-KZyn3ep9U

My Civil Duty

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Today I jumped in a taxi, with two other women, in the direction of the United States Embassy. This is the first US Embassy that I have ever needed to visit. The reason for my visit is I have not received my absentee ballot, in the mail, and time is quickly passing. I found out yesterday, from another Missionary, that you can vote using a write-in ballot and the Embassy will mail it for you. So we arrived to the Embassy about 8:30 a.m. and there were close to 500 Hispanics waiting, in line, to go inside. At that moment we all knew that this process was not going to be a quick one. However, we asked the guard how to get in and he brought us past all those people and walked us into the door. I felt like a jerk American at that point. But all those people were waiting in line for visas to the United States so we would have been there all day. As we go inside the door we go through security and never once did anyone ask to see our passports. After we passed through the metal…
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Mathew 5:10 "Blessed are those who are PERSECUTED because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
This is a photo of an Indian Christian after her house was torched and her son burned alive by Hindu hardliners. Pray for not only this women but for the group of Hindu extremist that are persecuting Christians. Pray they will have a Paul experience.

It's Up to Me

World Missions Summit 2008-2009. To register go here: http://theworldmissionssummit.ag.org/registration.cfm.

Pray for Those Who Have No Voice

The Vision Behind the Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity

In the spring of 2004, a student from McNeese State University asked me, "What can I do to work with other students around the country, in solidarity, to help end abortion?"

When I speak to students, I am often asked: "What can I do? I have ideas, but I don't know what to do with them. Can I really make a difference? I'm just one person."

In 2004, the question set off a spark in my head.

I replied, "What if we got students to not only act in solidarity with others, but also with the children that are dying every day?" As soon as I said it, I knew God had set something in motion.

At the time, I was working from the basement of my home with a computer, a web site, and a small e-mail list I'd collected over the previous months. I wasn't sure what could be accomplished with that, but I offered it to God and started sending out emails.

Now, something that started as just a few thousand students …

AGTS Week

This week is AGTS week. AGTS stands for Assembly of God Theological Seminary. Every trimester a professor from AGTS comes to CINCEL and gives missiology/cross-cultural classes. Those who are working towards their Masters can take extra classes and are able to receive credit. So, not only, do we have AGTS classes but also Spanish classes. Delonn Rantz, who used to be a missionary in El Salvador, is who is giving the classes this week. I thoroughly enjoyed the classes this morning and I know that I will enjoy them through the remainder of this week.
Some other students, and I, are going to be a part of a survey from a student at Vanguard University working on his Ph.D. The purpose is to identify, survey, and interview missionaries who would agree to participate in his research during our time in Costa Rica and upon arrival of our field. This is for his thesis on how adults learn and how they process experience as a mean of learning.

El Salvador Advances to the Hexegonal

In Costa Rica they get mad at their team for not winning by enough. In El Salvador, they have parades in the street and sing "We can do it" and "Soy guanaco" which is a slang term for pure Salvadoran. The celebrations take place close to where I lived in El Salvador.
"El Salvador defeated Suriname 3-0 in San Salvador on Wednesday to book their passage to the final round of regional qualifying for the FIFA World Cup™. El Salvador dominated the clash, opening the scoring in the 12th minute through Rodolfo Zelaya.
Eliseo Quintanilla doubled the score in the 26th minute, and an own-goal from Derrick Garden in the 80th made it 3-0 for the Salvadorans, who joined Costa Rica in advancing from semi-final Group 3 into the six-nation final round of qualifying for the North, Central America and Caribbean region." --fifa.com

Day of Silent Solidarity

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Costa Rica/Haiti Soccer Game

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Last night a dream of mine came true. I was able to go see Costa Rica play Haiti in a World Cup Qualifying game and Costa Rica won 2-0. One of my "Things I have wanted to do at some point in my lifetime" was go see a soccer game in another country. Watching soccer in the US is not the same because soccer is not the game of choice, by the majority. It was so neat to be able to experience a game and it was a cultural experience. We learned many "flavorful" words and the Costa Ricans would boo their team and were mad, even though they won, because they did not win by enough. They even started cheering for Haiti. It was so much fun and I had a blast. It wasn't watching like watching LSU in Death Valley or the Astros at Minute Maid but it was a close second. I was really wanting like a funnel cake, frozen lemonade, nachos, or cotton candy but that is not the kind of "stadium food" you get in Costa Rica. They sold things like pizza, arroz con poll…

Blessed are Those

"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought. You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat. You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for."
-Portion of the Beatitudes from The Message

Photo journalism of the poverty in El Salvador entitled "Sacrifices for a Roof." http://www.elfaro.net/secciones/noticias/20080331/galeria2/bulevar.swf

Missions Opportunities for Everyone

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Click on picture for larger view.

Second Trimester

CINCEL is divided into 4 months trimesters. There is one other girl in my class and we just started second tri books. So it is like we are in our 2nd trimester but really in the first. I guess I did actually learn a lot while living in El Salvador even though I felt like I did not. We are getting more into past preterit and imperfect. I understand the rules but there are so many and it is hard to remember them when you are in conversation. I know more studying and practicing will help me.

Pictures from the trip

Today we reluctantly packed up and returned to San Jose. Here are the links to pictures from working with Character Connex and also from our fun weekend.
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=62499&l=54b28&id=714759417
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=63608&l=99182&id=714759417

Monkey Business

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We finished working with Character Connex on Friday. I had a great time working with the team from the States and learning the Character Connex program. Friday was the free day with the team and we went into Manuel Antonio National Park. A few of us went off the beaten path to go see the waterfall, which was beautiful, but were surprised to hear something that sounded like a bear but turned out to be Howler monkeys. We then went to one of the 4 or 5 beaches inside the park and it was breath taking. No doubt the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. After the team left we took a taxi to the house we have for the weekend to meet up with the rest of the group coming from CINCEL this weekend. We had planned a white water trip a month ago and it turned out that Bethany and I were already here because of working with the team. I had never been white water rafting until yesterday and it was a great and super fun experience. This house we are staying in is called the "Jungle Vi…

Character Connex Day 2 (Quepos)

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It has been quite an interesting day during our four hour bus ride we were able to get out and walk across a bridge. As we walked across the bridge and looked down there were about 7 or 8 huge wild crocodiles. Supposedly, they live in all the rivers here in Costa Rica and keep in mind we are supposed to go white water rafting next weekend. When we arrived in Quepos and picked up the Police Officer that is accompanying us into the schools we were taken to a little port or marina. To get to the school we had to take a boat. It is hard to the programs because we are not supposed to mention God. On top of that, when you look into their eyes and see the pain makes it more difficult. For the second program we decided we would just say what comes out. As I was talking about sexual abuse I added at the end that God loves them all and they are all very special and He has a great plan for your lives. After the program I was told as I was talking there were guys selling drugs out of the…

Character Connex Day 1

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Today was the first day of Character Connex after our training yesterday. We were trained yesterday by a group from the United States and we worked with them today and will work with them all week. For our first program all the students and teachers from CINCEL, the language school, came to watch. For me, that was the most nerve wracking thing ever. I did my story and drama and I made it through. Conversing with people in Spanish, no big deal, but put me on a microphone in front of tons of people and it is a completely different story. I was so nervous. To make it even worse the subject matter is super difficult because it is about sexual abuse. Things such as do not take money or candy from people in exchange for letting them take pictures of you or do not get into taxis alone. In the area we are going to tomorrow, and will be working for the rest of the week, has this system that certain taxis will pick up children and bring them to the predator. It is super sad and hard…

Full Day of Work

I am so excited about this upcoming week. A couple weeks back I wrote about sex tourism in Costa Rica. It is something that really bothered me and I was praying for some way to help this situation. About two days later, in chapel, Jay Dickerson announced that they are going to have training for a program called "Character Connects." It is a program that talks about values in schools. It is something that can be used in schools when the doors are closed to religious programs. After the training, some students and the team from the States are going to work in Capos which is close to Manuel Antonio. Capos is the headquarters for sex tourism and 96% of the children are sexually abused and sold into "slavery." I really wanted to go and help them out so I talked to Nancy Dickerson and turned out I can go. It is totally a God thing because I will be missing a week of school and I did not think I would be able to do that. So, I am going to be reading a story to t…

This Is Living Praise

Romans 12:1.2 "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as LIVING SACRIFICE, holy and pleasing to God--THIS IS YOUR SPIRITUAL ACT OF WORSHIP." Do not conform any longer to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."

This verse if full of stuff that will rawk your face off and if you read the whole chapter it will blow you away. It is like a guide for following the perfect way of Christ in one little chapter. I was reading a book by Andrew Murray this summer and he was talking about this particular chapter more specifically the part of "not conforming to the pattern of the world." I was reading it on one of our long bus rides and so I went and talked to each World Warrior, that was awake, and asked their opinion. So here are the opinions of World Warrior's on separation from the wo…

Have Compassion

Ephesians 5:16 "Making the most of every opportunity.."

There are major prejudices here, in Costa Rica, between the Costa Ricans and Nicaraguans. I was explained that how America treats and dislikes Mexicans is how the Costa Ricans feel about the Nicaraguans. I personally feel the racial prejudice runs quite a bit deeper here. Almost every person I have talked to has said nothing good about the Nicaraguans, who come here to work and send money back to their families. What they make here in one hour is about what they make in two days in Nicaragua. My heart goes out to them because they are looked down upon and given the shaft simply because they are not as well off as the people here. I believe Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere with Haiti at number one. Today I had to go to a few museums downtown for a project I am doing on the Indigenous people of Costa Rica. On the bus ride back there was a man standing in the aisle, because there were…