Showing posts from January, 2009

End of the Regional Summit

The last service of the King's Castle Regional Summit was nothing less than wonderful. Not only because the caliber of dramas and dances but because of the sweet presence of the Lord. It was a service where the Spirit of God moved in a special way. Not one person left without being touched by God. I only attended the first and last service but if you would like to see the photos you can do so here Cumbre/?albumview=slideshow

Just Take Your Shot

A friend of mine showed me this video and it made me cry. What an inspirational story.

Preaching to Pastors and Misisonaries

We have chapel everyday of the week, except for Monday, and today was my day to speak. I was a little anxious because I was thinking, "What am I, a 26 year old single girl, going to say to all these ex-pastors who are now missionaries and others who have had tons of experience in the ministry?" I decided to share what the Lord has been teaching me, personally through my time here in language school, about being the exact representation of the Father in all that we do. Hebrews 1:3 "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being..." Even if, at the moment, that doesn't include ministry. Walking in the Spirit, keeping our attitudes in check; this is all part of representing the Father. I am reading the book Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne and I read that another translation of the word repent means "think about the way you think." Wow! Let us all strive to be the exact representation of the Father by th…

Regional Cumbre

Last night kicked off the beginning of the King's Castle Regional Cumbre (Summit). It is a conference for all the Castle teams to come together in Central America. It is a time to worship the Lord together, to share ministry ideas, and to seek God for the nations of Central America. Unfortunately, I am not able to attend it all because I have Spanish classes that I cannot miss. However, I was able to attend the service last night which was great and I will be going to the ending service on Saturday night. I was also able to be reunited with some friends from Panama, Nicaragua, and of course El Salvador.

Fight FOCA

I received this email from a good friend and I encourage you all to read this letter with conviction and that it will move you to action.

Kim Beals, Deputy General Counsel
Department of Human Services
Citizens Plaza Building, 15th Floor
400 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243
615-313-4731 / Fax - 741-4165

Please read this and sign the petition on the link at the bottom.

Dear20Family and Friends,

As most of you know, last night Obama made a public announcement
that he is going to sign the Freedom Of Choice Act, which will allow
all types of abortions including partial birth abortions, also
allowing babies who are born alive due to botched up late term
abortions, to be set aside without any medical care or nourishment and
left to die (most of these babies have no medical problems and most
of the ones that do, have things like cleft palates, club feet, things
that are correctable, still they are murdered in the most cruel and
inhuman way. They feel everything that is happening to them. There is

Don't Forget

I have been reading about some choices Obama is trying to make regarding abortion. Many people are, already, very disappointed and discontent with our new President. Remember, however, "For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; it is he who will save us." Isaiah 33:15
I am definitely NOT in favor of abortion, however, if we are going to get upset about the innocent killings of babies we must also get upset of the innocent killings of babies, children, and adults from the war that our tax dollars fund. I don't mean this in anyway to be disrespectful to our troops and/or anyone who has friends and family members that are fighting. I just don't understand how Christians can be so adamant about abortion but not so adamant of innocent people dying for other reasons. Human injustice is human injustice no matter what form it takes. As believers we should be fighting for life, and for human rights.

Watching the Inauguration

Regardless, if you are a supporter of Obama or not you cannot deny that today was a Historic day. I have read on different blogs and papers and something that seemed to be repeated was "Today is a good day to be American." Putting aside party lines today is a day where most of us will always remember exactly where we were when the first African American President was sworn into office. Our school basically shut down during that time. It seemed our Professors were more interested in watching than some students. But I will always remember I was sitting with my classmates and teacher watching this historical inauguration in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Beautiful Sunset

I glanced out of my window and saw this beautiful sunset. As Philip James Bailey put it "The death-bed of a day, how beautiful!"


Here at CINCEL we have a monthly English church service. I am helping Johanna, a resident Missionary Associate in Costa Rica, with children's church for the missionary's kids. We decided to give the kids group a name. Johanna came up with C.A.L.L.E.D. and made it into an acronym but could not think of anything for the E and the D. So we let the children think of something and one of the kids suggestion the E and D stand for every day. So the whole things stands for Children Actively Loving the Lost Every Day. The theme is they have a part on the mission field; it isn't just their parents thing. After our lesson we let them all help create a banner to hang up in the Library where we meet.

Rumbling All Around

The Central Valley of San Jose had another earthquake this morning around 4 or 5. Thankfully I was asleep and it did not wake me up but it was 3.9 on the richter scale which is about half of what the other one was. They are still searching for people; I believe the death count is up to 26 and 12 still missing. Tomorrow one of our teacher's is going to take coats and jackets to the people directly affected and who lost everything. A cold front came in today and it is pretty chilly and even more cold higher on the mountain. I also talked to one of my professor's from last year and many people in her family lost everything and there has been some deaths as well in her family so it has been really hard for her. I feel really blessed as I read the newspaper today and saw how close I really am to the epicenter of the original bad one we had Thursday a week ago. There has been over 1,000 aftershocks. I have started to become used to the random rumbling and moving of things.

Spanish Translation of My Last Name

In my grammar class, today, somehow we got onto the subject of how hard my last name is for Latin's to say. Little did my professor know that it is not just Latin's that have problems with pronouncing the very distinct name of Holtzclaw. My last name is obviously German and Holtz means wood in German and klau means claw or talon. There is a village in Germany named Oberholzklau which translates to be a gather of wood, or one who picks up wood. As I explained this to my professor he says, "Oh, well in Spanish your last name means Leñador someone who picks up wood. So whenever I am asked my name I can just say Kristal Leñ will much easier than having to say Holtzclaw three times and then spelling it and then someone trying to repeat it back to me and just butchering it.

The Beginning of the Last

Tomorrow is the beginning of my last last semester of language school. I found out today that I have been placed in the highest class at CINCEL which is quite intimidating. This semester I will have two hours of grammar, two hours of conversation, one hour each of phonetics and interaction. My grammar teacher is Luis, who is also the same person that gave me my ECO at the end of last semester, and I am very happy about that. I know it will be a very hard and trying semester but that I am going to learn so much because he has a reputation of being the best. Someone also told me that he only takes students in his class that he really thinks he can work with and turn them into great speakers. So that definitely gives me, a much needed, confidence boost. This semester is going to be very different but good. I can tell already that I am going to be stretched in ways that I never thought of but it is a good thing.

Free Day

This is my last "free" weekend before classes start on Tuesday and it was really good day. I woke up to beautiful, sunny weather and I hitched a ride with the new students and went to the market where I caught some really good shots.
I also played soccer with some missionary kid's and then we went to the movies. I find it very comforting that many of the families here are very caring and making sure that I am not left out or lonely being I am one of the two single people here.

6.1 Earthquake

So I survived my first earthquake. I have been in El Salvador with tremors and such but this was an actual 6.1 earthquake with the epicenter here in San Jose. I was in the bathroom putting some stuff away when I felt swaying and shaking and stuff started falling off the shelves. Keep in mind I live on the second floor so it was intense. I tried to walk to get to a doorway and make my way outside but I couldn't until it stopped. When I made it outside everyone else was out in the street, as well. It was really scary and very hard to describe how I felt. I was shaking quite uncontrollably for a while. After the initial earthquake there has been 400 after shocks. We lost power for about 30 minutes after but were quickly restored. The actual epicenter was at the Volcano Poas so it is really bad out there. They have confirmed two deaths, little girls. Supposedly, there are many people trapped in homes and busses. It is really weird to have felt it so strong but be ok and t…

There is None to Far Our From His Love

For those of you who know me, you know that I have a deep compassion for those who are down and out; the homeless, beggars, drug addicts, drunks, and the sick. I remember seeing homeless people on the street as a young girl and my eyes would fill with tears because I felt so sorry for them. I have learned not to "feel sorry" but to feel compassion. There is a very big difference in the two. I know everyone has their own opinion on this but if I pass someone who is asking for money, if I have it I give it. I not only give but I try to talk to them or atleast find out their name so I can pray for them. Many disagree with me and do not believe I should give money but there is this little verse that I just can't overlook. Mathew 5:42 says, "Give to those who ask, and don't turn away from those who want to borrow." Money may not be able to solve their problems however many times it opens a door to talk to them. If you don't want to give money b…

My New Haircut

It took me two tries but I finally was able to get my hair cut. I first went to the place on Monday and and I get off the bus and walk over to the building and there is a sign that says closed through the 5th. I went back yesterday and was able to get it cut. I went to this lady, Claudia, before and I really like her. She did a great job and cut it exactly how I explained.

Haiku Time

During Christmas vacation, at some point during our long car ride, we started talking about Haikus. I forgot how much I love haikus and I am in the mood for writing haikus. A Haiku is a Japanese poem and there are many different ways to write them. I like the 5-7-5 and sometimes the much simpler 2-3-2. Feel free to share your own haiku.

1.) Sitting alone in the quiet

Reading Praying Seeking giving away my time wisely

Surrounded by His precious love

2.) Green tea

I love it

Cold Sweet

3.) Clouds floating above my head

Strong wind steadily whipping around me

Beautiful weather for all to enjoy

Toros Vivo

This evening I went downstairs to watch a movie with some friends. After the movie was over we turned on the television to watch the live bull fights that are being held not to far from where we live. It is really fun to watch all the crazy guys who are getting trampled by the bulls. They do all kinds of different things but the one that is most fun to watch is where they let loose a bull in the arena with about 500 guys and they antagonize it and try to get to get the bull to chase them. One of the bulls has killed 4 guys and tonight is the last night of the festival of the bulls. So we will see what happens.

Christmas Break is Over

I am simply shocked that I am sitting in my apartment, in Costa Rica, writing this blog. The past three weeks went by like a whirlwind. I had a wonderful time at home eating tons of delicious cajun food and I probably gained about 10 lbs. I really never noticed that we ate so much fried food until I left and came back. I went around Baton Rouge like a tourist but it was a blast. I had so much fun with my family. It was really hard to say goodbye this time; much harder than last and I don't know why. I also was able to attend the World Mission Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio. That was pretty much the most amazing mission's conference type thing I have ever attended. Undoubtedly, changed my way of thinking, praying, and living.