Los Hombres de Negocios

I have now had the amazing opportunity to share my testimony in spanish with an ever increasing number of Costa Ricans through the Fraternidad de Los Hombres de Negocios (Costa Rica Businessmen's Fraternity). A gentleman on my FARO route, Francisco Hernandez just happened to be the National President of the Organization and asked me to speak at a meeting after hearing my story. It took me weeks to prepare my 30 minute talk in spanish and to prepare to present it. That meeting turned into 8 meetings and now will present even more opportunities in September! What a priveledge! Last night was my largest meeting at the College of Architects here in San Jose.

Central America is a 3rd world territory that has been recently touched by a strong dose of consumerism/materialism. I believe that this condition has created 2 types of discontentment. There are the few here that can partake in all these new luxuries and find themselves unsatisfied and wanting more and more. Then there are the "most everyone else" that cannot partake but see all these wonderful things and are discontent in their inability to buy. I believe that this is one factor that has fueled the increasing crime-rate in the region.

My testimony unveils a life of pursuing material success and the opportunity that God gave me to give all that up and serve Him... a specific call for sure! I think my story resonates with businessmen here as they find themselves caught up in the same frenzy of ever-increasing home-size, pursuit of luxuries and spending more and more money every day! (only to discover that money and things never provide any lasting satisfaction) I also think it is somewhat of a relief to those who are trying to keep up and can't... knowing that they don't have to live that way...they can live happily with very little, in Christ!

I was very rattled when Francisco asked me to speak in these meetings but am deeply grateful for the opportunity and challenge he presented me with. What a Joy to share our lives and give people something to think about! Please pray that many from these meetings will find hope in Christ and rearrange their lives in order to serve him... life is short!

Visit to Turrialba

We had a wonderful trip to our friend Orlando Bruno's farm, in Turialba. It was so nice as always to leave the city... the seven of us packed into Bob Yeater's car (yes, 7 in a Nissan built for 4-5...it made us feel better as we passed old pick-up trucks full of kids in the backs) and headed for the mountains northeast of San Jose. It was an incredibly beautiful drive through the countryside and the views from his farm were fantastic...day and night. The kids got to experience a small milk operation he has, groom the horses (Mary's favorite thing to do!) and ride a 4 wheeler. Orlando is a wonderful Christian man with many interests... we enjoyed our time immensely. Here are some pictures of our weekend:

Abbie's a Teenager!

We took a group of Abbie's friends to the movies saturday night in order to celebrate her 14th birthday. We returned afterwards and had a barbecue/fiesta. We are so proud of Abbie and the fine young woman she is becoming! Felicidades Abbie!

El Asesino

I got into an unlicensed taxi this afternoon (something I do not make a habit of doing...although most of the time it is safe) and began a conversation with the driver. (He was a bit scary looking and had deep eyes that appeared as though they had seen too much in life) He told me that he had been trying to clean up his life and that things were now much different. I asked him what he did previously and he said he was an "asesino". I immediately thought "oh no" but decided to clarify the word and asked "como??" He said in spanish, You know?? to kill people for money... an assassin. He shared with me how many people he had assassinated and in what type of situations he operated. I imediately thought, "Get me out of this car!!!! Why did I do this???" until he continued the conversation with the fact that his life was miserable and evil until he found Jesus Christ 7 years ago and now his life was completely turned around. He shared about his church and his new life with a young child and how greatful he was to the Lord. Amazing.

My day today was filled with blessings from people... another cab I got into this morning had a nice young driver named José that was listening to worship music. I asked him if he was a christian and he happily told me he was. He shared that he did not have much, but that he had this older taxi in order to earn money... and that this old car helped him to share Christ with many people each day! He too had an incredible background filled with drugs, alcohol and gang-life. Today he is a faithful worker at his church, taxi-evangelist and is anxious to have children soon. What an inspiration!

I started my day with my 3rd presentation to businessmen at an exclusive restaurant in San Jose. God was with me as I shared my life with these executives and encouraged them to follow Christ and seek treasures in heaven...what a priveledge. Afterward several approached me to share their stories and pray together. God is so good... I am so thankful for today.

July Photos

I Drove a Car!

Our good friend Bob Yeater let us use his car so that we could celebrate my birthday with a dinner out on the town. It was dark, raining and I had not driven in nearly 7 months... we took directions to a restaurant and headed out for what was to be an exausting and frightening 2 hour trip to nowhere. We got horribly lost in San Jose (a HUGE confusing city) and at one point were in an incredibly unsafe part of town. We were distressed as we didn't have the slightest clue as to where we were, how to head towards home or where home even was! We prayed together and a few minutes later turned onto a dark signless exit that led up to the highway and something we recognized. We continued and kept seeing more things we had seen previously and ultimately (2 hours later) ended up back in familiar territory. We ate at a restaurant 5 minutes from our house!

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Strange Things

I was running yesterday afternoon at a track not far from our house and passed by two ticos (in their twenties) jogging along, passing a joint back and forth. This in itself was quite unusual given that they were exercising while smoking marijuana, however what was more unusual is that there were 2 police officers sitting in the bleachers doing paperwork watching. I guess they just don't care! Every day I see the strangest things here!

La Carpio

La Carpio is a very poor neighborhood near San Jose (really quite incredible that it is so close to the city!) that our school visits each Thursday. We go and just spend time with the children there...who are seriously lacking love and attention. This is displayed by their immidiate love of us and desire to be held, played with and read to! Abbie and I had such a joyful afternoon there. It really helps to refocus my attention on why we are here. Enjoy the video!

And a more profesionally done video by some other students... this has a few of my friends in it as well.