Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas...almost. This is my first Christmas in 43 years without any trace of snow! Now that the rainy season is over, It cracks us up to see people selling gloves, mittens, and winter hats when it is 65 degrees! Bethany has been aiding in the kindergarten class all semester and brought home a Christmas card from the children last week. I said, "It's about time to bring that home." I thought it was summer break...not Christmas break! This year has been filled with change, challenge and confirmation of our calling. I was convicted while reading Luke 1 this past week. I am sure when Mary was confronted by the angel, telling her she was to be the mother of our Savior, she did not comprehend all that God's plan for her would involve. Yet, she harnessed God's plan and willing followed. She maintained a

PERSPECTIVE OF ONE CALLED BY GOD - Luke 1:26-42. Here we find a:
1. Concrete Promise (1:37) "With God nothing shall be impossible."
2. Confident Perspective (1:38) (46-56) "Be it unto me according to thy word"

3. Committed Pursuit (1:39) "Mary arose...and went"

Although we do not comprehend all the circumstances and situations that have come into our lives and confronted us this year, we still are ones called by God. We have concrete promises from God, must maintain a confident perspective, and pursue confidently

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Spanish "Dona" = donut

Spanish "Doña" = Mrs.

Thanks to Lukas for modeling these "donas" for me. Actually he modeled them after the photo shoot as he devoured just a small portion of he says. I went to the bakery to purchase 2 donuts, one white and one black and could not understand why the cashier was smirking. OK, I realize I did not look like I needed more donuts, but they were for my wife! What I actually said in Spanish, "I would like 2 ladies, one white and one black." I am glad she knew what I was actually asking for, because it would have been very difficult to carry 2 ladies home to my a plastic bag!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I was excited when Mandi told us at the dinner table. "I am much more thankful now that I pray in Spanish." As a dad, I was thrilled to hear of the cultural and spiritual advancement of our third child. pride was cut short when she finished her statement. She said, "...because I do not yet know how to ask for things in Spanish!" Amanda says hahaha. Sooner or later we will all learn how to speak with the one and only true another language!

Monday, October 27, 2008

In the fall of 2006, I had the privilege of being on the cover of the Message Magazine, our info, encouragement and recruitment magazine for ABWE. Don't get too excited because you know me. I am not famous, I just happened to be the only male missionary candidate in the office when they needed a picture STAT!I will say I am excited about the article written in the Message magazine this month. It is a brief interview about our prefield ministry experience. So many of you were a part of this journey, we praise God for YOU! I am reminded of a phrase from the article, "I know there will be difficult days on the mission field. I also know I have a bank vault full of valuable reminders that this ministry is of God." Check out the full article at Thank you for keeping us in your prayers! To check out our testimonies in the ABWE Message magazine from Fall 2006, go to:

Recently, a friend posed the question, "What is a missions minded church?" I must admit, that while learning the Spanish language, my mind has been focused more on how to buy milk and to tell the taxi driver how to get to my house than it has been on missions. But...this question got my juices flowing! I began to think and write and here are just a few of my thoughts. I welcome your feedback.

MISSIONS MINDED CHURCH - The church is missions, therefore, it is impossible to validate the existence of the local church without intentionally fulfilling the great commission in its Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost parts. A Missions Minded church is one that is committed (verbally and visibly) to obeying Christ's great commission by making, marking and maturing disciples as we have already been sent by Jesus Christ.
  1. PASTORALLY the pastor is personally INVOLVED in going
  2. PASSIONATELY the congregation is INTENTIONAL in it’s pursuit
  3. "PURSE" FULLY the budget is INTEGRATED with opportunities
  4. PERSONALLY the body is INFILTRATED by missionaries
  5. PRAYERFULLY the body is INFORMED of needs & oopportunities
  6. PURPOSEFULLY the leadership INITIATES missions partnerships
  7. POSSIBILITIES the body INVESTIGATES who will WE send next

Some random PASSIONATE thoughts at 9 PM

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hey, this is Amanda! I want to let everyone know about an important thing in missionary life. Peanut butter! Peanut butter is a very American thing in most parts of the world, including here. Therefore, it is either hard to find, or EXTREMELY expensive. In our case, it's expensive. This jar of peanut butter I'm holding in the picture, you would usually throw awaybecause it's basically gone; we will use for about another week's worth of PBJ sandwiches :). So, when you eat peanut butter, pray for us, that we would learn Spanish well, and that our peanut butter would go far. Thank you for praying for us! Dios te bendiga!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Ok, it has been long enough here in Costa Rica without buying flowers for my wife, I figured it was about time. Lukas and I walked 1.5 miles to get them, but the smile on her face was worth every step!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Psa 57:9 I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.
We have always enjoyed foods from different countries. Sushi just happens to be one of our favorites. Jeff made this sushi tonight with cucumber, immitation crab, carrot, avocado, and red pepper. It came complete with wasabi that burns your nose and homemade noodle soup (made by Amanda). It is a good reminder to us there are people around the world that need Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Update for Faith Baptist Missions Conference

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Language barriers are always fun. We were asked to get "conflex sin dulce" for a chicken recipe a Costa Rican lady was making for us. "Sin dulce" is without sweet, but what is "conflex?" I looked in my pocket dictionary...nothing. I looked in the online dictionary...nothing. I looked, and asked at the grocery store...nothing. I asked another student who has finished their language studies and likes to cook...nothing. I asked another missionary for whom she cooks...nothing. Finally we had to ask her to tell someone else who who spoke Spanish. It was Corn Flakes! Since we do not eat cornflakes, since they are about $4/box, Deanne spared no expense and bought 2 individual serving boxes for 180 colones, the Costa Rican money. I am looking forward to our chicken and brocoli with $ .34 worth of "conflex."

Monday, September 15, 2008


I figure if I keep that mentality, I will enjoy every minute of our learning process. Jordan and I were able to go fishing with 2 other ABWE missionaries this weekend. We drove about 2 hours into the mountains to the Savagre Mt. and helped catch these beautiful "trucha" or trout. When we got home we baked them with some homemade shake and bake Deanne had made and stuffed them with garlic, onion, tomatoe, and peppers. True to form, Jeff made enough of the veggie stuffing we could have stuffed an entire hatcherie! So, we had tortilla chip dip along with the fish. It was a great lunch.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

We are enjoying our new culture in Costa Rica. This week we are learning some history of this country. There are fascinating traditions surrounding Independence Day. On the Eve of Independence Day, the whole country goes outside at 6 pm and sings the National anthem & lights a lantern and walks in the streets. This goes back to the actual night before they declared their independence when people stood outside the meeting where leaders were discussing whether or not to declare independence. These people stood outside all night with their lit lanterns chanting to call for Independence. We were told the celebration began at 6 PM...but by 6:15 it was only our family and one other of our classmates standing alone in the park. We asked some Costa Ricans if this was a joke they play on the gringos. Here we are all dressed for the party, lanterns in hand, and no party in sight. We hopped a bus and headed 10 minutes north to the town of Zapote and found a great celebration there! What a blast!
Deanne, Bethany, and Mandi enjoyed going to ABWE missionaries LaMar & Joanna Salley's home to help make bracelets for their church ladies. Joanna makes these lovely bead bracelets for each lady visitor that comes to their church plant. Each bead represents a different part of the twenty-third Psalm. This is a tremendous teaching tool for ladies who are new to God's Word. It is also a great conversation starter with unbelievers. They have seen several women come to Christ as a result of their church women sharing what the bracelet means and these women leading other women to the Savior! There are so many ways to share the Gospel. We are looking forward to using ideas like these in our brand new work in Ecuador in the very near future!

Along with most things, we are buying eggs in a new and different way here in San Jose! Each Sunday, we purchase our eggs from our local huevos vender who drives slowly up the streets with his microphone speakers announcing "Huevos". Then, we scramble :) outside to purchase our fresh brown eggs for the week out of the back of his little hatchback. These eggs are considerably cheaper than from the local supermarket. We buy a flat of 30 eggs for 2,200 colones. which is about $4. We are quickly becoming one of his best customers!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Market Day

Every Saturday is Market day-- which is a highlight of the week for Deanne and Lukas. We wake up knowing it is time to go and "fill our cart". We purchased our shopping cart from another student who had completed the language program. (it reminds Jeff of an "old lady" shopping cart.) We make sure we eat a hearty breakfast on market day because we walk to the ferria which is 3/4 mile from our home. We carefully select our fruits and vegetable for the week. We have our normal list of string beans, cucumbers, lettuce, red and green peppers, garlic, bananas, pineapple, apples. Every other week we buy potatoes, onions, carrots and celery. We have enjoyed the abundance of fresh cilantro-- although Deanne was accussed of putting it in everything including cereal. We are anxiously awaiting mangoes to come into season. We occassionally enjoy watermelon and a bright red spikey fruit that you peel open and eat a small melon ball type fruit out of the center.

On the way home from the ferria, we have been known to stop for a postre (Pastry) at the bakery. All that shopping works up an appetite! We are trying to make sure we get the full cultural experience and not miss any of their culinary offerings in the postre department.

When we get home, the real work begins. We must wash the farm dirt off the veggies and fruits. For example, the cilantro will be packages with the roots and dirt included at no extra charge. After the soil has been removed, then the disinfecting can begin. All of the items that are not to be peeled must be soaked in a disinfectant solution for twenty minutes for our safety. Then they must be dried and properly stored for the week. We have found that this process does speed their deterioration; so we are still learning about the proper storing techniques. So, this is a true "taste" of life in Latin America. We are so pleased that the Lord is allowing us to learn this whole process now, as we will need all of this practical living information in Ecuador. (Now-- put down that yummy New York apple, did you soak it first? )

Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Day of School for 6!
The kids were excited as they packed Mommies lunch today and wrote her little notes. They reminded us there is to be no TV or internet until our homework is done. We get to walk to school together...about 1/2 mile, but Jeff and Deanne get out of class 1.5 hours before the kids (just enough time to recuperate from our brain hurting from thinking in a foreign tongue!)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Yes, it rains every day! But that way you don't need to wonder what the weather is going to be this afternoon! For a fun look at our daily weather, visit the following link!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Life in Costa Rica has been a whirlwind for our children -- They have been so busy since our arrival with meeting many missionary friends, other language student family like ours, and Costa Rican friends too. They have enjoyed attending a youth group on Saturday night that runs over between 40 teens and has a Bible study, song time, and game time. They are really enjoying getting together with these Christian friends. They have been getting the teens together to play soccer or basketball in the park near school. Today they had about thirteen friends out to play before till the afternoon rains came. (It is rainy season-- so it's not "if" it rains, it is when it rains, and how hard. Today, the all of us got caught in the downpour rains! Welcome to Costa Rica! It is a literal statement here, "When it rains, it pours!")
Dia de la Madre

Last week we celebrated mothers day in Costa Rica, 15 agosto 08. That's right, Deanne got two mother's day in ONE year! It was a very big day for our family. It was MOVING DAY into our new Costa Rican home. For our first full week in the country, we lived in the AMCA Christian hostel facility which was a blessing as it was close to the school, our new house, the grocery store, the bus route and provided a place for all six of us. Now, it was time to move into our own house for the year, we were all looking forward to it. After all there is no place like home, and our home for this next year is in this lovely home God has provided in San Jose, Costa Rica. Thank you, Lord for what you have done on our behalf. What a great mother's day present-- a roof over my head (and a coffee pot too!)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Our last American $
We we figured we would not use our American change here in Costa Rica, so...while waiting at JFK we made "good use" of our last American $. It was sooo good!
Lukas on the loose in JFK
Waiting for anything is a challenge. Waiting for 2 hours to board an airplane is...excruciating when you are 11 years old. What is left after exploring the terminal, reading all the signs, counting all the airplanes, and being an 11 year old little brother? Only thing left to do is make faces at the camera!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Always room for more catchup!
Lukas loves his ketchup. It does not matter how fancy the meal or how great the food, there is always a little more room for some ketchup.

Go ahead, smile for the Camera!
I'm planning to eat your crab cakes while you are not looking! A dear family provided a night in the Crowne Plaza Hotel and a wonderful meal in the dining room prior to our departure for Costa Rica. We are fed up and ready for the next step of God's great adventure.

Banana boxes TO the largest exporter of bananas in the world...Ecuador! We are praising the Lord for the provision of storage of our belongings with one of our supporting churches while we are in language school. Everything we own was packed into 83 bannana boxes and 8 - 24 gallon Rubbermaid Actionpackers. It fit well in a Uhaul trailer 5'x6'x9'. It was a sweet moment as we drove away knowing it was packed, secure, and that phase of our adventure was over. I never knew it could take so long to weed through pictures, desk junk and clothes that fit one time.

One of the kids broke out in laughter as we were driving our stuff to Mountainside Bible Chapel to be stored for 1 year. They just realized that "Uhaul" meant that it was you that would haul it, not someone else. Deanne and I began to laugh as we realized that 18 years ago we drove away from Schroon Lake in the smallest Uhaul truck as we began our ministry in New Jersey. Now, 18 year and 4 kids later, we were returning our goods to Schroon Lake in a trailer. After getting rid of so much, we have deteremined not to buy another thing unless it is edible....unless it is for fishing...or hunting...or camping...ok! Enough! We just thank the Lord for all of His blessings, evening getting rid of stuff! By the way, we did not store the kids. They came with us.