Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Today was more emotional than eventful, but still a thought provoking day. About 3:45 today a police officer was shot at the bottom of our hill, a little more than 100 yards from our house…on our street. There has been an increase of robberies in our area. They have significantly increased in brutality as well. After Christmas, "Gus" from our store at school was walking by the SW corner of Parque Bosque with 2 of his friends when 6 armed men robbed them. I had just walked through the corner of the park 30 minutes prior with 3 of my kids. We live 1/2 block from the park. December 2, just behind Parque Chino, a friend witnessed a severe armed car jacking across the street from his house…only his second day in country from South Carolina. Two weeks ago, the pharmacy on the corner of Parqua Bosque, the pharmacist, outside guard and people waiting for the bus were robbed by 2 armed men. Today the police officer on moto pulled over 2 guys on a moto and they shot him with 12 gage birdshot. They fled on foot up the road toward Parque Sauces. One dropped his bag and the shotgun in 2 different locations as he went. One robber was picked up by a car thought to be involved in the robbery and the other fled on foot. We heard the sirens from everywhere and went to see. We were there only about 5 minutes after the shooting. They were just taking the officer away. Very quickly about 20 moto cops charged off chasing a lead. The downed officer was wearing a bp vest but it was a lower grade vest. He had injuries to his shoulders arms and stomach. One cop we talked to felt terrible because this was his area to patrol. He had been called off to sit at a traffic corner for the day. He was especially irritated because this was his beat. I called Ryan, our missionary that works with the groups in law enforcementt, and he came and talked to a few of the cops. He helped us fill in several of the blanks we could not quite understand. Needless to say we are much more aware of our surroundings tonight!

The personal side of the story is this: Jordan had a Bible study at a friend’s house just up that road at 4 PM today. About 3:30 we decided he was not going. Jordan would have at that corner about the time of that shooting. At the same time, Deanne wanted to walk to Pali-our grocery store at the bottom of our hill. Our neighbor stopped over for a few minutes and “would not leave.” Deanne would have been at that corner about the same time. God is good all the time. Whether we were at the corner or not, we know God is good all the time. Please pray for us as we serve and minister here on our street with our neighbors. We have worked hard at building relationships with them and this is another open door of communication and sharing with them where we find our security, in Jesus Christ.

On a lighter note, I was privileged to go to a school in Poas this past Saturday. The school is a shelter for the displaced from the earthquake. I have included my Spanish version of our day. I had to write it for an assignment today. I thank you for being such an encouragement to us here in Costa Rica. I think I am writing all of this to be an outlet for my thoughts. Thank you for listening…or not :)

Shaking things up here in Costa Rica.

I was privileged to go to a school in Poas this past Saturday. Poas is the place hit by the 6.2 earthquake on 1/8/09. The school is a shelter for the displaced from the earthquake. I have included my Spanish version of our day. I had to write it for an assignment today. I thank you for being such an encouragement to us here in Costa Rica. Thank you for listening…or not.
For those who want to try something fun. Try translating this by copying 5 lines into and see if you can understand the gist of the story. Welcome to our life!

Yo visité a la gente que fue afectada por el terremoto el Sábado, el 24 de enero. Yo anduve de mi casa a la iglesia y llegué temprano…otra vez. Había ocho personas en total de cuatro iglesias diferentes que fueron juntas.
Después de un tiempo de oración, nosotros viajamos en 3 diferentes carros. La primera parada fue una casa de una cristiana que vive en Poás. Nosotros le dimos muchas bolsas de ropa, comida y jabones para distribuir a la gente. La vista detrás de la casa fue muy bonita.
Después de salir de la casa condujimos los coches encima de la montaña. Nuestro destino era una escuela que ahora es utilizada para contener a los refugiados desplazados de sus hogares por el terremoto. Cerca de la puerta fuimos parados por La Fuerza Pública. Un hombre había asegurado el permiso del Ministerio de Vivienda y Asentamientos Humanos pero la jefe en este lugar no recibió la información.
Mientras las negociaciones entre mi amigo y la jefe, el resto de nuestro equipo preparó para la reunión. Más de un hora pasó mientras ellos estuvieron hablando. Yo estaba colocad cerca del tablero de pintura que utilizamos para predicar el mensaje. Muy rápido muchos niños y jóvenes empezaron a pedirme decirles palabras en inglés. Ellos me pidieron cantar en inglés.
Después de las negociaciones y muchas objeciones, la Fuerza Publica nos permitió servir a la gente. Nosotros condujimos juegos por treinta minutos. Los niños se divirtieron y los padres tuvieron sonreían.
Cuando fue hora de predicar la palabra de dios, yo introduje el mensaje con un truco de tres cuerdas para ganar interés. El truco fue bueno pero el español necesitaba mas practica para que el evangelio fuera más claro.
Después del mensaje, once personas indicaron que ellos quieran aceptar a Jesucristo como Salvador. Fue una gran oportunidad de servir.
Después de nuestro tiempo en la escuela, la directora de los campos temporales nos dio una carta de recomendación que da el permiso para entrar en cualquiera lugar en que deseamos servir.
Yo observé tres cosas muy importantes. Primera, la gente en estos lugares no tiene mucha esperanza. Ellos no tienen muchas cosas del mundo, y no tienen un plan para el futuro. Para ellos, es un mundo sin esperanza. Todo el día ellos se sientan y esperan la próxima comida o instrucciones del gobierno.
Segunda, es posible servir Jesucristo incluso cuando usted no sabe la lengua bien. El amor de Dios es más que palabras.
Tercera, es Dios el que abre las puertas, no los hombres. Yo tengo que usar las oportunidades que Dios nos abre.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

HEY-- We were in a EARTHQUAKE today. The kids thought it was a BLAST because they actually felt this one, and it shook the whole house. Earthquakes are common, but we have "missed" several because they were at night. This one-- NO BODY could miss. We praise the Lord for His protection.

The following is the Associated Press release just minutes after it happened.

Strong earthquake shakes Costa Rica
1 hour ago
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — A strong earthquake shook the Costa Rican capital of San Jose Thursday afternoon, sending frightened residents running into streets.
There were no reports of injuries in the minutes following the earthquake.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the 6.1 magnitude temblor struck 22 miles (35 kilometers) northwest of San Jose, at a depth of 28 miles (35 kilometers).
Canal 7 television showed images of broken windows, fallen ceiling panels and cracked walls. It said the quake was felt strongly throughout the small Central American country.
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Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

"SAN JOSE, Costa Rica",