The First Few Weeks in Costa Rica

Without hesitation I can say that up to this point our journey has been a two parallel path of seeing Father provide through unique and miraculous ways we never imagined; and being more challenged in all areas of our life than we ever expected. Due to not so hot travel arrangements it took us two days and no sleep to get here. Once we arrived our good friends dropped us off in front of our house in typical Costa Rican fashion, waved goodbye and said "we'll see you around"… and that was it. Megan and I found ourselves hitting a wall of reality we didn't quite expect.

One thing we have found is that maybe we weren't as resilient as we thought. We have been in some pretty intense situations in our lives and our travels around the world, yet one thing held different this journey, there was no 'going home' anchor date to hang onto. It's a whole different mental and physical hurdle to overcome when there is no defined 'end date'. More importantly, what about those who have never even had any date to hang onto their entire lives, in situations much worse than ours? How beautiful it will be when Father restores all back to new and the least of these will be first, that's the Kingdom we yearn for.

We can't believe its already been almost 3 weeks. From one perspective it feels like its been a couple of months based on the amount of learning and stretching we have gone through, and on another perspective I cannot believe it's taken us three weeks to find a quick break to be able to type this up. While we don't see it being like this forever, we have found that these first days have been overtaken striving to meet our basic survival needs - literally. It seems as though every day is some new hurdle between having no water (today is the first day in 3 days and its amazing how many things depend on water like a toilet, sink, food, shower, etc.), finding food, finding transportation, acquiring basic housing items like sheets or forks, getting internet, etc... and figuring out how to live down here, we are finding it hard to balance basic needs, works, being involved in the community, and finding time for our marriage. The most trying thing is that each time it seems like we figure something out - per say water, or a cooking source, that thing breaks and we're back to square one. We are seeing that steep growth curve slow down a bit but wow, these past weeks have been stretching. It's interesting how much more challenging and real James 2 and Romans 5 are to us now. They always seemed like powerful words, but "being exalted" and "considering it pure joy" are things we are finding we have a lot of room to grow in.

Romans 5:3-6
And not only this, but we also exult in pressures, knowing that pressure works endurance; and endurance, approvedness; and approvedness, expectation. And expectation does not disappoint, because the love of Elohim has been poured out in our hearts by the Set-apart Spirit which was given to us. For when we were still weak, Messiah in due time died for the wicked.

James 1:2-4
My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the proving of your belief works endurance. And let endurance have a perfect work, so that you be perfect and complete, lacking in naught.

But I couldn't say all that without saying that Father has been more than sufficient. Every time we feel like we are going to break it's as though he provides some pressure relief valve with intimate gestures that say "I'm here" or "I love you" or literal miracles in which we can only praise His name and be struck in awe.

One thing we have always loved about serving in places like this is gaining eternal and world perspective. Understanding how much we take for granite, over consume, and are self absorbed at home. This trip has done no less than amplify our perspective more than we ever imaged… and again what about those in which much worse is their life? We are so blessed, it almost feels childish sharing our mild struggles down here just thinking about others. Hence how much more I recognize I have to grow… it feels like we're swimming up stream barely keeping our heads above water and then I think about 1/6th of the planet in slums [A, B], millions - literally millions of children abused through sex slavery [C, D], ~25K people a day dying of starvation [E, F], and then I get a hindsight view that Im floating on the lazy river drinking a Starbucks worrying about my toes getting wet. I truly cannot imagine what it would be like to be in any one of their shoes, or rather bare feet.

One large differentiator that we have found is that it's very hard to escape reality here as in many other places in the world. At home its so easy to escape the climate, problems, confrontation, headaches, back pain, stress, responsibilities, and so much more. We have so many things that offer escapes from reality between climate control, access to almost anything the planet offers (can you imagine growing up in a village and eating the same 30 things for a lifetime?), pain medication, alcohol, drugs, coffee shops, movies, tv, personal space, restaurants, fads & trends, sports, and on and on. Now none of those things are inherently bad per say, but when you look at how easy it is for us to avoid our current reality it's a bit shocking. Here we have found a different story, when it's hot (and it's always hot, no windows just holes in the wall baking on the equator ensures it stays hot)… we're hot, when we don't feel good… we just don't feel good, when we want to run away… there's no where to go, when we aren't getting along… we're all we have, when we want something whether food, entrainment, distractions… it either doesn't exist or we have no way of getting it or to it, etc. I do not share that so you will feel for us, but rather to share one of our larger unexpected eye openers, realizing how much we lived inside an almost never ending distraction of reality, it was always slightly modified to our comfort or distraction. Maybe that's why most of the world is suffering from material poverty but western culture deeply suffers from poverty of community.

I feel like every day holds enough story, miracles, trials, and adventure in themselves to write a 10 page blog daily so it's hard figuring out where to begin.

We made a deal to rent a car for short trips that wouldn't start, and then literally after praying over the car it started and has run ever since… this is known as the silver bullet, lightening struck a pole 50 feet from us in a crazy storm with sparks and all, had a small herd of brahman cattle in our back yard, due to lack of resources gathered a ton of coconuts and made our own milk, oil, water, and flour out of them, went through a small flood, ate an entire meal out of wild food in the jungle, been completely freaked out by the jungle, found raw local milk, killed so many bugs our consciences are getting to us, learning daily that things take longer (one example: went to the only organic farmers market in CR - left at 6AM thought we would be back by noon to only get home at 10:30PM), composting using backache, about 100 plants seedlings started, first spouts already showing, started a garden, had head trauma with a concrete wall, caught a wave, missed a wave, cried, laughed, broke our most valuable food supplements, waved at some monkeys, and have been so blessed by your prayers.

We're making great progress on getting buy in from the community on sustainable agriculture and aquaponics so that is moving forward well. Tomorrow we might get to go visit one of the largest food forests and aquaponics places in Costa Rica.

We're praying daily for direction and balance so we can live out whatever it is He is calling us to here, if you would pray with us for that we would be deeply grateful.

Until next time… Pura Vida,

(PS - this was written 3 days ago but our electricity was out for a couple of days ;) hence the further delay)

We're really slacking on pictures and updates we know - we'll work on it :) for the time being here are a few:

Scavenging our first meal day 1
Scavenging our first meal day 1
Did I mention it's hot here
Did I mention it's hot here
Overcoming the mighty coco
Overcoming the mighty coco
I'm dwarfed by her beauty
I'm dwarfed by her beauty
Sprouted Coconut Apple
Sprouted Coconut Apple
Livin
Livin
Some of our coconut milk
Some of our coconut milk
Colorado pride
Colorado pride
Brahman Cows
Brahman Cows
The one and only Silver Bullet
The one and only Silver Bullet
Su Casa
Su Casa
Planting
Planting


A. Connexion Mosaico Urban Slum Stats
B. U.N. Habitat, The Challenge of Slums – Global Report on Human Settlements
C. iEmpathize.org Kids
D. Slavery Map
E. World Food Programme Stats
F. Wikipedia - Starvation


Moving to Costa Rica For a Bit

This news will probably surprise you as much as it surprised us. For more than a year We have been praying about what we should do next, and up until 2 weeks ago we thought we were supposed to move into a house in Denver where we could serve our neighbors in Denver more effectively. However two weeks ago Father provided multiple confirmations and we believe we are supposed to move to Costa Rica for a bit to serve our friends at Pura Vida Church and the community there of which we have been supporting and serving for the last 3 1/2 years, also the place we became engaged.

We probably have as many questions as you do ;)... currently we aren't sure how long we will be there we just got a one way ticket, are packing our stuff away, and going to be praying daily for guidance from the Set Apart Spirit as to what we should be doing each day and how long we should be there. Some people have already said "why Costa Rica and why not your neighbors locally, there's tons of need locally"... the answer is we thought we were going to continue locally but at the end of the day we do believe we were called there and are most interested in being obedient. Looking back we have seen how our path has turned to blessings when being obedient, and to strife when we chose our own way regardless of how or why it might seem like the better option, larger need, prideful way.

How you can help:

What we deeply need is prayer... we know that without prayer we will be less fruitful and maybe fruitless - despite pulling away from our community and support system here, we also recognize that our fleshly desires of comfort (unfortunately) will take a bit to shed off and that could add a little more pressure on a new marriage. So if you could specifically be praying for protection spiritually and physically, courage to live out our spiritual convictions, and the ability to recognize and hear the Spirit daily we would be more than blessed!

What we are doing:

While we had quite a few confirmations about going down there to do three things specifically: 1. help our friends who lost most of their house 2 months ago to a 7.6 scale earthquake, 2. build out a self-sustaining aquaponics agricultural system, and 3. be an encouragement to the village and the believers who are permanently down there. However, we recognize that Father's plans for us may change, and the villages needs may change so we are trying to be open to whatever that may end up becoming. Our goal is really to just move down there, live our lives as a member of the community (we're both blessed in that we can work remotely), and hopefully be a reflection of Messiah to those around us - we will be the first to tell you this will be our biggest area of growth as we have lots of humbling refining that we will be working on for the rest of our lives.
Esterillos-2010
Our dear friends Travis and Charisa have been down there for a year and will be coming home, you can learn more about their journey here, and all about Pura Vida Church here. You can follow us by subscribing in the form below, we wont spam you and we'll be sure to keep it interesting. We feel incredibly blessed to be able to do this as Father's provision has been incredible; the more we think about how much we have been blessed living here the more we are convinced this is the right thing to do... and the more we remember what our Messiah Yahushua did for us on the cross the more we recognize we have a long way to go - He did this so we could share the Good News with others.

Blessings!

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