It’s hard to believe that 9 months ago we first moved to Costa Rica. It’s been an incredible journey, filled with more blessings and trials than we ever expected. The friendships we deepened and the new ones we made are without question foundational life relationships. It’s amazing how adversity and change creates depth and bonds that will stand time. We have a few things we need to take care of back at home this summer as well as realize the need to have a more sustainable living solution and thus we headed home for the summer 4 weeks ago. Very sorry for the delay – it’s always amazing how quickly time goes. Getting everything in order before we left and trying to reintegrate back at home has been a bit of a whirlwind.
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Since we last wrote we had quite a few new adventures, here are a few highlights.

  • Ever since we moved into the shelter house we had been sleeping on two separate twin beds, but our last month there we were able to finally trade them out for a double we could both fit in which was a huge blessing.
  • Megan wrapped up her classes with the women, and I finished leading the When Helping Hurts book with the Seeds of Hope team which was extremely powerful between the worship and teaching time together. That turned into an awesome opportunity where Father allowed us to be bridge builders between Seeds of Hope and Pura Vida Church. As those two ministries work together it’s truly amazing to see what God does when believers band together for the Kingdom.
  • I had a bat crawl on my face in the middle of the night and then had to get it out of our room.  3 nights later we had more bats in our room, thankfully not on my face.
  • We probably have 100+ animal stories, but the story they all tell is God’s protection over us, not once did we ever get hurt or sick from animals!
  • Our friends Antonio and Anita got married!
  • We went to the other side of the country and I spoke at the www.japerez.org conference in a booth.
  • After about 6 months of drowning almost daily I finally learned how to surf. Still have a long ways to go but to my own MAJOR surprise, surfing is by far my favorite sport now.
  • I surfed some waves big enough to make me say ‘uncle’ and turn back in pure fear.
  • Dennis asked if I would speak at Church one Sunday which was an incredible learning opportunity AND incredibly humbling. There is a lot I could have done better but I do believe Father put words on my tongue and used it for good.  He was also showing me that He is calling me to so much more – it’s scary, humbling, and exciting at the same time.
  • LOTS more – you should come down with us sometime soon 🙂

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One day we went to check out a sustainable eco village in the mountains of Costa Rica and on our way home Dennis’ car broke down in the jungle. During our few hours of trying to get a ride home Megan decided she was hungry and wanted me to open a cashew for her to eat. While doing so, one of our local friends said ever so casually “hey you know thats full of acid” and then acted like nothing mattered despite my hands being covered in this liquid. I figured “acid, hmm, there must be a translation error and she must mean something else… otherwise she would have made a bigger deal about it”. Three days went by when I was instantly woke up in the middle of the night ready to cut my skin off with a knife because the itch was so intense. Turns out Cashews have “urushiol” in them which is the same poisonous plant oil that’s in poison ivy and poison oak. So that ‘acid’ was worse than acid in that it lasts 3 plus weeks. And apparently I got the oil in every nook and cranny of my body before we ever got home and three days later every place you would never want to have poison ivy I had… poison ivy. It took us about 12 days to figure out what it was. We first thought it to be fungus but eventually through some help from our MD friend Ven, we made the connection and figured it out. It was a rough 3 weeks as I decided not to take the antibiotics once we figured out what it was (we can have that discussion off line sometime if you want lol) but God really taught me a ton through the experience. I am pretty sure that during the times I was scratching myself, crying and laughing at the same time that Megan thought I finally lost it – but God’s grace was enough. Cool testimony about that – every day I woke up and could only hear this thought running through my mind “God’s grace is sufficient” – I heard it so much I was starting to get super frustrated but then I would know its truth and believe it was true and have a new perseverance to keep going. Hearing that over and over helped me empathize with others in difficult situations and understand the depths of only having His grace and nothing more. The awesome part of the story is that it turns out God asked my mom to pray “God’s grace be sufficient” for me every day even though she didn’t know what was going on with me specifically. She was just told to pray “His grace is sufficient”. One day I was retelling the story on a weekly podcast I do with some friends and she heard my story and then called me and shared this prayer God told her to pray that she didn’t understand at the time why she was to pray it – crazy and awesome. Anyway, moral of this story is that if a Costa Rican casualty says “that’s acid” assume its much worse and immediately wash your whole body!

As we started planning to come home for the summer everything came together in Esterillos for us that allowed us to transition away in a very healthy way. Seeds of Hope ended up being ready to move back into the shelter house we were temporarily renting to help them out during transition. We got the entire aquaponics system transferred and moved to PVC. We taught Dennis and Kyle and our friend Hydo how to manage it and run it. We successfully planted plants, fish and bacteria and system was truly doing amazing when we left! Esterillos is slowly gaining a culture of agriculture – we were only one small piece of that but hope that Father allowed us to help plant some seeds and grow them to help create that culture and movement. Hydo is now working for PVC as well as another local running the community garden which is a major milestone is bringing jobs and income into Esterillos through agriculture. There is still much to do and our hope is to continue to spend part of each year in Esterillos fellowshipping with our dear friends and continuing to get behind and help build out the vision we originally went down there with and for.


Watching everything come together at the end was truly like watching a miracle unfold in slow motion – there really is no other way to describe it! I also know that both Megan and I look back and say without question – it was worth it, and we were so blessed to have been able to be part of what God is doing there.

So now we are home looking for a house to move into in the States so that we can have a more sustainable approach to what we have been doing. The hope would be to have a home here and in Esterillos in which we would use both for discipleship and sustainable living while continuing the missions God has for us here and in Esterillos splitting our time each year between the two. We’re trusting Him and just following as He leads – so just like before – we aren’t quite sure how long we will be home or how long we will be gone next time 🙂

Blessings!
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