Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tough Decisions

Hello everyone....we are not dead, just lost in articulos indefinido and gerundios irregulares. Contrary to how it feels at times, we are learning Spanish!  We attended a church new to us last Sunday and had a great time of fellowship.  We had been spending Sundays at home listening to sermons online for a few weeks, after feeling overwhelmed by hearing messages at churches with no idea what was being said.  I'm happy to report that I actually had an idea what the pastor was saying!  

We've had to make a tough decision lately and have been seeking God's leading....mainly with staying another trimester at language school. The program we're in is not a fast-track survivol Spanish program. It is an immersion program designed to teach you to communicate in Spanish at an every day level.  It's been difficult, with our strong desire being to get to Nicaragua as soon as possible to begin helping out with ministry there, yet realizing that by the end of April we won't be able to communicate at the level we desire for ministry, and feeling that God is leading us to stay here in Costa Rica for another four months.  Of the 160 students at ILE, I don't know of any who are leaving after one trimester, and most are staying for a full year.  We've sought advice from others who have been through it and our team leaders in Nicaragua and we've received the same responce.....stay in school!  Please pray with us as we go through the process of signing up and making the financial commitment for another trimester that God continues to lead us in clear ways.  
Isaiah 55:8 came to my mind early this morning...."for My thoughts are not your thoughts, and neither are your ways my ways."  It's comforting to rest in that, knowing that He has a plan and rushing ahead of it is never profitable (this I know by experience).

Many of you heard about out team leaders in Nicaragua, Eric and Marilyn Loftsgard, and the tragedy over Christmas that ended with their guard being shot and killed by armed robbers. As an update, God moved and people responded with love. They were able to set up an account with the financial gifts to allow their guard's widow and six children to continue to draw his salary for a number of years. 
Hard financial times in the US means hard financial times all over the world, and we see that here in Costa Rica. Many people losing jobs, rising food prices, and tourism industry struggles have all contributed to hungry mouths and rising crime rates.  We do what we can to feed the hungry people that show up at our door and continue to realize the importance of communicating in their language.  We are still in traing mode as we focus on culture and Spanish language acquisition, but please pray for us as the more we learn of this language and culture the more we look for ways to minister here in Costa Rica.

Our family is doing great in spite of the sick bugs that float through school.  I'm currently home with Cohen and his fever/shakes. I think it's just our immune systems adjusting to a foreign place, but we've averaged about a sickness a week since we've been here.  Titus celebrated his first birthday on the tenth(we missed you Brooke, Ryan, Lindsay, Skylar, Addie and Maddie Kate) with friends and chocolate cake! Because of our internet speed, uploading pics to phanfare is easier than this blog, so you can view all our pictures here

We love you all and continue to pray for you.....we miss everyone back home in California!
Thanks for your continued prayers and support,
Dave for Kate, Cohen and Titus

Sunday, February 1, 2009

At MTI they helped prepare us for living with the “I love this place, I hate this place” paradox. I now know exactly what they were talking about and why we spent so much time on this topic!

I hate our bed, oh how I hate our bed. Not only do you wake up feeling like you have been hit by a truck, the footboard is about a foot and a half away from the wall and the bruises on my legs are proof of just how sharp the corners are.

I hate the garbage and the dog poop everywhere in the street.

I hate how gross water bubbles up in my kitchen sink when you run the washing machine.

I hate my dryer….It either doesn’t dry or melts the buttons off my clothes…..literally.

I hate the sausage at la feria…it’s really nasty.

I hate how dirty our feet are at the end of the day, after walking everywhere in flipflops.

I hate how expensive cheese and chocolate chips are….a couple of my favorite things.

I hate the feeling I get when Cohen asks when he can go to Grandma's, but love the feeling I get when I hear him sing a song in spanish, and how he kind of has a crush on his teacher Pamela.

I love the experience of taking the public bus system in a third world country, but I’m ok if I never have to take it again.

I hate how I feel carsick in the back seat of a taxi.

I love when Cohen finds touch me nots- the leaves close when you touch them.

I love when someone rattles off to me in Spanish before they realize I don’t understand, and I can’t wait to have a conversation with them.

I love when we pass guys on the street and they recognize my husband from playing basketball with them at the park.

I love how Titus doesn’t have a clue he’s living anywhere different from where he always has, and how excited he gets when I pick him up from school everyday.

I love how I don’t notice the garbage as much anymore.

I love how everyone talks to my kids and all the girls want to hold Tito.

I love my teacher Francisco’s sense of humor, and how he really cares about us.

I love seeing Dave and the boys hanging out in the hammock eating peanuts.

I love the orange-carrot juice from Fresas.

I love being in the center of God’s will…….


God bless and enjoy the paradox that is life!