Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The day began....

The day began at 3 am.

Not for me...or any of the other members of our group.

The day began at 3 am for 20 men from the Horquetas congregation. They gathered together at the church and prayed for us from 3 to 5 am and then went off to work.

I was rudely awakened by a dog at 5 am...barking outside my window...but i rolled over and went back to sleep. At about that time many of the men headed off in buses to work in banana farms over an hour away.

So the day began at 3 am.

We arrived at the church, our worksite, at about 8 or maybe it was 830 and worked very hard all morning. From the pictures you can see just how much cement was put down. Many of our team worked at scraping and painting a metal fence. I believe it will all look beautiful when it is done. The kitchen that we will have paid for will be used to serve food to the young, old, and impoverished of the community. It is quite a ministry.

Pastor Don Carlos is a great man. I will tell you more about him someday. He works very hard to help the people of this community to live well. Yesterday we watched him hand out baby chicks to families here. 11 chicks each. They were to keep 10 chicks for themselves and sell 1 chick and use the money as a tithe to the church.

This afternoon we spent a few hours with children from the community. Crafts and soccer (football) were the order of the day. We were challenged by the disconnect in language, but the kids smiled so widely. It was beautiful to be with them.

Tomorrow will look a lot like today. We will work at the cement in the morning...putting on a finer top coat (this will involve sifting sand by hand!), more painting, and more time spent with the kids in the afternoon. Thanks for your support and prayer as we move forward. I assure you, with every effort we look to serve another in Christ´s way and with every moment we awaken even more fully to the holiness of life!

Monday, March 30, 2009


Hi all!

Just a brief note to let you know that we worked very hard today!

We were able to see how the Sunday school classrooms here at Horquetas ...the ones we worked on last year....are being used. We were also able to witness 400 chicks being passed out to members of the community....

That PLUS lots of manual labor...making more cement....

Anyway, we´re doing well, and miss you all!

We're gonna get dirty

It's about 530 am here and we are headed out to the rural village of horquetas. Today we will meet the sand, cament mix, and agua we have been waiting for. I look forward to reuniting with the pastor and his wife. We will have to see what kind of Internet access we have... Bit when there is a will, there's a way!

Btw, many thanks to ken comegys who managed to get these pics online.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday part 2

After worship and a good lunch we went to a place called Los Guidos. This is where our missionary friends bob and ann jefferys serve. We met them there, it was wonderful to reunite. The pastor at Los Guidos, dorotea, spoke to us about the needs of the congregation. They serve a place where extreme poverty is the norm. Many parishioners live in shanty houses. She hopes to use her church as a preschool but it needs a great deal of work to pass inspection. She said "God says to knock, look, and seek. And that's what I believe.". She is moving forward by selling handmade cards. Today they were also selling empenadas for 500 colognes (about 1 dollar) on the street corner. I'm really struck by how the people move forward in faith. NoBody seems worried about how tomorrow won't work out, instead they seem to ask, "what work can we do today?"

We finished the day with a ride through another shanty town. The poverty is appalling. We always comment about how lucky we are. Today our group came face to face with how lucky we are.

Peace in every step.... N


hi from costa rica!

i spoke with ari briefly today and she said church was great today. we were thinking of you all.

we worshipped at a small open air church, it was mostly a basketball court. they had a praise band and about 75 people in attendance. there were so many small children...and they smiled so much. we met hilary and katerina and carolina. they sat in the row of foldout chairs in front of us. they were beautiful. katerina spoke english and helped us understand the welcome that we received from various people. the minister, an exceptionally articulate woman, preached from Genesis 22...the Abraham and isaac story. She invited everyone to have faith....that God is with us when things seem most out of hand.

A couple of things about the service...

the children smiled so much. sometimes i think our culture does its very best to tame children. we structure so much of their activity. we structure their time at church at well. these children seemed free...

there seemed to be no concern for time. church is what they had to do today. i never got the sense that they were going to hurry off to do something else. this was a sabbath day. i loved that.

anyway, more later....

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Couple more things

The weather is gorgeous
We found out that we will be in the cement mixing and laying business again this year. This time for a kitchen.
On Monday we will be distributing 400 new chicks with our church partners in horquetas.
On Wednesday we spend time with the children of the village. I hope we will see some of the 100 soccer balls we brought handed out then.
I read a little of "ragamuffin gospel" by Brennan manning on the flight. He writes "there we are-the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life's tribulations, but through it all clung to the faith.". My hope is that, this week, we see each other as we ought to be seen - not as rich or poor or whatever - but as Gods own ragamuffins.....different in many ways but clinging to faith all the same. Peace in every step.....N

We´ve Arrived


we are here safe and sound.

this morning at 345 we left ...close to on time ...from RCcpc. Most of us slept on the busride to Dulles...for whatever reason, the front of the bus was superwarm and back of the bus was freezing. i´ll let you guess where i ended up sitting. brrrr....

the flight was a bit tricky, our flight out of Dulles was delayed for reasons yet to be known and we almost missed our connecting flight in San Salvador. we made it just in the nick of time..

lillian solt, our missionary friend, picked us up with a small red bus and now we are in a little city called Los Lagos (which, translated directly, means ¨kaka¨lakes)....lovely. Lillian gave us an overview of our week, which is JAM packed.

Tonight we had a big meal at a place called ¨house of the pig¨and ate lots of pork. my guess is that this is last time we eat without tasting cilantro for a few days.

My guess is that we will all sleep well tonight. We will worship tomorrow and our Red Clay friends and family will be in our hearts and minds. We hope that we are in yours.

i will try to post as often as i can. we have limited access to internet...but we do hope that you will check in!

I serenaded the bus with the theme songs from Lion King and Mulan on the way home.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Away we go....!

"I'll teach you to ride on the wind's back, and away we go!" Peter Pan

Tomorrow morning at o4oo hours (is that an accurate way of using military time to say 4 am?) nineteen (or is it 20?) of us are to arrive at the Red Clay Creek Presbyterian for a week-long mission adventure with our friends in Costa Rica. My plan is to blog from CR using this site. With any luck we will be able to post a few pictures, leave a few thoughts, and in some small way - bring YOU along.

My apologies to you if I can't make the technology work for me while I'm down there. But I'll do my best!