As I sit down to share our next update with you, I am flooded with so many good things I would like to share. It has been 13 days since the youth missions team left and 22 days since our arrival. We are trying to settle in more each day, but we are still shocked every time we walk out our door and see the beauty that surrounds our home!
We were extremely encouraged to get to FaceTime with our church in Placerville California this past Sunday. We could see everyone and shared our praise reports and prayer requests. They also sang a prayer over us which was a huge blessing and encouraged us so much. You can see a video recording of that here:
The youth team were able to share from their experiences that Sunday morning; they also were able to show this video of some of the ministry that took place, which you can also see here:
Well we did not purchase a vehicle yet, but we did still return our rental car 9 days ago. This in itself has been a bit of an adventure. The public transportation in Costa Rica is inexpensive and pretty convenient. The only thing is: we live out where the public transportation does not venture! We have been able to get a few rides to town with Agustin and from there we have taken the bus. We did wait for about 45 minutes at what we thought was a bus stop. We soon realized that we needed to walk to the actual bus stop you see Matt sitting at in the picture bellow on the left, but only after two buses had passed us by without even slowing down to our waves!
One day we bought a fridge (hurray for fresh food!) and we were able to get a ride home with our fridge delivery! I was amazed that they were willing to wait for us while we finished our shopping at other stores, and returned for our fridge delivery and ride back home. Matt and I barely managed to both squeeze in the cab of the truck. I had my feet up and over on Matt’s lap due to the manual shifter. The delivery man was certainly surprised at our long bumpy road, but he did keep mentioning how beautiful the drive was, so it couldn’t have been too bad of an experience for him.
Two days ago we received a ride with Agustin to work on getting a bank account (more on that story in a moment) and we found a taxi to drive us back up the mountain. Not as inexpensive as a bus, but he did take us all the way home. I didn’t expect this since he had given us a flat rate at the beginning to take us to Caragral. We had planned to walk from there, but I think our driver was enjoying the views and the adventurous ride. At one point they were felling trees across the road and he was even alright with waiting through that! While it has been an adventure of faith not having our own vehicle way out here, we are both looking forward to when we are able to find and purchase our own vehicle.
Which leads me to our bank account, or our lack of a bank account. 😉 Agustin has been patiently collecting 5 different letters for us to open an account as foreigners. We would like this account so we can use their SinPay system, which is basically an account to account payment method. We have been putting off the purchase of the car to hopefully be able to use this payment method, rather than take $8,000 dollars, which is about 4,423,800 in colones, with us in cash out on the street. Yikes! So two days ago we returned to the bank with all our letters stamped and signed. The very patient employee worked through phone call after phone call for 2 hrs. She then let us know we would have better luck at a different bank. So a long morning, still no account, but we do have a very good and patient friend Agustin who is still working to find a way for us.
I have been able to teach the kids bible lessons twice, and I have been preparing for more. We get to see them here at the building twice a week! The kids are so sweet and open to learning. I have also been able to lead worship in music at these meetings which has also been a sweet time for me. I was so happy to stumble upon calvarycurriculum.org. Not only do they have a children’s Bible curriculum available online, they have it in Spanish too! Pastor Larry Enterline also has some recordings available on the site that teach how to use the curriculum in a way that encourages the kids to meet with God for themselves. In the teachings, he references a book written by Richard Bennett called Food For Faith. I was particularly excited to hear the reference, as that was my favorite and most impactful extra reading book I read while attending Calvary Chapel Bible College. Mr. Bennett’s goal in the book is to encourage simply meeting with God through the scriptures; this is an approach that Pastor Larry also encourages Sunday school teachers to use as they teach the Word of God to children. I hope to be able to use the curriculum starting this Saturday; we will see how it goes with my Spanish as it is a very interactive and conversational approach!
We have also gone to work on our house, sealing the floors and walls. We hope this will help to keep some of the bugs out and the warmth in! Thankfully the wind has finally died down, making sleeping much more enjoyable! 🙂 I also fixed our heater! I was looking at the fan blade inside and realized it was stuck on the heating coils. We were unable to open the heater as the screws were very strange and hard to get to, but I was able to slip a knife through the vents to push the fan blade and send it away from the coils. I unplugged it of course. 😉 So we also now have a working heater which is nice to get the chill out of our room when we first go in to sleep.
Speaking of sleep. Every morning we get an outstanding wake up call around 5:30. I haven’t discovered what kind of bird is so kind to sound as loud and as consistent as an alarm clock, but he sure is dependable. 😉
Matt has been working the past couple of days with Agustin and some other workers to cut down trees and manage the property surrounding the church. God has been faithful to keep them safe and Matt has really enjoyed working alongside others. He has been learning to communicate despite language barriers and has been picking up lots of useful vocabulary as well. In addition to the tree work, Matt has engineered some pvc pipes to help him with the watering here on the property. He is certainly relieved to have his watering time cut down.
We have also met some fun creatures including but not limited to: mountain coatis, giant spiders, birds, lizards, bats, ants, mosquitoes, and a super cute-hard-working donkey.
We also visited a coffee plant where I had the chance to reunite with a young lady I had met here in Costa Rica about 5 years ago. I had helped her learn how to use their new espresso machine; she remembered me and it was a fun reunion.
We’re extremely grateful for all that has happened in these past two weeks since our last update and we are looking forward to what the next weeks hold for us as well.