Thursday, January 31, 2013

Another beautiful day in the Orosi Valley. The 2013 GOM Team is located at the mission station called El Jardin Sagrado. It took me some time to memorize the name. I like to wake up early, have my Bible reading outside, and enjoy the unbeatable taste of the Costa Rico coffee. Flowers on many trees, banana trees, exotic plants, the gentle noise of a nearby river. For more information on the region you could to . Two other brothers Stanley and Fred were also early birds. Each morning I could hear them praying and praising Our amazing Creator and Saviour. They were waiting for Cookie behind the kitchen, there they shared Bible verses, Cookie in Spanish, the brothers in English. That’s the way they communicated; it is amazing the power the Bible as to unite people of different languages and background. Without the Bible these three men would never met and enjoy each other. That’s one additional reason why I love so much the Bible can do. I was always looking forward to see my dear friend Milton (bus driver). He helped me learn Spanish; and is joyful spirit was good for me. I truly miss you Milton, hope to see you one of those days. The day was quiet in the church. The local pastor was a serious type of man; he had dressed a table and made sure that everyone would hear the Gospel. That morning something stimulating took place, as I was waiting I felt a lot God’s presence. Later I heard a sister from the Team telling me that she did pray for me; I immediately ask her “When”. That as exactly the moment she did pray for me. I would like to share this quote from the book, “Principle of Effective Prayer”.
Prayer is the most…Wonderful privilege. Sacred duty. Precious rights. Simple activity. Powerful weapon. Mysterious blessing.
God has given to His children

The day was very different than yesterday; and I am thankful to the Lord. Because yesterday had been a demanding day emotionally; we carry a treasure in us (2 Cor.6:6), but our body is also very weak. I tried to reach out to two teens with a young man who knew English, but their body language was shouting ‘not interest’. Then I had a conversation with that young ‘Christian’ man, only to learn that he was disillusioned with the churches, so he decided to be an agnostic. It is so important for us Christians, especially those in a Leadership position to always be filled with the Holy Spirit and to behave with humility. I remembered that Isaac’s father mention that he wanted to come to the medical clinic, so I ask Isaac were was the father. Not too long after his father came, so I ask him how he was today, check if he remember the story about the Wordless Book, he did (that was encouraging). Then I invite him to go to the clinic, but he declines. I wonder why, why not take advantage of a free consultation. Since it is a small town were everyone know each other, maybe also because of a damage reputation; maybe he didn’t want to face the crowd. So I ask him, if I went with him would he come to the clinic. Without hesitation he answer ‘yes’; so we went. Then something very interesting happens; one of the two teen that was the least interested in my story, came and sat right beside Isaac father and told me that he was a friend of the family. He introduces himself, and try hard to establish a relationship. There are times where we have to ‘declare’ the Gospel, and in other time where we have to ‘demonstrate’ the Gospel. This was a proof that it was the time to demonstrate love to a man who is precious in God eyes, enough valuable to send His own son to die for Gerardo Francisco. I read his morning in my devotion this word, “God who is impassioned for His people and who ultimately sends His Son to die for them so that they can be saved from themselves.”
Oh! How I wish I could communicate better in Spanish, so I could connect with Lennin. I need to improve my Spanish to be better next opportunity God gave me. So, I sat beside Isaac’ father for about 1 1/2 hours without any conversation, people of the village looking at us, yet I was so happy to do this for Isaac. God loves that man way more than I do. That same God love you too.
That evening I went back to El Jardin with a heart fill with gratefulness to God, for allowing me to be there in Costa Rica and experience such a moment.

Wenesday, January 30, 2013

Today’s destination was Cachi. It is a small town in the Orosí Valley. It lies near the eastern bank of the man-made Lake Cachí, created by the damming of the Reventazon River. The town lies in an area rich with green coffee plantations, with a sugar mill dated to the early twentieth century.  Cachí contains an Evangelical Church called Espiritu de Vida. This is where we went to minister to that community.

Cachi will always be very special to my heart for several reasons.

First, because many good Tico friends come from Cachi. Arturo who is heavily involved in  El Jardin Sagrado, the energetic Marco, and my dear Isaac. If I miss anyone I truly apologize. Please let me know.

Second, because of Isaac’s dad who didn’t have an easy life,  who on that Wenesday on the stairs across the church did the prayer to receive Jesus in his heart. What  blessing it has been to Isaac! The next day I went with Isaac to visit the home where he grew up, there I met his dad for the last time. Before leaving we prayed for Isaac’s father; on our way back to the church, Isaac told me that i was the first time he saw his dad crying. God was certainly working in this father’s heart.

Finally, Cachi will stay close to my heart because of what happen to another member of the translation team.  That day God had a wonderful blessing ready for Javier’s family. He introduces me to his sister,and  mom.  Later his grandma also joins us. I ask them if they would lik to know why I came to visit their country. They say they would like to know; so I show them the Wordless Book and explain it to them. When the moment came to invite them to respond to God’s offer of forgiveness through Jesus sacrifice for our sin, they all responded affirmatively. That moment was very high in emotions, God’s presence was so manifest, Javier had to be replace because of the emotions involved, Isaac took over the translation. What a blessing to be a witness of God’s mighty power at work in the lives of so many members of the same family all at once. Apostle Paul experince it often and he was in a good position to write in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ (Gospel). It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes.” At this point the words of the apostle Paul would be very appropriate, “I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building” (1 Co 3:6–9). As the GOM leader told us at the beginning of the mission trip, this is a Team work, it certainly include all those who did work previously. These are the reasons why Cachi is so special to my heart, and will be for ever.

The first morning the Children Ministry had a serious problem. They had a beautiful large soccer field, but no children. So a small team was sent to bring in the children. It was a door to door personal invitation to have their children come for some good fun time. Thank God we did that because that way Isaac’s sister was also invited, that means that his dad had come to bring his girl. It was a great way to get a direct contact with the people of that community. What impress me concerning that community was how clean tey keep their little town.

As we were seeking lst soul, the ministry was taking place at the church. The medical team installed the pharmacy in the church kitchen, you should see the one Million $ view. It needs a picture to describe the view. I don’t have to tell you how the nurses enjoyed it! Much, much more could be said, but I will stop here. As usual we drove back to our ‘home’ El Jardin Sagrado; after Supper each team was eager to share what God did. That night I enjoyed so much hearing Javier and Isaac testimonies. They were so happy to tell what God had done in their family and their own life.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

p>Time is running too fast! Only a few more days before packing back to Canada. I really don’t feel ready to go back home, because I just love it so much here. I love the place, the people, what I am doing, and o course the agreeable weather. People are respectful to my person, and the work I do. I am starting to become more used to the language, sometimes I am even surprised to understand a few words here and there. I feel more confident when I approach people; animated with one desire, to see then responding to the Gospel invitation. It is why am’ I here! I most confess that I am starting to really delight in what I am doing. What a remarkable privilege to serve here in this attractive country. I think I wouldn’t have any trouble living here for the rest of my life. A man who previously received Jesus, came and asked me to go chat with his sick brother. What do you say to a man who is bipolar! I ask Javier if he could translate for me; and ask God to help detect what to say! Nervously I prayed for him. Not sure I did a good job, God know’s. What I can say, it wasn’t easy.

At the end of the day, I wanted to see Dr. Longworth and have some private time with him. Outside the building near his car, I told him that in the mid-eighties I went to Kandi in Bénin to replace a missionary by the name Jim Longworth. To my stupefaction he answer me that Jim was his brother. What a small world!

Before closing this day, I need to add another interesting encounter that took place. There near the pharmacie was a father who was waiting with is three children. While speaking with him, I notice that he had some Biblical knowledge. At the beginning he was a little distant, but progressively a spiritual interest seemed to resurface. Gradually we were able to re-examine various points of the Gospel. Then I realized that he was a born again believer. So I redirect the conversation on how to have an insurance of his salvation. That give the impression to bring some consolation to his heart. What we must understand is, when we meet a person we never know were that person stand in respect to God. Some might be ready to receive Him as their personal Saviour, other are more agnostic toward Him, many would just have no interest at all at hat point of their life. No meeting will ever be the same, so it is vital to depend on the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Already last week! The first two days were in a local church in Cartago not to far from the Iglesia Verde. This a very well organize church; the pastor was very happy to receive a book “The Stranger” by John Cross in Spanish. This man shared his vision for the local church; a man of vision who care for its own people. I meat many charming people; Maria from Nicaragua, Coty son of a pastor (I really enjoyed my time with Coty, a sweet young man always smiling, a good example of what are many pastors kids), Yamir (who ask me to become is Father-in-law). It’s the day that I spoke to the male translators what should be the relationship between Christians girls and Christians guys. I used three Scriptures to exhort them to respect sisters in the Lord: 1Tim. 5:2; Gal.5:16; 1 John 4:4. 

Because I had access to translators, we saw more result than any other churches. About nine people made the prayer to receive the Lord as their personal Saviour.  Praise God!I also had a good time with Manuel, and the brother of Manuel. 

From that church we had a great view of Irazu volcano. It is the highest active volcano in Costa Rica. From the top it is possible to see both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans on a clear day.