Viewing entries tagged
Costa Rica

Grecia Lightning

I sent my last team home 5 days ago before spending 3.5 hours in Denny's and sending Tyrel home; all before 8:30 in the am.

The team got in on Friday the 7th. Our orientation lasted 24 hours and we headed to Grecia Saturday. We spent the rest of the day with our families. Joe and I were with the pastor and his wife and kids-- two awesome young men that have a lot going for them. But they're also struggling in their faith.

Sunday we played soccer in the morning, had a time of relaxation back at the church, and then in the evening we joined them for worship. I translated, while Jeff, the youth pastor, gave me the material.

The mornings throughout the week were taken with construction, as we helped to build some aulas Sunday school rooms. Mixing cement and laying cinder blocks were the main duties. But even with such a small team, eight, plus the two missionaries, we had plenty of time to hang out with those that were around.

Monday evening we held a meeting for the leaders in the church and talked about missions and that they start right there in Grecia, reaching out to those around you.

Tuesday was our long day. After constructing in the morning, in the afternoon we held a children's activity at the community room. There were clowns and games for the children to enjoy. For our craft, the team brought down some bracelets with different colored beads on them. Jeff talked briefly about the colors and their significance before we let them loose. One family that was there showed up at the church that night, that had never been before.

Growing up Presbyterian, I had never really been there before. The pastor held what he called a "service of ministration". Translation? Healing. He oiled up our palms and we prayed for just about everyone in the building. Some fell, others wept. It was pretty powerful and interesting.

Wednesday was work again in the morning and just a regular service in the evening. Not knowing what the protocol was until about 15 minutes before the service, as the group walked in the door, I asked four of them to share their testimonies. They were all well received by the congregation and despite all their nervousness the group members did wonderful.

Thursday afternoon the women had a women's time, where they did womanly stuff--I don't know what they did there. The men had a meeting that night, where we did manly stuff--I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. Jeff talked about what it means to be a man and about generational sin--sin that gets passed down from father to son to grandson and what it means to stop that sin. It was a very powerful time for the men of the church.

Friday we went to the Poás Volcano. I had never been there and it was a really special thing that the pastor took us up there. We had a great time crammed in the van and eating lunch and then some craft shoppinng in nearby Sarchí. That night was the Farwell service which was tearful as usual. A great time for everybody.

We headed out the morning of Saturday and had a great time relaxing and reflecting at the beach, but we forgot our tool boxes back in Grecia, so the church came out to see us, which tugged at some heart-strings again, but was over all a joyful time.

The team headed out that Monday morning at the literal crack of dawn. And my time of team leading came to a close. Please continue to pray for me as my transition here at home continues and I'll update more shortly.

Second to last....

I have been meaning to update my blog, but I haven't had internet in my house for about 3 weeks now and I'm just barely hanging on as it is with my emails.... But so I can let you know how some things went here's a quick update.

I had my second to last team 3 weeks ago and it went great, after a few hang ups at the beginning. We worked with Ronald and his ministry out in Guarari and in a local church we had services every night. We helped with the kid's clubs and the feeding program. Everybody was great!

After moving around a few times, I finally found a house that I could live in. I'm still in the same area and the family is great. They've lived in the States and also were missionaries in Mexico for some time.

Tyrel and I went to Manuel Antonio last weekend. Neither of us had ever been there. The monkeys would come right up to you. It was like living in a zoo.

Last night to celebrate the fourth of July, some of us younger missionaries went to Denny's and gorged ourselves till we had to be rolled out of the place. It was rather disgusting the amount of food we ate, but strangely satisfying at the same time.

I have my last team coming in on Friday and we'll be working with a church in Grecia, just outside of San Jose. I'm excited for them. Please be praying for us!

I'm almost done down here, so please be praying for my last 3 weeks here. It has been a wonderful year and I've learned a lot.

Updating 2.0

So, to continue my strings of much needed updates, I once again begin again.

Back at the beginning of May I had to renew my visa. I was thinking about not worrying about it, but my visa has to be valid for me to drive here and my parents were coming the second week of May. I decided to go to Bocas del Toro, Panama to enjoy the clear waters and to study up for my talk I was giving that Thursday. After taking a bus to the border, I crossed took a taxi to the water taxi. Took the water taxi to another boat and took that to another Isla Carneros Carneros Island.

There I spent half of the days on the beach and the other half in Colossians 1:15-20. The time there was very relaxing and I had some good food, which is essential to any good vacation. Really good food is essential to a good day, but...

So Wednesday rolls around and it's time for me to head back across. I began by catching the wrong boat, so I had to pay extra for the taxi to the border. I get to the Panama border, no problems. I go to the Costa Rican authorities and they ask me if I have a plane ticket. I do, but not on my person. But I can show my itinerary online. No need, they won't let me in anyway. WHAT? Something to the fact of I had overstayed my visas twice in 12 months and can't come back in to Costa Rica for a year! Umm. There has to be a mistake. We "discuss" back and forth. Nothing. They show me a sheet that has the "law" on it, but I'm not even sure anything was actually printed on it. So after trying my luck a few times, asking to talk to a higher up, and talking to Kellie back in San José, I decide the best thing for me to do is to try another means. Heading back to Bocas was the second half of the day, hoping that I could catch a flight from there to San José directly. Not till Thursday.

I ate well that night and just relaxed. Nothing that I can do to change the situation. In the morning I'm able to get the flight. One hour, minus the time change. We actually landed before we took off. Now I just have to see what immigration is going to do. STAMP STAMP. STAMP STAMP. "Bienvenidos a Costa Rica." YES! But wait, who's this guy asking me to come with him now? Taking my passport, he goes to a back room. Then coming back out asks me if I have a flight reservation. He cuts me off. No, with us, NatureAir. AH, here's my receipt. A few more moments pass and then he lets me go. He was an employee with NatureAir, just making sure I had actually paid for the flight, since I wasn't on his original flight plan. No worries, I had.

Back in Costa Rica, I had two days to settle myself before my parents came. They flew in on Saturday. We spent a day in San José visiting old friends, before heading out to Monteverde, the cloud forest and eventually Playa Junquillal, the beach. Both were great. I had a great time with my family. They were very refreshing to be with and to enjoy some of CR on someone else's dime! They were only here a week though and left on Mother's Day. At least I got to be around my mother for that day.

I spoke that next Thursday. The Wednesday night I sat down to write out my outline and had a really difficult time doing it, so I went to bed still not knowing exactly how it would go. In the shower the next morning, I decided I'd do it in a Bible study format, the group as a whole going through the passage. I started that way, but then changed back to preaching. I talked about how we work in these areas that are called Christ the King and Sacred Family, but were drugs are ruining peoples lives. So how are we different in going in there than other social organizations? We offer these people Christ, through whom these places were created, by whom they are governed and through whom they are reconciled. I felt like it went pretty well and most of the feedback was the same. A recent preacher I heard, analogized preaching with driving a clutch. You just do it till you learn. I finally feeling like I'm driving with semi-confidence I know which gear to go into now.

I'm now preparing for a team to come on Thursday. We'll be working in Guararí with the Transformations ministry, which Ronald runs. So be praying for us. It's a pretty tough neighborhood, so pray for our safety and that the power of Christ would be upon us in all that we do.

Continued thanks for all your support and prayers.

Mr. Lacey

Tyrel is down here for two months. He's been great to hang out with and I'm excited to see his excitement in all that he's doing. Go check out his blog His Glory... His Renown...Posted by Picasa

Updating 1.5.1

In respect to all the parties involved with the relationship between Veronica and I, I have removed what I had felt to be a respectful, but clear explanation of our relationship. In short, our relationship has ended. It was a great time of learning and joy for me and something that will be carried with me for the rest of my life. I want to apologize for any harm that I may have caused her or her family by my posting and again thank them for the great love and kindness that they showed me throughout our relationship.