Tag Archives: Costa Rica

The Costa Rican Goodbye Tour Begins

We have been studying Spanish here in Costa Rica for nine months. The school we have been studying at attracts mostly Christian missionaries. In the time we have been here we have made friends with some very special people. In one month (June 25th) we are leaving for La Ceiba, Honduras. So it is time to start saying goodbye to some of the great friends we have met while here.
 
Kelly Kim over for lunchOn Sunday we had Kelly Kim over for lunch after church. Kelly is a great Christian gal from Virginia. She has felt God pulling her towards international Christian service but, doesn’t know where. She decided to come here and learn Spanish while she is trying to figure it out. We attend the same Costa Rican church with Kelly and have served together teaching ESL classes and working with the kids in La Carpio.
 
On Saturday we ate dinner at the home of the Wright family.  Steve, Jamie and their three boys are serving as missionaries here in Costa Rica. Ironically, they lived 30 minutes from us in California, but, we first met them here in Costa Rica. We have enjoyed their friendship and humor.
 
On Friday we had dinner and played games with Bryan and Cheryl Newberry. Bryan is the Pastor of Calvary Chapel San Diego.  They have taken a year to come here and study Spanish to better communicate with the large number of Spanish speakers in Southern California.
 

Part of the missionary life is that you get numerous opportunities to meet great, Christ-honoring people and then have to say goodbye to them. We know that in many cases we will never see many of these people on earth again. While it is sad to say goodbye we are pleased to have had the opportunity to meet such people of character. The goodbye tour continues…

Oh The Places You’ll Go

As of tomorrow we are one month away from moving to La Ceiba, Honduras (June 25th).  For the few of you who have been along for the ride from the beginning you know that it has been a long journey.  It has been over three years since Mike took Erin out to dinner and so smoothly popped the question, “So, what do you think about doing this missionary thing fulltime?”  To which Erin responded, “What took you so long?”

We sent in applications to MTW 36 months ago, prayerfully accepted God’s call to go to Honduras 27 months ago, started our training and evaluation 26 months ago, sold our house 23 months ago, quit our jobs 18 months ago, started support raising 17 months ago, left California for Costa Rica to study Spanish 9 months ago…and now here we are…one month away from moving to Honduras.

We are sitting in our little apartment in San Jose, Costa Rica planning goodbye meals with new friends, thinking about packing (but, not actually doing it), getting our vast amount of immigration documents together, bringing our Spanish study to an end, and praying, planning and theorizing about the future.

The last three years seems like one major decision or action followed by another.  The important thing that we take away from the past three years is the ease in which it has all occurred.  Quitting jobs, selling belongings, being trained and evaluated, raising support, leaving friends and learning Spanish should not have been this easy.  God has really coddled us for the past three years and made our way smooth.  Let’s pray it continues.

Fifty Days Of Prayer – 2008

50 Days of Prayer devotional and prayer guideThe Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) puts on the “Fifty Days of Prayer for the PCA”.  In 2008 the 50 days of prayer goes from May 1 to June 19.  In support of this effort Michael Ross produces a devotional and prayer guide to focus the hearts and prayers of those involved.  This year’s devotional is called “Men, Message and Ministry: A Charge to the Rising Generation” and can be downloaded for free from here.

This year the devotional reflects on the Pastoral Epistles, with weekly introductions by some of the PCA’s founding fathers.  Each day of the devotional includes prayer requests from the six PCA agencies, so that we can join in prayer for the entire PCA.  The prayer topics include praying for the seminary students, missionaries, domestic church planting efforts, doctrinal issues, spiritual training and more.

Each year our family prays through this devotional and joins with thousands of others worldwide in making this a priority for 50 days.  With the help of our home church (read: Mindy Hertzell) not only were we able to get a copy for ourselves, we were even able to provide copies of the devotional to the five other MTW missionaries that are here in Costa Rica studying Spanish with us.

Continuing certain family traditions keeps us plugged into home.

Church On A Mission

We have been asked what church is like for us in Costa Rica.  Well…it is a touch complicated, but, let’s go for it.
 
For almost nine months we have been attending Iglesea Christiana Berrea. This is a Spanish speaking Costa Rican church. The service is 2 ½ hours.  We start with an hour of contemporary Spanish songs, have prayer and announcements in the middle and conclude with an hour long message.  Every word is in Spanish. While this is becoming less of a problem, in the beginning it was very difficult.  The pastor is currently preaching a series on forgiveness. We enjoy this church and will miss it when we leave.
 
In the afternoon we get together with our teammates the McCanns for “gringo church” in our apartment or theirs.  We sing a few songs, pray for our families and Team Honduras, and then we have a Bible lesson.  Currently, Sean and Mike are taking turns leading our families through the book of Esther.  After gringo church we socialize and eat dinner together.
 
Both of our weekly church services are important to us.  We need to fellowship and learn the Latin culture, but, we also need study time we can COMPLETELY understand.  We will continue this weekly routine when we move to Honduras and when our team grows in size.  Both Spanish church and gringo church are important parts of our weekly walk.

Sharpening Our Spanish Skills

Alejandra RomeroYesterday we started the final leg of our formal Spanish study in Costa Rica.  Erin had her first tutoring session with Gedira, one of her teachers from last semester.  Mike started tutoring with Ale. Ale was a teacher for Erin in first semester and a teacher for Mike in Spanish study programssecond semester.  We have both grown to love Ale. We have had meals with her, gone to soccer games with her, done ministry work with her and become friends.  She is hard and no nonsense and will push Mike in his Spanish.
 
We also entered into informal studies with Spanish software.  These programs are not perfect, but, they are great supplements to formal learning.  We both plan on spending a little time each day going through the self directed, self paced lessons. They are great for review. Used on their own they would be very hard to pick up much More Then A Carpenter by Josh McDowell in SpanishSpanish.
 
In addition we both began reading Spanish language books. Erin picked up a few children’s classics.  They are all books she is familiar with, but, not in Spanish.  Mike picked up “More Then A Carpenter” by Josh McDowell. This is the first book Mike ever read as a Christian, more then 18 years ago.  It will be fun to have it also be the first Spanish book he ever reads.  Our teachers have told us that reading is a great way to make all that knowledge click.