Saludos de Costa Rica!
This week marks the one month anniversary of calling this vibrant nation our home, and the time has flown quickly. So much life has been packed into four brief weeks: moving, traveling, settling into a new house; adjusting, stretching, embracing a previously unknown way of life. As a family we have felt such a rich coating of grace through the entire process, and we are incredibly grateful. However, that’s not to say we haven’t experienced a few challenges! Leaving the U.S. presents its share of difficulties, both physically and emotionally, not to mention the adjustments that come with living in an emerging nation such as scorpion stings, sweltering heat and language barriers. As we work to settle in, we are daily reminding ourselves of the Lord’s calling and purpose for our family in this beautiful land, and we are pressing through the challenges to reach the joy of His fulfilled destiny in our lives.
We began our journey by moving out of our cottage in San Clemente and packing all of our household goods into a couple of PODS. (The home we were previously renting is going up for sale, but we’ll still need a few possessions when we return, as our plan is to live in the States six months of each year.) We then stuffed 19 bags — 8 suitcases, 4 boxes, two surfboard bags, four backpacks and one dog kennel — to the limit and managed to get everything, including ourselves, aboard a plane traveling to San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. Two days later we arrived at Pilon de Pavones (an 8 hour journey from the capital) and began to set up house. At that point we had a huge learning curve in discovering how to manage the shopping and traveling in our area, as our remote location is separated from the nearest grocery market by a 30 minute intensely bumpy dirt road… Missionary Training 101!
After a few weeks of setting up house, experiencing memorable shopping adventures and getting into the swing of daily life (which for Tiffany and Landon includes homeschooling), it was time to jump into the real meat… outreach! For months CRSSM has had pastors all over Costa Rica asking us to send teams to their churches to minister to their congregations. With the arrival of our family and the addition of our Costa Rican teammate and interpreter, Eric Lopez, as well as Steve and Judi Hertzog, the founders of CRSSM, our team of seven excitedly launched our first official outreach of 2016 last weekend.
As with many of our outreaches, this current one is focused on connecting with several different churches, pouring out the love of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit through worship, teaching and ministry. Although we are few in number, the Holy Spirit has been moving in mighty ways, bringing powerful words of teaching and exhortation, prophetic edification, amazing healing and beautiful freedom to bodies, souls and spirits! One quick testimony: a couple had come to the Saturday night service feeling spiritually dry; in fact, the husband had told the Lord that if He was truly able to work in mighty power, He would send someone to speak an encouraging word to him. The evening nearly passed without anyone approaching him, leaving him discouraged and disappointed; however, at the very end of the service one of our teammates was given a very accurate word of knowledge and prophecy specifically for this couple. They left amazed, thankful to Jesus, and confirmed in the Father’s incredible love for them. In addition, we have witnessed God completely healing all types of physical ailments (hernias, intestinal pain, arthritis and so much more!) and setting precious hearts free from the lies of the enemy. God is so good!
Also on the ministry front, our dormitory is almost complete and ready to house outreach teams. From the time we arrived in Pilon de Pavones, construction has been going on directly behind our home to complete CRSSM’s first dorm building. This humble structure will be able to house teams of up to twenty folks, and we are itching to put it to work and host our first ministry group! The need is great, and our desire is to see many believers who have a heart to release the love of Jesus over the nations to join us and serve the people of Costa Rica. Check out the website for more information and outreach dates.
We are so very grateful for your love and support. It is because of your intercession, financial generosity and faithful friendship that we are able to serve the people of Costa Rica, bringing the love of Jesus to a needy nation. Thank you for your partnership in the work of the Kingdom!
Grace and peace,
(Pictured above: enjoying a few hours of cool weather in the mountains of Panama)