Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Shiroles #2

Let's back up a little and we'll tell you about our second outreach in Shiroles, Talamanca, CR. We were there with a high school group this time, and they were hard workers. They finished the projects that the first group began, as well as beginning a project to filter spring water and bring it into the community. Here are some pictures that will assist in telling the story of our week.

The kids taking advantage of some front-porch seating--the carseats got cleaned and went outside when the crumbs started attracting ants. . .

Olivia and some new friends. Our house and girls dorm are in
the background.

Jeff is hard at work here loading rock and sand into the cement mixer. This group is pouring floor for a dorm for the seminary and future work teams.

Sawyer and his "novias" (girlfriends). Seriously, these girls were a huge blessing! They loved our kids and entertained them at every opportunity!

Like I said. . .every opportunity.

These guys are fertilizing the experimental community garden. If successful, Shiroleans will be able to sell produce as well as learn methods of maintaining family gardens.

Olivia and Gabriel. This was our last night in Shiroles. They were sitting by the outdoor oven, waiting for homemade pizza!

We love you all! More updates to come!

Happy Birthday Sawyer! (June 25)

Sawyer followed Big Sister's footsteps by having his first birthday outside of the US. We celebrated his number 1 at Pizza Hut on Sunday with those who were left after the outreach that ended that day. Though he was fairly clueless, the staff sang a rousing "Feliz Cumpleanos," and brought him a piece of cake with a candle, and, most importantly, we took pictures. He took his first steps last week as well. Oh yes, and we went to Mc Donald's last night (nothing like soaking in the local culture, is there?), and Sawyer was able to crawl up and down the slide; Mom and Dad are a little frightened by what his next accomplishments might be. :)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Lo Hicimos (We Did It): Week 1 in CR

It feels like we have been in Costa Rica for longer than a week and a half. We have been busy, but in a fairly laid-back way. . .if that makes sense! We spent our first couple of nights at a place called "Elijah's Cave" in Heredia with a ministry called Pura Vida Missions. Then it was off to the rain forest near Shiroles (Caribbean side) with the teams that came. The students worked at various sites, all supporting the work of Curtis and Cathy Sharp who are missionaries there. Some taught English at a school, some went with Cathy to visit women in the community, and others worked on projects around the base like digging a well, constructing new dorms and breaking up land for a community garden. There was also a medical team that helped at a mobile clinic. The students were great and it was exciting to see God work through them. A highlight was a 3 1/2 hour climb up (literally UP) a somewhat muddy mountain to distribute food to Cabecar Indians living in a remote village called San Miguel. Yes, ALL of us Dixons made the climb. Jeff carried Olivia in a back pack carrier the WHOLE way up and down. Sawyer hitched a ride with "Macho" who ran up and down the trail to keep him happy. (He is our new hero.) This climb is the reason for the title of this entry. I, Tracey, had many doubts about going at all (much less with O and S), but with the gentle pushing of my husband, I, too, was able to convince my feet to keep moving until the end, and the kids enjoyed the ride. Next time, though, I think I will train a bit before I go! Anyway, lo hicimos.

Another highlight for me was sharing at a girls Bible Study one afternoon. Many of the women and girls in the area are victims of abuse and other injustices. So I felt led to share with them God's heart for women. We looked at Gal.3:28 and the passage in Luke where Christ heals the hemmorraging woman and raises Jairus' daughter. My prayer is that they will cling to the love God has for them and that the transforming work Jesus wants to do in them and through them will not be inhibited by their position as females.

Jeff, I have to say, did an excellent job at helping facilitate the outreach. He was also able to pitch in with some of the construction of the new dorms. And Olivia and Sawyer had a fun time playing, exploring and working their way into the hearts of everyone they came into contact with.

Pictures will follow soon, as we were not expecting this opportunity to write so are unable to upload pictures at the moment. Tomorrow (Sunday the 17th) we will be going back to Shiroles with a team that arrived last night.