Thursday, June 25, 2009


Here is a video that our new friend Derek Davis of Davis Productions produced for us during our first outreach here in San José. It does a great job of capturing what God is doing. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


We received a phone call from our lawyer yesterday telling us that our residency paperwork has been approved! Praise God!! Thank you to all of you who have been praying for this process. We still need to get our cedulas (similar to a social security card), but we should have them this month. Being residents will make many of life's tasks simpler and allow us to do things like have a phone line in our name. It also means that we don't have to leave the country every few months to renew a tourist visa. So needless to say we are excited, overjoyed, and relieved to have our paperwork approved. Now we are just waiting on our Non-Profit Association paperwork to go through.

First Team in San José

This last week we hosted our first team in San José! We had 13 college students and young adults working with us. They worked alongside our staff team in 3 or 4 (depending on how you count) ministry sites. A few worked with Jeremy in extending a roof line, refinishing a table, and remodeling a bathroom in the house of a Tica missionary who hosts Bible studies, women's groups, and a sewing workshop in her home. A few others worked with Cailah in Las Fuentes in varies projects such as visiting the elderly and shut-ins, promoting and starting a tutoring program, and in doing various tasks around the church we are partnering with. The last bunch worked with Tracey and Krysta at the daycare center loving on kids, reading to them, baking cookies with them, and playing with play dough. They also helped at the kid's club.

What is my job while teams are here? I work to make sure the logistics of housing, transportation, and caring for the team members are taken care of. I also fill in at various ministry sites when extra help is needed or a staff member has something come up that they need to take care of. My main job is working hard to make sure that our staff and students are in a position where they can encounter God and can carry out what God has called them to do.

With this team I was privileged to facilitate several morning and evening times with them. One of my favorite questions to ask students while they are here is, "What is God teaching you?" So it was appropriate when at our final banquet Adam asked, "So Jeff what has God been teaching you during this outreach?" My response was two fold. It is easy to get caught up in the programing aspect of what I do in planning outreaches and ministry activities. It is easy to focus more on the program than the people for whom the program is for. God reminded me that the program is not important, but the people are what is important. Secondly, the outreach was a confirmation of my/our calling to Students International Costa Rica. I am passionate about the poor and the people we are privileged to serve here in Costa Rica and I am also passionate about students and giving them a chance to encounter God here hoping that encounter will transform their lives. Watching those two passions come together during an outreach is unbelievable. The late nights and early mornings are more than worth it when you see a student holding a child, finish a project, or teaching an English phrase. I couldn't help but sit back and thank the Lord for allowing me to be a small part of what He is doing here.

Verde is...

This morning as Sawyer was pulling on his green socks he looked up and said, "Verde is green in English." Uh not quite. To be honest I am not sure how much of a difference there is n Sawyer's mind between English and Spanish. He knows that some people speak one way to him and others another way, but often he looks at me like I've lost my mind (which I may have) when I ask him to say something in Spanish. It is not that he doesn't know the words, but I'm not sure he knows that he speaks two languages.

Depending on your perspective we may have given up a lot by moving to Costa Rica. Are there things we miss? You bethca! (That's for all our readers in MN!) However, there are more things that we wouldn't trade for the world. One of them is our children having the opportunity to be bilingual. I love watching them speak Spanish with each other, or playing with Tico kids at the park. I also chuckle when someone makes a comment about them on the street thinking that Olivia and Sawyer can't understand what they are saying only for Olivia and/or Sawyer to respond. And did I mention that Olivia and Sawyer have near perfect Spanish accents? I am more than a little jealous, and I probably will be even more jealous when their Spanish is better than mine.