Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December Newsletter

We hope and pray that you are enjoying a blessed Christmas season with friends and family. To see our latest newsletter click here or past this URL into your address bar: http://tinyurl.com/dixonwinter2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

This One is for the Grandmas

Grandma Dixon and Grandma 'Doot-doot' bought cute sibling shirts for the kids and we finally had our photo shoot. Let's just say that I know my calling is not to photograph children. . .

From Sib Shirts

From Sib Shirts

From Sib Shirts

From Sib Shirts

From Sib Shirts

Saturday, November 06, 2010


A little confirmation goes a long way! This week I had a chance to see confirmation first hand. Let me back up a bit. In September we opened the doors of our photography studio. The darkroom was all set, our staff member Dustin was ready to teach, cameras were ready to be used. We just lacked youth from La Capri coming to learn. A month later the darkroom was still ready, Dustin was even more prepared, and the cameras were gathering dust. We (mainly Dustin) continued to advertise and to find ways to make connections with youth to invite them to come. Then one day Dustin arrived at the studio and kids showed up wanting to learn.

So after a week of teaching the basics of how to operate a SLR camera, and about things like focus, aperture, and film speed the day finally arrived to take pictures. So on Tuesday I was privileged to spend the afternoon with Dustin and the kids he had been teaching, walking around La Capri taking pictures. It was amazing to see Dustin interact with these kids, who are on average 11 or 12 years old, teaching them how to take pictures. In a short time this little band of kids and Dustin have developed an obvious mutual admiration for each other and genuinely enjoyed being and learning together.

Each week Dustin will teach different techniques and they will have a different subject matter that they will shoot and discuss. The topic for this week "Trash in our community." The idea is to take pictures that tell a story and communicate something to the viewer. The idea is to not only teach these kids how to take and develop pictures, but also to teach them to think critically and to use their creativity, and ultimately to introduce them to their creator God. So on Tuesday I saw first hand a little confirmation that God is on the move in La Capri.

Here are a few pictures of Dustin and the kids taking the first pictures:

If you happen to have a SLR camera in your closet collecting dust and taking up space that you would like to donate let us know as we could use a couple more cameras.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

One Month!!

I can't believe how quickly a month has come and gone! While Jeff has been busy with all things SI, I have been resting and doing all things kid and baby-related. It's been fun to have a newborn again. I'm amazed at how much easier it feels this time around. I can't decide if it's because we finally know what we're doing, because Lynnea is a mellow baby (Thank you, Lord!), or because Olivia and Sawyer are older and more independent--and at school on weekdays. It's probably a combination of all those things. We decided a big factor is how well Lynnea sleeps; she's not sleeping through the night or anything, but she often sleeps in 3-6 hour stretches, which makes a HUGE difference for my life perspective each day! Anyway, she is a sweetheart and a blessing. I think we'll keep her. ;) Here are some current photos:

Silly Girl :)

From Lynnea 10/10

From Lynnea 10/10

I love this one!
From Lynnea 10/10

From Lynnea 10/10

Tummy Time
From Lynnea 10/10

Big Sister Olivia is a BIG helper!
From Lynnea 10/10

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lynnea Hope

Lynnea Hope Dixon arrived this afternoon at 1:17pm. She weighed in at 9ilbs 2 oz and was 21 inches long. Believe it or not this makes her the runt of the family. Both Tracey and Lynnea are doing great!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cute Little Bunny

Mother's Day is August 15 in Costa Rica and Sawyer's school put on a special luncheon, complete with a bunny dance, for all the mamas. It was very special, but mostly I wanted to post these adorable pictures of my Big Boy. :)

From Bunny Boy

From Bunny Boy

From Bunny Boy

10 years!

To celebrate our 10 year anniversary, Jeff and I went to a coffee finca (plantation) not far from San José, call Doka. We stayed at a cute little B&B and did a coffee tour the next day. It was a fun (and much needed!) little getaway. And it was so. . . GREEN and beautiful!

We had dinner at a restaurant overlooking the city

From 10 years together!

From 10 years together!

Some of the biggest Hydrangeas I've seen are in the mountains of CR
From 10 years together!

Doka sells about 60% of it's beans to Starbucks
From 10 years together!
From 10 years together!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Staff and Sites!!

As we were wrapping up the summer outreaches, we hired Cindy and Luis Diego as the first Tico staff to join SI-CR! We are so excited to have their family join our team. They bring a wealth of training and experience that line up exactly with where we feel God is leading us. They both have hearts to serve and had sensed several nudges (and pushes, they would say!) from the Lord to get more involved in ministry and use their skills and talents for the Kingdom. (I should say, too, that they have both been involved in leadership roles in Los Guido, where they live, already making a BIG difference in their community.) So, they approached us and began the process of applying for full-time staff. Luis Diego took a leap of faith and left a well-paying job, and is now designing and launching a comprehensive sports program for youth in all three of the communities where SI serves. Soccer, of course, is the main sport, but plans include implementation of volleyball and a boy scout like program. Cindy, who was recently made 'presidenta' of a women's business cooperative in Los Guido, is working with Maria (intern applying for staff position, from Nicaragua) to design a micro-finance ministry site for women, that will also spread to all three of "our" communities. The idea is to form small groups of women that will apply for small business loans, to coach them in biblical principles of stewardship and business management, and to support them in practical ways so they can support their families and discover the gifts and callings God has given them.

We are really excited about the way that God brought Cindy and Luis Diego to us, and about the great things God is doing, and will do, through them here in Costa Rica. Please pray for them:

*Against spiritual attack--since beginning the process of joining us, they have experienced spiritual attack like never before, including a physical assault a few weeks ago (Cindy--p.s. she okay and the guys were caught!). They are taking it all as confirmation that they heard the Lord correctly--but please pray for their safety, for their daughter Hannuka (5), that God would guard their hearts, minds and bodies. The darkness does not like the light--and they have chosen to press against darkness, making themselves targets.

*For the launching of their ministry sites. God is opening doors and making connections like crazy--but there are always obstacles and frustrations, too. Pray for a smooth road and the removal of obstacles!

*Support. Right now, Cindy and Luis Diego will receive a salary from SI, but will be working to raise support over the next several months. Pray for this process, that the right people will be excited to join them in this adventure through financial support.

*English. Both Cindy and Luis Diego speak a bit of English, but will be starting classes through a local seminary next month. Please pray that it would come quickly to them--pronunciation is especially difficult for most non-native speakers.

Summer Teams Summary

How is it that time passes so quickly between blogposts?? Ah, well, anyway, just wanted to give a quick summary of what went on with our teams this summer. We hosted 5 outreaches from the end of May to the beginning of August. We had teams from PA, CA, WA, and VA, plus a few scattered individuals. We had 8 interns that also spanned the globe, including 2 from Nicaragua. Our teams worked hard this year doing several things. Some of the students worked at our new Photography Studio in La Capri, readying it for Dustin Woida to begin teaching classes. Some helped launch the Wood Shop in Los Guido with Jeremy Janzen and worked alongside youth from the community to do simple wood projects. Others supported Krysta Williams at the Tutoring Center with her ongoing tutoring and mentoring of kids from Los Guido. And still others worked with Cailah Pritchard in Las Fuentes doing a myriad of activities in the community including tutoring/games, sports, aerobics for women, and baking for and visiting elderly ladies in the area. It was a busy few months, and we were all thankful to have interns to help with some of the logistics of transportation, translating, and being a bridge for our sites between the community and students. Jeff spent a lot of time running around and making sure things ran smoothly, arranged for logistics, tried to maintain all the office and paperwork that didn't magically disappear like we were hoping :), and even led a construction project at the church where the tutoring center is (they remodeled 2 bathrooms--good thing he helped Uncle Ken do ours in CA a few years ago!). I held down the fort and played hostess to all of our teams during orientation, cultural activities, and when our staff brought their groups over to work on various projects here at the house/office.

Our kids, incidentally, LOVE having teams here, and try to be as involved as possible (read: they made LOTS of new friends. :)) They loved being able to go to the beach a couple of times with teams, to fly kites at Parque la Paz, and have the teams at our house to hang out. We keep telling them that the teams don't come just to play with them. . . I don't know if they believe us, but at least the students serve as good role models for Olivia and Sawyer! And this is important when you have a daughter who is 6 going on 14!

Anyway, our prayers for our teams (students, adults, leaders) are that God would continue the good work he has begun in them (whether before or during their time here). That they will see the world with bigger, more God-like eyes, and that they will allow God to transform them more into the image of Christ and discover more about the true calling he has placed on their lives--to love and follow him, and to serve others in whatever area of life or vocation they may be in (or end up in someday). We pray that they will not wrap their time in CR up in a little box and keep it separate from everything else they do. We pray that it permeates all their families, churches, high schools, universities and job sites--and that they realize they have the same calling in their everyday lives as they did while they were here with us.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Summer Newsletter

Click on this link to see our latest newsletter: Summer 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Sawyer, sporting his many layers of pjs:

From Fam Pic/Lost Teeth

Olivia, sporting her toothless smile:
From Fam Pic/Lost Teeth

For the Record

Here's a belly shot from last night after our team banquet: 32 1/2 weeks!

From Fam Pic/Lost Teeth

While the Savior's team was here. . .

. . . the kids got to spend a lot of time with their friend, Alissa. Here's some cute pictures of their time together:

At the children's museum feeling a simulated earthquake

From Olivia, Sawyer and Alissa

Water Play
From Olivia, Sawyer and Alissa

Pilot Sawyer
From Olivia, Sawyer and Alissa

Watching a Movie
From Olivia, Sawyer and Alissa

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

As if there wasn't enough going on. . .

. . .the same day as the McDonald's birthday extravaganza, Olivia was also involved in two events at our church. She was part of a worship dance with a group of girls, and then a parade of nations (the ones represented in the church) to complete a month of focus on missions.

From Olivia's Church Dance and Parade of Nations

See the cute little prairie girl? She was told to wear "traditional" US clothing--whatever that means.
From Olivia's Church Dance and Parade of Nations


Olivia's and Sawyer's birthdays just happen to conflict/coincide with our busiest time of year. This year, a big party seemed way too ambitious to pull off, so we opted for a very Costa Rican birthday at McDonald's (you think I'm joking, but actually parties like this are very popular). I made cupcakes for each of their classes at school the week before (plus a Thomas piñata for Sawyer's class and pizza for Olivia's), and then we invited other friends to celebrate at McDonald's on the Sunday between their actual birthdays. The beauty of doing a party this way is fairly easy to see: there is built-in entertainment, McDonald's provides the cake, the piñata, the food, a staff person to lead a couple of games, and best of all, they set it all up and do all the cleaning up afterwards. Of course, it was crowded and not exactly private, but overall worth every penny. Most importantly, Sawyer and Olivia had fun, and successfully turned 4 and 6, respectively.

Olivia's Tio Conejo Party

From Olivia's Tio Conejo Party

From Olivia's Tio Conejo Party

Sawyer's Kid's Academy Party
From Sawyer's Kid's Acadamy Party

From Sawyer's Kid's Acadamy Party

And the McDonald's Party
From McDonald's Birthday Party

The Games
From McDonald's Birthday Party

This could be my favorite: Cailah and Olivia dancing b/c they got the 'hot balloon'
From McDonald's Birthday Party

The cakes
From McDonald's Birthday Party

From McDonald's Birthday Party

From McDonald's Birthday Party

And finally, the distribution of the piñata candy
From McDonald's Birthday Party

Birthing Class: Costa Rican Version

A week and a half ago Jeff and I went to a birthing class at the hospital where we plan to have this baby. Since she is our 3rd, many people (including our doctor) have wondered why we would attend another class. Basically, I had 2 reasons: I wanted to see how different or similar the philosophy of the hospital here was compared to our experiences in the States, and I wanted to hear all the vocabulary in Spanish. Good news: at Clinica Biblica, most of the birthing protocol and techniques are similar to our hospital experiences in Visalia. Though they have an astronomical c-section rate (which I have told my doctor I want ONLY in a true emergency), they do have private labor and delivery rooms, up-to-date medicines and equipment, epidurals, etc., and they do allow women to walk around, use birthing balls, and take showers during labor. They promote breast-feeding, teach kangaroo care, and allow big sibs to visit. Some differences: they give a tuberculosis vaccine at birth (we have been advised both for and against this by medical personnel here), and they will pierce our baby's ears for us if we bring the right earrings (we are thinking of going ahead with this to avoid the millions of boy or girl questions.) There are most likely some other minor differences, but mostly we felt at ease with what to expect. As far as the Spanish, it was comforting to realize we understood most of what they were telling us. So many words are cognates (epidural, forceps) that I think we'll be okay. :)

The other parts of the class were quite an experience as well. First of all, it was set up with linen tablecloths and covers on the chairs, tied with tulle bows; centerpieces, and many vendor samples included. We were served a full breakfast, lunch and cafecito (coffee and snacks). And for the presentations, they had 2 huge mounted flat-screen TVs, plus a full wall that was projected onto. There was a pediatrician that talked to us about baby care (sort of--he wasn't actually all that great), an OB/GYN who talked a little about the physical process of birth, a nutritionist that told us how to feed our babies after the first 6 months of nursing, and a nurse that led us through breathing and relaxation exercises, etc. Plus we watched some birth videos. The best was the dance aerobics instructor who led us in some very entertaining moves at the end of the day. :) I may, or may not, include a picture. . .

We'll see what happens, but so far, we have been really impressed by the staff and care at Clinica Biblica. The other good thing is that it's only about 10 minutes away (in good traffic) should we need to get there in a hurry; since Sawyer was a fast and furious birth (less than 3 hours at 10.5 pounds), we figure we'd better be ready to run at the first sign of contractions this time around--just in case! They can always send us home :)

Jeff, deeply impressed with the decor

From Birthing Class

Quite a spread, X 3
From Birthing Class

Getting ready for relaxation time
From Birthing Class

Okay, okay, I'll put it in! Dance aerobics, obviously. :) At least it's a good 29 week belly shot.
From Birthing Class

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Stairs

This post is long overdue, but I thought I would post it anyway :). Most of the time my work is behind the scenes in a support role. I get to support our staff at the various ministry sites and get to do a lot of logistical work and coordination for our student teams. In March we had a large spring break outreach of 34 people! Too be honest this was probably too big of an outreach for us. But we have to commit to the size of an outreach almost a year in advance. So at this point in time, as SI-Costa RIca continues to grow and develop, our outreach size is often an educated guess or a prediction of where we think we will be at a certain date. Well let's just say things didn't go as well as anticipated and we had room at our sites for about 20 people. Fortunately we had just rented an old auto shop to turn into a carpentry shop, so we used about 10 people from the team there helping us to scrub walls, put up dry wall, paint, etc. That left us with about 6 people without a site.

In our model of ministry we seek to incorporate the teams into the ongoing regular ministry that our staff are doing with or without teams. Of course having teams here allows us to do some things at the ministry sites that we couldn't do without them, but we do not want to create things to do just for the team, especially if they will not be sustainable.

A month or two before this team was to come Pastor Gilbert mentioned that he was recently told by the city that he needed to improve (read tear out the old and put in new) stairs on the property of the church. Pastor Gilbert is the pastor of the church in Las Fuentes that Cailah partners with in our Social Work site. So I decided that I would work with the 6 without a site to build the stairs at the church. It was a project that needed to be done and it would help further the ministry of one of our ministry sites and key partners.

The only catch would be that I would be leading this project and that I have little construction experience. Fortunately what experience I do have has come in Latin America and working with concrete! Much more fortuitous was that there was a contractor in the church without work who agreed to work with us for the week. Without Eddy we would have had issues!

So the students came and we worked hard and built some stairs. For me the experience was much more significant. As I mentioned I usually do the behind the scenes coordination for our outreaches and our staff do an incredible job of working with the students who come day in and day out while they are here. During this outreach I had the privilege of working all day every day with students. I was reminded of the powerful experience a trip like this is for the students that come. I was able to witness many "ah ha" moments in the lives of the students I was working with and was able to see them interact in a beautiful way with Eddy and the other church members who worked alongside us. I was reminded of the power of what God is doing through us and the privilege it is to work with students and the poor.

These days I often think back to the students I worked with in March and to the other emails and comments from past students as i am swimming in a sea of logistical work and preparation for our summer outreaches. Remembering the impact an outreach had on one student and the impact of a ministry site on one person in the community gives me motivation to make the phone calls, write the schedules, and to do what God has called me to do.

Here are a few photos of the stairs:
The Before

From Las Fuentes Stairs

Getting ready to pour
From Las Fuentes Stairs

The Construction Crew
From Las Fuentes Stairs

The Finished Product
From Las Fuentes Stairs

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Psalm 112

I felt like the Lord gave this Psalm to us today as I was reading, in light of the break-in, hassle, etc.:

Psalm 112

1 Praise the Lord!
How joyful are those who fear the Lord
and delight in obeying his commands.
2 Their children will be successful everywhere;
an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.
3 They themselves will be wealthy,
and their good deeds will last forever.
4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly.
They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.
5 Good comes to those who lend money generously
and conduct their business fairly.

6 Such people will not be overcome by evil.
Those who are righteous will be long remembered.
7 They do not fear bad news;
they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
8 They are confident and fearless
and can face their foes triumphantly.

9 They share freely and give generously to those in need.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.
They will have influence and honor.
10 The wicked will see this and be infuriated.
They will grind their teeth in anger;
they will slink away, their hopes thwarted.

Good, eh? God makes all things right in the end, and as many promises of the good to come, I noticed that the troubles are also assumed. But we have a God who fights for us in the middle of those troubles--He is our defender. --Tracey

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Making Lemonade

We have all heard the saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." These days we are in the midst of making a big batch of lemonade and day by day our gracious heavenly father is giving us more sugar to use in the mix.

Saturday evening we went out to and early dinner to celebrate both Tracey's and my birthdays with our moms (Yes both Tracey's mom and my mom came for a visit last week). We returned home about 7:30 to discover the door leading from the garage to the house was open and almost all of the downstairs lights were on. Telling everyone to stay in the car I grabbed the most manly weapon I could find, Olivia's Barbie Umbrella, and went through the house making sure no uninvited guests were in it. Thankfully no one was in our home, but neither were our home computer, my work computer, our cameras (we had just purchased a new one to replace the old one), the SI safe (fortunately all that was in it was some personal cash, a couple of credit cards, our social security cards, Califonria Driver's licenses, and a box of checks), a dying portable DVD player, my iPod, Tracey's jewelry box (the biggest loss was Tracey's wedding ring ;(, and a few other small items.

So we started knocking on doors to see if the neighbors saw anything and called the Fuerza Publica (police). No one saw anything that we found that night and the police told us that we needed to go and file a complaint with OIJ (the investigative arm of the police). So I went to file the report while Tracey and the Grandmas put the kids to bed. After filing the report I returned home and we waited for the Crime Scene Inspectors to come. They came and by 10:30 or 11:00 they were done going through the house gathering what evidence they could. Needless to say we had enough figurative lemons to make a pretty big batch of lemonade.

There are also several things to be thankful for with this incident. First we were not home. We don't know if they would have broken in not if we had been, but if we had been home or returned to catch them in the act it could have been bad news. Second they could have taken much more than they did. They left an external hard drive which we used to back-up both computers, so we have all the information that was on them. The did not take any of our phones or printers, the TV, the WII, and a DVD player. They also walked by cash boxes with the cash need to facilitate an outreach (our first team of the summer arrived yesterday).

While the chances of recovering any of our things is slim we have been pleased with the attentiveness of the system here. From the fast response times to the thorough conversation we had with two investigators today (they sat with us for about an hour in our living room while the team had devotions upstairs). We have gotten to know a few of our neighbors since living here, but ones we have barely known have gone out of their way to call or come by to offer to do anything they can to help. And in talking with more of them one person saw the couple that robbed us and the car that they used to haul everything away. There have been a couple of other robberies in our neighborhood and we are discussing organizing in a more formal way some sort of neighborhood watch. So there will be a neighborhood meeting soon (most likely at our house).

Our teammates have also responded in a loving and caring way. Letting us borrow computers offering to help us weld added security features on our house, and most importantly simply being a loving presence during a tough time. Throughout the last couple of days we have not felt alone and have felt carried by the love, concern, and prayers of our team, our families, and our many friends. Thank you!

Please keep praying! Pray for God's peace to reign down on our home and for all fear to be washed away. Pray also for the many processes that we are involved in at the moment (the police investigation, canceling all of the stolen cards, getting new social security cards and driver's licenses, placing fraud alerts on our social security numbers, etc). Pray also for discernment in knowing what additional security measures to take, and as we decide what we need to replace and what is the best way to do so. Pray also for the team that arrived yesterday. Pray that we would be able to devote the needed time and energy to them and that God would move in and through them.

So life has given us a good supply of lemons in the last few days. But we are thankful that God has also supplied us with enough sugar to make some lemonade. Hope your thirsty!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's a Girl!

18-19 weeks

We had a doctor's appointment yesterday and found out we are having another daughter! We're all excited; Mommy was sure it was a boy, but is happy to have more pink around. :) We are planning to have the baby at Clinica Biblica, which is a wonderful hospital in San Jose, only a few miles from our house. We are very thankful to have found a good doctor, and to make it even more convenient--his office is right at the hospital. Yesterday they even let us have a brief tour and we were happy to see that the maternity rooms look like everything we would hope for. Apparently CB usually has mothers labor in one room and then moves them to a birthing room, but they are now starting to let labor and birth happen all in the same spot--really hoping they continue that trend! Everyone there has been very knowledgeable and helpful, and we feel very comfortable going there to have a baby. Thanks to everyone who has prayed about all this with us.

Isn't she beautiful?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Spring Newsletter

Here is a link to view our spring newsletter. If you download the PDF file the picture quality is better. As always you can also access our newsletters with the links on the right. Happy reading!

Spring 2010 Newsletter

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What a day!

There are times that I wonder. I wonder if I will ever have a commanding grip on Spanish, I wonder if we are moving in the right direction, I wonder if we are actually making a difference, I look around the table at a staff meeting and I wonder why I am one of the leaders (along with Tracey) when any of the people around the table are more than capable. I wonder. It is what I do, I analyze things and look at them from a variety of angles. Perhaps I over analyze and then I analyze some more.

It is because of my tendency to wonder and to be perhaps a little harsh on myself that I cherish days like yesterday. As I have done several times before yesterday I spent the day taking someone to visit SI Costa Rica's ministry sites. But yesterday was a little different than previous times. Usually I am showing around fellow North Americans. Often with the hopes that they will bring a team back or somehow be involved in what we are doing. Yesterday I showed around a Tico friend named Jonathan Campos. Jonathan works at a church helping to coordinate their community programs. I was showing him around to help him get a better understanding of who we are and what we do, as well as to spend time talking about ways we can partner together.

I was curious about what he would think. He was very impressed with what we are doing, and had numerous ideas for how we can work together. The church he works at is a large church and is very well connected with various resources in and around San José, and he is excited about connecting us with some of those contacts. It was encouraging to get some feedback from someone outside of SI who thought we were on the right path and who took it a step further wanting to be involved with us.

We ended our time together by visiting a house the church uses to host various community programs in a neighborhood called La Capri. At the moment the church's activities are all in the evenings and on the weekends. He invited us to use the house during the daytime throughout the week. This looks like the neighborhood where Dustin, our newest staff member, will begin to invest his time and where we will launch our next ministry site. We are very excited to expand our partnership with this church and to begin a new site. Please pray with us for guidance in this process. That God would give Jonathan, Dustin, and myself creativity, wisdom, and unity as we design and implement various programs.

So at times I wonder, maybe even doubt, and then God gives me days like yesterday. God spoke to me encouraging my heart to press on. He also told me to turn my wondering into dreaming about what might be and then to use the analytical gifts and skills he has given me to help make those dreams a reality.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


While we were in Visalia we had the privilege of sharing at Savior's on a Sunday morning. Our thought was to share not so much about what we do, but about what God had been teaching us with the hopes that perhaps God would use it to someone's life. So both Tracey and I prepared to share and felt prepared. Well as I (Jeff) was sharing it felt like I was stumbling over my words, I was struggling to tie my thoughts together and it felt as if it wasn't connecting. When I have the opportunity to speak I often pray that God will push me out of the way and do what he desires. So as a closing song played my prayer was that even though I felt like it hadn't gone as I wanted that God would keep pushing me aside and speak to those that were there.

After the service we had a lot of friends we wanted to connect with as we had not been at Savior's since we moved to Costa Rica. After talking to people for a while I was gathering our things to leave when a guy I had never seen or met before grabbed me and we started to talk. He introduced himself as Tim. I was humbled as he told me that God spoke to him through me and that it was exactly what he needed to hear. He was passionate about how he just wanted to know Jesus better and to follow him. As we talked a couple other people joined us including Mark and Kathleen Condie (Mark is the pastor at Savior's) and he mentioned that he was not saved and didn't feel like he had a relationship with Jesus. But that someday he would. We of course asked him why not today and so Tim committed his life to Jesus that day, confessed his need for a Savior, and his commitment to follow Jesus.

Now I don't know at what point salvation becomes salvific, nor do I necessarily want to know. I don't think it is not a magic formula or necessarily a moment that can be pinpointed. Rather I think it may be more of a process and Tim was definitely in process when our paths crossed that day. And I was privileged to be there at the moment the process took an important step. In talking to him I would have sworn he was a passionate follower of Jesus. He had more passion and life in his eyes than most people I know who have been following Jesus for years. I pray that as Tim's process of getting to know Jesus continues that his passion doesn't wane.

This encounter with Tim is also a perfect illustration of what God has been teaching me. What he cares about is obedience not success. If we are obedient to be about what he calls us to (most importantly to know him) he will take care of the results. Even on a day when it feels like nothing goes as we planned.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Christmas pictures. . .a bit late. . .

So, I was looking back over our blog and realized we never posted Christmas pictures from our own family Christmas. Maybe that's because we left the country shortly after and we didn't have time, but since I'm on a blogging marathon catch-up, I might as well include Christmas, too.

Starting with our SI Staff Christmas Party

From Christmas 2009

In front of the Christmas tree (can you tell it got pulled over 2x?)
From Christmas 2009

The cast of our church Christmas play, "El Arca de Noe" (Noah's Ark; go figure). Note the cute little donkey trying to be in character. :)
From Christmas 2009

In character again. Can you tell her costume is too small? It was made for a tico-sized 5 year old.
From Christmas 2009

The Christmas Canata I sang in with our church: No Fue Una Noche Mas (Not Another Silent Night is the English version, I think.)
From Christmas 2009

We took a day "off" and headed to Volcán Irrazú.
From Christmas 2009

From Christmas 2009

Olivia LOVES her new bike!
From Christmas 2009

And Sawyer LOVES his new tools!
From Christmas 2009

So, um, Merry Christmas 2009!