I think I blinked and now July is almost gone.
Ever since we got back from Seattle to grab our paperwork for the residency process in Costa Rica, it’s been a whirlwind. In one moment I want to write and share about everything we’ve been experiencing as of late, and in the next it feels a little overwhelming. I’m sure many of you can relate in your day to day experiences of life as well!
Upon returning to Costa Rica we received two G42 interns named Ruby and Meghan! They have been a gift from heaven. G42 is the discipleship school that Anna and I attended in Spain in 2017-2018. These women have been tremendous life sources to us; we felt known by them before we ever even opened our mouths to share our stories.
One of the struggles of moving to a different country and partnering with a new project (the AIM base), is that it can feel very lonely at times. Whether we like it or not, we had certain expectations when we signed up to be Base Mentors, and one of them was that we thought we would have a lot more community. But our team is spread out, we all have our own lives, we’re all working hard, and we (the Johnsons) don’t have a car right now.
This is no fault of our team, it’s just been the reality of starting something new with a very small group of people in a country that can be hard to get around in (traffic, not great public transportation). All of this is to say that Jesus showed up at our doorstep in the form of two young women, and they have given us the gift of their friendship.
Another big thing that has happened, is that Anna and I are now the Base Leaders. Our friend and teammate Gabi is the Regional Logistics Leader (AIM’s go to person for travel across Central America + many many other responsibilities), and she pretty much acquired and ran the base by herself for the last year. This was never her intended role–to, well, do EVERYTHING–so we’ve been called to step in and take more responsibility. The Elders of our base, Doug and Renee, have moved to more of a mentorship role over us as base staff, and fill in and help us with going to ministry at times and just connecting with our teams we receive (the Duffy’s own a business here in CR and are hard working grandparents, so at times they have been stretched in responsibilities with the base).
There’s been many moments of not feeling qualified, and even not wanting to have more of a leadership role, but we’ve given God our “Yes” to whatever he asks, and we knew we needed to help where there was a void. Anna and I looked at each other and said, “if not us, then who will?”
We will be figuring out what this new role actually means as we go forward, but for now it means orchestrating the schedules of the teams we have here…
Which leads us to STM, our acronym for Short Term Missions teams. July through the first week of August we have week long trips that arrive on Saturday, and then leave on the ensuing Saturday. So that means I take a bus with a team to the airport around 9:00 am in the morning to drop them off, and then at 11:30 am or so the next group is rolling in. Meanwhile, Anna, Ruby, and Meghan are back at the base cleaning and swapping out sheets in a frenzy, trying to get the base flipped in a couple of hours (luckily we’ve also had great teams come through who do a pretty good job in cleaning up before they leave).
This is the first time we’ve ever had STMs, and quite honestly I was a bit terrified going into this season. There have been many question rattling around in my head of: did we get this scheduled?, did we pay this translator?, are we doing enough planned ministry with the teams?, do these teams think we’re crazy when we teach listening prayer?, God are we doing this country any favors by hosting foreigners and sending them into the communities?
In these past years I haven’t known a whole lot of inner strife–other than the sadness of transitioning out of my pipefitting apprenticeship–and so I was surprised when one day I woke up and was greeted by an unfamiliar uncomfortable feeling. It took me a moment to name him, but I called him anxiety.
Even as I write now I’m feeling it a little. He has woken me up in the early mornings and also disturbed Anna as well.
But I know that I have authority over the way that I feel–that I don’t have to come into agreement with anxiety. As a house we’ve verbally repented, we’ve changed our minds and said “I won’t submit to anxiety,” because at some point I knowingly or unknowingly said “yes” to partnering with anxiety.
So, this past month has been a lot to take in, and at times it felt like we weren’t sure how we were going to get by. It’s been weeks since we’ve had a day off, and often don’t have any time during the day for ourselves. But we are still standing. Somewhere down in my spirit I can feel the purpose, and the refining process going on, as Anna and I are stretched in ways we’ve not been stretched before. Please pray for us to have endurance, and when it’s time to rest, to rest well. We know it’s still a privilege to do what we do, even when it doesn’t feel as fun.
In other news, check out this pretty goofy video that was made of Anna and I during our time at language school! We laugh whenever we see it, because we feel pretty cheesy, but we thought you all might appreciate a glimpse into what our time looked like at school.
- We have received $400 towards our car so far! Thank you for your support. Once we are out of July and have a break, we’ll send out some more info on our campaign to own a car!
- Like I mentioned earlier, Anna and I have all of our paperwork for the residency process! This means once we get started with our attorney, we won’t have to leave the country every 3 months. The up front cost is $2,000. (By the time the whole process is through, it will cost around $2,800). We have one supporter who has agreed to pay half of the up front cost ($1,000), but we can’t start the process until we get the other half paid for.
- If you would like to contribute to either of these projects you can do so HERE. Just be sure to enter our giving code KE3463 and if you want to give specifically to one of these versus the other, let me know at: email@example.com
Thanks for reading and partnering with us.