Hi there family and friends,
We are coming up on 10 months in Costa Rica! This first year is flying by. If only high school only went by this fast––summer would come so quickly.
A lot of new things have happened since I sent out our last update from Canada at my grandparents’ celebration of life.
Rainy season is still in effect. It’s almost like clockwork where 2:00 PM rolls around, and then torrential downpour happens. But, other times, it feels as unpredictable as a Colorado snow day (only to see 2′ of snow melt by 11:00 AM and all the kids declare in delight, “gotcha good, St. Vrain Valley School District!”).
Anna has been incredible with taking on new responsibilities like handling all of the finances of the base. She has been busy with doing a lot of the not as fun jobs behind the scenes. These responsibilities are not sexy, but are completely necessary for the base to function. She’s a babe.
Gap Squad Z is here! They are just now finishing their first month on the World Race, and are headed to a surfing town for about 5 days to have their first debrief! They have been a ton of fun.
This squad is a little smaller than our last groups we’ve had, coming in at about 30 people––and we love it! At the beginning of every week we have “Activation Monday,” where we do some kind of teaching/impartation, take some time to pray in teams to listen to His voice, and then we send them out into the community with the agenda of loving people we meet and stepping out in faith with what we believe the Lord has showed us during prayer. In this time and space, we see people’s faith stretched and grown, and have had incredible testimonies of people receiving Jesus and experiencing the Father’s love in a very tangible way. Other times, it’s just kind of an awkward experience for our participants––but we believe that the awkwardness belongs in the journey and is a part of the process of being obedient!
Tuesday – Friday, for the most part, looks more structured as we partner with hosts around San José. We are involved with helping run a kids ministry in a neighborhood riddled with drugs and gang activity,
teaching art, dance, sports, and a little english, at a community center,
serving at a Christian camp in the mountains,
manual labor for single moms housing,
doing “house visits” discipling new believers in what it looks like to be a friend of God,
The 5 guys from Gap Z and I have been going out twice a week to a nearby skatepark in a neighborhood that only makes the news for drug busts, shootings, and prostitution. The neighborhood also used to be an open landfill.
We have two skateboards between the 6 of us, a camera, one fluent Spanish speaker + our translator, and we just go and hang out, try to skate, and share our lives with them. It has been a lot of fun, and they are very receptive to us now as we’ve showed up regularly.
Some of our guys have started to have conversations with the skaters about God, as they inevitably ask the gringos, “why are you here?” We are really thankful for the opportunity to get to know these guys.
Come November 16th, we are putting on a very organized skate competition with the local community center! We are excited to have the chance to do something like this, as it’s never been done in this neighborhood. Our goal with doing the competition, is to 1, let these guys know that they are seen and valued, and 2, increase our relationship with the community. They know we are Christians putting on this event, and they are open to us!
Something else I’ve dreamed of with God, and the skaters, is teaching them some basic welding skills to build handrail to grind on. They were really into that idea, so I am beginning to ask around if I can get people to partner with me in buying a small welder for the skatepark (we would keep it in our possession). I am not officially fundraising for this, but if you’re interested in helping out with this idea, let me know!
I don’t exactly know what the future is for our “skate ministry,” but I know that I’ve given my “Yes” to whatever God asks of me.
In my excitement for relearning how to skate––I was never good in the first place, but could at least ride––I may have gotten a little overzealous, and tried going down a hill that was just a hair too steep.
AFTER completing the hill, I got speed wobbles on the straight away and scorpioned on the pavement (think laying prone on stomach, sliding down the road, with legs bent at the knee, coming up over your back: scorpion).
My shoulder, chest, and elbow was in a lot of pain, and I almost passed out when I tried to pretend that it didn’t happen as I walked back up the hill towards the stunned Gap guys.
Today, (2.5 weeks removed??) my shoulder is still in a bit of pain, but my elbow and hip are almost totally healed. Gracias a Dios, estoy bien.
In other less painful news, we now have $3,800 to go towards a car! We have a goal to raise $15,000 total. We will have a more formal post at a later date about us fundraising and the ludicrous import duty on vehicles (your car might cost 3x as much down here…).
If you would like to support us as we save for a car you can do so HERE. Just be sure to enter our giving code KE3463.
Keep your stick on the ice,