Friday, October 24, 2014

October update

I would like to thank you all for your prayers over the last few weeks.  After my last blog post we could feel your prayers which were very encouraging.  Three weeks ago we went on our 90 day border run to reset our visas.  We left at 4am for Nicaragua and the stars were out.  That was an answer to prayer for me.  Now I know when the stars are out.  Just before sunrise.  Unfortunately, I am not terribly motivated to get up that early to look for stars.  I think that just knowing that they are there will have to be enough for me.  We know that many of you were praying for us as we crossed the border.  We have heard horror stories of it taking 8 hours to get across the border so we were very nervous.  God heard your prayers and He went before us and prepared a smooth ride North to the border.  We met a man at the border who spoke English and guided us (for a tip) through the 4-6 different stations for baggage check, passport stamps, and border fees.  The most amazing part was that there were no lines at any of these stations when we arrived.  Upon leaving each line there, was at least a dozen people waiting behind us and quite often the lines would be out the door.  We would have never made it without our guide, as the various stations where spread out by a muddy 100 yard path.  We would have had no idea where to go next.  Yay God!!!  Nicaragua was very beautiful and it was a wonderful 3 days of much needed family time.  We have included some of our pictures from the Nicaraguan beach on the Pacific Ocean.

We have begun the process of establishing temporary residency here in Costa Rica.  Residency would enable us to stay in this country indefinitely without having to leave every 90 days on the expensive visa reset trips.   Rob’s mother has graciously located our marriage and birth certificates in our storage in CT and brought them to get an apostille (a verification required by Costa rica) stamp at the CT secretary of state’s office.  They will be bringing these documents to Costa Rica with them when they come to visit on November 1st.  We got finger printed for the FBI to do a background check and left a copy of our prints at the police station in San Jose.  We believe that now all we have to do is wait for approval.  We have learned that the initial fees for residency is very expensive, costing about $1000.00 per person.  (We have a family of 6)  We have started this process on faith that God will provide as he has done all along.  Please stay tuned for a notification of a fundraiser to help us raise these funds.  If any of you have ideas of a fundraiser that we can do from a remote location, please let us know.  We are open to all ideas.
Last Sunday, we had our first 6:8 Ministries staff worship service.  Elise and I had the opportunity to lead the worship music and it went very well.  It felt good to use some of the talents that God has prepared us with.  It was very special to worship together as an intimate group of 13 and we know that this will be a wonderful unity building time for us.  Please pray that staff unity continues to build and our relationships grow so that we will become even more effective as we serve the people in this community.

We are currently hosting a church group from Atlanta, Georgia.  This is the last church group that we have scheduled until after Christmas.  The church groups that come down to serve tend to be very encouraging to us as a staff so we will need a lot of prayer over the next couple of months, especially as we will be missing family during Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Please consider putting together a mission group from your area to come down and serve.  We hope to begin construction soon on our house out at the ranch and would love to have several groups come down this winter to help get it done.  The two team houses at the ranch are finally up and functional so we are ready to have teams come and have a dry, comfortable place to stay with indoor plumbing;-)  We are so excited!  We are coming into the dry season which is an absolutely beautiful time of year to schedule your mission trip.

We love you all.  God is good!!