Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Back to Connecticut!!

Hello friends.
It is with mixed emotions that I tell you we are moving back to our home in East Hartland CT this week.  While we are sad to leave Costa Rica, we are excited about being back among our family and friends in Connecticut.  We fly home this Friday June 24th.  Here is an excerpt from a recent letter that we sent to our regular financial donors.  It gives a good summary of what we have been a part of accomplishing in the past two years.

Thank you!!  Thank you for your faithful support of our ministry here.  Thank you for your generous donations over the past two years.  Thank you for your prayers for our family, our ministry, and the people we are serving here in Costa Rica.  We literally could not be doing what we are doing without your sacrifice.  It has been such an affirming journey as we have watched God provide for our needs each and every month.

Since some of you may not be aware of what God has asked us to do since we moved to Costa Rica, I wanted to include a summary of what God has allowed us to accomplish to date.
I often get asked how many children are currently living at the Ranch.  It is a fair question.  I answer that question by explaining how much infrastructure is required when starting from scratch.  After two years of preparing the property we are now focusing on the family houses.  God willing we will be ready to take in the first child this winter.

It was  two years ago (May 2014) that the ministry received local approval to start construction.  Here is a quick list of our accomplishments, with more details on the website.  
·         Security fence installed along the road
·         Electricity and water lines were run to the buildings
·         600 foot road and small bridge installed
·         Men’s and women’s bunkroom constructed (capacity of 28 people)
·         Kitchen and staff room building constructed (Wutka family lived here for 1 year)
·         2 Bedroom cabin constructed (currently used to bless Miriam in her retirement)
·         Large garage constructed (houses tractor, tools, building materials)
·         Chapel/Kitchen constructed (used for visiting mission teams)
·         Architectural approval and permits have been obtained for the whole project (10 family homes and large courtyard chapel and playground for the kids and families)
·         Joshua 1:9 cabin constructed (3 bedroom cabin that Wutka family currently lives in)
·         First large family house was started (this home will house a missionary family and take in the first Costa Rican foster child.  Scheduled for completion in Fall 2016)
·         6 acres of our 17 acre jungle has been tamed
·         Some great relationships with the local community have been established

When we first partnered with 6:8 Ministries we said we would commit for two years and then re-evaluate where God wanted us.  After much prayer and discussion, we have decided that it is best for our family to move back to Connecticut on June 24th of this year, sort of…..We still feel that God wants to use our skills and abilities to complete the Living Waters Children’s Ranch, and to give a loving, Godly home to 80 children.  How can we move home and still serve God in Costa Rica?
Since our construction model at the Ranch is to use mission teams, God has made it clear that I don’t have to be living full time in Costa Rica to oversee this.  Over the past 2 years I have developed a network of contacts and suppliers that I can still maintain a relationship with via phone and email.  As teams come down to work on large projects, I can coordinate the delivery of materials and then fly down and manage their work.  I anticipate needing to make 8 to 10 trips to Costa Rica per year.  God has already provided another family to live on the Ranch and to take care of the daily tasks and to continue to build relationships into the community. 

Another huge need of the Ranch is for funding.  This proposed model would allow me to spend a significant portion of my time educating the Northeast about what we are doing.  By seeking out churches and other service-focused organizations, I hope to find additional mission teams and funding for the Ranch.

Just as God lined everything up for our move down to Costa Rica, He appears to be opening the doors necessary for this change.  I would like to commit to this model for one year and I humbly ask that you consider continuing your support during this time.  Yvonne is currently searching for a full time job in her field of Marriage and Family therapy.  As many of you know, supporting a family of 6 in Connecticut is very costly.  In order to take care of the needs of my family and to know how much time I will be able to devote to this ministry, I need to have an idea of what support we can expect.  To be clear…all support will be used to pay for my travel and to allow me to ‘work’ part-time so I can focus on growing the ministry in the Northeast.  Please pray about how you can continue to support our ministry through your gifts.  If you can continue at the same amount, great.  If you need to reduce the amount, that is okay.  If you prefer to stop your support then I would sincerely thank you for what you have been able to give over the past 24 months.  It would be very helpful if you could contact me and let me know your decision. 

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about this transition.  As always, you can visit our blog (www.wutkamissions.com) to find more detailed information about what we have accomplished during our time here.  More general information about 6:8 Ministries can be found at www.68ministries.com

Serving Him,
Robert Wutka


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Spring update.

Hello friends.

It has been a very busy three months since our Christmas update.
It was a very enjoyable Christmas time without a lot of the hustle and bustle that we are used to in the States.  Simple presents, time relaxing with our family, and remembering why we are here and who we are serving.

In early January we had the privilege of hosting our home church Valley Brook Community church from Connecticut.  It was a special time, connecting with some old friends and making new ones.  It was great to be able to actually show them what we are doing here and let them experience it for themselves.  They spent 3 days serving seniors and children in the community of Alajuelita and 4 days working hard at the Children's ranch.  We even got to catch a soccer game at the national stadium during their visit.  We mixed 50 bags of concrete and poured a large cement pad and erected the wall and roof frame for our new team chapel and dining area.

On the day before Valley Brook went home, my sister Sue and two of her boys came down for a week long visit.  Elise and Yvonne knew about the trip but is was a complete surprise for Mara, Jonathan & Abby.  It was an awesome week watching the cousins play together out here in the beautiful nature.  It was also neat to have them experience one of our feeding centers and meet the staff.

In mid February, another of our favorite churches came for visit.  This time it was Copiague Christian church from Long Island.  Yvonne's uncle Paul is the pastor and they brought a great crew for their second year in a row.  They also brought a special surprise guest with them......Brenda Ryan!!  Yvonne's sister was able to fill in at the last minute for someone that could not make the trip.  We had no clue.  As the team was unloading from the bus and we were saying hello to everyone, all of a sudden Brenda was standing there.  It took a couple seconds for this to register with me but Yvonne's face lit up immediately.  It was such a beautiful occasion and we really enjoyed having her stay with us for the week.  The team worked so hard as we laid tile in the new chapel and dining area, processed so much lumber into finished wood, and installed aluminum studs and cement boards in the walls of a new cabin.

As soon as Copiague left, we had two back to back teams from Jacksonville Florida.  These two teams were part of the J1:9 group.  This is a group of churches coming together to be Strong and Courageous, as instructed in Joshua 1:9.  This group had a fund raiser and was able to fund the construction of a three bedroom cabin that we built right next to Miriam's cabin.  We worked non stop for two weeks trying to complete this build.  Finished wall studs and cement board exterior, stucco, paint, insulation, drywall, mud, ceramic tile, electric, plumbing.  At the end of their two weeks, we were in a great position.  Mauricio and I have spend the past two weeks continuing the finishing touches and my family is set to move into this new cabin by Tuesday March 22nd.

The whole family is excited about the move but also a little sad.  It will be great to move from one 400 square foot open room into a place with three bedrooms, a living/dining room, and our own kitchen.  But in a surprising way, we have rather enjoyed our cramped living space for the past 13 months.

If anyone is interested in more details on the projects we have worked on at the ranch over the past year, please check out the ranch page on our ministries website, which I just updated this week.  Here is the link:

We also have some exciting news about our future after this summer.  I will write another blog entry soon giving more details on those changes.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us and also for those that have been supporting us financially.  We cannot do this without all of you.  As always, if you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

In Christ,
Rob Wutka