Monday, July 14, 2008

cuando no sientes mi cuerpo en tu cama, seguro que lloraras

it's just another salsa song, so don't read too much into it. anyway, at exactly 1:39 pm this afternoon, Feli recieved his luggage... belai (Bolivian (Santa Cruz) slang).

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A collection of short stories

  • The boys who were finishing electrical work at 25 de julio the other day treacherously crossed four lanes of traffic following a "friend" of someone there. They ran out to the middle, where she signaled them to stop and wait while all the cars whizzed by... When they finally reached Burger King, their lunch destination, Rich accidentally ordered two value meals. Of course, the employees were going to let him buy it until Jeff pointed out that it probably shouldn't cost him the equivalent of $14 to buy lunch there...
  • Also at 25 de julio, Alvaro's ADORABLE daughter Laura took Monica and I to the restroom next door. While Monica and Laura were waiting on me and making small talk, Monica told Laura that her dad was a "very nice lady."
  • Emily pointed to the chickens in someone's yard while we were walking the neighborhood passing out fliers for the kid's party and said, "pollos." In Spanish, there are separate words for cooked chicken that you eat, and for chickens that are alive. She decided it was probably the equivalent of pointing to pigs and calling them "bacons," and then laughed hysterically to herself.
  • The origin of "quesquelmente": Jason came to Monica one evening and told her that he thought he had gotten a word from the Lord, but it was in Spanish. He didn't know what it meant, but he wrote it down and showed it to her. The word was "quesquelmente." Monica trtied to hold back her laughter and told him that she had never heard it before, but they could lok it up. The closest thing they could find in the dictionary was cheese. It has now become a running joke, and the meaning of the word varies in usage. For example, when Jason almost fell down the hill from the church into the rainforest to his death, he caught himself and said he was almost quequelmente'd.
  • Monica taught Jason how to say, "Bad pirate, run, run!" because she was wearing a bandana and he wanted the kids to pretend she was a pirate. Instead of saying, "Pirata Mala, corre, corre!" he said, "Pata Mala, gorro gorro!" which means "Bad duck, hat hat!"
  • Jeff has begun trying to speak Spanish. He has been putting together strings of words that mostly don't make sense, and continues to say, "tengo hombre," instead of "tengo hambre" when he's hungry.

This is just a sampling of the happenings on this trip. Hopefully there will be more to follow, but I need to go change now, unfortunately. In real news, we went to Manrique's small group last night, which is all high school and middle schoolers. Mitch and Chris got to lead worship, and I got to teach, which went really well. It was great, God was really there because at the end when I called people up for prayer in ministry time, so many kids came up. It was great to feel like God had used me for something like that.

Hasta luego~


The Time of Our Lives

24 hours left in what has been the journey of a lifetime... its a journey that has changed the way our hearts beat and our minds think. A journey that has included sadness, joy, and an overwhelming sense of hope that is through Jesus alone. It has included a bond between the teammates and a bond to the communities that we have served that is cherished. The feeling is that we have known each other forever.

As we wrapped up our time at La Vina del Este it was on our hearts to go and pray once again for Maria Theresa. Monica, Rich, Phil, Catalina and I walked down to Maria Theresa's home and she was soooo excited to see us. Again, Maria Theresa is the old woman who is having cataract surgery and fears blindness. We also prayed for her son who is suffering from cancer. She then told us that her daughter, Olga, had bone problems and would soon be paralyzed. We prayed for her for a long time... she told us how she lays in bed crying every night because of the pain in her family. It was so heart breaking to hear her words... but at the same time very optomistic because Jesus was plastered everywhere in her little dwelling.

So that's all I really remember from the past three days... seeing as how I have been under the influence of some drugs (legal... I think).

In other news... here are some other highlights of the trip.

Conversation with Renee
J: Hey look that car is from Florida... that's a long drive! Maybe they shipped it.
R: Or they took the ferry
J: A ferry across the Gulf of Mexico?
R: (Realizes the dumb comment and laughs hysterically)

Rich orders 2 number 1's at Burger King thinking he ordered 1 number 1 large size

Cramming 15 people, 2 guitars, a tool box, 3 donkeys, a chicken, and a 3-legged goat into a small van... we looked like circus clowns

Mitch's dream to move to Costa Rica because a cougar danced with him

Corey whacking himself in the eye with wire strippers

Manuel (man old enough to live in the days of Moses) took us on a 3 hour tour.... a 3 hour tour... in that small van... yeah we got lost

Seeing the largest KFC of my life.... seriously... it was massive! But it smelled like monkey poo

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Millipedes can swim....

First I'd like to say that the giant millipede that Jason flushed down our toilet returned 2 days later. It was a nice surprise. None of us knew millipedes could swim.... now we know.

Next, I'd like to share that Costarican children are a ball of fun. It has been such a great blessing to teach and play with the little ninos. In the toddler class today we only had 2 boys, around the ages of 3 and 4. We ran out of ideas to entertain them, bubbles, balloons, and facepainting got boring real quick. We brought them upstairs to play tag. One of our boys, Daniel, was hysterical. He was so animated. We brought him upstairs to play and then he saw a bunch of older children running toward him and Daniel bolted to the other end of the church and ran out the door. It was so funny. All we saw next was his mom pick him up and bring him back in, haha.

We had the kids party yesterday at the church. Cory was the balloon master. He spent hours making balloon animals for the 160 children that showed up. We had a nail painting/facepainting station, bracelette making, and sports.

And yes, we almost died in the car today. (Steph's blog below)

A couple days ago we went to Jaco beach. Oh my goodness. Words cannot describe how beautiful it is. Mountains on one side and beach on the other. Jenny and I spent 2 straight hours attacking waves. We're fighters.

I'll leave the rest of our recent adventures to the other folks on the team.
Buenos Noches everyone!! :) Cant wait to see everyone when I get home. Miss you all!


¡Quesqualmente drivers!

I would just like to share the story of how we got to tour the back roads of San Jose today. But first, I just want to share that Renee was meowed at by a Costa Rican man at breakfast this morning. She sort of cut in line to get coffee and he was standing by the toaster waiting, and after she said "excuse me," he started meowing... It was every bit as creepy as it sounds.

Michael couldn't drive us today for some reason, so he sent Manuel (another driver) to get us this morning. We had mixed feelings about Manuel already, but little did we know he was possibly going to be our end. Not intentionally, but with his terrible, terrible driving.

We knew we might be in trouble when we saw the van that pulled up - a 14-seater at most. We then found out that Alvaro wasn't going to be able to come pick up the guys who were going to finish the electrical work at 25 de julio, which meant they were going to have to ride with us (which makes 15 people), with their huge rubbermaid container of tools and the suitcase of clothes we were bringing to Alvaro to give to a family who needs them. So, we sucked it up and piled in - Mitch sat on top of the rubbermaid container, and we made to boys sit up front with Manuel because the girls are all a little creeped out by him. (They call old men like that viejos verdes here - meowing man is another good example.)

We got to 25 de julio alright, but things took a different turn when he left a different way that Michael normally does. Not that big a deal, he probably knows where he's going, right? Except he then turned down a road that dead ends at the highway, where you are apparently allowed (and expected) to just make a right turn onto the highway where all the other cars are going like 55 mph. From there, we got to a roundabout that we went the entire way around to turn back onto the highway going the other direction. Okay, we thought, he just chose to turn around a different and much more complicated way...

We proceeded to turn down like 4 streets on the left that were never the right street, and always led to us having to make a big U of left turns back to the highway. Once, he tried to turn right into a dead end. There are signs that warn you about that kind of thing here, too... When we finally did get back to the highway, he chose to make a left across four lanes of traffic where the sign clearly stated that was not allowed. Emily turned to me and said, "This is it." And for sure, we all thought she was right. And yet, the large bus coming straight for us stopped for no apparent reason to let us make our illegal turn. By the grace of God!

Eventually we got to the east side of the city which was the general area where we needed to be, and after a confusing conversation with a man at a bus stop, we made it to the church. I guess we can't expect too much from a country where stop signs and red lights are optional. There are fewer accidents than you would think though.

Hasta luego

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

How to Make a Costa Rican girl dance with you (ojitos lindos)

Mitch, our ladies man/electrician/worship leader/surfer/... merengue dancer?

"What's the difference between merengue and salsa?" he asks. Seven words from Mitch was all it took to get on the dance floor with our 24-year-old law-school graduate leading lady.
"It's all in the hips."
"What do you mean?" he innocently replies.
"I'll show you."

At the beach, it only took a surfboard in hand. At the worship conference, it may have been the guitar. We'll never know. But at the fruit stand in rural Costa Rica, unbeknownst to us all, Mitch's cute little eyes were working their magic over Melissa as he ordered his breakfast - casado con huevos y jamon.

The following evening, only after having shown Michael (our driver) the incriminating photo of the aforementioned merengue incident, it was revealed to us that Melissa had in fact given Michael her number to give to the one with the "ojitos lindos."

One would expect to have a language barrier when traveling in a foreign country. However, the language of love transcends the vast expanse between our two languages and between the Americas. Yet beneath the scraps of paper with countless phone numbers and emails and birthdays lies the infatuation with the idea of civil law mixed with salsa dancing.

Hips don't lie.

Written by Steph with help from Chris (gmail bffs)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

How Great is Our God

Ladies and gentlemen, we serve an awesome God.

I have to share with you all a praise story that happened last night at the conference. The past two nights has been amazing. The Holy Spirit showed up during ministry time. People were on the ground weeping and others were shaking and others were laughing. Jose Pablo talked about worshipping God with all your 5 senses, that when you worship (with your life) it's all or nothing. He was giving a talk on how Jesus was using his senses on the cross at Calvary. It was really interesting, I had never thought about it before. He used Luke 23 to describe it. Afterward he told everyone to close their eyes and open their hands. Then he called people forward who were getting sensations in their hands. As well as other altar calls. I wasn't feeling anything, but I saw Steph up there. So I went to pray for her. She has vertigo and it spawns from her inner left ear. She said she felt like the Lord was telling her to ask me to pray for that. So I laid my hand on her ear and immediately my arm and hand began to tremble and shake and heat sensations kept going up and down my arm. I couldnt stop it. It was incredible. She felt like she had heat in her inner ear. Then a guy came up behind her and laid hands on her, he was shaking, and weeping and laughing. Then God told me to tell her that she was healed. I have never experienced anything like that before in my life. God used me to heal someone. The whole time I was just standing there thinking "Is this really happening?" Tonight is our last night at the conference. I have no doubt in my mind that God will show up just as much, if not stronger than the previous 2 evenings.

Everyone split up into four groups and went up and down the hill to different homes to pass out supplies. Some of the homes we visited were so desolate. I would describe some of them as living in a garage, but instead of cement walls, they're tin sheets.
At our first house, Aslim, Emily, Monica and I went a visited a woman named Marta. She was with her grandson. She showed us albums of her family. It was so sweet. We had the oppurtunity to pray for her. Her father has cancer and her daughter-in-law is pregnant. Aslim translated for us, as we prayed for her she began to cry. It was such a blessing to be in her home. She was incredibly thankful and so were we.

I feel like there is so much more to say but not enough time. God is pretty much amazing.

Last night when we got home was interesting. We had a cucuracha massacre. I personally think that the giant millipede was the sergeant. They're starting a revolution. Their death rate is some where near 1000. I'm not sure who's winning though....

Until tomorrow, buenos dias!