Monday, October 1, 2012

Leaving again (2012)

Well, here we are, beginning another extended time away from our home in the US.  This has been a busy time since our last post.  Late spring was filled with obligations in various areas across the US.  In July we participated in 3 regional youth events.  These were all related to our continuing involvement with our denomination's Bible Quiz Ministry.  We had the privilege of being at: 1) the US national Quiz event at Olivet Nazarene University, near Chicago; 2) the MesoAmerica regional youth conference in Panama City, Panama; 3) the South America (SAM) regional youth conference in Cali, Colombia. Soon, we hope to have another set of photos to show a little of our summer.

August and September, we enjoyed staying home in St. Louis and reconnecting with our home church and neighbors.  At the end of September, we left for "immersion" language training in Costa Rica for the whole month of October.  In November, we will welcome a team of volunteers from our home district with whom we will join for a 2-week work project here in Costa Rica.  When the team returns to the US, we will go on to Argentina for another 5-month assignment there.  This brings us to where we are now. 

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Monday, 1 October, 2012

Our daily afternoon rainstorm is starting! This country is beautiful, very green (almost daily rain 8-9 months of the year) with lots of gorgeous flowers. We see mountains all around too!  Our little apartment isn't fancy, but it's just what we need.  

We arrived Friday evening and were picked up by Shelley Webb and Pam Tooley, both missionaries here in this region (MesoAmerica). We had only met Shelley on the computer, because she is the coordinator for the language school here.  We met her husband David in Panama in July at the MesoAmerica Youth event.  We’ve known Pam and her husband Joel for a while now in youth ministry (NYI) service.  Shelley showed us our apartment, Casa #23, and left us to settle in. We were totally unpacked by 10:30 and ready for sleep! 

Saturday morning, it was easy to function in my new kitchen – it has just enough appliances and kitchen tools to prepare most anything! And Shelley had stocked our kitchen with cereal, milk, bacon, juice, bananas, and coffee!  Having attended a regional youth event here at this seminary a few years ago, we were familiar with the campus, but we enjoyed a walk around the 15-acre campus after breakfast.  By 10:00 a.m., we walked over to Casa #39 - Pam had invited us to join her and several other missionaries for their usual Saturday morning adventure to a local farmers market, just overflowing with fresh fruits and vegetables and brown eggs to buy!  It was great to meet Tonya from Canada and Anne and her 6-week-old son! We bought beets, onions, carrots, and potatoes.  In the afternoon, Shelley and Pam walked with us to a well-stocked grocery (similar to an Aldi store), so we're set for a few days.  

Sunday morning, we piled into the Tooleys’ van and went to the Coronado Nazarene church. Unfortunately, the church was having its annual meeting at their usual worship time.  To pass some of that time, we left for a while and Joel drove us up the mountain where we saw lots of dairy cattle and terrific views of San Jose!  Pam translated the business meeting proceedings to us when we returned; it was very much like a church meeting in the States. Afterwards, we joined the family in their home for a wonderful lunch of green-chili chicken, fresh pineapple, and Gallo Pinto, the favorite dish of Ticos (this is what Costa Ricans call themselves). Gallo Pinto is a rice-and-beans combination cooked with a sauce much like Worcestershire – yummy! Dessert was chocolate chip cookie bars that Joel baked with the chocolate chips we brought for him! We spent the rest of the afternoon talking and catching up – wonderful fellowship! After resting and having dinner, we walked to Darin and Tonya Kucey’s home, Casa #37, and spent a couple of hours with them and the rest of the missionaries in fellowship and prayer!

Today we started our classes - in person - with our teacher, Gaby! It is SO wonderful to be with her! She is a patient and talented teacher.  We have been taking lessons with Gaby since last December over the Internet, using Skype.  Those lessons were once or twice a week, but here we will be having lesson times 5 days each week while living in the Spanish culture.  Tonight we are working on homework for tomorrow (as soon as I get off the computer)!

We’ve found out that Dan will also have chances to instruct, share, train, motivate, etc., about Bible Quizzing!!  The local missionaries and youth leaders want to take advantage of our being here so we will be helping them get the Quiz Ministry started in the 2 districts of this country.  God has provided ways to serve and everything we need!  We are so blessed by and appreciate your prayers!

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