While the children are in school I “escaped” and came to the internet café here in Nicoya to write an update, which has been on my mind for a long time.
The last few months have been pretty normal, keeping busy with ministry and school. The BIG difference has been that we have new workers! After five years God has now called committed long-term workers to join our base. We are really blessed, because these are people with experience, leadership skills, initiative, excitement and spirit of service. It has been an amazing blessing and relief, an answer to prayers!
Yojhanna, originally from Guanacaste, started here in March as a coordinator for the Bible Project. She is 31-yrs old and has years of experience from working with youth and local churches. She also has administration experience, so she is doing great with all the lists, maps, receipts and organization that is part of the Bible Project!
The connection between Finland and Costa Rica got stronger when the Sarajärvi (Kimmo, Laura and Robin) family joined our base in April. They have already worked several years as YWAM missionaries. They are helping with leadership responsibilities and they will be leading the first Discipleship Training School at our base in September. In the picture is our current staff team.
We have celebrated the distribution of the first 10 000 Bibles! As Diego says, don’t think of 10 000 Bibles, but think of 10 000 families having received the Living Word of God in their homes! And this has happened by someone visiting them personally, sharing the Word, praying for them, answering questions and guiding them in reading the Bible. The project has already caused a great impact, but there is still a long road to walk; 84 000 Bibles are still to be purchased and distributed. But God is already at work, because the next order of 10 000 Bibles has been made and should arrive in early June. Thank you for everyone who has donated to this project! We strongly believe that God will use all of us together to bring this project successfully to the end.
YOUNG MOTHERS AND SEXUAL EDUCATION
This year we have continued with the course for teen mothers teaching them about education and studies. We found out about every option for studying and there are actually many opportunities available. Many of our girls decided to go back to school this year; some to high school, some to computer classes, others to learn how to fix sewing machines. The last part of this course that finishes in May is about micro business training. Each girl has had to choose and plan a business, product or a service that they have been working on during the training. These small steps can change their and their children’s future. One of the girls used to sell marijuana in the streets to make a living and provide for her two small children. Through this course she has found new opportunities, went back to school and now sells little purses that she learned to make.
I (Salla) have worked with Costa Rican teen mothers for 9 years. Since the beginning we have seen the need for good sexual education for young people. The families, schools, churches and government don’t really offer anything at all in this area and that is why there are so many pregnancies. Many girls admit that they got pregnant because of lack of information. They have many questions, but no places where to find real and honest answers based on facts. Since last summer more and more doors have been opening to our base for sexual education in local schools. The past two months I have been going every Tuesday to different high schools to teach sexual education classes. It is rewarding when the youth come to thank me and say that finally someone cares enough to come and talk to them about these things. And for me it is a privledge to respond to such a big need in this country, and to do it as a Christian and with Christian values.
We feel the Lord is guiding us toward purchasing the base property and He has also brought partners who are interested in helping us to see it happen. However, a multinational company has bought land on the other side of our home mountain and are planning on starting an open mine in there. As a village, together with surrounding communities we have tried to fight them and keep them from opening the mine, but it is practically impossible, since the local stock owners of the company are ex and present presidents, congressmen and other powerful people. The unfortunate truth in this country is that people and groups like this get everything they want, legally or illegally. It is difficult to say what the implications of a mine in our area can be, but possibly big changes to the ecosystem, dust, noise pollution… We are ready to proceed to buy the land, but are not sure what it will be like in the future to have this mine in the neighborhood. We would like to ask you to pray with us about the situation. If there is injustice with the mine, that it would not open, that God would stop them. And at the same time that God would open doors so that we could soon have a permanent place for the ministry and we could start the needy and urgent construction for more and better housing facilities.
During these months (May -August) the base seems like a bees’ hive, there are people coming and going all the time, every bed is taken and we all share the joys of living together in small space. In April we had about 50 people sleeping at the base at the same time (normal max is 38). From now till August we have lot of groups, activities, Bible distribution, first aid training, painting of schools, self defense training to policemen, children’s ministry, church ministry, youth camp etc. We thank God for the teams, staff, volunteers and translators!
Discipleship Training School is a 6-month program for Christians over 18 yrs of age who want to take time for strengthening their personal relationship with God and also get a missions experience. The first 3 months of the school is a lecture phase here at the base and then a 10-week outreach in another location, in this case in some other Central American country. Families and couples are also welcome! Our schools are bilingual (English and Spanish), so there is no language requirements. For more information write to: jucumguanacaste (at) gmail.com
Troy is really into basketball and soccer. He seems to have either practises or games several days a week. He is active, social and loves sports, but is also doing well in school.
Julia has started taking piano classes and would also like to try tennis. She can spend hours in her room drawing, doing crafts, but then also enjoys playing outdoors like playing with the dogs or racing cars with her brothers.
Nikkis is 4, but you cannot call him a boy, he wants to be called man. Once he was buying gum and the lady in the store handed him a pink gum. He looked at it and said: “No, give me one for men!”. He loves working like raking, cooking, cleaning, building, digging, pushing a wheel barrow or anything else that can be considered physical work. That’s are always more fun than toys and playing.
We are still so happy about our home where we can rest and relax as a family, no matter what is going on at the base. Sometimes it is hard to find family time, and that is especially why we are so much looking forward to going to Finland this summer! In a month we will already be there and we return to CR on August 15th. Nikkis is looking forward to skiing and refuses to believe that it is summer in there too. Troy and Julia will attend a Finnish children’s camp and are looking forward to spending time with their cousins.They are also waiting for all the fun things you can do and eat in Finland. With Diego we mostly expect to get a rest, a break, free time and meet people. The last time we were in Finland for a longer time was 3,5 yrs ago. Even though we need a vacation, we also need to use part of this trip as a furlough. We will be traveling and sharing about our ministry at several locations. Our goal is to raise our support enough, so that covering basic expenses would not be a constant challenge and a burden.
Thank you for partnering with us!
We now have new website for the base, please visit it and get to know more about the ministry: