The summer season is about to start! We need your prayers! It is going to be a busy summer, we are hosting 6 outreach teams, but all the other staff members are taking furlough/vacation during this time as well, so it will almost be like the early years in Guanacaste for us, just us dealing with teams. Thankfully God has sent volunteer help this way!
Pictures from a course we run the past few months for young mothers; My mom Leena babysitting and the girls receiving a class with a nutritionist.
We went to Panama for a week for YWAM Americas directors conference. There were about 250 YWAM leaders gathered together from North, Central and South America. It was an encouraging time to hear from God, from each other and strengthen our friendships, make connections and look at the future together. As of today, there are over 20 000 full time workers in YWAM worldwide, but 4,5 million people who have gone through YWAM programs, who carry the YWAM “dna” and are part of the family. We realize that as a small and a new base it is important for us to go to these conferences. But it is a sacrifice and difficult to find the time and money to go. This year we still have another important one to go to, the University of the Nations Workshop in Tijuana, Mexico in September. As the base can, it helps us to cover some of these costs, but it has been a burden on our family finances.
The base bus was getting old and now was a good time to sell it. We did and God provided the rest of the money for us to purchase a bus from the States. The challenge is again to pay the vehicle import taxes here in Costa Rica, which are rather hight. We need to raise $15,000 to have the bus here in Guanacaste with all the paperwork done. We feel this is a good bus for the area and will serve the ministry and visiting teams well for many years to come. Please pray with us for provision, we need the bus here as soon as possible to use it this summer. Please let us know if God is calling you to donate toward this need.
Pictures: 1) The base boys and chics! 2) Doña Ana giving a Bible teaching in Kids’ Club.
Cowboys and other teams
Right now we are hosting a DTS group from Cowboys With A Mission Wyoming for a few weeks. They are a special group, reaching out to local families and farmers with their skills in ranching, with animals and hard physical work. They also helped us with projects around the base to get ready for this summer’s teams. It is a blessing to have them here! From now on we will be busy with hostin teams until August. We are expecting teams from School of Worship YWAM San Jose, Arizona, Washington, Oregon and Finland! With these teams over thousand Bibles will be distributed and the Gospel presented in many different communities.
Family and Future plans
There are different seasons in life and as a family we feel that we are getting close to a change of seasons. First of all the big change is that the kids are growing, Troy is a full-qualifying teenager, Julia is getting close to that and even our “baby” is going to be 7 this year!
Since the beginning of our marriage it was clear that God wanted us here in Costa Rica, but with very strong and active ties to Finland, which is the other half of our family’s identity and heritage. We also felt that when the kids would be older we should live in Finland some years so that they can go to school there, learn to live in that culture and feel it their own as well.
Troy is already on 9th grade here, so if we are going to do it, we need to start making a plan. For the last few months we have been talking and praying about this more as a family and we have now made a decision and a plan. We will stay in Guanacaste until the end of 2014 and then move to Finland for some years (at the moment undefined period of time). As you might understand, there are many things that need to happen both here and there for this to become reality. First of all, we are praying that God would strengthen our base with a good group of leaders and staff with long term commitment to take on and continue the vision of the ministry. We want to see it growing, not dying! We will give our best during the next year and half for this to happen, to advance the construction of the new base and to speed up the Bible distribution project.
On the other hand, we also need to trust in the Lord to prepare a place for us in Finland. We have nothing to go back to there in what comes to possessions, positions, qualifications, so we are depending on God to open us doors in there.
As preparation for this, we will be taking the kids out of the local school here after this year and start homeschooling them with the Finnish system. Right now we are looking into bringing a teacher for them from Finland so that I (Salla) could still continue in full-time ministry.
As you are our senders, people who pray for us, we submit these plans to you and ask you to keep them in your prayers!
Picture: The EMI (Engineering Ministries International) drawing of the main building of the new base.
Please keep us in your prayers this summer! God is moving in our community, individuals and families are coming to him. We have a great privilege and responsibility to disciple them and see them become mature in the Lord. We witness miracles and also strong demonic opposition as we preach the Gospel and go into homes to distribute Bibles. Doors are opening in many areas for ministry, but in some other ones there is a lot of resistance, which shows that we are in the frontline of a spiritual battle. We need your prayers!