Written on July 9, 2012
ONE AFTERNOON: It is almost 5 pm, I am leaning against the car tire, on the side of the road, enjoying a beautiful green view of fields and trees, listening to birds, parrots, and some cars driving by. Peaceful… even the air is fresher at this time of the day. Next to me sits Laura, another Finn that we work with, her husband Kimmo walks around the car and their 2 yr old son Robin is trowing stones and having fun with bugs that he finds on the ground. Everything is ok, normal, but unexpected. We were on our way home from San Jose, happy to have finished our business there relatively fast and expecting to make it home before dark. Even the truck got much needed new tires from San Jose! Then, less than an hour from home, the car breaks down… it ended up being some important screw holding some other important parts and belts in their places. So here we were, sitting and waiting on the side of the road, four foreigners looking like tourists in trouble. Not the safest setting, I even hid my valuables under the car seats, just in case, and decided to stay as invisible to the passing cars as possible. So plans changed, a good day finished with an unexpected turning. It happens a lot! It also happens a lot that one of our cars brake. Of course Diego is somewhere far away with a team. We call the base for someone to get our other car to come and tow us, but they end up hitting a tree with it even before getting out of our yard… Thank God for friends who are again willing to help in a time of need (that happens a lot, too)! Our mechanic is willing to leave his other jobs and drive for an hour to come and help, or actually just to confirm that the car needs to be towed to the shop. Our other friend, who runs a melon farm, sends a truck from his farm to tow the car and comes himself to take me, Laura, Robin and a car load of base groceries directly home. The mechanic, the truck driver and Kimmo took the car to the shop and after ordering parts, sending money and waiting we eventually got the truck back. So we did make it home that night, even though after dark. Dinner and our kids were waiting for us at the base and little bit later Diego also arrived from the day’s ministry with the team. After dinner we went home to work on kids’ homework, to shower and to put them to bed. I was pretty tired myself, (having started to drive to San Jose at 3 am) but happy to have finished the day’s task and having the whole family safely home in our own beds for another night!
It is so important to keep the perspective remembering with whom we walk, what our goals are and to see how they usually are reached, even when there are distractions and obstacles on the way. It is also important to keep our trust and flexibility, the ability to enjoy every moment, even when things don’t go according to our plans. We have been reminded to remain faithful to God as we walk, or as we stumble, forward. God’s word to Joshua: ‘Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. ‘.
UPDATE FROM THE PAST MONTHS:
In April my 29 yr old cousin in Finland died of cancer. In the last 15 years I have missed sharing many important moments with my family in Finland, but this time it worked out that I was able to travel to the funeral. Some of you helped to cover the cost of my flights, thank you very much! I was able to travel for 10 days and be physically present to mourn the early death of a dear family member.
Few years ago we had our previous YWAM Mexico and Central American conference in Guatemala. From our location in Guanacaste there were only two of us, Diego and I. This past May we had another similar conference in Nicaragua and this time we participated with 22 people from Guanacaste!!! It is great to see fruit in this way, too. We went with all the staff, volunteers and two local families that are very closely involved with our ministry, even though they are not on staff (at least yet). In the conference we were able to spend time with about 300 other YWAMers from Central America and Mexico and to receive refreshing teachings.
End of May we started the season for sort-term outreach teams. In May-June we had three groups in a row; a family group, youth group and young adults group. Each one of them was different and their ministry was little different, but all of them were a great blessing to local communities, people and us. This summer we have a great staff and volunteer team, so the practical work, organization and translation has not been so heavy on us anymore. However Diego is still the only one who drives the base bus, so he is out with teams every day driving, helping and translating. While Diego does that my main job is the kids and to pick them up from school in Nicoya every afternoon. I also help with practical jobs and logistics at the base.
FROM NOW ON:
The first few weeks of July we don’t have teams and the kids have their ”winter” break from school. After that we will continue for little over a month with groups. Last week the Lord provided time and money for us as a family to drive to the southern part of Costa Rica where we had never been before. We went to Osa Peninsula, which is famous for it’s uniquely rich and beautiful nature. And yes, we drove the new truck! In May we were able to pay the taxes and register the truck here in the country. We have been trying to sell our van and trailer to get the money for the taxes, but so far without success. So we were lent the money to pay the taxes until we can sell everything. Please help us to pray that God would bring people to buy the things so that we can soon be free of debt!
End of this month we will have a leadership gathering for YWAM Costa Rica and end of August a national staff training for all YWAM staff in Costa Rica. The goal is especially to train young and new workers. You can help us by praying for wisdom and guidance for both evenths.
August 30th we will start our second Discipleship Training School, DTS! We are praying that God would hand pick the group of students from the nations and especially local students from Guanacaste! The great challenge for the locals is to raise financial support due to the lack of vision and heart for missions in the local churches. We are looking for people willing to sponsor local students and you can contact us if you feel on your heart to do that.
Since last summer we have been praying and thinking of our future plans. For the last 3 years we have been looking for an opportunity for further training in the University of the Nations, but haven’t found a right time and place. Traveling is more complicated because of the kids’ school and high cost. Now we feel we have found a 6 week seminar that meets our need, expectations and could work out. We are applying to YWAM Colorado Springs for next January and February to take a Teaching and Ministry Development Seminar that will train us especially in the area of teaching. Besides practical learning, we are looking forward to spritual refreshment and growth, distance to our normal ministry routine and strengthening of our vision and call. This is a bigger base that runs several UofN courses at the same time and has many staff and students from different countries. We are just starting the application process, but wanted to share this with you already.
Tonight, just like every Monday night, we had a family night at the base. It is open to everyone staying at the base, as well as for the locals from our community. Tonight only few people came, but it was a beautiful night. Diego taught from the book of Joshua, then we talked, shared prayer requests, prayed and had some cake. In the sharing time, for the first time we heard from a person in our village what we have known to be true, but it was so good to hear someone say it! This woman was sharing how she has noticed that all the people that come to YWAM from different countries, always pray for this place, this village and the people here. She realizes that it is not a coincidence that the community has developed, changed and organized itself during the last few years!!! That is so true! What other people might call accidents, or their own achievements, or good luck, we call it THE BLESSING OF GOD, AN ANSWER TO PRAYERS, A PROVE THAT GOD HAS SET HIS EYES AND HEART ON THIS VILLAGE!!! These are some of the most rewarding moments of doing what we do! We long to see other people from here to start drawing similar conclusions, because it has challenged at least this lady to seek God personally.
This year it will be 7 years from when we packed our personal belongings from Heredia, moved and started to minister here in Guanacaste. During that time there have been hundredes, or maybe thousands of people from different countries that have come through our base. They have all come to bless and to sow, which has not been in vain. And most of these people continue praying for this place when they go back home, or many of them have a group of people praying for them and the places they go to. So the amount of people that has been praying for our village and villagers is limitless and continues to grow. It is a powerful group that will brake through the darkness and the plans of the enemy. We believe that the harvest will be great, that we are only taking the first baby steps now. THANK YOU for your prayers!!
Thank you also for your friendship and for partnering with us through financial gifts!
We hope that you and your close ones will have a blessed and sunny summer!