As we listened to a podcast this week, they were talking about peoples lives and their routines – how we are predictable with our schedules, our travels, our work and our time. We looked at each other and laughed out loud, as we considered what that meant for us! Schedule? That would be really helpful! Predictable? The only thing that is predictable for us is that our plan will be co-opted by God’s plan and all of the people that show up, don’t show up, call, or need help from us on a daily (many times ‘hourly’ basis) is all in God’s hands. Schedules and predictability of events are a thing in our not-so-distant past, and we have slowly but surely learned to embrace the fact that we have been in a type of boot camp, learning how we should be following God’s lead with our plans!
Matt. 16:24, “Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
With this training, miracles have also become a recognizable part of our life as we see God’s hand moving in ways that we could never have imagined. It is almost never in our timing, and most often not as we would have ‘planned’ it; nevertheless, it is beautiful and when you look for it, you see it happening all around you. We absolutely have a huge testimony about the cogs in the wheel that have brought us to where we are today as we begin the next work-discipleship project. Although every day brings its challenges, remember and all that God has done in the past, and that He holds the future. Because of this, we are able to rest much easier in the day to day with the way that our life seems to unfold here in Costa Rica.
If we relied on our flesh and our get-it-done characters, some of these things would have been taken care of years ago – but that wasn’t God’s plan. Looking back on the details, we see many of the reasons that the road was longer, windier, and full of hills and valleys. It is with this kind of progress and path that God can be glorified and we recognise that it has nothing to do with us – it is all about following God’s lead!
Of course, we would have loved to have had more done before the rainy season kicked in, but the Pura Vida attitude lends itself to a less pressured attitude of urgency. There is some rest in that when you really realize that God’s timing is different from yours, and He is the center of everything. Even with the challenges that the rain can bring, we are seeing provision with an amazing team to work alongside of us to move forward as we continue following God’s lead with the construction work that He has set before us. Earth has been moved, drainage has been perfected, landslides have been contained and protected, and roads have been upgraded on the farm, so we move steadily forward providing work for those in need, developing friendships, and discipling through it all.
John 8:12 “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
This is just something that makes us chuckle each time it happens …. even with the people who have known us over our 9 years in Costa Rica, there is still a ‘disconnect’ between the truth and their perception! At least they got the first name right this time (it’s usually ‘TIN’!).
The Greenhouse is still in full swing and we make periodic trips to the tilapia farm to try and keep our tilapia pond full:
Donations continue to allow us to provide for families in need:
John 10:4 “When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”
English and bible classes are flourishing in the neighborhood and with other ministries that we help and support:
Food distribution to neighbors who are out of work is a highlight when you see the gratitude and excitement on their faces for things that we all take for granted.
We continue to find favor (not in a timely fashion, nor with ease, nevertheless we find it!) with our legal requirements to continue to live, minister and work to support ourselves here.
The best part of all in every step of our non-scheduled life, is that simply focusing on following God’s lead is allowing all of the friendships that have developed to continue to flourish, allowing God to have His way in us.
When our Costa Rican friends take vacations and think to send us pictures of them playing in the snow, because they know how much we miss the fun of snow, it’s pretty encouraging. Seeing that you have been able to make an impact for Jesus in their lives and are thought of even when you’re not nearby, makes the hard stuff worth it all.
Learning to let go of your plans, keeping your grip on this world loose, and following God’s lead is an exciting way to live. Knowing that the things that He has put before you are the things that you are meant to do takes out the stress of guesswork and brings that blessed assurance that “Jesus is mine” in a way that can keep you going with the joy of The Lord in your heart, and the praise that He is due on your lips.
Psalm 107:1: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Hebrews 13:15: Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. Colossians 3:15: And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.
As always, we covet your prayers and thank you for your encouragement, partnership and support!