How much can happen in a week? It’s more like, how much MORE can happen in a week? A different home, a different car, a different pet and a whole lot more that I don’t have space to list. Last Saturday (Nov. 30, 2013) we moved to Costa Rica after 15 months of raising our support and 4 years of seminary before that. We’ve been talking and praying about ministry as missionaries for over 6 years and the step of crossing cultures has finally begun – Praise the Lord!
When we walked out of the airport that afternoon, ReachGlobal Missionaries from the San Jose team greeted us warmly and introduced our boys to their new puppy! We could’ve landed on the moon after that and the boys wouldn’t have even noticed. All they could see was their new puppy! We named him “Benny”; which is short for “bendicione”, and means “blessing” in Spanish –a theme that I would say clearly summarizes this transition. Our first stop was our new home, where we met our landlord from Germany and some of our new Costa Rican neighbors. The whole experience was so surreal. It felt and still feels a lot like going down the white rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland which other missionaries would readily empathize with. Several times so far we have said that it feels as if we are living someone else’s life – though we are thankful and excited for every bit of it.
Practically speaking, most of our week has just been about trying to get our furniture and utilities set up. We have even had a little time to eat meals with other missionaries and do some exploring of the area. We purchased a used car from some missionaries that were leaving Costa Rica before we came and that has helped tremendously. They were actually the previous tenants in the place where we now live and have been one of the many blessings God gave us that we didn’t even know enough to ask for. Over and over again we have thought of how God has cared for his people in the past. Echoing in our minds has been:
Isaiah 52:12 …“But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.”
Overall we have felt like we have seen the hand of the Lord going before us and coming behind us daily – preparing and protecting. In a new world where you don’t know the dangers or delights you learn pretty quickly to lean on the Lord for all that you know and don’t know. He’s teaching us so much about how faithful He was, is and will be again. Especially as we pursue our new challenges; the biggest of which being mastering the language of Spanish during our year here in Costa Rica. After that we will trust Him for the move to Panama and our work there. In the end we know that He is trustworthy because of who He is, was and will always be. God is the same God today as He was yesterday and will be tomorrow. We praise Him for whom He is, what He has done and even how He has chosen to do it and that’s where many of you come in because you are part of this too!
God has chosen to do so much of this through His people and we’re aware that we wouldn’t be here without God’s people believing enough to get behind us. I’ve heard it said, “It takes a village to raise a child”. I’d like to add that it takes more than that to raise a missionary family. In our case, it has taken 8 churches and over 100 households to be precise. Surely God could have done it with far less if He had wanted it that way which only leads me to conclude that He wanted particular people connected to this particular work for His particular purposes. That gives us great joy to know that God is so sovereignly working in all of our lives that way every day even when we can’t see or detect it. Thank You Lord for EVERYTHING!!!