It is great to be back in San Jose' again! The past three months have flown by and I have anticipated coming back every day. Once relationships are developed, it is hard to be away from these developing friendships. Cindy Schmidt, New Life's Mission Director has joined me on this trip. It is intended to focus on meetings with other US pastors whose churches send teams here and local ministry leaders including Rodney and Cindy LaFrance, the missionaries her on a full-time basis.
After arriving at mid-day (no major flight problems at all), I go into Los Anonos with Taylor, a great 20-something gal who has been ministering here this past year. She goes once a week to a local family's home and does physical therapy with an 11 year old girl who has ceribal paulsy. It is an excellent way to integrate into a family and reach them through this practical expression of Christ's love. It begins to rain while we are there -- it it RAINY season here in Costa Rica. This rain continues throughout the evening! I take a few minutes and visit Marvin, whose home we built this past July. Though it is raining, his home is dry and homey. I am so pleased the the Yellow Houses do what they are intended to do! Marvin is very happy with his new place and proudly shows off his now furnished home.
After dinner, we head to the casita for the Friday evening youth meeting. Because of the heavy rain, we start late, but eventually about 30 people brave the weather to worship together. Mike, a pastor from the Vineyard Church in Grand Rapids speaks on what it means to faithfully follow Christ. He uses the parable of the servants to show how important using the resources and gifts God has given to you is to the Kingdom. Several raise their hands, openly indicating that they have not been faithful in their Christian walk. We pray for these and the Holy Spirit shows up and shows deeper issues that must be dealt with, heals broken hearts and draws these nearer to Himself.
If you have read this blog for awhile, you will remember my friend Jason. He had been doing very well in staying away from Crack when our team was here in July, but in late August was drawn back into this very dark world. He has separated himself from other Christ-followers until tonight when he showed up and sat with me at the meeting. Thought he asked for prayer and seems to realize his spiritual situation, drugs are a strong pull temptation used by the enemy to pull men and women far away from their relationship with Christ. It is hard to see him struggling, but I know that God will continue to draw him home -- just good decisions on his part are needed.
And this is JUST day 1!