Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"You will keep in perfect peace
the girl whose mind is steadfast,
because she trusts in you." Is. 26:3

The Holy Spirit comforted me with this verse today as I hugged my Dad goodbye at the airport and drove away.  I was blessed to have him visit me here in San Jose.  My good friend Jake, who is also from our church, accompanied Dad on this trip.  I had the refreshing privilege to hear them each speak at different churches a few times this week.  They brought me supplies from the States for the children I teach English to in Cartago.  My kids were thrilled to receive their very own pencil cases and notebooks. 
The encouragement and time with my Dad was like water in a desert.  Although God has taken amazing care of me here as well as the people, a hug from my Dad did wonders for my heart.

Goodbyes are never easy for me but I know so deep down I am here for a season by God's appointing.  His heart is home and I am content.  For that reason I was able to walk away from my Dad and be at peace.  God is always in control, He has never lost control and He never will; this my soul knows very well.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Isaiah 43

"But now, this is what the LORD says—
       he who created you, he who formed you:
       "Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
       I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
       I will be with you;
       and when you pass through the rivers,
       they will not sweep over you.
       When you walk through the fire,
       you will not be burned;
       the flames will not set you ablaze. 
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
       and because I love you,
       I will give men in exchange for you,
       and people in exchange for your life.  5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
       I will bring your children from the east
       and gather you from the west.
  I will say to the north, 'Give them up!'
       and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.'
       Bring my sons from afar
       and my daughters from the ends of the earth-
  everyone who is called by my name,
       whom I created for my glory,
       whom I formed and made."
  Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,
       who have ears but are deaf."

This passage has been a comfort to me in the last week.  I have been asked to pray and consider starting a work from scratch that feeds and houses the children being exploited at the borders.  No one is working with these children.  Many of them are sick emotionally and physically.  As I sat hearing of the desperate need for someone to go and be willing to work with these children, my heart began to pound with that familiar beat, GO ANNA.    I am told it is hard.  I am told it can be dangerous.  In my mind I feel myself shrink back and a soft voice reminds me, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"  Now I see it, many tiny, hungry, broken, hurting faces.  Tears roll down my cheeks.  No, nothing is ever too hard for God.  I look back into the past and remember all the times I have seen His faithfulness and His power to make what seems impossible, possible.

God has never failed me.  So once again, I pray," Lord, If you say Go, I will go."

Friday, September 11, 2009

This week feels like one big blur, full of challenges and yet so so fun!  We did a program for the children of St Augustins community.  The kids responded so enthusiastically that the director asked if we would be a regular part of their work next year.  We did puppets, worship, dramas, face painting and bubble games.  The team that I am pleased to be apart of is Manuel, Claudia, their kids and a friend German.  We are one big happy missionary family over here. 

I found a place on Thursday to run near Manuel and Claudia's home that is safe and that has been a great place to just release, pray and think.  Thursdays are the days I teach English in Cartago.  So it was nice to run and pray in preparation for teaching that day.  I find that I have to gear up spiritually everytime I go to minister in Cartago.  Cartago is one of the hardest cities in all of Costa Rica to work.  The spiritual environment is tough and very oppressive.  I have not met very many missionaries who even go there and even many Costa Ricans I meet do not like going to Cartago.    However, that is one of the places God has me going and I love it!  I have been bonding with the women and children there and the best sound in the world is when the kids shout "Anna!" or "Annita!" and practically knock me over with hugs and kisses. 

I am so blessed.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I am sick today.  I am still running a fever, it is hot and I must teach the kids in Cartago.  I think, "Come on Anna, you can do this!" and then I hear that ever familiar, still, small voice whisper encouragement to my heart.  Yes, because of Jesus I can do this.

I arrive to find the kids and mothers have walked and are in a huge line outside the church waiting for me.  I am humbled.  Miraculously I am feeling great and able to teach for the next hour and not even think about how sick I have felt.  God is so good.

I hug everyone goodbye and sigh that by God's grace I was able to stand the whole time and no one but Manuel knew how sick I was.  

We drop off clothes to a young Mother and one of my students, Andrea.  Her baby was not due until November but he decided to arrive today.  She has nothing for the child.  She is apart of one family out of four that live in a small house.  I can't imagine.  Manuel, Claudia and I arrive with clothes, blankets and diapers.  The family is grateful, they literally had nothing for the baby.  My heart breaks.  I am near tears and I don't know if it is from exhaustion, the heat or the site I had just left; maybe it is all one combination to keep me humble and so thankful.  I begin to feel sick again and right before sleep claims me for the hour drive home, I think, I am blessed.