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Prayer Letter April 2012

Hola de Costa Rica!  We have finished our first trimester of learning Spanish!  We thought we would be fluent by now but they are making us stay longer. Hemos aprendido mucho pero tenemos mucho más todavía. 

I received an e-mail this month from a college student friend who asked a couple questions:

1. What was the hardest thing to let go of before agreeing to start the mission process?
2. What are some current struggles you guys are facing that you probably would not be facing had you not answered God's call?

These are interesting questions.  What is it costing us to be a follower of Christ?  In Luke 14, Jesus says that we should count the cost of being his disciple.  We should expect it to be costly.  Jen was reading this week in Malachi where God is chastising the people of Israel for their sacrifices. They were bringing blind and blemished animals to be sacrificed.  God rebuked them because they were not obedient and because they would not give their best to God.  In II Samuel 24, David says "I will not sacrifice to the Lord my burnt offering that costs me nothing."   God is worthy of our best and of our sacrifice.  Christ is our example.  He voluntarily emptied Himself of anything and everything that stood in the way of the glory and gain of His Father through Him.  What about us? Rights, privileges, pleasures, possessions, and well-formed plans are not be wrong in and of themselves, but are we willing to hold them loosely and even let them go—to sacrifice them—if it will enable us to fulfill God's purpose for our lives?  What are we willing to sacrifice?

This reminds me of a story:  A missionary society in South Africa once wrote to David Livingstone, "Have you found a good road to where you are? If so, we want to send other men to join you." Livingstone replied, "If you have men who will come ONLY if they know there is a good road, I don't want them." God is a God of blessing but we must hold those blessings loosely – willing to sacrifice them if God asks.

God has blessed us greatly and we praise him for His provision in many ways

1.      The opportunity to attend language schoolNuestros Amigos!Nuestros Amigos!

2.      The friends we have made at the language school

3.      Finishing our first trimester with good grades

4.      The opportunity for Andy and Gabe to play baseball

5.      Mark & Ben celebrated their birthdays

6.      Our wonderful friends, the Harbaughs, who came to visit us in April! Our families had a blast together!  Thank you for coming.

 This month's funny things from language school:

1.  Jen was talking to someone about not being able to see something on a high shelf.  She said "Soy baja y mis hijos no pueden ver." She said - I am short and my children cannot see.  She meant - I am short and my eyes cannot see.  (Hijos = children, ojos = eyes).

2.  A person in my class was reciting Romans 6:23.  The wages of sin is death.  She said pescado (fish) instead of pecado (sin).  So the wages of fish is death - therefore, don't eat fish.

Thank you for your faithful financial support, your encouragement, and your prayers.  You are blessing to us!  Please continue to pray for us.  We are praying for you too – if you have specific prayer requests, please respond to this e-mail and let us know.  Oramos para que Dios los bendiga como se lo sirven fielmente.

Mark, Jen, Andy, Gabe, Ben, Julia