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Prayer Letter December 2012

 Dear Family and Friends:                                                                       December 2012

Feliz Navidad!

As we look back on this year, we can see how God continues to be faithful to us.  We are very blessed!  We arrived in Costa Rica for language school as strangers – strangers to the language, culture, and people.  We arrived as strangers and left as friends.  It was hard to leave our friends in the US and it was difficult to leave our new friends in Costa Rica.  We look forward to starting our ministry in Nicaragua. We know that the God who has been faithful to us in the past will be faithful to us in the future.

 

Highlights:

1. New location – We lived in Costa Rica for a year learning Spanish. God provided a wonderful house for us to live in – close to school and the park.

2. New culture – The culture is very people and event oriented and less concerned with time.

3. New church – God blessed us with a church that loved us and was patient with our Spanish.

4. New school for our kids – Our children had been homeschooled but they made the transition to the school very well.  They made good friends.  We are proud of our children for their adaptability and flexibility.

5. New “daughter” - Our “adopted” Costa Rican daughter Priscilla.  Our family has become a second family to a special young lady.  She is attending college and wants to be a missionary someday.  She hung out at our house, ate our food, helped us with our Spanish, helped keep the boys from picking on Julia, and made us laugh.

6. New natural phenomenon – we experienced our first earthquakes.  Most were not very strong but we did have one that required us to evacuate our classrooms. 

7.  New ministry – our main purpose in Costa Rica was to learn the language but we also enjoyed ministering at a local orphanage.  We would go and play games with them, give caballo rides, do crafts, have a Bible story and love on the kids.

8. Visits – our great friends, the Harbaugh family, came to visit us for a week.  We traveled to see Arenal Volcano together and enjoyed some hiking, animals, and swimming.  Jen’s sister Kim and her husband John came to visit us also.  We enjoyed visiting La Paz Waterfall Gardens and San Jose.

 

Top 3 Spanish mistakes of 2012:

1. Jen asked our empleada if she would come upstairs so she could hit (pegar) her, instead of pay (pagar) her. 

2. Mark wanted to tell someone that he had already prayed for the meal.  He said: “Ya lloré” – which means “I already cried”.  (He meant to say “Ya oré”.)

3. In class we were talking about discipline during our childhood.  Mark accidentally said that my father would take off his skirt and spank him with it.  That is a scary picture.  (Falda is skirt and faja is belt)

 

Prayer requests: 

1. We would faithful.  Transition to Nicaragua and beginning our ministry will bring stress and pressure.  Please pray that this would push us closer to God and we would rely on Him.

2. God would bless our ministry as we get started.

3. Our children would transition well and make Godly friends.

4. Our Spanish would continue to improve so that we can communicate clearly.

5. Our relationships with family and friends would remain strong.

 

OUR KIDS

Andy

Gabe

Ben

Julia

Age

14

13

11

10

Height

5’5.5”

5’6.5”

5’2”

4’9.5”

Shoe Size

11

11.5

9

7

Favorite thing in Costa Rica

Friends, school, and soccer

Friends and soccer

Friends and soccer

School and food

 

We are excited about God calling us to be missionaries in Nicaragua!! The time has come.  We leave for Nicaragua in mid January.  We are excited to get started and also know there will be challenges.  Please pray for us that God will bless His work through us.

 Our prayer for you is that God would be glorified by your life and that you would know the love and blessings of serving God.  At Christmas we celebrate that God gave us the gift of Jesus who came to die on the cross for our sins, and rise again, so we could live eternally with Him.

 

We hope you have a very Merry Christmas and that God blesses you in this new year!

 Love, Mark, Jen, andy, Gabe, Ben, Julia