“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I hope in Him!” Lamentations 3:22-24
Thank God that He is slow to anger and He is merciful. I would have been “consumed” a long time ago if He had not poured His Mercy out on me. I am sure that many of you would agree in your own lives. Now we can take the step He has put in front of us and make Him our portion daily. I love my Savior and the change He has made in my life. My soul can only call out to Him and praise Him because what He has done and continues to do. Thank you so much to all of you who have remembered me and my family in your prayers. We can tell when we have people behind us in prayer, please continue to lift us up and this ministry.
So on with the news from the past month and a half. This past month and a half has been the busiest time in our ministry here in Costa Rica. It has been so awesome to see the Lord working in people’s lives here. These are some of the things that happened:
• The 4 guys from the States (Ryan, Gerry, Gabriel, and Sosimo) made it here safe and sound. It is so nice to have other guys here that have the same goal in mind, Matt 28:19, 20. Also it is great to have more friends!
These guys have been such a great help in the church. Please pray for them, that the Lord would grow them in their time here, protect them, and provide for them.
• The Christmas gift hand out at the Salvation Army went great! We as a church, the church in the States included, were able to give 29 gifts to the kids. The guys, Annie and Darwin, and Chelly and I were able to cook (well Chelly cooked) and serve the people (there were about 150 kids and adults there).
Thank you so much to those of you who were able to buy gifts for these kids and give us an opportunity to serve them.
• Well this year we were pressed for time and were not able to have a Christmas party with the church. However, we did get to make tamales as a church, we made about 190. We gave them out to our neighbors and to some of the poorer people in the center of town. The tamales provided a great opportunity to share the love of God and we hope to continue this tradition.
• Once again my parents were able to come down and spend Christmas with their grand kids. While they were here we were able to go to Rivas and have lunch with Adriana and 2 of her boys. Please continue to pray for her as she looks for work and tries to provide for her boys. As far as my parents, they had a nice time and a needed break. Please also be praying for them, their students, and their safety in the ministry in Juarez, Mexico.
• We had our first baptism! Yendry has wanted to be baptized for the past year, but due to timing and a phobia of water we had to put it off.
But on the 9th of this month we were able to baptize her in a kid pool in the back yard! It was a fun time with her and Alex, her new husband.
• We also had our first wedding! Alex and Yendry were married on the 16th of this month. Darwin and I preformed it in both English and Spanish, Chelly prepared all 6 of the kids that were in the wedding and Annie and Ryan played the music for the wedding. They are a great couple and I can’t wait to see how the Lord is going to use them as they head back to the States.
The church here has seen many new faces come and go in the last few months. It has been great to be a part of their lives, but sometimes it can get depressing when dealing with people. It is so sad to see a person come in our house, get really excited about hearing the Word and the promises of God, but then turn around to go right back into the temporal satisfaction of the world. You want to see them succeed in Christ so bad, and pray for them to the point of tears. I guess everyone has their choice, but this brings me no comfort. Please join us in praying for these people, they have such a thirst but no drive behind them. They have been ruled by their own lusts and desires for so long that they think that it can’t get any better than the present. On the flip side, there are those who do understand that they need Christ, even coming to him in tears, but in the end, after the emotion has faded, they once again please themselves by the world. Ahhhh, my heart breaks for them; I cannot image what God goes through. Ask that the Lord would continue to pour His mercy out on them, and that they in turn would repent and have God be their portion.
We have many things planned for the next few months and ask that you pray that the people would respond to the work that the Lord has us in. Gerry, along with Darwin, has started to plan a prison ministry and maybe a drug rehab ministry. We are trying to get paperwork ready for the prison ministry right now, please pray that the Lord gives Darwin and Gerry favor with the director of the prison. They will be able to have 30 guys for a couple of hours 2 times a month. Also Gerry and Darwin talked with one of the local drug rehabs here in town to see if they could teach the Bible to the guys. The director said that it will be possible on Wednesday and on Sundays! So we will see what the Lord has planned.
Darwin and Gabe have come up with the idea to have a soccer tournament in March. The plan is to have the church set up a tournament with 12 teams and preach the Gospel to all that come. Pray that we can get some help from some of the shops in town for prizes, food, or drinks. This is going to have a huge impact on the community. As far as the women, Chelly and Annie had a “Women’s Té” on the 18th of December that went very well. They had about 13 women come and listen to a little study in Philippians, and also to have some fellowship. They are planning to have another on the 29th of this month.
The building is almost done! I still need to put lights up and pour the floor, but we have already met once out there. We have 5 guys from Durango, CO coming down to pour the floor at the end of February. I cannot wait to see these guys and have them share in the ministry down here. Also a huge thanks to our sending church in Murrieta for giving us this building.
One last thing that I think is important to let you know about. We have been having a lot of problems with our car. Back in March we had a shop in town rebuild the motor for a hefty price. Since then we have had other problems with the heads (top part of the motor) that have cost a lot. Needless to say we have come up short these last two months. Please pray for the Lord’s direction. We are thinking of selling the car so we can make it the rest of the year, but this will affect the ministry. When the girls start going back to school we will have less time with the people and a very unpredictable schedule (the schools here are never consistent in the time they let the kids out). However, if the Lord doesn’t want us to have a car we are more than ready to do what He wants. So we ask you to pray for us in what decision the Lord wants us to make.
Again thank so much for your prayer. Please do not forget us or the people that are here serving with us. God can make a fish have money in its mouth, but He can’t force us to talk to Him. Prayer is so very important to us so please continue in it.
In our Savior,
Curtis, Chelly, and girls