Monday, April 20, 2009

First Horse Rescue

We have a possibility for our first horse rescue!

Remolino is a small paint quarter horse; he is well trained in the western style and good with kids. The current owners are trying to force him into a Spanish style of riding that is painful and very unnatural for any horse, but especially Remo because he is an older horse. Remo is being trained right here on our property and we are subjected to watching his hired trainer beat and mistreat him. We have approached the owners and they are realizing that perhaps Remo can't learn this style of riding, so they are considering letting us buy him.

If you recall, Remo is the same horse that struck Mare's hip when she first started working with him. He has changed a lot since that. Mare decided to back off and start from the beginning with him... giving him treats, talking to him and just spending time with him. Then, slowly, she started riding him again with Naomi in the front of the saddle. Now he has changed from an aggressive horse to a sweet horse with a streak of stubbornness. He truly shows his dislike towards the trainer, but shows appreciation towards Mare and Naomi.

How can Remolino be a vehicle, no pun intended, for ministry?

Well, Brooke was recently at the sand park with Naomi and got to speak with a young woman named Nancy. She is El Salvadorian and her husband is Costa Rican, however, until recently they have lived in Queens, New York in a Spanish speaking community. They have an adorable little six year old daughter named Jocelyn. In December, her husband decided to move them to San Ramon to live with his mother. Unfortunately, after three months he was unable to find work, so two weeks ago he returned to New York leaving behind a very lonely and scared wife and daughter. We would love to be able to offer friendship to them and use the horse with Jocelyn as a way to build trust. They are Catholic, of course, but our prayer is to share the hope of a relationship with Jesus as the way to ease their hurting hearts. Please pray for Nancy and Jocelyn, for salvation and peace.

How can you be involved?

This is an opportunity for you to get involved in helping to adopt the first Rancho Oasis horse! We are asking that you pray and see how the Lord might lead. The owners have told us that they will consider any offer from us as long as it is fair. Their trainer has suggested $1,600. We are considering and praying about $800. If you feel led to donate and help adopt Remolino please email us back and let us know how much you can give. Every little bit helps so don't think you have to give a huge amount!

As always, you can send donations to Heartland Christian Fellowship (see address below). Please make checks payable to HCF and note on the memo line "For Remolino".

We know that if it is God's will for us to have this horse that He will provide.

Thank you all for your prayers in this matter. We will let you know how it all turns out.

Just a reminder also to pray for the property. We are planning on speaking to the owners again this next week.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

April 18th Prayer Needs

1. It has been great to have Wayne and Brooke back from their support building trip in the States! They have been a super-help with the girls and have allowed Mare and I to have more time with each other. Continue to pray that we communicate in love with one-another; reality is, it takes something supernatural to live with people.

2. Marriage Report: Mare and I have been able to spend more time with each other reading the Word, praying and going on walks after school. Continue to pray that God strengthens our relationship!

3. Our devotional life has also been growing! I’ve been reading through the life of Christ and listening again to Francis Chan podcasts, while Mare is journaling through Isaiah and reading Jon Courson’s commentary. God is good! Continue to pray that we take Him up on His challenges!

We also have committed to study Hebrews together as a family Sunday mornings! Jon also desires to continue his involvement with our Tico friend’s church, Olivo Verde, and the youth group.

4. Jon’s new schedule is much better with school! God has already made up the difference with the loss in salary by adding a new church to our monthly support team!

Please pray specifically (attitude & behavior) for some of Jon’s students:
Edward, Paula, Sofia, Maria Jose and Jessica (7th grade);
Chang-Yu, Samantha, Luis Carlos, Monica, and Edelman (8th grade);
Juan Jose and Diego (9th grade);
Karina and Marcos (10th grade)

5. Property potential: We haven’t yet met up with the owners. Please pray that God softens their hearts and makes clear the direction we should follow.

6. Jon has three weeks off in July. We would like to plan a trip back to the United States to visit friends and family. Pray that God provides! (We had money set aside, but spent almost all of it on my self-employment taxes from ’08. Thankfully, we had the funds to pay that off!)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Please PRAY!!

We’ve found an ideal property for our vision for Rancho Oasis for Youth:

- About twenty acres, of beautiful jungle / forest / pasture
- Less than 10 minutes from the heart of San Ramon
- A river runs on the north side
- Natural spring water source
- Natural amphitheatre with ample flat land (flat is hard to find in CR)

Click here to view more pictures.

Wayne and I (Jon) met with the owners last night to discuss price and share our vision for the Ranch. The family is from Taiwan and claim to be Christians. I lent them the Crystal Peak Youth Ranch video in order for them to get an idea of the RO4Y. We will meet again in a few days.

click here to view Crystal Peak's video

We know if this is THE property God will open doors and provide the resources we need to purchase the land.

-Pray that God will lay it on people’s hearts to help financially.
-Pray that God will give us the wisdom to finance the land.
-Pray that the family will lower the price as we desire to use the land for ministry.
-Pray that God would clearly open or close the door!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

8th Graders

What does it mean to be thirteen years old:

body changing, hormones racing and one’s identity creating!

Some people say that working and ministering to junior high students is a calling. I agree. (See Galatians 2:20)

The eighth grade students at school drive me nuts! However, it is the kind of insanity that makes you want to come back for more.

Praise be to God that my most difficult students at Colegio Bilingue San Ramon are slowly becoming my best class. After some encouragement from my supervisor and the school psychologist – I firmed up my class discipline strategies and the students are responding well! Tough love, baby!

*         *         *

Seven weeks into the school year, I was feeling a lot of pressure to prepare eight different classes throughout the week. Spread too thin, I began to fall behind in class work. All the signs pointed to a need for a change in my schedule. I was sacrificing precious time with my family and relationship with God to pour myself into books and papers. (Not exactly the Great Commission).
I knew that God had provided this job for me, but I also knew that investing in people had a greater eternal impact. I spoke to my supervisor and made some changes with my preparation, but my workload was simply too much! (My dad, a retired elementary principal of thirty years, commented that the average teacher has five classes to prepare: 8 – 5 = 3; I had 3 additional classes).

God again opened the door for me and I was able to drop two of my classes. My supervisor was completely understanding and totally willing to work out a new schedule. God is so good; He was preparing one of these classes for a Christian co-worker who was actually looking for more work!

As a result of the changes, I move from a 40 lesson week to a 30 lesson week. We are trusting the Lord to make up the difference with the decrease in salary of about $180 a month.

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.