Thursday, May 21, 2009

Home Coming!

Here's a great panoramic shot from our front lawn (you can click on picture to get a bigger view).  Look for Naomi's tire-swing hanging from those amazing trees. 
The entrance to the property is to the left and the building to the right is Wayne's office/bodega.

1.   We celebrated our first year in Costa Rica three weeks ago, April 26th! God has been so faithful! We are excited to see what this next year brings…

2. Though our desire is to one day have our own property for the Ranch, God has been pressing on all of our hearts to begin the work of RO4Y now! We’ve become more diligent to pray and seek how RO4Y can be a reality. The realization occurred that the property we rent is a wonderful start, so we want to build.

Our desire is to construct a small bamboo barn with enough room for two horses. We also desire to build some picnic tables and a play area for families. Please pray that we receive permission from the owner to begin building. Our first mission team (yes, we are counting a team of TWO) arrives at the end of July and we desire to put them to work on these projects.

Through our involvement with our pastor friend Federico’s church, Jon’s school and some friends who were involved with both a school for the handicapped and an orphanage, the potentiality is very… potent to begin to minister to the youth of San Ramon and their families.

We have access to one horse that belongs to our friends (the shepherds who use the property). However, we are building and believing in faith that God will provide us with the right horses to fill those two stalls. Please pray for God’s provision of the horse and tack supplies, such as halters, brushes, helmets, bridles and two saddles.

Please kneel with us in prayer for God’s timing!!!

NOW FAITH is the assurance
(the confirmation, [a]the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].  Hebrew 11:1 (AMP)

3.  Friday, June 12th is approaching quickly. We are only a month away from receiving our
Costa Rican residency!  Praise the Lord for moving us through all the bureaucracy so quickly!

4.  We have purchased tickets to visit the States this July! We arrive Wednesday, July 8th and depart Friday, July 24th. Please pray for us as we desire to strengthen and grow our existing support team. Our time is short, but we are interested in sharing our vision with other churches in the Midwest (Iowa and Chicago area). We are also welcoming any assistance with covering the cost of the plane tickets.

View from behind the office/bodega.  This is where we will like to build the small 2 horse barn.

Looking south from driveway coming into the property.  You can see the sheep barn straight ahead.  The house is to the right.

Looking northwest at the house.  That's our home sweet home!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Radio Free Costa Rica

Last week I asked for some assistance with my "Labor Day" Reflection at school.  I got numerous ideas and verses for inspiration! Muchisimas Gracias!

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Here was the finished product:

Hello and good afternoon: This is Jonny English and you’ve tuned into Radio Free Costa Rica.

Tomorrow is the “Day of the Worker” (a.k.a Labor Day). Since many of you are still trying to understand what “work” really is, I thought I would share a reflection on the definition of work from a Biblical perspective:

“What is work?” Present that question to a cross-section of the population and you’ll probably receive a wide variety of answers. Unfortunately, within the context of contemporary culture it’s increasingly likely that many of these responses will be negative in tone. Many people use phrases such as “a bummer,” “what I have to do for money,” or “the only way to get to Friday” to describe their feelings about work. Even Christians sometimes reference the fall in the book of Genesis as support of their view that labor is nothing but a curse.

Far from being a curse, creative labor is a glorious privilege. It flows out of the heart of God Himself, who labored six days to bring the world into existence, stamped His inventive and energetic image upon mankind, and placed Adam in the garden to tend it, beautify it, and increase its productivity. The creativity of man, then, while subject to the effects of the fall, is nevertheless a mirror-image of the creativity of God. It is designed to be a source of joy so fulfilling and wonderful that the Lord deemed it necessary to give us the fourth commandment in order to insure that we would set our work aside and rest at least one day a week!

God has granted the stewardship of His material goods to owners; and these owners are in turn accountable to Him for the use of His “stuff” and responsible for the welfare and productivity of the workers who operate under their direction and authority. Within this sphere…wealth is generated that has the potential to meet the physical needs of mankind; and the responsibility for the compassionate use of this wealth, falls primarily upon the shoulders of those who are engaged in the field of Labor.

King Solomon writes:

Do you see any truly knowledgeable workers? They will serve kings rather than working for ordinary people.  Prov 22:29 (NLT)

Wise words bring many benefits, and hard work brings rewards.  Prov 12:14 (NLT)

Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave.  Prov 12:24 (NLT)

Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.  Prov 13:4 (NLT)

Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty!  Prov 14:23 (NLT)

Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but quick shortcuts lead to poverty.  Prov 21:5 (NLT)

Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin, for their hands refuse to work.  Prov 21:25 (NLT)

The apostle Paul writes:

17 Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others.19 By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.
1 Tim 6:17-19 (NLT)

The Lord Jesus himself said:

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.
Matt 6:19-20 (NLT)

And finally:

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Matt 11:28-30 (NLT)

Once again this is Jonny English reflecting on the meaning of “work” and I wish you a safe and thoughtful holiday!

Tune in next time as we discuss the controversial rise of corporal punishment at private institutes of learning.

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NOTE:  All Bible quotes taken from the New Living Translation. "What is Work" section taken from Focus on the Family's Truth Project.

May 3rd Prayer Needs

1. This Wednesday we are starting a home Bible study in English that will be open to the public. Wayne and I will share the responsibility of teaching through the book of Galatians, and Brooke and I will also split worship time. Several English speaking Ticos are interested in coming. Pray for God’s blessing and direction.

Jon teaching 6th grade

2. The end of the first trimester is approaching! This means final exams and final grades – all the “fun” administrative teaching stuff that I love! NOT! Pray for speed and perseverance for Jon. Also, pray for more open doors to share Christ with his students! Jon doesn’t want the English curriculum to come before the kid’s need for Jesus!

Looking at the La Paz property with friends from Jaco
Property update: Wayne and I spoke to the owners of the land just north of San Ramon. They were willing to drop the price and work with us because of the RO4Y vision. However, we are not set on “closing the deal” and are waiting for God’s provision of the funds. We have also discovered another property that seems more ideal and cheaper than the first. Check it out at:

Olivo Verde Youth Group
4. Pray for Jon as he teaches the youth group next Sunday evening, May 10th. It will be a topical study on the life of Joseph from Genesis.

5. These scriptures are challenging our family, may the bring growth to you as well:

SINCE ALL this is true, we ought to pay much closer attention than ever to the truths that we have heard, lest in any way we drift past [them] and slip away.

[Besides this evidence] it was also established and plainly endorsed by God, Who showed His approval of it by signs and wonders and various miraculous manifestations of [His] power and by imparting the gifts of the Holy Spirit [to the believers] according to His own will.

Hebrews 2:1 & 4 (AMP)

I am calling up memories of your sincere and unqualified faith (the [b]leaning of your entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness), [a faith] that first lived permanently in [the heart of] your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am [fully] persuaded, [dwells] in you also.

That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you by means of the laying on of my hands [[c]with those of the elders at your ordination].

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

2 Timothy 1: 5-7 (AMP)