Friday, October 23, 2009

"Man Your Battle Stations"

San Ramon

mountain view from Berlin

a little bit closer...

Look closely for San Ramon's central Catholic church

Club de Niños

Elbow Tag Portraits

Geovany, ???, Juan Diego - Tatiana and Indira

Daniel, Erica Naomi & Devin - Luis Alonso & Kaybel

Mare & teenager Marjori - Josh, Linda & Naomi - Dayana & Rebeca

After two months of meeting with the children on Saturday mornings, we had one of our first memorable battles in the Spirit. Despite our preparation of song, games, Bible story and crafts, the morning seemed to be extremely chaotic. The children weren't interested in the games or the Bible story, my Spanish felt like it was submerged and my daughter Naomi was all over the board emotionally.

Why do we give Satan all the credit for this confusion?
Jon's message to the children was about repentance.

Why would Satan steal this particular seed from the gospel sowing at Club de
Niños? I believe he could turn the children's hearts to Christ for the wrong reason and they would "accept Jesus into their hearts" without recognizing their sin and turning from it. (a.k.a. - they would be commonly referred to as false converts. Listen or read Ray Comfort's message about false conversions).

Therefore, my beloved support team, let us resolve to pray fervently for Club de Niños. Here are some suggestions:
  • Take time out of your Saturday morning to pray for Club de Niños - we are on Central Standard Time, but an hour behind because we don't use daylight savings time. We meet with the kids from roughly 10 AM to Noon.
  • Pray through the children by name as they are listed in several pictures on the blog.
  • Pray for Jon to preach effectively to the children in Spanish and for the leaders to be bold in reaching out to the kids regardless of their level of Spanish.
  • Pray that God would cleanse and prepare the leader's hearts before they go into "battle" and that they would have a keen eye out for the warfare.
  • We are praying about attending the Calvary Chapel Missions Conference 2010. The cost of the conference would be $580 for the entire family (this includes room and board for four for four days). Rough idea on tickets for four to the Los Angeles are around $300 a piece.

  • A good Christian friend asked us to help coordinate a child/youth outreach with their church. Jon is planning to meet with the pastors soon, but our friend Shirley thought we could help after what she has seen at Club de Niños. Financially the church is just getting by and doesn't have the money to arrange an outreach. Would you consider sending support specifically for this event?

  • Please pray for our friend Shirley's family. We know her because her husband and brother-in-law raise the sheep on the property we live on and she is an English teacher. Her youngest, Indira, attends Club de Niños, and has an interest in the Lord, but her teenage daughter Valeria and her husband show little interest. Pray for her family's salvation.

  • With Wayne & Brooke out of town for the IBS seminars, Jon has had a lot of opportunites to teach and lead worship. Pray for our English studies through Ephesians and Hebrews. (A few other families regularly attend, including some non-Christians). We've also started to have a Sunday School time with the classic curriculum from our home church.

  • Mare and I are excited about our daughters, but they are quite the handful. Pray for the girls discipline and spiritual growth.

  • Pray for the Wisconsin Missions team coming in January. Ask the Lord to bless the preparation and logistics in WI and CR and to call individuals to go and to provide for the short-term missions team to come.

  • Today marks the one month left marker for Jon's classes at Colegio Bilingue San Ramon. Contine to pray for endurance and boldness to proclaim the gospel. Jon has been asking some good/ provocative questions for discussion, such as: "Why do bad things happen to good people?" and "If you were to die today, what do you think would happen to you?". Leave a comment if you have any other good questions.

  • As always Satan wants to destroy the home front before we even leave the house to enter the battle field. Continue to pray for our marriage and harmony in our relationship with our in-laws.

  • Need any help directing your prayers? Here is a link to a great "How to Pray for Missionaries" resource.
As always: your prayers and support are deeply appreciated. Bless You!


"Jumping Land" - local amusement warehouse

Best Buddies - Naomi and Dylan

Monday, October 19, 2009

Marshmallows, Novels & Jesus

Club de Niños
"Cross the River Game"

Object - get your team from point A to B using only rafts,
such as cardboard, used tires and wooden planks

Between the worship songs and crazy games, we've been teaching through the Romans Road passages of scripture.
We tacked on an extra verse:

“Look! I, Jesus, stand at the door and knock.
If you hear my voice and open the door,
I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.
Revelation 3:20

To help assist the children in applying this idea of allowing Jesus to enter their lives, I remembered a modern-classic Christian story: "My Heart, Christ's Home"
(Praise the Lord, I was able to find it in Spanish, too!)

The story is one of discipleship and uses the analogy of a home to represent different areas of our life. For example, the office is the mind and the kitchen represents our hungers or passions. Ultimately, the story concludes with asking the reader to give over their "title deed" to Christ.

Vaca Gorda (Fat Cow)

Costa Rica's answer to "Chubby Bunny"

Rebeca / Anderson

Daniel / Maria & Valeria

Jon recently finished some school projects with his students. These 8th grade students read the young adult novel "The Outsiders" and are holding their completed projects.

Graciela and Elena / Edwin and Jeremias

Jon's 10th graders are presenting their projects
on The Grimms Brothers's Fairy Tales.

Marcos, Leo, Fermin & Valeria / Edgar, Paulina & Zenen

This young man's name is Alexis Nunez, one of my 8th grade students. I recently talked with his mother and she expressed a desire to have Alexis spend time in the US over the upcoming vacation, December & January. He started attending Colegio Bilingue in 7th grade & his English is far behind his peers. If anyone is interested in hosting Alexis, please contact me.


  • Praise that the Lord helped Jon through mid-term exams and papers;
    Pray that God will give Jon perseverance and opportunity to share the Gospel the last six weeks of school. (November 27 is Jon's last day of school).

  • Praise the Lord for the tentmaking opportunity as an English teacher;
    Pray that the Lord would direct Jon over the school break as he desires to begin private / small group English classes.
    Pray that we will trust the Lord to provide the amount of Jon's school wage with financial support.
  • Praise God for the opportunity to minister to the children and families in our neighbor through "Club de Niños";
    Pray for the salvation of the children and for more open opportunities to get to know the families;
    Also pray that we would have wisdom in introducing Remo, our friends horse, to the children. We want to bring a few kids to our home and need the parents blessing.
  • Praise the Jon's sprained ankle is healing nicely!
  • Praise God for the opportunity to serve Him in Costa Rica;
    Continue to pray for Rancho Oasis for Youth - land, horses and God's timing.
  • Praise God for the fellowship that we have with many believers here;
    Pray that God would lead and bless our small fellowship and that we can have an impact in the community via Kid's Club and more.
  • Praise God for His patience, grace and mercy;
    Pray for continued strengthening of our devotional life, marriage, family and parenting skills. (PS - Tabi is practically running).
    Pray that we would continue to learn to be more and more giving.

The Bearded Ladies Desk Chair Rally

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Oraré - I Will Pray

Club Volunteers Linda & Gily lead a craft:
Prayer Plates
Oraré - "I will pray"

Yeison (pronounced Jason) and Rebecca

Jon continued to share the gospel message with a verse of discipleship:

[Jesus] died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. 2 Corinthians 5:15

During the devotional, Jon illustrated the verse by sharing his own personal testimony with the children.

Josh, Linda's youngest son and David

Essentially, the death of a younger member of Jon's youth group caused teenage Jon to ponder his own eternal destiny. After some questioning, Jon realized Jesus was the only choice that made sense. Prayerfully, these children will make the same choice for Christ.

"Hot Potato" at Club de Niños

  • Praise God for His Spirit and grace;
    Pray for the strengthening of our marriage and devotional walk
  • Praise for the opportunity to tentmake as an English teacher;
    Pray for Jon's witness at school and perseverance over the next two months (Last day of school is November 27th)
  • Praise for the multiple opportunities and interest in people wanting to learn English;
    Pray for wisdom for Jon as he looks into giving private English lessons instead of teaching at the high school
  • Praise the Lord for our two little girls;
    Pray for parental wisdom: Obedience for Naomi
  • Praise the Lord for the fellowship we have; Continue to pray for unity in our home, among our small group of English speaking Christian friends and for all those involved with Club de Niños.

  • Aarón points out somone's missing shoe