Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Central Valley - San Jose Costa Rica

In Costa Rica (or any Central American country for that matter) you need to jump a lot bureaucratic hurdles to get things done.

Today, with God's power, we didn't jump, we flew!

Hurdle #1: traveling from San Ramon to the capital, San Jose.

Wayne's F-250 was at the Ford dealer and I had sold our Trooper last week. (Praise the Lord). The bus system is inexpensive, but we don't know "the ropes" and we needed to go to several locations - thus compounding our confusion and time. Also, because San Ramon is not a tourist destination there aren't any car rentals.

God's solution: God reminded me, Jon, of a tow truck service in San Ramon that rents a few old cars. We called and they had an old Dodge Raider available for $30. Praise the Lord!

Hurdle #2: Getting the plates for the bus.

After waiting 16 days for the bus to be registered and title transferred, the new license plates were ready to be picked up. The law office handling the transaction was going to send the plates through the bus package system.

God's solution: Wayne and I needed to go to the Register's Office building to get another document. We were going to go to another city a little closer to San Ramon, but God woke Wayne early and told him that we needed to go to the main office in San Jose. Because we obeyed, we were able to met the law office's errand-boy and pick up the plates from him.

Hurdle #3: Getting permission to take both of our vehicles out of the country and obtaining a new title for the bus in Jon's name.

Lines, lines and more lines. Not knowing where to go the register's office is huge and we had no idea where to start.

God's solution: The above mentioned errand-boy turned out to be an angel named Eduardo. He walked us through winding hallways and stairs to pay for the documents and to the window for authorizing the application to leave the country with our cars. And to top it off, Eduardo knew a young woman who was 4th in line of 20+ people to get my title. Wayne and I were in and out of the registers building in less than an hour!

Hurdle #4: obtaining a new copy of the yearly insurance/registration document of the bus in Jon's name and the current window sticker.

Lines and more lines, plus grumpy government employees! No fun.

God's solution: While driving to another errand, we noticed a insurance office, so we pulled off. When I walked in there was laughter and humor in the office and I was the only customer. The woman I worked with was pleasant and gracious. I walked out with the new paper and sticker in less than 20 minutes!

Hurdle #5: obtaining a copy of the annual smog test and current window sticker.

Riteve offices are usually swamped with people and employees are generally not very kind people. Plus, I thought our smog test expired in February, so I was concerned that we would have to be retested because the expiration date was this month.

God's solution: There was no one waiting in line and after a few jokes the clerk warmed up to me and gave me the document and sticker that I needed. After I got the sticker, I noticed that the renewal date was October, not February! God is good!

Hurdle #6: obtaining the correct drivers license for the bus.

Earlier in the week, I spoke with a friend who works in the Transit Police office and he said that to obtain a Costa Rican commercial driver's license, you have to be driving for a minimum of 5 years IN Costa Rica. Things didn't look promising!

God's solution: I noticed that the plates for the bus, looked identical to my old trooper. Color and additional letters signify different requirements for vehicles here in Costa Rica. For example, large buses and taxi cabs have different licenses. I called my friend in Transit, explained the plates and he said that the bus plates have been issued as a regular car and no special license is required to drive it. Praise the Lord!!!

Hurdle #7: visiting 3 government agencies in one day to acquire four different documents, so we can leave, as planned on Monday!

I told a missionary friend what we were doing on Friday. He looked at me and laughed saying, "Good luck! It will never happen!" The non-excitement for all the errand running and waiting in line raised many, many doubts in my mind. No way we are leaving on Monday!

God's solution: Increase my faith and let all things needed for the bus be completed by 2 PM!!! Hallelujah!

We are still set on schedule to leave on Monday, February 22nd for Honduras!

With God all things are possible!!!

Here are some other amazing highlights of the last week:

- I sold my Trooper for a good price in 7 days of posting signs on it!

-We sold all our appliances and most of our larger furniture to one family. (The same family who raise sheep on the property). Therefore, we can use all of our things up to the day we leave. (God even cares about getting the laundry done!)

-We met a vet who helped us get all the correct paperwork for the guard dogs we are bringing to Honduras. He even called the Nicaraguan and Honduran embassies to be sure!!!

-We are traveling with a Christian Costa Rican who for years brought merchandise into Costa Rica from all over Central America. Crossing borders can be a little crazy and we have to cross two in our travels! However, Diego has years of experience to help us through.

-Wayne's truck is back after two weeks in the shop. The mechanic disconnected the vegetable oil burning system from the diesel burning system and the truck is running fine!

-Brooke and I were able to lead worship for a group of Americans serving with Pura Vida Missions (Yes, the same ministry we bought the bus from). It was great to lead again and to be able to play both percussion and guitar after my bike accident! Praise the Lord!!!


Our trip to Honduras will be divided into two days. We will be spending one night in Nicaragua at the home of a friend of Diego.

Once in Honduras we have to hit the ground running. From getting basic appliances, to drivers license and just figuring out how to shop for basic needs. We'll drive all the way into the capital, spend a few days then turn around with all our gear for Ojojona.

Continue to pray for our health - Mare's infection is gone, but Tabi has developed a rash apparently from a change in laundry detergent.

Saturday and Sunday will be filled with packing, last minute errands and saying farewell to many friends!

Our time in Costa Rica has been wonderful and we are so excited to see what God is going to do in Honduras!

Not sure when I'll get the next post up, but please take not of our new e-mail address:

Saturday, February 6, 2010

"The wheels on the bus go round and round"

When your day starts out with this verse AND

you live in Central America AND

you have a lot to accomplish in one day,
you know you're in for an adventure...

Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.
They weep as they go to plant their seed,

but they sing as they return with the harvest.

Psalm 126:5-6 (NLT)

Wayne, Naomi and myself joined Dan and Enrique of Pura Vida Missions to transfer over the title of the "new" bus. We had to swing by the Costa Rican Insurance office INS, then the emissions testing agency RTV before we could meet with the lawyer to sign the new title document.

Well, to make a long story short, our 10 AM appointment turned into a 3:30 PM. Even though we "shed many tears", we are the proud owners of the big, blue bus.

I'm open to any name suggestions for the bus.
(Sorry, we can't use "Jaws" as that is already taken
for the church van in Des Moines).

Imagine our RO4Y symbol above the cab, right on the window. Beautiful!

On a fun note, the Honduras flag is blue and white, so all we need to add to the bus are five stars in a circle and we'll be showing some serious patriotism.

Prayer Requests:
  • Praise the Lord for his provision of the bus. Pray that all the paperwork will be in order, we receive the plates soon, and that we won't have any problem crossing the border. (Remember Wayne's truck story, oh yeah!)
  • We've got a little over two weeks before we depart for Honduras. Please ask the Lord to give us wisdom in how to pack and prepare for the border crossings.
  • I put my '93 Isuzu Trooper on the market. Please pray for a buyer.
  • Pray for buyers for all of our "big" items that we aren't bringing (stove, fridge, couch, desks, mattress, etc.)
  • Tabi's done teething, but Marillyn came down with a painful oral infection. Pray for healing and relief from the pain.
  • Pray for Jon to help organize his time with prepping documents and applications for RO4Y, as well as a lot of little loose ends before we leave Costa Rica (canceling cell phone, etc)
  • Praise for the healing progress on Jon's bike accident boo-boo's. Continue to pray for his left-index finger and the bruise on his right palm.
I caught Naomi practicing for the ride to Honduras, hah-hah!

"Are we there yet???"