Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Week 6

During our 6th week we had the pleasure of hearing from Don and Barbara Johnson. They are the founders and leaders of the Nicaragua YWAM base. This week’s topic was about the Nature and Character of God. Nature meaning He is all-powerful, all knowing, always present, etc. and His character is how He reveals His nature to us. Many believers have the belief that God is angry and judgmental but in contrary, loves us as a perfect creation given free will to chose Him or not. In not choosing, He is saddened at how deceived we have become as a nation that puts its trust in other worldly things. But only out of love as a true parent would have for their child, much like the story of the prodigal son. To be like something or someone you have to know what they like, dislike, how they act, etc. What’s your idol right now?; cloths, spouse, child(ren), money, house, drugs? I remember my mother always telling my brothers and I that we will turn into those people we associate with. Now I know what she was talking about. We were created for an awesome purpose and if we continue to ignore this we will end up dissatisfied with life in general. Seek Him often (prayer, reading the Bible, quiet times, long walks in nature, praise/worship, whatever appeals to you), listen to what He says, and most important obey your calling.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Jaco Beach Trip

So Jen and I haven’t really had a date since we got here so we decided to take a trip to Jaco Beach last weekend. We took a short taxi ride into San Jose (about 15min) for about $3.00 then took the 8 am bus to Jaco (pronounced Ha-co). We arrived around 10:15 and headed to the bus station to purchase our return tickets for later on that afternoon b/c they tend to get sold out quickly. The bus tickets are less than $3.00 (USD) per person each way! Jaco is on the west coast (pacific side) and is known primarily for its nightlife, tourism, and drug scene, so you can imagine the non-natives walking around. It was kinda dirty but still, the black sand beach was perfect for a day trip get-away. The temp. was in the mid 80’s with cloudy skies and the water was around 70 degrees F. So you can imagine how nice it was. People were playing soccer and riding horse back. As you can see the day was perfect for just the two us.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

DAY 9: Female Laborers...a voice for the voiceless

Female laborers are women who work too long, too hard and too much, especially in back breaking manual labor.

* Out of the 550 million working poor in the world, an estimated 330 million, or 60% are women.

* The majority of women earn on average about 3/4 of the pay of males for the same work.

* An African peasant woman typically works 16 hours daily trudging long distances to fetch firewood, animal fodder and water, growing and harvesting food, tending crops, and cooking and caring for her family. This leaves little time to seek education and training, the very things that enable women to break the cycle of low status and poverty.

* Worldwide, over 60% of people working in family enterprises without pay are women.

* On a one hectare farm in the Indian Himalayans, a pair of bullock's works 1064 hours, a man woks 1212 hours and a women 3485 hours a year.

PRAY: Who is like our God who rescues the poor from those too strong for them? Ps. 35: 10

* This verse over the exploited women who are forced to work too long, too hard, too much
* For godly business owners
* For Bible based family structures.

...for more information visit and order booklet or contact Paul and Susi Childers directly.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Family here in need.

This is a personal request for Jen and I on behalf of a young Costa Rican couple here in the DTS with us. Their names are Wilson and Milena. They are in their early twenties and have 2 beautiful chicitas (little girls). Rachael is 3 years old and Mariel is less than a year old. These adorable little rays of sunshine are sooo precious. They have one donated stroller between both children and will be bringing the girls on outreach with us. With all the traveling and walking we’ll have to do we thought it would be nice to give them a baby-backpack (preferably one that can grow with the girls). I remember seeing pictures of my dad (Jason’s) carry me around on his back while he cut the grass on a riding lawn mower. So if any of you have one or know of someone who has one and wants to get rid of it or even if you find it in your heart to buy one, please let us know. You can email us or comment on our blog and we’ll get back with you on the details. Thanks!

PS Jen is a bit jealous over Rachael calling me her “novio” (boyfriend), but she’ll have to get over it. In all seriousness, we have become their gringo aunt (tia) and uncle (tio)… Another thing, doesn’t Rachael remind you of Boo from the movie Monster’s Inc.?

Week 5

Our 5th week proved to be a touching one. Jorge (pronounced Hor-hay) Jimenez was the speaker for the week on the topic of “Worship”. He is a Tico from the Montana YWAM base where he heads the School of Worship there with his wife and 2 kids. I mentioned to Jen and the class that the last time I cried was when I saw Jen walking down the isle but this particular week I wept twice. For the short and sweet, we talked about our lives being one, big worship. We seem to limit our comprehension of worship for only the times of singing or making music. This is completely false and can inhibit our relationship with the Father. As Allison Krauss said in one of her songs (sang at our wedding), I want to be “a living prayer”.

Jorge and Spencer (husband of Vanessa the speaker of week 4) are going to be here starting/leading a School of Worship in September. What a great opportunity to anyone who loves to make joyful noise. Anyway, we enjoyed the laid back week of him playing guitar (which is Jason’s Taylor guitar in the pics) and leading worship.

Heart Day!

On February 14th they have a tradition here called Valentines’ day, so we all (students and staff) got together and had dinner at a local Asian restaurant. What's more romantic than chinese food, besides we had a good time just goofing off… as you can tell in some of the pics. We hope everyone back home had a great day as well, spending it with the ones you love.

Monday, February 19, 2007

DAY 8: Purdah...a voice for the voiceless

Purdah is the practice of the seclusion of women from public observation by covering their bodies from head to toe. It is also a state of social isolation, which confines women to their homes.

* Purdah is seen as a protection of the dignity of women
* In some cases, segregation is taken so seriously that houses are surrounded with eight to ten foot high purdah walls.
* Purdah is frequently carried to such extremes that women suffer from softening of bones, eczema and ulcers due to lack of
* In Bangladesh, women have been attacked with acid because they were brave enough to be seen in public, transgressing the
traditiional boundaries of purdah.
* Purdah includes the restriction of women's access to medical care.

PRAY: Nothing is hidden from God's sight. Heb. 4:13a

* That God would break down the walls of segregation so women would be released into their destinies.
* For doctors to speak up about the physical consequences of purdah on a government level.
* For the release of female missionaries to serve these women.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

What happens if the washing machine breaks down?

So for the first couple weeks the washing machine was broken and as you can see we were running out of underwear... so we had to wash by hand and dry them on a clothes-line. Mom (Jason's), I now know what you are talking about. It's tough work! I worked up a sweat, my arms were sore, and my back hurt the next day. Just another commodity we take for granted!!!

DAY 7:Eating Disorders...a voice for the voiceless

An eating disorder is a compulsion where a person's eating habits damage their health. The eating may be too excessive (compulsive overeating), too limited (restricting), or cycles of binging and purging.

* Up to 70 million people worldwide struggle with eating disorders, 90-95% of whom are women.
* 95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25.
* Eating disorders have been diagnosed in girls as young as seven. 81% of 10-year olds in the United States are afraid of being fat.
* The average American woman is 5'4" tall and weighs 140 pounds. The average American model is 5'11" tall and weighs 117 pounds.

PRAY: God delights in His daughters. Zeph. 3:17

* That the affected girls would discover the delight God has in them.
* That they would comprehend what true beauty is.
* For the church to address this growing issue.

For more email me for further websites on this subject:

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

DAY 6:Refugees...a voice for the voiceless

A refugee is a person who flees his/her home to escape invasion, oppression, or persecution. They genuinely risk serious human rights abuses.

* There are about 10.6 million refugees and 25.8 million internally displaced people (IDP) worldwide

* 75-80% of the world refugees are women and children

* Women and children refugees are vulnerable to violence and exploitation by military and immigration personnel, bandit groups, male refugees and rival ethnic groups

* Asia and Africa host the majority of the world's refugees and 18.1 million IDPs.

PRAY: God is compassionate. Ex. 34:6

* That God would comfort displaced people, heal their memories and give them a new home to live.
* That the churches would reach out and open their homes and hearts to immigrants and refugees.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Week 4

Week 4

Well another week of learning has come to an end. Vanessa Pavely was our guest speaker teaching on “Intimacy with God”. Vanessa is from Costa Rica and her husband Spencer is from Canada with a son named Lucas and daughter Isaballa both born in Kona, HI. They were leading the worship school in HI but while back to visit in Costa Rica, Vanessa was denied a spouse religious visa. So here they are helping out with YWAM and living down the street. Her humility and complete passion for God was so apparent every day. One thing she had us do, besides spending much of the time simply adoring God, was to learn about our different worshiping styles. Jen is inspired by nature and is an activist; on the other hand I am an intellectual that likes nature. (Those of you who are closest too us are probably smiling in agreement with this.) This may sound kind of funny but there are different styles that people tend to feel the closest to God. These are important for us to realize as we live in community and worship with others because it is easy to judge when someone worships in a very different way. All of these styles are precious to God but can also have pitfalls if we use them to judge or draw away from others. The good thing is, is that Jen and I are able to bounce things off of each other and learn from some of our differences and similarities…maybe this explains why we kept all of you outdoors for our wedding! For the two of us there is no better place to worship God!

Over the weekend Jen and I went to our friend Issac’s house over the mountains to a town called Tabarcia. We spent the morning at his church, and then had lunch at his house. A good meal of beans, rice, pollo (chicken), and bananas accompanied. When we arrive at his house we were amazed at the conditions he was living in. The walls were made of randomly sized wood slats which you could see through and large spiders had spun their webs between, the floor was comprised of dirt, chickens occasionally wandered through the house from time to time, and on and on... You can only picture in your head what it was like…and then make yourself imagine a little worse. Despite all of this, Issac continues to realize just how blessed he is. He and his family were so loving and hospitable. They invited us in, hugged us, fed us, and showed us proudly around the place. They have so little and yet when you look at them you see how much they have. We wish everyone who grumbles about being poor in America could meet this family and hear how much they long to help the poor…people who have less than them. Isaac has a true heart that shines everyday and the passion for sharing the gospel is very apparent. We never hear him complain about how little he has, instead he gushes about how much God has given to him and his family. Jen and I have grown to love this guy and today it was apparent why.