Saturday, January 31, 2009

We Braved the Bombers

Today we went to downtown San Jose just to get out for a little while and do some shopping. Hundreds of dive bombers, commonly known as pigeons, call a plaza next to the National Theater "home." We decided to risk the possibility of getting bombed in order to let Devin chase the birds around. Although there was very ample evidence of bombing runs all over the ground, thankfully none of us were targeted this time around. Devin had a blast (no pun intended) chasing and feeding the pigeons.
I took this picture of the National Theator and plaza from the balcony of a McDonalds that would put the McDonalds back in the States to shame.

Hey, birdy birdy, want some corn?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Shooting

Early yesterday afternoon Missy and I were in our apartment when we started hearing a lot of sirens close to our house. We did not find out until today that yesterday a policeman was shot about six blocks from our house. Evidently there have been two guys riding around our area on a motorcycle and robbing people. Yesterday they had robbed a vendor, and the vendor called 911 as soon as they had left. Two cops on a motorcycle received the call and came across the suspects. The cops gave chase, and the guys on the motorcycle pulled over. A twenty-four year old policeman started walking up to the guys on the bike, and one of them pulled out a 12 gauge shotgun and shot the cop point blank three times. The thieves got away, although the other police did shoot at them.

This police station is just two blocks from our house, and we have felt pretty safe because of the police presence (even though we have to call a completely different police station who will then radio this station in case of an emergency, since this station has no telephone). I talked with one of the officers today, and he said that our neighborhood is becoming more dangerous because a lot of Columbians and and Nicaraguans are moving into the area. He also told me that the policeman who was shot lost one of his lungs and is in critical condition. According to this article in a local newspaper, the suspects have been identified and the authorities are looking for them.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fun at the Park

There is a nice park just two blocks from our house, and we have taken Devin to it the last couple of evenings. He really enjoys playing on the playset. The park is very safe; there is a police station right on the edge of it. Notice that it is cool enough down here to wear a jacket. I think that it might have gotten down to the 50's the last couple of days! Oh, the suffering that we have to endure while working in the tropics.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Bloody Mess

This past Sunday we were at our church in Paraiso. Devin was out with some of his little friends when one of them came in to tell us that he had fallen and was bleeding. We weren't quite prepared for what we saw, but fortunately the wound looked worse than what it really was. Devin must have fallen on a stone and punctured a small hole in the back of his head. He never cried throughout the whole ordeal.
Oh yea, if you don't have anything to stop a bleeding wound, pour a some coffee (in the pre-liquid state of course) on it. That's what we did, and it seemed to work.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

"It Makes You Want To Cry"

This was our first full week of classes, and we are starting to get into the swing of things with language school. Classes begin at 7:30 and we get out at 1:00; there is a chapel break in the middle of the day. Devin has adjusted very well to his day care. It is so nice having him right there in the same location while we are studying.

After seven years of faithful service here in Costa Rica, Br. and Sis. Orozco returned to Guatemala at the beginning of the week. They were wonderful people whom God really used with the work here. Missy and I were privileged to attend a farewell party held in their honor. I was going to post pictures, but as I was trying to upload them, my computer completely erased all of our pictures (from before Christmas until now) off of our memory card. Unfortunately I had not copied any of them onto our computer yet, so they are a complete loss. Technology is nice, but sometimes it makes you want to cry.

We would appreciate your continued prayers for are safety. The crime rate here is continuing to climb, and we Americans are prime targets. Although murders or kidnappings are not all that common, armed robberies take place frequently. Already a couple of our classmates were held up at gunpoint in broad daylight.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Shaky Day

Have you ever been standing on a chair trying to reach something on a high shelf when a 6.2 magnitude earthquake hits? If not, you should come down to Costa Rica, because that happened to me yesterday. This is a country known for its earthquakes, but we have been told that yesterday's quake was the strongest one this area has experienced in 150 years, with the epicenter being someplace around 50 miles from us. You probably can't imagine how scary it is to stand and literally watch your house walls rocking back and forth for 40 seconds. Thankfully no one in our immediate area was killed or hurt, but as I write the death toll is at 15 and there is a lot of structural damage in many areas of the country. We are praising the Lord for safety, but praying for those families who suffered loss.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Yes, We Survived Day One of Orientation

"Always be flexible!" That is what they used to teach us in missions classes. This weekend we had a good opportunity to put that into practice. Early Saturday morning we made the three-bus, 1.5 hour treck to our main church. The first thing on our agenda was some sort of a meeting...I never did quite figure out the official name for it. We started at 9:00 A.M. Latin time (10:15). It wasn't what I was expecting, but it went well.

Br. Lee Rickenbach flew in Saturday morning to be here for a week. Saturday night and Sunday morning were times of special services, and they were also times crowned with victory. Saturday night a 19 year old you lady got genuinely saved. What an exciting way to start out our time of ministry! Sunday morning, we held a special, yet unplanned, baby dedication.

On Sunday afternoon we returned to our apartment in San Jose, and today we had our first session of orientation with the language school today. It went well (I guess not much can go wrong in a one-hour session). Tomorrow we start the real deal, Devin starting daycare and orientation lasting from 7:15 till 3:00.

Keep praying for us, and we will continue to keep you posted.

Lunch Break on Saturday

Just be thankful YOU didn't have to clean up the mess.

Wendy, welcome to God's family!

Jesus Loves the Little Children

Friday, January 2, 2009

Safely Here

Thank the Lord, we made it to Costa Rica safely. After a trip that started out from home at 12:15 A.M., we and our 16 pieces of luggage (not counting our carry-ons) made it to our apartment around 3:30 in the afternoon, Dec. 30. However, when we finally made it to our new home, it was not quite what we expected. It was definitely livable, but we decided to look around a little just to see if we could happen to find anything that we liked better for less rent. That was a tall order for the spur of the moment, but to make a long story short, God worked out a lot of details in a very short time. There was another missionary family coming in on Jan. 1 who needed a place to stay, and they were very grateful to get our first apartment, and we found a smaller one that we liked better and was a little cheaper. The only problem was, we had already started unpacking, so we had to repack and move all of our stuff to our new apartment about five blocks away.

Carmen and Rolando, the young pastoral family at our main church, had invited us to spend new year's eve with them. So the evening after we arrived, we road three busses to get to their house to spend the night. We all stayed up until after midnight, and man do the Ticos (Costa Ricans) ever celebrate. It sounded like a war zone outside, with huge explosions from firecrackers right outside our windows, music blaring, people banging on drums, and kids yelling. The commotion went on for several hours, but after some delicious shish kabobs prepared by Rolando, we actually had a good nights sleep. The following morning we had a nice little celebration for Devin's birthday, which was on Dec. 30th.

We are still trying to get settled in before language school orientation, which begins on Jan. 5th. So far we don't have a very reliable internet connection, but I will try to keep posting as much as possible.

Missy and I would like to say a great big thanks to each of you who were praying for our trip down. All of our boxes made it safely, and the only thing that got dammaged was one picture. That is a small miracle in itself. The move has been hard, but God has been good.