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Looking forward. Looking backward.

We just had two days in a row of sunshine.  That means that maybe, just maybe we are almost at the end of the rainy season!  We usually experience about 4 months of "rainlessness".  Each year by late November we've had enough of the mud, the dirty cars, plans being cancelled do to downpours.  Of course by late March we're complaining about how dry and dusty everything is!  But it's undeniable that we are currently inching closer and closer to the end of the year.  I remember the first time after waking up to beautiful blue skies Yolanda said, "Yay, it feels like Christmas!".  I still have a hard time with that since "feeling like Christmas" in Eastern NC means its 33 degrees and raining!  (I used to wear out redial calling time and temperature to see if it was ever going to drop that last degree so we could see some snow!)  SO, Christmas in Costa Rica means dry, sunny and hot.  Most years Yolanda, Isabella and I have been back in the states visiting churches during this season.  It's been nice to be here for the transition this year.

This has been the busiest "off season" I can remember.  We've made several trips down south to see how we can help after the flooding from Hurricane Nate.  Last week we delivered beds to a family of 6 that had lost everything they owned and had had to dig a couple of feet of mud out of their "house".  We are most likely going back again this week to deliver beds to a family of 4 that is in a similar situation.  I'm pretty sure bed making will continue throughout the year next year and we may even expand to tables in chairs.  Folks lost everything!  

We've had several visits recently from church leaders from different parts of the US who wanted learn more about who we are and what we're doing and see first hand the Missions and Ministry Center.  It's always exciting to see how the CRMP family continues to grow and thinking about new and different ways for us to be in ministry together.  Please pray with us for wisdom and faithfulness as we make decisions about what growth should look like for CRMP.

Our project list for 2018 is finally coming together.  I don't ever remember being this close to the end of one year before knowing what we would be working on the next year.  As of right now it looks like we'll be:

- Replacing the roof and the entire electrical system on the parsonage in Volcan, where we essentially did the same thing on their sanctuary this year.

- Building an educational building and church kitchen in Sierpe.

- Repairing the floor in the sanctuary and installing ceilings in the sanctuary and kitchen in La Palma de Jimenez.

- Restoration of the church building in Golfito, where we finished the parsonage this year. 

We've lost a few teams due to the disasters that hit the US and the situation in Puerto Rico.  That's totally understandable and really didn't come as a surprise.  We will keep doing what we do and hope to have those teams come back again in the future.  

Our first "2018" team actually arrives on December 27th.  Hoping for a little time to rest between now and then!

God Bless.  Merry Christmas.  Happy New Year.

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