Thursday
May272010

Thursday, May 27th

Just got home after our first week back at K37.  The team from Herndon Va. has been washing, painting and cutting metal bars for the windows of the sanctuary at Piedras Blancas, painting the columns that hold up the roof of the gym, and pressure washing the slippery sidewalks.  They also laughed A LOT!  The team worked with us last year on the San Buenaventura parsonage and we were glad to see so many familiar faces again this year.  

We've been building the retreat center at Kilometer 37 for the past 4 years.  We've spent more time there than on any other project since we started Costa Rica Mission Projects.  So, even though we'd been away since last August, pulling up once again with the truck and trailer full of tools on Sunday afternoon, seeing William and Macho waving to us from the parsonage, unlocking the gates on all of the cabins...it all felt very familiar.  Our team is excited that this year we will be able to turn over the keys to the District and the facility will be fully operational.  It feels good to walk around the camp knowing that the lives of the people, young and old, in the Golfito District will be impacted by the time they spend there.  Our prayer is that it will be a place where they can feel God's presence, fall in love with Him, and become the kind of servants that He calls all of us to be.

We have a lot of work ahead of us this Summer, but with the help of the hundreds of missioners who are coming to work with us, I'm confident that we'll get it all done.  Thanks Herndon UMC for getting us started and thanks in advance to those of you who are preparing for your trip.

Peace on Earth

 

Saturday
Mar272010

Saturday, March 27th

Week two in San Isidro is in the books.  We've ripped out the old ceilings and put in new ones.  Once they are painted it is going to look so much better than before!  The electrical has been totally re-done.  Years of add ons by different people had created a spider web of sorts.  It's been sorted through now and we have a much safe, much simpler electrical system.  The walls in the upstairs bedrooms have been plastered and two of the four have been sanded.  They will all look like new once we get a couple of coats of paint on them.  We're also reinforcing the trusses that hold up the second floor and making wooden tables and benches for the new Sunday school room.  We'll be working here for two more weeks before about a month long break.  

It's been about 4 years since we've worked with teams here at the Methodist church in San Isidro and it's so nice to be home!   Of course we love working and staying in the different communities, but it sure is nice to sleep in our own bed...and not just 2 nights a week, but every night!  

We now officially have no more weeks available for the summer.  We weren't sure how the calendar would fill out this year with the struggling economy, but it looks like we're going to end up with 30 teams.  We are so thankful for everyone who has supported us and our work over the last 7 years.  Please continue to pray for Yolanda and myself and for the missioners who come to work with us.

Peace on Earth 

Saturday
Mar132010

Saturday, March 13

It's always tough to leave Chanuguena.  It's a community that over the past 6 years we've grown to love and really feel like we're a part of.  We're excited about the work that was done there this year.  The new Sunday school building is done, the sanctuary is finished as well.  There are 10 beautiful pews in the sanctuary and tables and chairs for the kids and youth in the new building.  All of that was part of the plan.  What wasn't part of the plan was getting to know Henry, a new member of the church in La Bonita who very quickly became a part of the CRMP family.  Henry had some needs that became apparent to us and through the generosity and hard work of our volunteers he now has a new house and fertilizer, weed killer and enough seed to plant several acres of Tikiski (it's a vegetable, trust me).  We also were made aware that another church member's home had a  dirt floor and was missing a couple of walls, so this week we took care of that too.  It was wonderful to be able to do some work for individuals in addition to the church project we had planned on.  I think Sidney, the owner of the second home we worked on, summed it up the best when he was saying good bye to the Duke team yesterday.  Instead of thanking them for a new floor, walls and windows, he thanked them for having shared this week with his family.  We are so, so thankful that Costa Rica Mission Projects has been able to share another season with our brothers and sisters in Changuena.  To those of you who have worked with us, prayed for us, or supported our work in any other way..."well done, good and faithful servants." 

Thursday
Feb252010

Thursday, Feb 25th

Week six is in the books and we're almost done with the new sunday school building in Changuena.  The team from Hayes Barton spent the week installing ceilings and electrical in the bathrooms, painting all of the bars for the windows (they decided everything is John Deer green!), and building tables, benches and pews.  Next week we'll be painting walls and installing sinks and toilets in the bathrooms.  After that we're basically done!  

We've decided to help out a couple of members of the church in La Bonita whose homes need some work.  One of the things we (CRMP) are trying to do this year is be mindful of the needs of the families in the communities where we work.  Sometimes its easy to get blinders on and stay so focused on the church building projects, that we miss out on other opportunities to serve.  So the next two teams will be helping us totally rebuild one church member's home and repair another one.  We are so grateful to the team members who were here this week who helped us work through the discerning process of how best to help these families, and for their generosity in making sure that the work will get done.

Below is a picture of Henry's house.  Next week we'll pour him a concrete floor, put up "Hardy Plank" walls and a rust free, tin roof!

 

Thursday
Feb042010

Thursday, Feb. 4

Just got home from week four in Changuena.  The new team from Peachtree Road UMC in Atlanta did an awesome job this week.  I've never seen a group as happy at 4:30am as they were.  Hugo had more company for his pre-dawn coffee than he ever has before!  The walls have been plastered and some have been sealed, so they're ready for paint.  We paved a sidewalk/ramp from the sanctuary to the sunday school building so Pastor Humberto and get around without any problems.  He enjoyed riding a "wheely" all the way down the hill to the new building.   Monday night they had a church leaders meeting in the new building.  Tuesday night they had youth group in the new building.  Wednesday night we decided we may as well go ahead and have worship in the new building!  Clearly the new facility is going to be well used.  Humberto was telling me that there are a couple of local community groups who have already asked permission to use it as well.  It's exciting to see a church reaching out into the community in so many different ways.

Dr. Shannon got more popular every day and made several house calls during the week.  Being used as God's healing hands in a situation like that is a very moving experience.

The team asked if we could invite the whole community to the church for a meal before they left, so last night we had a good old fashioned Costa Rican style pig pickin'.  About 175 pounds of pork, yucca and plantains, not to mention a big pot of "cracklin'".  Those of you from Eastern NC know what I'm talking about!

I spent several hours this week working with the back hoe in different parts of the community, most recently the elementary school.  It's not often that they have heavy machinery available in an area like Changuena.  We never imagined when we bought the back hoe how versatile it would be.

All in all it was a great week.  Lots of good work got done, the new building is that much closer to being finished, and we had lots of fun with 13 new members of the CRMP family.

No team next week and Yolanda and I will be away the following week while a veteran team from Conway UMC is here, so I won't post again until after the 20th of Feb.

God Bless