Friday, March 26, 2010

Outreach on the brain

So when I last updated I was barely un-packed from our amazing week of outreach in Diriamba Nicaragua. Since then we have been doing a lot of reflection, preparing for our upcoming outreach/ NIKO camp and attending an amazing week of classes.

Thinking back on my time in Nicaragua it seems so crazy. Crossing the Costa Rica/ Nicaragua boarder is like stepping (yes we walked across the boarder with all of our packs) into a completely different world. Nicaragua is an amazing country, starting with a really unique landscape, a massive lake with two volcanoes in it as well as a lake that has sharks in it, yes sharks very cool. The people in Nicaragua are very open and friendly. The neighbourhood Barrio Berlin that we were in was just getting a stone road (bricks) put in over the dirt. There were all kinds of houses from sheet metal and scrap wood to fairly modern brick constructions, right next to each other. This is the neighbourhood the church and JUCUM base are located in. The people here were absolutely amazing, the kids were always hanging out with and attending every class or program we put on. The church there is a huge light to the community, and it was really great to see how involved and open the community was with the church.

As for our up coming outreach, my DTS will be leaving out base here in San Jose on Saturday April 3rd. We are going to be going to Talamanca, close to the boarder of CR and Panama for our NIKO Camp. NIKO is a hardcore camp in the jungle for 5 days and 4 nights, which begins on the Monday. They don’t tell us a whole lot about it, its ment to be a time of testing and I am SO EXCITED! After NIKO we will all be doing 3 weeks of outreach in different areas of Costa Rica, then the Central America & Haiti team will be going back to Nicaragua for 1 week (yay!), and then I along with the Haiti team will be leaving to Haiti around May 7th. Somewhere in there before Nicaragua and Haiti we will be stopping by the base for a few days, so if you still want to send me mail please do! :)

So that brings us to classes this week; we had the option of going to the Heredia Base and having a teaching from water for life or staying at our base and joining with the Children at Risk school and having a teaching on human trafficking. I chose to stay here and learn about human trafficking, it’s something that is a huge global problem but is rarely talked about. There are more people in slavery right now in the world than at any other point in history.

check this video out if possible

It was a really eye opening week and we are all fired up to go out and do something. It’s a good thing we only have one more week of classes left because I think we are all getting restless and ready to go out. I have so much anticipation and excitement for these next few weeks!

That’s all for now, lots of love from Costa Rica

Monday, March 22, 2010

So I’m back!

my DTS and staff at the YWAM (JUCUM) Base in Nicaragua

In San Jose that is; we are now officially in our second last week of classes. The week of outreach in Diriamba Nicaragua was amazing! We had a long day of travel on Saturday leaving around 5am, and arriving in Diriamba very sweaty, tired, and excited for the week (after getting pizza for dinner, such a treat) we settled in, the girls at the library and the boys at the Church. The next morning we got right into it by putting on a childrens program at the church, lunch at the JUCUM base, a little time to rest and get changed and our group put on the church service in the evening, which went super well. We did a lot of ministry with kids this week, the kids in the neighbourhood (Barrio Berlin) are absolutely amazing, and I think we all fell in love pretty instantly.

The other really exciting ministry opportunity this week was doing a mural for the library. The library is a fairly new project and it was great to be able to do something to raise awareness about the library.

There were a lot of kids there in the afternoon, to read, play, hang out with us while we painted and some attended and English class there as well. It was overall an amazing week!

the library in Diriamba

killing time at the boarder back into Costa Rica (classic stefan with his eyes closed)
on the bus to Nicaragua

update from the pool on our free day in Nica

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Nicaragua Round 2...

So it has been a great week so far here! We are learning about the father heart of God, tonight our speaker Jack Kody took us all out for pizza and ice cream (and when I say “us all” that means our entire class, all the staff, and the dts from the Heredia base! Felt like one big crazy family). We went to a park and just took pictures and acted like lame tourists for a while. So I wanted to update everyone before I leave for Nicaragua for 8 days…

my room mid-packing eeek

We are all leaving for Nicaragua on Saturday morning bright and early! We will be travelling by bus, so it will probably be pretty cramped (we are only bringing our backpacks). While we are in Nicaragua the base here in San Jose will be hosting teams from the states, which will be around 45 extra people so we have to pack up our room and store everything while we are in Nicaragua so people can stay here. It’s a bit of a sad thing to see everyone packing up and we are all realizing these aren’t really “our beds” or “our room”. But we are all really excited to do outreach in Nicaragua for a week! It is also making me realize how thankful I am for my amazing roommates! Who I have had the pleasure of sharing a room with for the past 9 ish weeks. Reggie (Switzerland), Lauryn (Colorado), Melanie (Minnesota), Ingrid (Norway), Tawneke (Minnesota), Jenelle (the other Canadian!), Bailey (Virginia) and Rachel (Engalnd) I am absolutely blown away by these girls, how much they’ve all grown and how each one of them contributes so much to the experience of being here! When one person is away they are missed!!! I cannot say that enough! Haha maybe were all just a bit clingy, but we have grown so close over the past few months and I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s all for now, I should get packing and making lists of the stuff I need to get/ do tomorrow! Lots of love from Costa Rica!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

so much to say

Hi world!

So much has happened since my last post, but this exciting crazyness has been taking up all my blog time. So here goes, last week our speaker was Kenny Peavy. He was speaking on the kingdom of God as well as worship and it was such a great week. We went to Manuel Antonio beach on Thursday to have a baptism (most of my DTS had only been baptized as babies or not at all). It was so much fun to have the day off classes and just play in the waves. I learned a valuable lesson, never turn your back on the ocean… when I turned around to climb down a piece of rock we were sitting on and watching the ocean and a huge wave went over my head and raked me across the rocks and into the water. I some how managed to come out of all of this with bruises and scratches and without any serious injury (with my sunglasses and bandana still on to boot)! We were just about to start the baptism while I was getting medical attention from nurse Elena (one of my dts staff, so amazing). It was so exciting to walk out into the water with everyone, we all just had so much anticipation and the energy was crazy. I was unsure weather or not to get baptized again (I was baptized at DCC when I was 15), and I mean I can’t just get baptized again whenever I screw up. But I really felt like God wanted me to make that public declaration again and re-commit my life. I’ve been nursing my cuts ever since and I am healing up really quickly, so no worries there. Our class said goodbye to Kenny on Friday after the amazing week of teaching, we were so sad to see him go. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that week of teaching.

about 15 mins. after being carried out of the ocean

all of the people who got baptized!

The weekend was really chill, as I had my turn at weekend work duties (a small team of people take over the normal chores and meal making for the base to give everyone the weekend off of there work duties). It went really well and gave me a chance to take it slow for a weekend and just clean in my pjs (which was nice). I also got my mail this week and saw my video from home! I was just grinning and then crying (with those of you who did) while watching it and I just feel so supported and loved way over here! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

This week we have been doing a lot of outreach prep, learning dramas, kids songs and working on our video; so much fun stuff. Today we had another “giving day” with our DTS class, so bright and early we all sat in a circle on the basketball court and took our turn giving things to bless one another. It was so crazy today, I feel so crazy blessed its ridiculous. Oh so I forgot to mention that at the beach last week I lost my old baptism ring in the ocean, either when getting baptized or when that wave kicked my butt. Today Jaymie took her beautiful ring off her finger and gave it to me; I was an absolute mess (as those who know me could have guessed). Its silver and fits perfectly and says “the LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want” I will treasure it and this day forever. I also was the very grateful recipient of lovely notes, a new creative Bible J, a fudgicle and a t-shirt from Nicaragua (to mark my arrival from Canada to Central America!) I had an amazing day. I think that’s all I have for now. Lots of love from Costa Rica!