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May 14, 2009

Off to Costa Rica!

I am so excited! Michal and I are going to go to Costa Rica on May 29 and will not return until July 22. We are enrolled in a Spanish language course during the month of June. We have been wanting and needing to increase our Spanish language proficiency. Along with full days of classes, we also will be helping the churches in Sabanilla and Alajuela.

Everything worked out just great! Since we are going to be in Costa Rica for VBS and camp in July, we didn’t have any extra plane ticket expense, and we don’t have to pay for accommodations, since we will be staying in the same house that we will be at for the VBS during the first week of July. Robert and Jamie will be spending June in gospel meetings, visiting grandparants, and camp in the states before joining us for VBS and camp in Costa Rica.
The plan to work with the Mars Hill congregation’s VBS is really shaping up. The Gospel Opportunities team has been asked to help with teaching English this year, so we will be only marginally involved with the VBS, except for Jamie who will be helping Chris Rich with VBS activities. We are all excited about the opportunity to learn new skills that will be valuable to us in other countries.

Last year, after the Christian camp in Costa Rica, the Gospel Opportunities team was asked to head up this year’s program. The camp is situated on an old coffee plantation in the mountains and is owned by a congregation in Paragould, AR. We are planning to take 25 Americans, the Costa Rican church will take 25 from their congregation, and there will be 50 non-Christians invited to attend. So far, we have about 20 Americans, so if anyone would like to join us, there is still time!!

The main emphasis of the camp will be to evangelize, so we will have lots of one-on-one studies. Robert worked hard on an organizational chart and lessons that included about 100 individual talks and devotionals done by all of the camp counselors from Costa Rica and the states. Please pray with us for this effort. We hope to be able to make an impact in the lives of these young people and strengthen the church in Costa Rica.

As always, the project of my house hangs over us, and we devote time to it as we can. The kitchen is nearly done and I am able to live in the house now. We still have to finish one of the bathrooms, lay carpet in the living room and guest bedroom, finish out the closets and myriad little things that are too numerous to mention both inside and outside of the house. It is great getting to live in my own house, though, and I am really happy about that!

We just finished printing El Apocalipsis de Juan (The Revelation of John) in February, and I am proofreading Las Cartas de Juan y Judas (the Letters of John and Jude) and working on setting up Romans. This continues to be an exciting part of our work, and we are so happy to have met Enrique Mortorell and collaborated with him on this commentary series. We have been asking folks to consider buying one of the commentaries to give to Hispanic preachers. We call it our “Adopt-a-Preacher” program. It is a great way for Bible classes, children’s classes and individuals to help spread the gospel by putting good literature into the hands of our preachers. So if you know of anyone who might be interested in this service project, or if you yourself would be willing to consider it, please let me know. It is only $10.00 per book, plus about $2.00 for shipping, and right now they are being printed about every six months. So that is only $24.00 a year!

After we return from Costa Rica, we would really like to visit with you or your congregation and present to you in person what we have been doing. Robert Swain is always ready to speak to the congregation, and Michal or I would love to speak to your ladies’ classes. And, of course, any of us would be eager to make a presentation to the elders. If you would like to see what we do, just let us know and we will be happy to arrange a time. We are really excited about our work and want to share it with you.

Please keep me and the Gospel Opportunities team in your prayers as we continue to look for opportunities to serve.

May God bless our efforts together for His kingdom.