Living Water Costa Rica

Offering Living Water to a Dry and Thirsty Land

Archive for December, 2016


December Activities

Busy December Activities:

December is always busy with plenty of activities, isn’t it?! There is much to report of how good God is in the midst of everyday living.  We handled a few administrative activities like finishing the application to Go Ministries so we can provide tax deductible receipts for ministry donations (yay), and residency application activities (please pray for these to be finalized).

Of course every week we prepare for the Sunday service.  Mike preps the message and I prep the worship music.

We go visiting people we’re building relationships with – like Cacao and his wife Amelie, who make the coconut shell and silver jewelry, and Bruce and Lynn Blessing, who’ve lived here for 3+ years and are from the States.  Bruce plays guitar and sings at a local restaurant.  So we invited him to help us sing Christmas songs for the Sunday before Christmas service.  That was fun!

Visit To A Nursing Home

A highlight of our month was joining Pastor Roger of Central Christian Church of Cocles (a Spanish speaking congregation), and Pastor Enrique and his wife Carol from a mission in Heredia, Costa Rica, to visit a nursing home in the small village of Bratsi, aka “Bambu”, about 45 minutes away from us.  The Home is called “Al Hogar de Ancianos Santa Luisa”  So on December 15th we traveled out to join in on their Christmas party.

The road there is gravel, once you’ve passed Bri Bri, and we had to drive through a rushing creek…oh what fun…and to see the smiles on the faces of the nursing home residents made it all worth it.

We were asked to play music, so we sang Christmas carols and a few worship songs (even in english, they loved it).  We prayed with them and danced with them and just had a wonderful time watching them have a wonderful time.  🙂

 

 

What Did We Do For Christmas?

Our photographer (me, aka Chaunda) seemed absent minded because she didn’t take any photos of our Christmas Potluck or our Sunday services!  LOL

We sang Christmas carols for worship both Sunday the 18th and 25th.  I love those songs, because they’re so full of the message of the birth of our Savior and full of praise!

We held a potluck at the church on Christmas Eve.

Michael preached from Luke 2 and shared that even while December 25th is not the real birthday of our Lord (there are excellent arguments for the possibility that he was born in any of the 12 months of the year), the reason we celebrate is the fact that he was indeed born, and we have historical records of this fact!  Halleluyah!

Service on Sunday, Dec. 25th – Christmas Day

It seemed popular for churches everywhere to take this particular Sunday off.  We prayed about that, and decided we would have service as normal.

Because we held service on Christmas Day, we were able to be a blessing to holiday tourists.  We had a family from the UK come to our service because they saw our flyer next to the community dumpster!  We had a couple from Utah (who attend a calvary chapel there) join us after seeing our road sign, and another gal from Tennessee joined us after asking around if there was an english speaking church.  She also found us because of the road sign!

On bilboard

Road Sign next to resort entrance

 

Something Sad to Report

Our dear friend, and owner of the resort where we hold the church services at, lost his battle with cancer on December 23rd.

We met Don (Mr.) Julio Garcia by phone in late July of this year.  He offered the meeting room of his resort hotel Villas del Caribe to us, thrilled with the fact we had come to start a church in this area.  We met face to face in August.  At that visit, (to his home in San Jose), he and his wife Lavinia shared with us that they had been praying for an English speaking church to be started in Cocles/Puerto Viejo.

Chaunda, Michael, Julio, Lavinia

During our visit in September, Michael was able to pray for Don Julio, specifically for healing.

Two weeks after this prayer, Julio shared that his energy had increased, he was gaining weight, and even took a helicopter ride from San Jose to Cocles, to visit his resort staff and friends in the area he loves so much.  He seemed on the road to recovery.

We were able to visit Mr. Julio two more times – once in late September, and once in November.  During all our visits, our hearts were knit together with the common vision – seeing the advancement of the Kingdom of God.

Michael had shared his vision of a worship center, complete with children’s outreach, a women’s shelter, a bible/ministry training school, and a children’s’ school – in Cocles, perhaps even transforming the Villas del Caribe resort into this worship center facility.  Don Julio pumped his fists into the air saying “yes, yes, yes”.  Lavinia wiped tears away from her eyes and said they have been praying for this very thing – for years!  And that actually, long ago this vision was something they had on their hearts to do.  That blew us away!

We did notice, however, on that last visit that Don Juilo was quite tired and retired to his bedroom early, unaware at the time that this would be the last time we would see him this side of heaven.

Peace fills Lavinias’ heart now, because she knows her husband has gone ahead of her and is with Jesus.  Their sons are also at peace, thankful that their father is no longer suffering.

We attended the funeral in San Jose and accompanied the family and friends to the cemetery.  This being our first funeral in Costa Rica, it was good to see what the customs are for Costa Ricans.  The message of the funeral – Jesus was lifted up and glorified in all Don Julio Garcia did with his life!

I will close this blogpost now, because there are a few stories left to tell and they deserve their own blogposts…

HalleluYah!  God is Good!  🙂

Baptism At Living Water Calvary Chapel

The First Baptism of Living Water Calvary Chapel

We were blessed to be able to baptism Charlene in the Cocles river that flows into the Caribbean ocean on Thursday, November 24, 2016.

This was the day that hurricane Otto was supposed to hit our coastline.  It didn’t!  This happened on Chaunda’s 50th birthday – what a wonderful present!  This happened on the USA holiday of Thanksgiving – what a blessing to give thanks for!

To YHWH be the Glory!

 

 

Reaching The Prodigal Sons And Daughters

One of our key outreaches is to the prodigal sons and daughters who have left their christian roots and squandered God’s gifts, talents and time He invested in them,  running from responsibilities and opportunities.

While I (Chaunda) was on my trip back to the States in October, I went to the evening prayer service at our sending church, Wildwood Calvary Chapel.  My ears picked up when I heard the word “prodigal”.  It was like a bell went off in my head.  Many people are praying for their proverbial “prodigal sons and daughters” who have wandered off into the world, leaving their faith (and their bible) behind.  Where do they go?  Well, many of them are right here on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica!

The Prodigals of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

I would venture to say a strong percentage of the ex-pats we’ve met so far were raised in “christian” homes, went to church, perhaps were even “on fire for Jesus”, but for whatever reason, left.

Just this past month, Michael and I have been able to help a young couple return home to Canada.  Each has his/her own story of becoming a believer in Jesus as their Savior, growing in Christ, then being sucked into the world of drugs.  When we met Ian and Charlene, they were eager to get involved in the church.  As we got to know them, it became apparent there were some things that did not add up.

Charlene & Ian

Charlene & Ian

I was able to spend many hours with Charlene, doing bible study and discipleship.  What a great gal she is.  Michael was able to spend many hours with Ian, doing the same – what a great guy he is!  Because light shines into darkness, the darkness could not hide and the “stuff” came to the surface.  We began to do some relationship counseling.

Charlene & Chauna

Charlene & Chaunda

Charlene's new bible

Charlene’s new bible

 

Its usually darkest just before dawn, and things got a bit “dicey”, but in the end, both Ian and Charlene made the decision to put their lives back on track with Jesus.  In fact, Michael performed the first baptism of Living Water Calvary Chapel at the beach on Thanksgiving Day with Charlene!  They also made the decision to go home to Canada and flew out last Friday.

Ian is now facing the responsibilities he ran from.  Pray for him because I’m sure he’s not having any fun right now.  However, because of what we witnessed the Spirit of God do in him during the past week, we know that he is digging into the Word and prayer.  God is a rewarder of those diligently seeking him!  (Heb. 11:6)

Charlene is entering a 12 month recovery program, and is being sponsored by her family.  When Charlene was with me, she shared how the book of Esther really spoke to her – even showing me her journal, how she’d written about it.  We spoke about how Esther went through a 1-year purification and beautification program.  That was before all the dark stuff surfaced.  Now, fulfilling what appears to be prophetic, Charlene is indeed entering a 12 month detox, healing and restoration program!  YHWH is so good!  Please keep her in your prayers  – especially for these critical days before she enters the program!

Gift of Helps!

Gift of Helps!

Sorry I don’t have any other photos of Ian – he loved being on the beach, tossing a football with Michael.  They had a dog named Nugget – pray we find a new home for him!

Working Together For Good

Romans 8: 28 is probably one of the most quoted scriptures in modern history.  Let’s remember that this verse is conditional – things work out for those who love God and are called according to His purpose!  We have no doubt that Ian and Charlene have a calling on their lives.  Their testimonies have the potential to save multitudes.  They do love Jesus, and want to put the past behind them.  We bless them as they embark on this new journey in their lives.

Deceptive Ways

The New Age philosophies abound here.  Yoga classes are everywhere!  People worship the creation instead of the Creator.  The god of this age blinds the minds of unbelievers because he masquerades as an angel of light and deceives those who don’t want to “pick up their cross” to follow Jesus!  SO MANY here are bound up in these trappings.  They are part of our mission field.  They are prodigal sons and daughters.  Please keep us and them in your prayers.  Isaiah 61:11 says YHWH desires us to …open prison doors and set captives free!

If you’re praying for a prodigal in your family, then you can personally relate to who we are reaching out to.  Pray for us to demonstrate in every aspect of our lives the fragrance of our loving Savior and set these captives free so they can return home!

 

yoga-flyer