Our life is quite the dull one. We’re such a quiet family. No one ever comes to visit us; our door stays shut most of the time. Homeschooling is bland and boring; we’re not learning anything worth knowing. Working in a coffee exportation start-up is a decaffeinated snore-fest. We don’t have enough friends, Costa Rican, or otherwise. Living the missionary life outside of the United States could stand to be more slightly more exciting; a lot more slightly more. We’re wondering where God is these days. Why are we here and did we miss something?
PS. Everything written above is the EXACT OPPOSITE of our real life, thank GOD!
Granted, the only thing “rosy” about our life on the mission field is that we have a dear friend & employee who goes by the name. However, there isn’t a single teardrop we shed which doesn’t eventually stream its way onto smiling lips. For every hardship, for every sacrifice, for every disappointment, for every potentially regrettable thing we encounter in the role of missionary, there is a God who is orchestrating the score of our life and He makes minor keys sound amazing, full … truly melodious.
Por ejemplo (Costa Ricans LOVE to say, this phrase = for example):
- Saying goodbye to loved ones is a giant piece of the missionary pie. The salty crumbs of grief and loss are scattered profusely around each pie plate. The more of it we eat, the more crumbs there are. Yet, we would never say no to that slice. It is an important segment of the entire pie – without it, the pie would simply be incomplete. The filling of this piece is laced with the sweetness of new friendships. Some of them, we feel like we have known our entire lives, when it’s been less than two years. We could never choose between our old friends and new, our former community and our current one. It’s such a blessing that God is the one who has called and has led us here. It makes the crumbs worth every bite. It makes the pie delicious, although the tartness bites. (In just over two months, we will be saying goodbye to our friends here and saying hello to our US family & friends again for a short season of home assignment … we are lifers in this pie-eating-non-contest).
- Doing without our familiar conveniences means an invitation to adventure. It’s amazing, truly, at the end of every day, to see how God provides for whatever “gaps” or “lack” we think we have. Sometimes, it’s being surprised to find a clever substitute for something we assumed we had to have to survive. Sometimes, it’s realizing that we don’t really need the original, nor the substitute – going with less, or going without is actually better! Sometimes, it’s having what we truly need from the U.S. show up on a store shelf here, or by the generous hand of a God through a friend, and feeling like we live in the best of both worlds. However it happens to come, provision for needs, large and small, is a daily gift. It strengthens our faith for the following steps. We are so grateful.
- Changes in the missionary community are constant, inevitable. Every time we come face to face with a dear one who is being led by God through a season of major change, it forces us to take stock of where we are and how we feel about it. This year, the changes we’ve witnessed have led us to be even more content to dig in deeper here in Costa Rica. The changes around us rock us less intensely each time. We see this as the hand of God keeping us here, with all joy, even as we grieve the changes around us, for others.
In light of all this, we are really content to be rooted here in Costa Rica this summer. We are also really content in the plan to be stateside this fall through early 2016. Living in two countries requires much effort, but so far, the dividends have been a blessing.
The kids are equally homesick for Colorado and all that it means to them and are content to be living here right now. They understand, as well as an 11 and an 8 year old can, that following God means moving wherever He leads and that He never leads us down a “wrong path.” Whenever we’re tempted to think that we may be scarring them for life by raising them outside of what was “home” for so long, we realize that:
1) we didn’t make this decision lightly, impulsively, or without confirmation of God’s calling (over multiple years)
2) scars are a part of life and they come because wounding happens no matter where we live
3) we’ve never been closer as a family as we are now and we are growing in our ability to focus on what matters most to us (see: Our Year of Figuring Things Out)
4) God is their Healer, just as much as He is ours
5) God’s peace is a place in life, not a place on earth – we are residing, abiding in Him and His peace is here
We have partnered with two godly, Costa Rican families in a brand-new gourmet coffee exportation company and the business as mission cascade from this decision has surprised us with joy! Stay tuned for more posts about the coffee and what all it means for our family (and yours)!
We are employing more Costa Ricans and Nicaraguans this year and have had some thrilling opportunities to speak Christ into their lives. We can’t wait to share about a handful of these employees – stay tuned for that update, as well!
After my year of surgeries (2014), we find ourselves in great financial need for money to pay off medical bills, replenish our health savings account and purchase plane tickets for home assignment travel to, from and in the U.S. this fall. When you receive our YouCaring request for funding in the coming days, please pray and consider giving to our Ministries Account and medical needs, then please share the opportunity with your circles! You never know who is looking for a chance to help in this way.
July & August will see us continuing with our work in Business as Missions and hosting/meeting up with various people who will be visiting us here. We love connecting with those whom God brings into our home; we always learn so much through the opportunity of hospitality.
Last, but not least, I am healing well from my major surgery last October, praise God! I am now able to do some light excercise (walking, swimming, a little dancing with the kids!) and it feels good to be on this side of recovery. Part of my healing process is tackling the candida overgrowth in my system from all the antibiotics I had to take last year. Right now, I’m feeling rough from the literal detoxification of the candida yeast, but I know God is using the products which I’m taking and the way I’m eating to bring about a more permanent state of healing for my worn out body. I’ll keep you posted on all of this, as well.
Beginning tomorrow, we are taking a family trip into the city of Granada, Nicaragua, to visit the future home of a fellow missionary family who will be moving there in August. I will be documenting our trip on this site, mostly with pictures, so follow us here and on Facebook to see our journey!
Thank you for praying for our family as you read this update! Also, for those of you who pray for us and give financially so that God can transform His people here in Costa Rica and beyond, beginning with us, we say THANK YOU. Without your faithful love and support, the first paragraph of this update could easily be our reality.
NO REGRETS with Jesus,
Marie, for Jordan, Megan & Micah