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Thursday, June 26, 2008

10 & 2

Last week was an incredible time of refreshing for me spiritually. The language institute brought in a guest speaker who addressed the spiritual life of missionaries (and Christians in general). Every one of his messages really hit home with me. He spoke about trusting God, addressing sin, forgetting the past, finishing well, culture shock, language learning, things that really matter, etc. He preached every morning at chapel and every evening we had a time of worship followed by another sermon. I may be a missionary but that's just way too much "church", or so I thought at the beginning of the week. Then the Lord started working in my heart and speaking to me through his Word and his messenger. Now, I sit here thankful for every opportunity I had to worship the Father during spiritual emphasis week.

I realized one "not-so-spiritual" thing last week during one of the speaker's stories. He was describing a road rage incident he had while in the midst of culture shock. And then it hit me! I haven't sat in the driver's seat of a car since April 27, 2008. Not only that, but I may not have my hands at 10 & 2 until I get to Peru in May 2009. That's weird. Ironically, I hated to drive in the states (just ask Jenn). After seeing the wild driving in CR, I'm a little relieved not to drive here.

Some of our taxi rides have been real doozies. We had this one grandpa taxi driver that was rockin' out to some hilarious music. He was singing along like fifteen year old girl. He was working his neck like one of the Roxbury Guys and swerving through traffic like Ricky Bobby trying to catch Frenchie. In different cabs, we have heard "Thriller," "Xanadoo," and Frank Sinatra. Don't feel sorry for us; the best of US culture is only a cab ride away BABY!

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Little Child Shall Lead Them

Remember Jr. High when you would dare your friend to ask the teacher an embarrasing question. Immediately, said friend would raise his hand and say, "Teacher, Brian wants to know if you..." In those moments you totally felt outed and humbled. Yeah, that happened to me the other day. I took the boys and our 4 year old neighbor boy to the park. Now rumor has it that this little guy can speak Spanish pretty well but he doesn't speak it to Gringos. I always try to get him to say stuff in Spanish but he rarely will. On our way home we saw two Tico kids jumping rope. I asked Caleb how to say "jumprope" in Spanish but he didn't know. I said, "You could ask them." Immediately said friend called out, "Ey, Como se llama eso porque el no sabe." (Hey, what do you call that because HE doesn't know.)
It was humbling on many levels:

  1. The young girl looked shocked as this little blonde gringo spoke perfect Spanish for the big, dumb gringo.
  2. Blondie totally threw me under the bus.
  3. I have thirty years on this little guy and I will never catch up to his Spanish ability.
  4. He should be looking up to me but I realized I was looking up to him.

In Jr. High you could get even with your friend when he hosed you like that. Atomic wedgies were the great equalizer. But this time I've got nothing. All I can say is, "Caleb Rocks!"

This week is spiritual emphasis week at school. We have a guest speaker Dr. David Sills from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. I am really praying that God would draw me close to his heart this week. I guess he was just giving me a headstart in the humility department last week:)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mmmm...Good Toast

Everyday, at some point in the day, I catch a big whiff of TOAST. Not a little hint of dough or bread. I'm talking about an overwhelming intake of toasty goodness ascending the nasal passages. There are a lot of "panaderias" (bakeries) around town but somehow the smell travels specifically to the place where my nose is. It's random but there seems to be a pattern at the same time.

I have played basketball for 28 years but I just learned something new about the sport which I love so dearly. Apparently, when playing pick-up ball in CR, sustaining a broken rib does not automatically mean a foul will be called. Unfortunately, I learned this lesson first hand as some guy's elbow was making an indention in my rib cage. After enduring a week and a half of pain I went to the doctor, whose X-rays revealed a 'fissure' in the 2nd rib just under my collar bone. Not to fear, the pain might go away in 4-6 weeks.

Last Sunday night was a small linguistic breakthrough for me. We took a 10 minute cab ride which only took about 30 minutes to complete. While we were stuck in traffic, I had a chance to talk to the driver about his relationship with Jesus. He shared that his 2 babies had died in an auto accident and he was in an ugly custody battle for his little girl. He has reached the point where he doesn't believe God exists because his prayers always seem to go unanswered. I told him that he has something in common with God, because God knows what it is like to be without a son. Pray that God would pour his grace on Jaime and reveal His love to him in a very special way. Jesus took 5 loaves and 2 fish and fed 5,000 maybe he'll take my 5 nouns and 2 verbs and feed 1.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Life in the White House

It looks like a medium security prison but we like to call it "Home." You'd be hard pressed to find a house in San Jose, CR that doesn't have bars, a wall, razorwire or some combination of the three. Our stately mansion comes complete with 1 black iron gate (with dead-bolt) topped with spikes and rusty razorwire, bars on every window, bar doors (with dead-bolts), wooden doors (with dead-bolts), and an old alarm system (minus the keypad) that probably hasn't functioned since the early 80's.

This is the view from the top of our street. Aren't the powerlines just lovely this time of year? If you look really closely you might be able to see some mountains in the distance:)

This is a photo of the exciting cinderblock wall in our backyard. It was tough to capture this action shot because the banana trees and palm trees kept getting in the way. Actually, it's not as dreary as it looks. We like our backyard and we have a covered patio complete with washer and dryer. That's normal... right?
These 3 crazy pizza chefs were caught creating one of their masterpieces in our kitchen. The head chef won't know this photo is on the blog until it's too late... HaHaHa.
We really do like everything about our house and new life in CR. We are having a great time and everything we have here (or anywhere else) is a blessing from the Lord and it all belongs to Him anyway (even the Ipod).

music llamas listen to :)