Earlier in the year I was not expecting to visit home, although that was the plan in 2020, but we all know why nobody could travel in that year….
Things started to look a little better but not for us to consider a whole family visit.
When praying I had this deep sense that a trip would be the biggest blessing at this season.
Its been a tough year for many around the world as well as for us in Costa Rica. Closing down for part of the year, changing how we do things, lock downs. It drains you.
So when my family and friends told me they felt the same and wanted to help me get to my home country, my heart burst!
So on August 17th I was on a plane to Amsterdam!!!
I was going to spend 2 weeks with family and friends, alone.
Missing my family at home but knowing how important and needed this trip was going to be.
Yet I did not expect to be blessed so much more than what I could have imagined.
What can I say…time with family is so important. My older sis lives in Sweden with her husband and kids so that will have to be another trip 😊.
This pandemic has taught us a lot. Flying is needed, we need to see our families. We need to have personal, face to face connections with people, we can’t live without.
We need to look each other in the eye, embrace each other, say “I love you.” Hug each other goodbye.
My time in the Netherlands was so beautiful and full of blessing.
My team there and church blessed me and my family, celebrating 25 years of Gods faithfulness. Its hard to believe its really been 25 years, but it has.
This gift was a much needed time and my heart is full and overflowing with gratitude.
Soon our oldest, Gioela will be traveling there as well and start her adventure of studying the Word of God in the capital of the Netherlands with YWAM. We could not be more excited for her.
We know that even though we are on the other side of the world we will not let e pandemic stop us to connect with those around us, near or far in whatever way we can, while also taking care of our health.
In the midst of a crazy world, God is good and faithful and once again we have seen His goodness and we know He hears our deepest prayers. He answered mine in being able to see my family and spend quality time with them. He is a good Father.
The Lord hears every detail when we pray, even in the quietness of our heart. He heard my whisper to see my parents and sister in Holland.
He gently provided for me to buy the ticket.Now I am trusting Him for the fees left to cover luggage fees and covid tests. Travel during this time is not the same as it used to be. But God is bigger than that.
He will provide for every need as He has always done. Would you consider helping me with a one time gift to help cover these last pieces to have some quality time with my family and bring back the things needed for our family and ministry as well as those covid tests?
I will add the links to donate here again as it seems that the photo does not allow you to click on it:
At the end of 2019 we began a process of change by pouring the foundation of our first multi purpose building…in this spot where there used to be nothing but trees and foliage.
We cleared the area and marked the spot without loosing the beautiful green surroundings.
When you want to see growth and change you have to make out what you want to see.
So do you want to see growth in your life a specific area? Then you will have to mark your ground and do the necessary preparatory work for change to be possible.
Then you get to get rid of all the little debris in the ground that will compromise the strength of the foundation.
Then you pour the concrete…and man was this a tough job…with staff, students and workers we all helped to get this foundation poured and spread out after 23 trucks came to pour concrete.
Now you are ready to consider the walls and the construction the building…
In the process little things come up and they seem to small to care about, but if not attended to they will compromise the integrity of the level of the floor. Scraping cement spots, ongoing cleaning and every time its starting to take more shape.
Little by little change is taking place and we get closer every day to being able to envision what it will look like when it is finished.
Slowly you start to envision the people who will one day fill this place. You start calling them forth, you pray over them and start asking God to prepare them while we prepare the physical place to receive them.
Now 17 months later this place is getting even closer to be that place we have dreamed of 17 years ago!
It is no longer a dream but a reality. A reality that began with a vision and has unfolded into what it is becoming today..
Though lots still needs to be done, we are seeing change and the whole reason is to get ready for a new generation!! They are coming…
WE NEED YOU….
To be able to finish we are looking for volunteers with expertise.
Do you have any of these skills?:
electrical work / painting / building / welding / plumbing or you are handy in any of these…
Our oldest has started creating her own path. In October she turned 18 and in January 2021, after finishing High School in November 2020, she started her new adventure. A Discipleship Training School with YWAM Kona, HI.
The University of the Nations in Kona, HI has a performing Arts DTS and that is exactly what she wanted and needed. She is loving it.
Here is her news if you want to know more about what she is up to.
Hey friends, want to know what is happening with our family and read our March update click here for a PDF download or scroll down to read it here. Thank you for your ongoing love and support to our family and ministry.
A week I wrote a post on Facebook about building platforms. Literally we are in the process of building a brand new ‘stage’ in our multipurpose building. You could think maybe why do we want to build more buildings, when it is all about Jesus and the nations who have not heard about Him. Yes, it is not about building concrete structures or a wood and steel stage. This is not just a stage, but a platform.
This is not about a building, a physical stage of wood and steel. This is about creating a place where the new generation can come to be trained, equipped and send out into what the Lord has for them. This is not about getting more and more people inside the ministry just to keep them here and have more people for the sake of having them. There is a purpose for everything we do.
One is that we are responding to the Word of the Lord to us to see a Campus build in which students can come and introduce Jesus to them, to train them in the area of their gift and passion for the glory of God the Father and for the expansion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In responding to the Word of God, we are moving in faith one day at a time to co-create with Him. Our first step was to put up a multipurpose building where we can come together, where we can eat a meal together, worship together, gathering people to pray, seek His face and hear His Word.
This building is in the process of being finished and it is nothing short of a miracle, yet we know this is not about the building, but all about the Master Builder who has given us a call and a charge to develop this place.
Second is that obedience to this word is key. First is our response to start moving on the Word He gave, second is to stay 100% obedient no matter what.
There have been set backs, there has been a pandemic, there is new ways of living and doing things, but the Word and Work of God can not be stopped. Not even the cross could stop Jesus from fulfilling what He came for. He was not going to let anybody around Him stop Him for moving forward.
We are not building buildings, or stages, we are building platforms. A foundation on which to stand, on which to set our feet on solid ground – this foundation is Jesus Christ and no-one else.
He is our security, He is the one we get to stand on. The rock on which to put our feet. He is the One who provides us with the vision needed to move on, the security that what we will face He has already faced and knows what to do with.
Recently I have pondered a lot about those who have gone before us – hundreds of years ago – building towns, cities and nations. Those who gave up their lives to establish the cities we get live in today. The disease, the filth, the dirt, the season of building they had to go through so we could today live where we live….
Our ancestors, the things they had to face to give us a chance to live – I think about those who lived in the fields when there was nothing there and still there are many towns like that in the world – no electricity, no running water, no big supermarkets – surviving yet another day.
The reason why I have been pondering on this is because it is so easy to forget – so easy to just look at the now, when we struggle, when we are having a hard day, when things don’t go the way we like them – I think of them.
Building platforms isn’t always easy. Some don’t want the platform, some don’t want the help, some don’t want to go further. So my prayer today is that there will be a hunger, a desire, a passion, a perseverance to reach for more. Not more luxuries, not more things, but more for our lives and those who are to come after us. Yet not because of what we want, but because of what our Heavenly Father is dreaming.
Are we asking Him what He wants? What He longs for? What He hopes to see? I guess we already know what He longs for? He longs for His people to know Him, to live with Him, to walk with Him, to experience His love.
So how can we help make this happen? By asking Him. So we did back in 1999 and He led us back to Costa Rica to begin building a place where people would come to find new life in Jesus.
You are part of this and have been all these years.
Three years ago this March the Lord led us to this property – a land flowing with milk and honey – like Deuteronomy so beautifully describes the promised land. This is our promised land. The land the Lord (quite literally) kept for the ministry to develop His dream.
Three years ago we went through loss as a ministry and personally. We lost one of our very dear friends who helped pioneer YWAM San Jose with us. She suffered a brain aneurism and passed away in April 2018. Two months later we moved to our forever land. It was a season of deep pain and yet deep joy. How could those two be merged in one moment? In the letting go of our friend, while also walking into a promise that we had been contending for since 2004.
Here we are and have been now for almost 3 years. In 3 years we have been through lots of change, both physically, as a ministry and on the land.
We are ready to keep moving forward, keep building platforms, we are picking up speed, we are needing you to continue to walk with us. We are not stopping now, we are not giving up now, we are pressing into the Word spoken to us back in 1999. We are leaning into the strength of the Lord, not our own, but in Him we are more than conquerers. This is not about us, but in every way this is about Him – we want to raise up praises to the Name of the Lord, who is worthy to receive all honor and glory forever and ever.
YWAM San Jose does not exist to be known, or to be perfect, but we exist because God spoke, because God had a dream in His heart and gave it to us and ask us a question if we wanted to run with it – we simply said YES and we continue to say yes, because He is worthy!
On Tuesday a team of 9 left for Talamanca, an indigenous reservation in the jungle of Costa Rica situated on the Panama-Costa Rica border. The purpose? To hand out food to 170 families who are struggling to be able to provide the essentials for their families.
Two weeks ago a desire was born in the heart of a few to be part of providing not only families in need with the food they need, but also helping local farmers and those who grow the food we eat on our table every day. He prayed and started searching for ways to do both. Help the local economy as well as provide for families in need.
Because of amazing partnerships with a local business as well as other YWAM locations around the country and the connections that our very own YWAM staff have in different regions of Costa Rica (such as Talamanca as they are from there), a total of 530 food bags were able to be packaged this past weekend and these past two days 170 of those were handed out to families in this protected reservation where not many people can come, but God made a way where there is no way.
Local farmers join in
Not only did a local business help get this project started, but local farmers and those who grow food in the same Talamanca region were part of providing the necessary food to distribute to more than just themselves.
Plantains, yuca and other products were ‘donated’ and in return, they themselves received a bag with more food and those products they provided will also go to families in Guanacaste (the Northern Region of Costa Rica bordering with Nicaragua) as well as families in need in the capital of San Jose.
Generosity is not based on what you have, but all based on an attitude of the heart out of what you don’t have. Giving out of your own need.
These farmers have a big need to sell their product to feed their own families, here they are helping provide for other families and return they received what they need most. That is the way the Kingdom works.
The widow with the two coins
“Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
The story of the two coins that this the poor widow put into the offering plate. she gave all she had to live on. She gave out of what she had and that is what we are seeing these people do. Some have plantains and so they give plantains, some have yuca, so they give yuca, some have bananas so they give bananas. The beauty of seeing the resources of God spread around to see His provision come to the table of His people.
But we need everybody to make to possible. We need not only those who help with the finances to buy the other products and gas for the vehicles to get to the families, we also need those who are willing to go and walk in the 90 degree heat to hand these bags out in the midst of a pandemic.
The sphere of the church comes together with the sphere of business and the sphere of family to provide for a ‘real’ need. This is how the Kingdom works.
Guanacaste and San Jose next
Next week food will be distributed in the Norther Region of Costa Rica in the province of Guanacaste. Both YWAM Liberia and the local church will come together to see more families provided for with some of the fresh produce that was given by the families from Talamanca. One province serving another province. One family serving another family.
In the end this is not only about providing the most necessary for families in need, which is food. It is about building the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. Youth With A Mission has a call to be part of doing this, not only through helping distribute food, but building a people through providing education, discipleship and presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ personally to this generation.
YWAM San Jose exists to mobilize, equip and send this generation into their God given destiny. We seek not only to reach people with Gods love, but also help them become disciples of Jesus, educating them in different areas of life such as community development and equipping them to be all God called them to be to see His Kingdom come in their lives, their communities, cities and nation.