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.
God has given us an amazing gift, which is having been made in His image. He is a personal God and created us personal beings, made to have a living, intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father. We, as His children, can hear His voice, which is a total privilege.
This week in our ministry, YWAM San Jose, we are “live” on Facebook, teaching different topics in English and Spanish. If you want to hear the teaching I gave today (April 21st, 2020) on the topic of Hearing the Voice of God, click on the link below and join us for these ‘Live’ sessions on Facebook. For other topics just click on the links below for the topic you are interested in.
Friends, it has been a while since we updated this blog or send out some news. From one day to the next our lives were turned upside down, as was yours.
Since the nation of Costa Rica shut down all its borders on March 18th, things have drastically changed for us here and our YWAM San Jose community.
We decided to suspend all our classes and most students went home while finishing their lecture time online. Four of the students stayed on with us and we have been working at a ‘distance’ since March 18th.
The nation is still in quarantine and under ‘stay home’ orders. We have curfews and days when you are allowed to use your car and go to the store. Wow, how things change from the way we used to do things.
From one day to the next all our meetings cancelled, all our gatherings cancelled. Schools, cancelled. Teams, cancelled.
Then came the next question for us as leaders and our leadership team:
“How will we move forward from here?”
Well, as a lot of you have done as well, we have moved to an ‘on-line’ platform for all our gatherings/meetings. In the beginning this was a little strange, leading a meeting in person versus online is a whole different story, it took us a while to get the ‘hang of it’, but I think we have been able to make it work.
We have had some amazing online gatherings with YWAM in our region (Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean) with over 500+ connected through videoconferencing, hearing from our global leaders.
Wow, it has been truly something amazing. Praying all together at the same time for 1 minute straight for the nations against this virus was amazing.
We have celebrated communion together, though physically at a distance, but very much together in unity in our purpose on why we celebrate, especially this Easter.
All in all it has been an adjustment, but God is doing something amazing. He is speaking to YWAM globally and we are all responding to the Lord, listening, taking time to ‘rest’, taking a ‘sabbath’ time to seek the Lord more in detail, allowing Him to prune what needs to be pruned so that there can be more fruit, more multiplication and more people coming into the Kingdom of God. These are unique times for sure.
We are also moving forward with the vision God has given us in the midst of all this, despite the ‘social distance’. The vision God has given us has not changed. We might have to do things a little different this time, but it is allowing us to re-evalute and also make the necessary changes and adjustments needed.
Although most of the work has officially stopped on the new building, we are having a few helpers here and there, to finish some details that help us move things forward faster once we are able to be out and about again.
Well that is not really the name of the wedding, but when a global virus causes a wedding not to be able to take place, you come together as a community and help your staff to still have a wedding, but at a distance.
Luis & Susan were married last week April 2nd, but were originally supposed to be married on May 2nd, but with all the uncertainties with the virus, the Lord led them to be married one month ahead of schedule.
God was in the middle of it and it was a beautiful morning. Though we couldn’t have a big party with lots of people, nevertheless all of us were able to stand from a distance and be with them. What a beautiful thing that LOVE does not depend on distance. Love is always close, because God is love.
As you can tell, we have had quite a few things going on in the midst of all that is changing world wide. In the midst of that we have been able to take more times with our kids, rest and take extended times with the Lord.
I have loved taking more hours in my Cabin of Grace that the Lord allowed me to build last year. A space to pray, worship and write. If you want to follow my personal blog on my writings, please visit “The Cabin of Grace”.
Thank you for your ongoing love, prayers and friendship. We need each other more now than ever. The Lord continues to be faithful in the midst of all the economic challenges we all face. We know that He is our provider, that He will continue to be faithful and that supernatural provision will be a fact for all of us. He is good.
May this Easter be filled with fresh revelation, rest and vision. May this quarantine bring us closer to our Lord and Savior, may it allow us to express our gratitude to the Lord.
If you have a specific prayer request, please do not hesitate to send us a note here or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, we love hearing from you and would love to know how to pray for you as well.
You might wonder, why is she writing so much these days. Well I guess that is what “quarantine” does. Though our government here in Costa Rica has not made it a ‘law’ to stay inside, they highly recommend not going anywhere and stay put. I guess it is the same for many of you.
When you get more time at ‘home’ you get time to ponder, reflect, listen, evaluate and if you are like me, write it down.
I have lived in Central America since 1998. My husband is from Costa Rica, our children were born in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. This is home, but I grew up in The Netherlands. This is home, I could not imagine being anywhere else at this time and still yesterday I realized that within perhaps a few days or weeks, if things keep going the way they are, there might not even be a way to go to my other ‘home’, where I grew up. The place where my parents and sisters live.
Me and my dad spoke years ago that there might be a time when we would not be able to travel to see each other. Alas, here we are, we are living in such a time. Even if I wanted to go see my family and had the money, there still wouldn’t be any way to get there. There would be no way ‘home.‘
Where is home, what does home mean?
Again, I was thinking of those in the Second World War. Many had to leave their physical homes to go into a ‘home of hiding’. They didn’t know whether, what they left behind, would be returned. Many understood they were most likely never going to come back home. Those who went into hiding had to create a new home. Filled with unknowns, filled with the fear of being hunted, this ‘enemy’ was coming after them to take from them, their very lives.
So many are faced with fear today. The fear that this enemy (virus) will reach them where they are in the safety of their ‘homes.’ It feels we are in ‘hiding’ in our own ‘home.’
Fear, anxiety and loneliness might be filling some of you as you think about staying ‘home’ for an indefinite period. For a few days we embrace this new normal, but for some of you things are starting to shift and feelings of desperation might start to set in.
Can I offer you another a thought of hope?
I was brought again to the Word of God. It is what I live by, what I hold on to as my foundation for life. It is what sustains me, now more than ever.
Hebrews 13:14-16New Living Translation (NLT)
14 For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. 15 Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name.16 And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.
Oh what a great reminder to me. This world is not my permanent home, the permanent place to depend on. As my personal physical citizenship has changed from one nation to another, I might not have a way back to the ‘home’ I grew up in, but what an incredible thing to be reminded that I can look forward to another kind of home, (city in some versions) even better than this one.
Philippians 3:20-21New Living Translation (NLT)
20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.
And the book of Galatians reminds of this:
Galatians 2:20New Living Translation (NLT)
20 My old self has been crucified with Christ.[a] It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Christ now lives in me. My new ‘home’, my citizenship, this place where I find complete rest is in Jesus.
In response I bring a sacrifice of praise to God, even amidst this current situation, I proclaim my allegiance to His Name. I am reminded to do good, to share with those in need.
Do you need rest while home? Do you need that assurance that you will be ok in the midst of the uncertainties?
Jesus is the answer, read His Word.
Just look for an online Bible, download “You Version” if you do not have a physical Bible.
Write me a comment here if you want prayer and I will pray for you.
Being a mom is a full time job, quarantine or staying at home does not change any of that.
We are a family of 5. That makes me a mom of 3 and this mom loves every one of them. I am a woman who leads a ministry with her husband (full time) and is passionate about that, and whose wonderful husband truly is a very sacrificial person and loves serving others. I am a foreigner in the nation I live in, though they have accepted me as one of their own citizens for a few years now. I’ve learned to speak the language, have learned to love this culture, and have “almost” accepted all of the things I can’t change in all these years of living overseas.
I am a foreign national, a world citizen, a woman who was born and grew up in a European nation, served as a missionary in East Africa as a single woman, found love in North America, married the Costa Rican I found there and embraced his nation as my own. My travels have taken me through Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, South America and Australia all for the sake of the person, the Truth I love and want to share with the world – Jesus.
When I first became a mom I also lived in a foreign land, the beautiful nation of Nicaragua. Though my husband is from Costa Rica and knew the culture, I was still learning to adjust to my new life in Central America.
With a little baby on the way, we packed our bags and 6 plastic boxes and waited patiently for Tica Bus (Busline in CA) to take us to our new home. New adventures were around the corner, a new home, a new ministry to be part of, a new family to embrace. So many memories of those first years.
God was with me every step of the way in becoming a mom, provided for every single detail, despite the fact that I never had any of my kids in my homeland (The Netherlands). All three were born in Central America and I have never regretted it. God provided, He gave peace about the decision every time.
Now our oldest is almost 18. I still can’t believe it has been almost 18 years since we lived in Nicaragua and walked into that brand new little hospital in Diriamba. I must have been the only patient that night as I was well taken care of and our little one was the enjoyment of the nurses with her bright blue eyes and puffy thick blond hair.
Being a mom than was easy, I wasn’t leading a ministry, I only had one little one to take care of, we lived in a small 2 bedroom house and thus easy to keep clean.
Now 18 years in, 3 kids later (ages 17, 15, 10) and leading a full time ministry, being a mom is very different.
Moms are always busy, and it is not because they always want to be, life just happens and there are things to get done.
During this mandatory “stay home” rule from the government I thought; Finally I will get some time to do certain things, but I have yet to find the time to do them.
The first few days I had to come off this mayor energetic sprint in which we had to make sure all things for the ministry were taken care of before I could ‘stay home.’ Once that was done and I finally had my first full day at home, I never sat still for more than 20 minutes.
Woke up, showered, drank coffee, got kids settled with school work, put in a load of laundry, swept the floor, took clothes out of the washer to put them in the dryer, gave my kids a snack, mopped the floor, sat down for a moment only to realize that it was now almost lunch time. So I did that, ate lunch, did the dishes, cleaned up, took the laundry out of the dryer, folded the laundry, cleaned up my desk in my room (which had been a months long project on my list), drank coffee, spend the rest of the afternoon squeezing about 300 lemons, put them in ziplock bags so we can freeze the juice and have vitamin C juice for weeks (maybe)!! Then it was time for dinner again so did that, washed up, and finally around 7:30-8:00pm sat down on my bed ready to ‘rest’.
If you are a mom, you can relate, right? Today is day 5 and I realized moms in quarantine are still moms, still do all that needs to get done, don’t really get to ‘slow down’ or just sit and do nothing as some might think quarantine is.
Life is different, for sure, having kids at home all day is different for me, they are very responsible with their school work, which helps as they are also a little ‘older’. I am so blessed, it gives me the time to get the ‘other’ stuff done, but now I just want to rest.
I write all this to say; it is time to rest! How about you, if you are a mom, are you finding your rest?
If you are like me with so many things going on all the time, how do you find this rest? What can we do to find our new normal but also find deep moments of resting our heart and soul in the Lord.
Friends, this is a new season, none of us were ready for this, none of us were expecting this, but here we are. Here I am and find myself having to re-think how I do things, among the many things I normally do.
Last year the Lord allowed me to build this little Cabin. I call it my Cabin of Grace. When I go there I am entering into this special place with God. It is where I meet with Him, where I talk to Him about the deeper things. Where I receive grace to go through the things I walk through.
This momma needs some time in her Cabin of Grace this week. There is a gift that rarely gets given and that is the gift of time. Especially as a mom, this is a precios gift that when it is given, you tend to fill it with what needs to get done.
This season we are in right now can be filled with working from home, and trust me I can fill it with many important and good things, but this week I am going to take this gift that so rarely comes, to enter into the rest I believe the Lord wants to give me, but I am quite sure He wants to give it not just to moms, but to all His people.
So when you get a moment this week, I invite you to receive this gift of time and rest…
Rest in the arms of your heavenly Father…
More later on this subject of rest as I enjoy my scheduled visit to the Cabin of Grace this week and the weeks to come….