An enemy to humanity

Is it really a virus the one that is a posing an enemy to humanity? Seems that way doesn’t it?

Fear, troubled hearts, worry, uncertainty, anxiety and dread have all become part of so many lives where before perhaps there was none.

Today I was reminded of a group of people that faced these things for several years between 1940-1945. I walked over to my bookshelf and pulled out a very well known book. “The Diary of a Young Girl” – by Anne Frank. 

Remember her story? Remember history? If you don’t, it is time to take advantage of this ‘quarantine’ or ‘stay home’ time, in order to catch up on your reading.IMG_5232

Anne Frank, the Dutch girl whom, together with her family and several others, hid for 2 years in the secret annex behind her dad’s office on the “Prinsengracht” in the heart of Amsterdam.

As I opened the book, browsing and turning the pages, it was as if I was taken back in time. The personal stories of a 13 year old, penned down for the world to read. That wasn’t her plan, but it soon turned out that she herself realized that it could be published one day. Little did she know it would, but she would live to see it.

After reading a few pages I came across this part in which she describes what her people “the Jews” were no longer able to do: forbidden to use trams, ride cars, go to theaters, cinemas or any other form of entertainment, swimming pools, tennis courts or other athletic fields. They were only allowed on the street in the day, but after 8pm they had to be inside. Allowed to shop only between 3-5pm. Many things were now forbidden to them.

Today, all over the world, we are told a lot of “do nots” these days, due to an enemy out there that is coming after us.

Of course there is no way we can compare today with the suffering of the Jewish people during the World War, in which millions lost their lives at the hand of evil, expressed through human beings. That suffering was something we should never ever allow itself to repeat, yet are we paying attention to what is happening in our world today.

While there is a real threat to humanity with a virus that is causing physical casualties and bringing deep fear, worried hearts, anguish and uncertainty, it is also an enemy that is making us realize we have no control over it. Our fear doesn’t help us to control the spread, our worry doesn’t change the pattern of where it decides to go, our troubled hearts don’t cause this enemy to stay away. So what do we do?

How do we face this enemy to humanity? We stop doing things we normally do. We are told we can’t do this and we can’t do that. And we agree, right? We do what we are told, “wash your hands.” We do our best to protect those we love, praying it won’t ‘reach’ or ‘catch’ us. And yet we can not really see where it goes, we just know what it does and how it decides to travel.

Try to catch the wind, how do you do that? It goes where it wants, blows as hard as it wants, unannounced, unexpected.

Mankind has gone through so much, there has been so many enemies, some we rather not talk about or should we?

Today it is not an enemy, in the form of an army, seeking to kill one people group. Today we are faced with an enemy that seeks to take down humanity. Our lives as we know it. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, from this continent or the other. It just goes where it wants. It is disrupting life as we know it.

Don’t go here, don’t go there. Stay put, stay home, stay calm and change the way you clean yourself. If you washed your hands before, wash them again then wash them some more. Stay away from each other, keep a distance.

Not only lives, but the way we do live has changed within a matter of days. Jobs lost, social contact face to face lost (except for online), community lost, perhaps even relationships lost. How do overcome, how do we keep moving in this ‘new normal’? Or is there another enemy we need to be looking at as we try to stay ‘away’ from the one we hear about?

I ask, is it the virus that is the real enemy to humanity?

Hate, evil, anger, slander, gossip, murder, greed, idolatry, lust, power, pride, and probably a whole bunch of other ones, aren’t these a daily threat to mankind, to humanity?

Do we deal with these the same way we deal with this virus, do we look at how evil, anger and hate spreads? Do we try to stop it? Do we change the way we do life to stop evil? To stop murder, to stop greed, to stop pride? Do we?

I ask, is the virus the real enemy to humanity?

Agreed, the virus is a real threat, an enemy that needs to be stopped, before it stops us. But I would like us to remember that there are many deeply rooted issues in us, in mankind, in our lives that spread like wildfire, that cause death, that cause suffering, that cause affliction every day.

What if we worked on that as well? What if we changed our lives, instead of hating, we would love. Instead of greed we would be generous? Instead of pride we would practice humility? Instead of being right, we would ask for forgiveness?

Is that even possible? Yes it is.

There is an answer to those threats. His name is Jesus Christ. He lived his life in full view of man, humble, not self-seeking, full of love, giving up His life, so that we might have life.

We might not be able to stop a virus from affecting our broken lives, but we can stop having broken lives, by allowing Jesus to heal them.

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He heals. He restores. He forgives. He raises up. He redeems. He saves.

May we take time, during these days of obligated ‘rest’, to reflect on what really tries to attack who we are, what poses a threat to who we are, what is a true enemy to our humanity. May we find grace and favor to go through these days. May He bring us fresh revelation on who He is, so we know who we are.

We are created by our Creator, one of a kind, unique. Loved by our Creator and anything that goes against how He created us is an enemy to our humanity.

Jesus is the only way, the truth and the life. He is the Word, He is alive. His truth penetrates our lives, our souls, our spirits and the attitudes of our heart.

Let’s allow Him in….

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My Peace I give to you

We write to you, our friends and family who are just like all of us going through interesting times. Amazing how things can rapidly change and how, what you used to do, all of a sudden goes to the back burner and the concern for your family and those around you becomes top priority.

Here in YWAM San Jose and our immediate family we have experienced a great working together as a ministry and leaders to make all the necessary preparations to face the situation that our world is walking through.

Writing of protocols, walking our community through safety procedures and guidelines of the ministry of health took quite a bit of energy.

At this moment we have suspended all our activities, we stay in our houses or rooms and we have entered into a season of ‘seeking, praying, interceding, worshipping and resting.’

As we released our students to be with their families at this time we were able to close this season with them and God reminded me of these wonderful words of Jesus in John 14:27.

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As I read these words I was reminded of the disciples being somewhat distraught about the fact that Jesus was leaving. They weren’t really ready for that at all, but it was necessary. But like a normal greeting at that time they would wish each other ‘Shalom’, which is more  than just a ‘peace of mind’. True Shalom refers to an inner sense of completeness and wholeness, it has to do with the entire being, not just that you are at ‘ease’. A great article on the subject if you are interested in further study is here https://fullerstudio.fuller.edu/shalom-as-wholeness-embracing-the-broad-biblical-message/

As I shared with our ‘departing’ students, they weren’t expecting their journey to be cut short so abruptly, neither did we. This virus has caused so many ‘unexpected’ moments for so many around the world, but this is exactly what Jesus was leaving with His disciples. The peace that we need in times where things would be difficult, hard, challenging, unexpected. The kind of peace that would settle things in our inner being, a completeness, wholeness that the things that happen around us can not touch or take away.

Not just the work of Jesus on the cross, the inheritance He left us to purchased by his blood but He gives us Himself. He says “MY” peace I give to “YOU”. He gives us Himself. He himself is OUR peace. Not just what He did for us and the gift of salvation brings us peace, but He Himself, His presence within us, through His Holy Spirit, brings us this completeness and wholeness in the midst of chaos.

As a family we are at ‘peace’ about where we are, where we live and what we are doing. We know that God has called us to raise up a generation, right here in Costa Rica, to not just know God, but to walk intimately with this Jesus, who is Himself peace.

Though things around us are challenging, they take our energy, they call for us to trust in His grace, that He gives generously when needed the most, which is now. We are experiencing His grace.

Our kids are experiencing school through a virtual platform, we are experiencing a new way to be a community as we are all ‘separated’, but internet makes it possible to stay ‘connected’. We are calling our leaders and community into a time of deep prayer and seeking God for what is to come. Will you join us?

In the mean time we have progressed in another step with the building and sooner than later we will be able to host hundreds of people yet again to come together to seek His face, to worship ‘together’, but in the mean time we will worship him together while apart. Praise the Lord He is not contained to a building, He lives within us, His people, now that is powerful! A personal God, who has given us Himself, His peace.

In such uncertain times we know we have one certainty and that is that He is Lord, He is seated on the throne and He has not changed. He has not stopped knowing what to do, how to speak to us.

 

The world can not give the way He gives, it can not provide us with the happiness, the way He gives it, neither can the troubles of this world take it away. So receive the gift of peace that Jesus has and listen to his words: “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Shalom to you and your loved ones

 

 

Writers needed

In July 2019 we officially started the first Bi-lingual school of writing here in San Jose, Costa Rica.

The vision is to be a place where young and old can come and learn in the area of their passion and calling. Be equipped for what the Lord is calling them to do.

Being a University of the Nations campus allows us to do this.

Building our own campus will give us the ability to equip more people, house them with us and send them out into the place God calls them.

One of them is this area of writing. We need a new generation of writers, those who will write about the truth, address issues based on a Biblical Worldview and follow the Holy Spirit as they write.

Some of the topics will be:

So if you have completed a Discipleship Training School with YWAM and have a passion and call for writing then this is your opportunity to come for 3 months and be equipped.

We will also offer some of the weeks of class to those who can only take a few hours of classes as we want to equip as many as possible.

Write is today: escueladeescritores@ywamsj.org

New partners needed

A new year calls for new strategies and new partners. Over the past 22 years we have seen God bring amazing people alongside our family and ministry for which we are extremely grateful.

In moments when we least expected it, the Lord brought people who carried us,  gave sacrificially and generously to support our family and especially our children.

Being a family of 5 with growing teens, expenses also tend to grow. Clothing or shoes all of a sudden don’t fit, school needs, bigger appetites, physical needs of ‘almost’ young adults are growing every day as well.

Not to mention that our oldest two are planning their own missionary adventures in the past year and for the year to come.

For all this to keep moving forward we are in need of new financial partners who want to come alongside our family on a monthly basis.  We need you.  We are looking for people who want to support our family with a monthly gift of either $25, $50, $75, $100 or any amount of your choice.

We are needing at least $1500 covered per month for all our family needs. Would you. consider being one of those partners for 2020 and 2021.

Maybe you are more interested in supporting one specific need for our family.  These are the ones you can help us with:

  1.  $1000 for Luca to do a summer ywam missionary program called SST (July 2020)
  2. $10.000 towards a better vehicle.  (We already have $9000 raised)
  3. Airmiles or funds toward tickets for our family to be with Marjolein’s family and our church family in Netherlands this Christmas 2020 (we have not been as a family since 2012)

Want to sign up as a monthly giver,  these are the ways to do that  (tax-deductible for you):

Methods of Giving:

1. Checks – Please send checks to the offices in the USA.

Pay to the Order of:  YWAM-Costa Rica

Mail to: Youth With A Mission Costa Rica, PO Box 603,  Bentonville, AR 72712

Memo or separate note enclosed: CG100

2. ONLINE Creditcard donation

Follow this link for online credit card donations: (FILL OUT OUR CODE CG100) https://ywamsj.formstack.com/forms/donations

Fees

There is a 3% processing fee for all donations that are processed through YWAM Costa Rica. 

THANK YOU FOR CONSIDERING PARTNERING WITH US IN

MOBILIZING – EQUIPPING – SENDING A NEW GENERATION

INTO MISSIONS TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL MESSAGE.

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A life lived by the Spirit

There are many things to do, to attend to, to organize, to take care of, but there is only one place that can provide ‘you’ with what you need, to be ‘you’, to be filled, to find your place…

That is in His presence, in Christ. To be found in Him, to be led by the Spirit. Today set your mind on allowing the Spirit to lead you, fill you, move you…

A life lived and led by the Spirit of God is a life that is alive. Walking in the flesh brings forth things that will die.

Living for God means allowing Him to choose the direction of your every day, your projects. If they are not led by him, they will not have the same outcome.

As Romans so beautifully shows us that the Spirit who lives in us brought about our adoption as sons and daughters. We will live, and not live in fear of anything.

Need an encouraging read today: romans 8 will help you further meditate on living life in the Spirit.

Be blessed…choose to live!

Help Tessa get a bed

This little one turned 10 in July and is in need of another sleeping solution that gives us also space for a desk.

We want to get her one made and were not able to do this for her birthday but want to ask you to help out in providing this for her. This will help their room be more organized and spacious.

If you want to help get Tessa a bed you can click here for more info on how to give towards this need!

Designs are ready….

Yes, this is getting real exciting as designs are being shaped and finished for our very first building.

God is moving and bringing us not only people to come and serve, but those with the skills to do the designs for our buildings, the help needed with all the permit processes and making sure we follow all the established guidelines but the local government.

Pray with us our construction permits will come through soon so that we can see buildings go up such as this one!!!

How exciting is that!!!

Adventures with teens

July 14th 2019 was the day that we no longer had any children under the age of 10. We officially have only ‘teens’. Although our little Miss Tessa only turned 10, it is quite a milestone for the Coghi clan.

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Tessa, Luca & Gioela (10, 14 & 16)

We are so proud of our three kids and so grateful for the gift they are to our family. They are keeping us busy and on our toes and teach us every day what it means to parent in a multi cultural, multi lingual family!!!

God provided for Luca to attend the SST in Tyler, Texas. A missions and training program for teens between the ages of 13-17. Gioela was not able to attend this year due to much work at school, but Luca is enjoying himself as we have not heard much so we like to say “no news, good news, he is having fun”. This photo taken by SST staff proofs it:

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photo credit: SST International

Gioela (our 16 year old) started picking up ballet two months ago. Something she has been wanting to do for a while now and we finally decided that this was something she would really enjoy. Well on July 19th with her dance school she formed part of the first performance and it was so beautiful, it made us both cry. She is growing up really fast and it is beautiful to see how much she enjoys this. Here a little photo glimpse of that time:

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Dancing a snowflake dance
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Fun dance
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Grandma and grandpa were able to enjoy the performance also

Our little Tessa had a week long birthday as we were all here and there and is now officially enter into her teen years. Time is going by to quickly, but we are enjoying every stage.

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The celebrations have come to an end. This weekend Giacomo will travel to Texas to pick Luca back up and make sure he goes back to school next week.

Our days are filled with preparations for growth, a YWAM Conference coming in September, Mar preparing for leading the Discipleship Training School in September as well as a trip to Cartagena Colombia from August 3-9 for the University of the Nations international. Promoting our YWAM University in Latin America and serving the wide YWAM Body in our region of the world.

What a joy to serve Jesus in this way and spread His love around the globe mobilizing, equipping and sending a new generation into the world.

Till next time….

We signed the papers

On May 31st an historic event happened…

We officially signed for our property….

God has been so good and through the generosity of friends around the world we now own the land!

It truly is a miracle and this is just the beginning..

We are also in the process of hosting a central america conference here on the land, for which we are getting ready.

Dirt is being moved and soon a big tent will go up to host this event while also waiting for the permits to be able to begin construction…

These are exciting times, thank you for being part of it.

A cold afternoon

After a full day of fun and learning about God, the Kings kids group is sitting by the fire listening to their fearless leader Edwin Piedra sharing a devotional before digging into the marshmellows in the fireplace.

I am reminded of the importance of the scripture: “Teach a child in the way it should be and when he/she is old they will not depart from the way.”

Seems like any other day, but on this cold afternoon the Word of God is shared with this new generation and we believe that a new generation of missionaries will arise.