These past few days I was reminded of something very important….
In the beginning of 1999, twenty years ago, during these exact months, Giacomo and I were in Worcester South Africa with Youth With A Mission. We were participating in a Community Development School at the new purchased YWAM Training Center in South Africa.
It was during this time (as a very newly wed couple) that God spoke to us about starting a new YWAM Training Facility, University of the Nations Campus in the capital of Costa Rica.
We had no idea what that all meant, but it was the word of the Lord to us. This word is now exactly 20 years old, 15 of those years have been pioneering this new YWAM Training Center, University of the Nations Campus, which we started in June 2004!!
Tomorrow, March 10th, after twenty years of being away from this exact place and not having been back as a couple since then (Giacomo has alone), we are going to South Africa to partake in our annual leadership meetings of the University of the Nations.
Not only did God give us a word of a brand new YWAM Missionary training Center, but He also has allowed us over the past 5 years to form part of a body of leaders on an international level. The privilege to learn from amazing leaders who laid the foundation that we are now building on is truly incredible and continues to be for us a tremendous honor and blessing.
The Word was clear: “Raise up and equip young people who will be the next generation of Spirit led leaders in society in Costa Rica and around the world.”
Since early 1999, we have followed after God, sought His will on how to go about starting this new training location for missionaries, equipping them, loving them, training them and sending them out as passionate followers/disciples of Jesus.
In those years we have served in many different places and have been able to see God do amazing things and we have been able to train close to 1000 young people from our location, sending them into the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!!
****** When God gives you a Word, you make steps to walk towards the fulfillment of that Word and scripture says that His Word will never return void ******
Tomorrow we will embark on a 2 day journey to travel to South Africa. Pray for our children as they stay in Costa Rica. Our oldest have exam week while we are gone, our youngest has already cried several times and will miss mommy the most (and mommy will find it hard to leave)…..but we believe this is part of what the Lord has for us.
As I reflect on twenty years, I reflect on God’s faithfulness to our lives and that what He has given to us. Not just our beautiful kids and how He has blessed us that way, but the extended family of YWAM San Jose. This beautiful family that has gone through all kinds of trials and challenges and has recently moved into our ‘promised land’….
Reflecting on that makes us anticipate what God might want to do in the next 20 years through our lives and the YWAM San Jose, Costa Rica training facility and family.
Giacomo and I believe the Lord wants to give us a fresh word for the next 20 years, will you join us in prayer for that. We will be visiting the very same place we were 20 years ago, of which we unfortunately do not have any digital photos, but we might be able to find some ‘printed’ photos and then show you what things are looking like today.
How exciting to co-create with God, to listen to His voice, to believe that what He speaks will come to pass and will never return void!!
****** Listen for His voice today, quiet your heart and He will speak *****
For many years the Lord has blessed us in amazing ways with vehicles. In one way or the other we have always driven a car that came to us by a miracle.
The stories are long but we can testify that the vehicles we have been driving have truly been a miracle either through a very interesting circumstance or the amazing generosity of friends who saw the need at the moment.
Marjolein has been having trouble with her car for a while now in the sense that is has been costing us money maintaining and fixing it to the point where right now it has not been able to pass yearly road inspection.
The school year is about to start, the car is being worked on and until it passes inspection she will have to find another car to drive the kids to school and pick them up every day.
It has been an uphill battle to see the release of a new car for her and we ask that you stand with us in prayer for this to be released.
Giacomo travels quite a bit and using the big truck that he drives around is simply not an option for Mar as it is a very bulky car and inconvenient for Mar to drive around town. If you are a mom who drives around her kids you will understand.
For years the minivan has been the biggest blessing as that is what we have needed, but that is no longer the case. It won’t sell for much so it will not be enough for a down payment on another one.
Getting a loan here is not an option as we do not have a fixed income and no bank wants to loan to us and besides that the interest rates here are too high.
So you can see we need a miracle on wheels 🚙. Would you join u sin prayer. Selling the minivan will give us around $4800 💵 towards the payment of a better car but we would be missing quite a lot more of we really want to get a decent car that would not give us maintenance and fixings the first years.
Thank you for praying with us for this miracle. Raising funds additional to our monthly needs has been hard as the kids are about to start school and we simply do not have extra in the budget to put towards this need.
Trusting the Lord knows the need and that He knows the way and the time of His provision!
1) the minivan to get fixed, pass inspection and sold
2) miraculous provision for the new car
Praying increased Faith and love in 2019 for you and your loved ones and those around you…
39 Now [a]at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And [b]how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed is she who [c]believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her [d]by the Lord.” (Luke 1:39-45)
Mary is full of awe, yet stunned at what just happened. A messenger of God had appeared to her and told her not only was she going to have a baby in the most miraculous way, her old relative Elizabeth also was going to have a child and she was already 6 months along.
Mary knew what to do and gathered her things and hurried to the town where she would find Elizabeth.
As she stepped into the home and greeted it something amazing happened. No prayer was prayed, no hands laid on Elizabeth, but as Mary uttered the greeting when she entered the home, the baby (John) leaped inside the womb and not only that, his mother (Elizabeth) was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Imagine that, a greeting caused this baby to leap and its mother to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Right then and there Elizabeth exclaims in a loud voice: “Blessed are you among women and blessed the child you will bear.”
Elizabeth counted herself favored that Mary would come to visit her. I can only imagine the people in the town talking about ‘old’ Elizabeth, probably not blessing her with their words. Yet Mary comes in, blesses the home and it causes a chain reaction. Her faith, her heart, her obedience to hurry over to Elizabeth’s house, to share this moment with her causes a chain of events even in Elizabeth’s life that I am sure blessed her beyond words.
The baby leaps for joy and Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit. In return Elizabeth speaks forth a blessing over Mary that she is blessed because she believed what the Lord had spoken to her. She believed it would be accomplished.
Yesterday I posted the story of the angel visiting with Mary and how she expressed such faith in believing it would happen to her as the messenger told her.
Now, Elizabeth also recognizes and blesses Mary for believing the Word of God to her life and not only believing it, but believing it will be accomplished.
Two women, full of faith, with a heart to obey, to live life in obedience to the Lord, to be used by Him to bring forth promises of YHWH to their people.
What has God spoken to you that you are doubting about, that you are having a hard time believing? Are you still struggling with the “how” it will happen? Are you still wondering wether the words were from God or not?
Mary knew enough about God that she trusted the words of the messenger to be from the Almighty. She didn’t question it even if it didn’t make sense to her mind. She took this into her heart and chose to believe that it would be as He said.
Elizabeth confirms this over Mary’s life and calls her blessed for believing that word and believing it would be accomplished.
This Christmas Eve as you ponder on the beauty of the birth of Christ, may you also ponder on the words that have been spoken over you. May you walk in faith and trust that the word He speaks will be accomplished.
Maybe the circumstances are strange (so were Mary’s), maybe the word is rather odd (so was Mary’s), but God’s words always come to pass, they will be accomplished. Walk in obedience and there will be others who will see your faith and will call you blessed, others will start asking you about your faith, others will not understand it, but you just keep walking in what He spoke to you, do not waver to the left or to the right.
As you ponder, may your heart rejoice like Mary’s and bring forth a song of praise to the Lord God Almighty. May you be able to say along with her:
“His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.”
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
As most of us likely know by now, December 25th was probably not the actual birth of Jesus and therefore not his actual birth day. What we do know is this…..
An angel appeared to this young girl called Mary, so found favor in the eyes of the Lord, not just any favor….HIGHLY favored….and the Lord was with her. Luke describes this moment for us. Let’s keep reading. She was troubled at this kind of greeting. What did that even mean to somebody her age that she was highly favored and the Lord was with her? Wouldn’t you be troubled? Wouldn’t you wonder what that means? She was even a little scared.
The angel noticed she was a little uneasy so he goes on to say: “Do not worry, you have found favor with God.” I can only image what Mary might have thought at that very moment. You mean THE God, YHWH himself is looking upon me with favor, really?
After listening to the other things the angel had to say the response of Mary continues to capture my heart and is truly admiring and the evidence of a true believer in what she knew. Imagine she knew enough to respond to the Lord “May it be to me according to your word.”
Friends, as you enter this Christmas season, celebrating the birth of Christ our Savior, think of the incredible miracle it was that this young girl had such faith to believe the word of God so quickly and without doubting that what was said wouldn’t come to pass.
The angel left her with these last words: “For nothing is impossible for God, or in other words – His Words always will be fulfilled.”
I can’t help but ponder on this part of the story this Christmas. The foretelling of the birth of Jesus was just as special as the fact that he actually came. Do you realize that if it wasn’t for such a humble young girl, who had a solid belief in the YHWH, His truth, His Word and believed it from the moment she hear it. She trusted that if He spoke it would be done, that it would be done.
I pray that this Christmas season your faith will rise to a new level where the Word of God to your life will be a solid foundation. May the Word He has already spoken over your life become the beginning of a new season.
Remember, His Word for your life has been in the pages of an amazing book called “The Holy Scriptures”. Mary only had part of these writings, she was part of the making of the history of the part you now hold in your hands. What part of the story of your life are you living right now?
May your response to His Word be like that of Mary:
“Be it unto me as You say.”
Our daughter finished 9th grade, two more years and she is done with high school.
Besides trusting the Lord for the last payment for getting our children registered for the 2019 school year, we are needing to see an additional $300 come in for Math tutoring for our son in the next month.
He really struggles with Math and to be able to re-take his final exam in January he will have to get seveveral sessions of tutoring. Would you consider an end of the year gift to help with this most urgent need.
CLICK HERE to know how to send a donation.
Thank you for considering we truly need to see a miracle.
Many think of Costa Rica as vacation destination and truly that is a big part of what this nation has to offer.
Beautiful fora and fauna in every way.
But there is another beauty that we see every day and that is its people.
It is our joy and calling every day to reach people who live in this nation to not only know Jesus, but to receive Jesus as their personal savior and to become disciples of Jesus, those who walk with Him, learn from Him, lean on Him and follow in His footsteps.
Some of our staff and DTS students are teaching out this weekend through a medical outreach in a little village about 6 hours from the capital in Turrialba. The population is mostly indigenous and does not even speak a lot of Spanish.
They will be assisting a medical team to provide dental and medical care for free. They will cut hair, play withthe children, hand out bibles, pray for people and share the love of Jesus with those who need it.
That is what you can pray for this weekend. Pray for an amazing weekend, encounters and much fun!!