The birth of Jesus foretold

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.”

….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.”

School registration and tutoring

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.

Reaching the unreached

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!!

Latinos – the next wave of missionaries

Can I introduce you to some amazing new missionaries. They are from El Salvador and Costa Rica. Their names: Omar Mendoza and Milagro Ocampo. Omar is from El Salvador and Milagro is from Costa Rica.

Omar did his discipleship training school with us several years ago and the Gospel of hope and love changed his life. Now years later he is serving as a missionary with YWAM San Jose believing the Lord for His provision to send him into the nations. As a member of our September DTS he is raising funds right now to cover not only his day to day living expenses, trusting the Lord for provision for that, but he is also raising funds to take a team on outreach for 8 weeks into the Northern provinces of Costa Rica. Reaching young people in Guanacaste and Alajuela with the same love of Christ that he has transformed by. We love receiving people, training people and then sending people into the nations.

Omar needs supporters to come around him with prayer and finances. We are helping him raise the necessary fees to take this DTS group on outreach and if only 30 people would be willing to support him with $50 he can go and make Jesus known for 8 weeks in the different cities in Costa Rica. Would you consider a one time gift? Go to our donate page and you can send it through our Paypal or Cash App (using email and we will get the funds to him.

support a missionary from el salvador

Milagro is a young woman from Costa Rica who lives very close to the YWAM training Campus. She has heard about YWAM for a little bit and several people from her church did a discipleship training School with us. A few months ago we moved closer to where she lives and the Lord led her to come and visit during our family nights. The Lord started speaking to her immediately that this is the place for her. She is now volunteering weekly in our kitchen and cooking for all the students and missionaries here, but God has given her a new call: Become a missionary herself and do the January Discipleship Training school. She is baking up a storm to make money and raise the necessary funds for the tuition. God is raising up a new generation of Latino Missionaries to be send forth into the nations. Your prayers and support all make this possible!! Thank you for standing with us to send them out and make God known among Latin America and the world.

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Meet Milagro – getting ready to be trained, equipped and send in our January DTS

Getting close to 200

As 2018 is quickly coming to a close, so is this year Homes of Hope build!!

This last weekend has been another weekend of building more than 1 home in two days!

Several years ago we build 7 Homes in one weekend, last year we build 8 Homes in one weekend and this weekend we built 6 Homes in one weekend.

Over 200 volunteers, full time ywam missionaries and our DTS students were part of building these 6 families a home that provides adequate shelter and gives much need hope for a better future.

Coming together from all different nationalities, backgrounds and denominations for one single purpose…to bless, serve and Love our neighbor.

Children ages 7 and up, all working on giving other families a gift this end of 2018!

As a YWAM ministry, Homes of Hope in Costa Rica is getting close to the 200 Mark by the end of 2018!

Our next Homes will be build right at the end of December.

The situation in this community has changed over the past 8 years since we started building Homes of Hope here. There is still so much to be done but change is happening. Poverty is not only a physical thing, it is deeply ingrained in the hearts and minds of the people.

Kind of like when the people of Israel left Egypt. It took a while before Egypt left their hearts and minds even though they had already left long before.

Change does not happen overnight but it is possible, so we continue one home at a time, one family at a time.

Thank you for standing with us in making this possible!

The story passed on

From November 2nd through Nov 13th, Giacomo had the amazing opportunity to participate in a YWAM event that we call DNA Conference. Together with other YWAM global leaders and over 300 participants they were able to share the story, the Words God has spoken to us as a ministry, to our lives and how to carry on that which He has spoken to us.

Giacomo has been processing the word legacy for some weeks now and was able to share this word with these 300 leaders. What are we going to leave behind? What is the legacy that you are born into? What was left to you by your family? What legacy are you yourself creating? Are we being good stewards of the family story and legacy?

Giacomo and I stepped into the legacy and story of God with YWAM in 1995 and 1996 respectively. We did not do anything to receive what God had already done since 1960 through YWAM, but we stepped into a family and by becoming part of the family of Youth With A Mission the story of God with this mission now became our story.

We do not just tell our own story that started in 1995, but we share the story of our family that started in 1960 and before in 1956 when God spoke to Loren Cunningham about the vision of waves of young people going into all the world to preach the gospel. That is the family story we stepped into and is now our story, our legacy.

What are you passing on to the ones God has given to you?

We love serving in Youth With A Mission, we feel that even after 22 years of being in this mission we are barely starting to see the dreams of God growing for Latin America. Our hearts are not just for Costa Rica, but for all of Latin America. To see a new generation raised up to become the leaders of tomorrow who carry the dreams of God, the story God in their hearts.


That is what you are part of as you partner with us, pray for us and join us. We are reaching a new generation, raising up and equipping a new generation of passionate followers of Jesus who become obedient to the call of God on their lives.

Thank you for standing with us in that what the Lord has called us to do. We appreciate your prayers and support.

Are you a disciple?

Being a christian is somebody who believes in Jesus Christ, that He died for our sins and was resurrected on the third day and made it possible for you and me again to live in relationship with our heavenly Father.

The question today is: Are you also a disciple?

A disciple is somebody who has left what they were doing to follow a teacher/leader and become a student of how this person lives their lives, the principles they live their lives by and their end goal is to become just like the one they follow.

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Receiving teaching from Pastor Willy from Guatemala (and some fun moments too)

Last week in our Discipleship Training School our students (and staff of course) were challenged to consider the difference. Are you a believer only? Or have your given up all things, dropped everything you were doing to follow Jesus, to learn from Him, learn His ways, to walk in His ways, to become more like Him in all that you say and do?

Do you see the difference?

One is believing, the other is believing AND acting. Not only were were challenged to ponder this question, we were also challenged to consider the practical things a disciple does, how a disciples lives, the things that marks a disciple.

It is easy to say you believe in something, but it is a totally different thing to act on what you believe.

I believe that praying is important, but do I actually pray? I believe in the Word of God. I believe that what it says is truth and that is can transform my life, then why do I still worry about tomorrow when that same Bible (the Truth) tells me not to worry about anything and in everything with prayer and thanksgiving make my petition knows to Him. (Phil. 4:6)

Investing in the lives of these girls is what a DTS is all about – making disciples

Jesus did not say to the disciples: “Come believe in me.” He said: “Come and follow Me.” I think the following, the walking with Jesus, hearing the stories, seeing Him with other people, understanding His heart and compassion stepping out to become learners of the Rabbi, was the beginning of a life changing experience that gave them the ability to have faith to believe.

Faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance of things we do not see. I think the disciples had faith when they left all things behind to follow Jesus. Faith to be confident in what they were hoping for (learn more from the Master), assurance of things they were not yet able to see (His Lordship and kingdom). Their faith was challenged, their faith was tested, their hopes were shattered  as they couldn’t fully comprehend why Jesus would talk about death and at the same time talk about Him being king.

Being a disciple is not void of the testing of our faith, the shattering of hope at times when we lack understanding. But a true disciple does not give up the first time things get touch. A disciple sticks to the person he/she chose to follow. It was not a weak choice, a moment of excitement to drop everything, to leave all things behind to follow this man called Jesus.

What about you? Are you a believer and a follower? Has your faith been tested? Has the following been difficult at times, has your life as a disciple seen moments of hopes shattered, yet you know whom you have chosen to follow is trustworthy and so you keep going. You know that He is worth all you have, all your time, all your energy, right?

In the midst of being challenged last week and consider our place as a ‘disciple’ the Lord blessed us with amazing times of worship, encouragement through words of life spoken out over our lives and ending the week with not only with a birthday party (it was mine) but also with an amazing celebratory worship time in which we exalted the Name of Jesus over our lives and proclaimed His truth.

I was reminded last week of a simple fact: the Discipleship Training School is exactly what the name says: A course in which we learn to become disciples of Jesus, moving from simply believing to dropping all we do, leaving behind our boats and listen to the invitation to “Follow Me”.

That does not mean that it is an easy time. It is meant to be challenging, meant to challenge you in what you understand, allow you to ask the hard questions, not necessarily to the staff (although that happens too), but ask Holy Spirit to reveal to what is true. That is His role after all. John 16:13 says that the Spirit came to lead us into all the truth and that the truth would set us free.

Being a disciple does not mean you get all the answers at once. Life throws us curveballs, gives us many questions, but I know somebody that wants to give you understanding, that longs to revela His heart to you. His name is Jesus and through Holy Spirit He longs to show you new things.

We have entered week 8 and we are speaking about the topic of “Spiritual Warfare”. It will be another week in which we will be disciples (learners) about the battle that we are in. But as Ephesians tells us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, authorities and powers of this dark world and against the forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Well if that is the case we better find out who we are dealing with and whose side we are on so we can do battle the right way.



God’s Father heart….

What would you do if God showed up at your door step tomorrow? This was a question that started of our week 6 as Jack Kody came to share about the heart of our heavenly Father. What would you do?

We all took a time to think and respond. Many diverse answers, many questions, many thoughts… honest, so real, so without reserve.

What would you do?

Many of us would have many questions, maybe why He came?, why this or that?, what He thinks about us….and so much more…maybe you don’t even want to answer the door..

God’s heart is a deep well that can’t be understood in one sitting alone. God’s heart is not something to be written down on one piece of paper and just passed around. God’s heart is to be discovered, searched, found…

When you love somebody you don’t want them to be superficial do you? You want them to show you their heart, what they feel about you and you want them to share this with you over and over and over again.

As Jack shared this past week: “Who gets tired of hearing somebody tell them they love you?” My children never get tired of hearing me say I love them.

As with Jack I too have never heard my kids ask me to stop telling them I love them. Now they might not always grasp the fullness of it, but they never tell me to stop telling them. You see that is what this is about – LOVE!! The Father’s love.

When things are said to us that are negative and destructive, we wish we could put a pillow over our heads and drown out the noise, we wish we could yell to that person and make them stop. But with LOVE, never!!

We long for love, long to be accepted, to be cared for, don’t we?!

Yet love is so misunderstood.

Love is not a feeling, yet love can be felt very deeply!
Love is not a mere picture of a heart, yet can be expressed in many different ways when sincere.

Love is a choice – we love because He loved us first!

We love our children first and then teach them to love. We show them (or not) what love means, what it does. They don’t love first, we do and then love them into loving for themselves.

God is the same, He loved us first, He created us, showed us His love so that we could also love! But we made a mess of it, we thought we knew how on our own and we still do sometimes, and we don’t always do such a good job with it, do we?

The Bible says, He is love. If we say and do all these amazing things but do have LOVE, we are like a clanging cymbal. Well you know what that sounds like, right? Noisy..simply noisy..

So let’s look at love itself, let’s go deeper in the heart of the One who is love and let’s discover in an ongoing journey who and what love is, receive that Love into our own hearts and then be very generous in giving it away!!!

The journey is worth it, the heart of the Father is a deep well full of affection for His children, journey there, it is worth your time, tears and energy!

Almost there….

A few weeks ago it was decided we are selling our minivan. It is time for something more reliable of our family and for ministry purposes. Our minivan simply is not allowing me to take longer trips and with kids growing, more activities and more trips to our new ywam bases around the country it is time for a more reliable 4×4 vehicle.

We might have a possible buyer which would really be an amazing thing to help pay off the bills that we shared about a week ago, but it won’t leave us enough funds to put a downpayment for a newer vehicle. We are asking the Lord to not only provide the vehicle but those who want to support us as a family to come alongside us and partner with us into getting this new tool for our family and ministry.

If you are interested in helping, please send us a message. We have ways to give a tax deductible donation as well or directly through cash app (with our email, paypal (with our email or direct bank deposit into our Bank of America account.

CLICK HERE for how to donate

The end of the year is drawing near and we are praying for the release of the sale of our minivan to cover all financial needs and the release of the newer vehicle to step into the new year ready to bring the message of hope to this nation!!!

Thank you,


Over the past few days YWAM Missionaries from all over Centra America came together to be encouraged, equipped, refreshed and renewed. Many years ago when Youth With A Mission started in Central America there were just a hand-full of full time missionaries. Now there are multiple training centers and ministries locations around all of Central America. From Guatemala to Panama, multiple expressions were represented in the conference that took place in El Salvador from Oct. 17-20th 2018.

JUCUM Centro America

Giacomo represented our family as I (Marjolein) stayed home with he kids as well as the DTS that is in full swing here at our training location in San Jose.

Paul Childers, Campus Director of the Kona Hawaii training location was the main speaker during the conference and encouraged our ywam-ers to not give up and keep moving forward with the dreams of God to reach the unreached, to provide innovative ways to present the gospel and think ‘outside’ the box, or was is it ‘inside’ a box.

University in a box

Something that has been developing in YWAM over the past months has been the concept of bringing education to the unreached and places where many kids do not have access to education. So our founder together with others came up with the concept of covering a shipping container into a mobile classroom, completely outfitted to be shipped and transported to difficult places where children don’t have easy access to education. So we bring it to them.

University in a box containerAt this moment we are working together with a local company to outfit two containers and make them into classrooms, completely outfitted with internet and computers to take into the rural areas of Costa Rica to be able to offer computer classes, internet as a tool to receive education and of course bring the message of the Gospel and raise up a new generation of world leaders who know Christ, follow Christ and live according to His ways in every sphere of society!! Want to know how you can help with this project, contact Giacomo at to support this project!!


Another way we are seeing multiplication is not only with the growth in new training locations in Central America and sending more Latinos out into the world as full time missionaries, we are also seeing multiplication by the land that God provided for us. Since June 2018 we moved onto the land that God had spoken to us about as YWAM San Jose, Costa Rica!! It is absolutely amazing and we have been working hard with architects and developers to come up with the right plan to see this amazing land developed into a University of the Nations Campus, training and equipping missionaries from around the world to go into all the world and who will step into the different spheres of society to bring the kingdom of God to our communities, cities and nations.


This past weekend we took another step forward in laying out the Master Plan for the land and envisioning multiplication coming to where we can hold anywhere between 800-1000 missionaries on our land!!! Version 1 was already drawn out, now we looked at it again, talked more in detail about the needs and the topography of the land and started looking at the different needs and where everything could possible go. It was a full weekend of learning many new things, but also dreaming and praying that God would provide us with the permits and the finances to see this development come to reality!!


We believe we made a great step forward this weekend. There are many moving parts and elements that go into the development and design of a big piece of land so we are learning, but we are trusting the Lord to continue to bring us people who have the skills, the expertise, the word of the Lord to come behind this project in prayer and with finances to see this land become a place where many thousands can come and be trained, equipped and send out.

Thank you for being part of this great adventure and for standing with us as a family and ministry to see the Kingdom of God advance through transformed lives who will practice what they have learned and apply the truth that they have received.