Twenty years today

I remember this day as if it was yesterday! I flew to Costa Rica 5 weeks before the wedding. With my wedding dress as my hand luggage I stepped foot into an adventure I would have never guessed would take me to where we have been over the past 20 years!

The morning of our wedding the day started early. The sun comes up early here in Costa Rica (every day)…

Many people were in the house running around with preparations. Even the baker making the wedding cake was at the house finishing this beautiful cake that in the end we ended up bringing home again as we never cut it at the reception (hahaha)!!

We did cut the cake with a few us who came back home, before we headed on our honeymoon!

A week later we were on our way to Holland to prepare for the second wedding in Holland! Some of the advantages of marrying cross-culturally is getting to have two weddings in two different counties! We had around 150 people at both weddings!

Flying back to Holland again with my wedding dress was a joy as I got to wear it twice (making sure the money spent on it was well spent)!

At the alter here in Costa Rica I more or less understood what was being said but praise the Lord it was being translated to English. I really tried to say “I do” in Spanish but I was to embarrassed to make a mistake….

Nevertheless we are 20 years later and now I know how to say “I do” in my new language!!

It has been quite the journey, with all kinds of challenges but here we are, ready for the next 20 years!

Many of you have walked this journey with us and we are so grateful for your friendship and being part of our lives!

Though we are from two totally different backgrounds, countries and cultures, God puts people together for His purposes and that is what He did with us! It has been a journey of learning and growing in many ways and we still are in that process…

Our love has grown, has been challenged, has been tested and we are coming out a bit stronger every time…!

Here is to the next 20 years…will you walk alongside of us in this journey, in prayer, in friendship and partners in the ministry!

His Faithfulness shines bright

How can I begin to express my gratitude with the Lord for this past week. He has been so faithful to uphold us when things around us seem to come against us.

As some of you were aware, Giacomo made a fall and fractured a rib. Returning to the hospital two days later due to difficulty breathing we were told he now has 2 more fractured ribs and a collapsed lung. He was admitted for 2 days to drain his lung from the excess liquid built up and to get it sealed and have air put back into the lung.

It was good for him to spend two days there. Giacomo came back on Wednesday with another check up visit this past Friday and the doctor is very pleased all is heading well!!! Praise the Lord.

In this same week we started our September DTS which I am giving leadership to with an amazing team of staff!! Twenty two amazing young people, all hungry to learn more about God.

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Two of our students are from Nicaragua and shared how hard the situation in Nicaragua is but also testified of when they got to pray over the police force and how God used them to speak blessing over their lives. They are here learning more about God, more about how He created them so they can go back to Nicaragua full of the truth of Jesus.

This week we shared about YWAM History, Values and the Belief Tree and wise decision making! What an amazing week full of revelation for both students and staff. The DTS is such an amazing time in which the Lord gives fresh revelation about His heart for us, His love for us and where students hear His voice for the first time! God shone with His faithfulness over our first week of class, over the students.

I just love seeing students get personal revelation about how much God cares about them and how much He wants to show them more of who He is.

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We also officially started with our Special Interest Tracks during this DTS. Students will be learning about Soccer and Sports and how we can use this for missions!!

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Another group is learning photography and how to use that for the expansion of God’s Kingdom, another group is learning more about worship and another team will learn about Digital Sound.

We are so excited about all that God is doing, we are seeing Him move in our midst and no matter what comes our way, we continue to trust in His faithfulness and goodness. As a family we have seen some hardship this week, but we will not let this take us out of what we are walking in.

Although we are experiencing some challenges and needs as a family specially for our children as we need to register them for the 2019 school year next week. We need to see some financial miracles, but trust the Lord will continue to provide every need as He has done so faithfully over the past 22 years.

Thank you for your prayers for YWAM San Jose, for the current DTS that is receiving classes and is about to enter into their second week of class, learning about the Character and Nature of God with two amazing speakers from YWAM in Guatemala City.

Pray for our current DTS that is on outreach and will soon be leaving to Uganda for the next part where they will be building a home and will be ministering the message of the Gospel to different tribes.

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All for the glory of His Name and for the expansion of His Kingdom!!!!

22 lives ready to get to know God more…

Here they are, our new DTS September 2018 Students, all 22 of them!! A new quarter has begun. With a wonderful dinner and worship unto the Lord we started with another DTS group, ready to embark on the adventure of knowing God and making Him known!

As we move forward with the vision the Lord has given to YWAM San Jose to make disciples of Jesus we see God hand picks those He brings to us. Not just the students but also those who get to walk alongside of them during the next 5 months.

Together with an awesome staff team, I (Marjolein) have the amazing privilege to lead this September DTS. Walking alongside these 22 young people into getting to know God more and together making Him known will require your prayers and intercession, will you join us?

All this does not go without a battle. We are not only starting another quarter but we are also very busy fundraising for the development of the new land that we have now been on for the past 2 months. Giacomo has been keeping busy with this and it is obvious the enemy does not like this.

This past Friday Giacomo had a small accident and fell, causing him to fracture one of his ribs and now been on bed rest!! None of this was anticipated and we ask that you would pray for his recovery as we move into this new season of training, fundraising, property development and building more Homes of Hope. A busy three months ahead.

Thank you for walking this with us in prayer and financial support. Our family need is great at this time and we are trusting the Lord for His provision for some big needs.

Sending them out

Every 3 months we receive a new group of students who come and take our Discipleship Training School (DTS).

A five month adventure into the heart of God, getting to know Him more deeply and making Him known.

This week we had another graduation of 8 beautiful young ladies who came with a desire to change and encounter God!

Some came broken in need of Love and they received it.

God is at work in the lives of this generation and we are privileged to be a part of this.

September DTS

This coming September 21st, I (Marjolein) have the amazing privilege to direct the DTS with an amazing staff team. The Staff team alone is from 4 different nationalities and we have an amazing group of 22 studnets arriving to go deeper with God!!

Serving the Lord in YWAM is living in a diverse community with people from around the world, all sharing the message of Jesus! What an amazing privilege…

Thank you for being part of this, pray for our ladies who are on their way home into the next thing the Lord is leading them to do!

Pray for our 7 students who are finishing class soon and will be going to Uganda with this message.

And finally pray for the upcoming 22 students getting ready to step into this adventure.

Bibles and a BBQ frog

The YWAM Together conference taking place in Pattaya, Thailand this year has seen close to 4000 participants, from 1000 nations and with 77 languages…wow!!

Can you imagine all those people together in one room, must feel like heaven on earth! I had to sit this one out, but Giacomo was able to attend and will be coming home this weekend.

Not only did they get to join together in praise and worship, intercession for the nations and do bible distribution, street ministry and school ministry, Giacomo also got to try the local delicacy, BBQ frog…….

Not sure I would have been so brave to eat BBQ frog, especially seeing the before and after, but Giacomo is the hero in trying new things in new places. It comes with being a missionary. There must be a reason why I sat this one out, haha!!

What an amazing time for fresh vision, words of the Lord to our mission and reminders of Darlene to not take up an offense.

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May your day be blessed and we thank you for standing with us as we serve to raise up and equip relevant leaders from Costa Rica into the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!!

Stay tuned for more updates soon on 7 DTS students graduating this Friday September 7th, a new DTS starting on September 22nd and 7 DTS Students going on outreach to Uganda!!!! Lots is happening in YWAM San Jose.

Expansion into the nation

The Lord has spoken to us about multiplication many times and last year October we sent out a team from YWAM San Jose, to the province of Limon to the city of Puerto Viejo where a new YWAM work was started. For more information click on this link YWAM Puerto Viejo.

The work is led by our two very good friends Johan and Elsi Simarra, who are originally from Colombia but who have been long term residents in this beautiful nation of Costa Rica and long to see the Caribbean side of Costa Rica transformed with the truth of Jesus.

Going north

Ofcourse we can’t stop there and over many years the Lord has spoken to Tony and Rossela to start a YWAM work in the city where they are from, Liberia, in the province of Guanacaste.

Over the past years they have been faithfully sowing the seeds together with a team and this year they are being released to be their very own YWAM location!

Exciting things are happening! The Gospel of Jesus is reaching the nation and young people are being discipled, equipped and trained as new leaders into their communities, cities and nations!

Want to know more about YWAM Liberia click on the link.

What is church?

Just recently my husband and I took an anniversary trip and visited this little island.

On that little island stood this little chapel, church, house of prayer….! It was said to be the smallest of the island, I agreed.

As the tour guide explained to us its importance, he then proceeded to ask us if there were any sinners in the group…

“Well if there are, you can now take a moment to pray and repent!”

Funny enough, as we all stumbled towards the little chapel in the heat of the day it was as if time stood still, it seemed some people actually felt like responding to this funny offer to pray.

With great reverence did people walk inside this little chapel, some sitting down and kneeling at the provided benches, while candles were burning in the front under a big crucifix.

There was complete silence in this itty bitty chapel, church building, why? Reverence for who?

I kept looking around the building and enjoyed seeing its design and architecture. I sat down on the benches provided outside as, obviously there was no space inside.

Do you have to be inside the building to be at church? Here they had to sit outside due to lack of space.

What is church?

The dictionary gives me several meanings; a building for public worship (especially Christian worship), the officialdom of a religious body, an organization of religious believers….

Is it the place we meet at or, if the church is a body of believers, are we encouraged to continue to ‘meet together to encourage one another’ (Hebrews 10:25).

Or like Colossians 3:16 so beautifully tells us: “when we let the message of Christ dwell in us richly as we teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through Psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in our hearts.”

As I stared at this little church or chapel if you will, I could not help but think of that question. What is church? Here we were a bunch of tourist, sinners, who were given the opportunity to repent (ok maybe the tour guide was a little sarcastic, nevertheless some people did pray and respond). I guess you could say the tour guide encouraged us to live a lie of repentance and forgiveness even while on a tour, we had church, right?

Whether you think of a building or a group of believers, the message is clear:

Meet together, encourage one another, admonish one another with wisdom through songs, expressing our gratitude to God in our hearts, giving ourselves time to let the message of Christ dwell in us richly…

Romans 10:17 says:

“…faith comes from hearing, hearing the word of God..”

Where do you go to ‘hear’ the message, to encourage others, to sing songs of praise and thanksgiving…

That day outside of that itty, bitty island church, I took a moment to give thanks, praise my father in Heaven for his gift, for calling me His daughter and reminding me to walk as His church, listening to His message, following His ways and to never stop meeting together with others to allow for encouragement, gratitude and praise, for His glory alone.

Acts 9:32-32 says:

“Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit.”

Be the church – live in the fear of the Lord – be encouraged by the Holy Spirit!