Social distance, but vision continues

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.

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Online gathering with 500+ from YWAM Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean

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.

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Celebrating Communion as a YWAM San Jose Community ‘online’

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.

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New Building window frames are getting finished

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.

‘Distant’ Wedding

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.

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Taking a ‘distant’ photo at the first ever ‘quarantine’ wedding for YWAMSJ

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.

IMG_5309I 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: gmcoghi5@gmail.com, we love hearing from you and would love to know how to pray for you as well.

Happy Easter friends and remember, He is risen!!!

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Go and make disciples

Wow what an amazing week Marjolein had in YWAM El Salvador in the first week of this month of April.

Being invited to speak in a Discipleship Training School is always a huge blessing, but also very humbling. Every day the Lord gave direction and we saw Holy Spirit give much revelation to this wonderful group of young people.
They come from El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala and they are being equipped to be send out into the nations with the message of unconditional love – the message of Jesus Christ.

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At the end of the week God spoke to several of them to get baptized and give their lives completely in surrender to the Kingdom of God and be used by Him to go into all the world and make disciples.

The Word tells us to teach them all that Jesus has taught us and to baptize them, so that is what happened and there is no greater joy than seeing people received revelation of this Love that they are accepted into God’s family.

Thank you for making it possible for me to go to El Salvador and be blessed by what God did during this week.

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Miracle on wheels needed..

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!

Pray for:

1) the minivan to get fixed, pass inspection and sold

2) miraculous provision for the new car

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.

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.

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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.

Prayer changes things

For past two weeks we have experienced all kinds of interesting events, especially on a personal level with Giacomo falling fracturing a few ribs, recovering from a collapsed lung and all the while making sure things move forward within the areas of our responsibilities.

But….

Prayer changes things. The family of God around the world came together to pray, to lift us up and we have experienced His grace, His encouragement, His strength, His Spirit at work in us. It was obvious God was there.

There are times when we do not always ‘feel’ that He is at work, but because we know who He is, we understand some of His ways (not all cause He is so majestic and there is much to learn), because of that we know He IS working all things for good for those who love him.

Recently I am reminded of the fact that our faith in God is not based on how we feel about God, it is about knowing and believing that He is who He says He is. To not waver in our faith in taht truth!

I was reading today the first chapter of Corinthians in which Paul reminds us to not boast in our wisdom or knowledge (neither boasting about how we feel I would add)…but if we do boast, let’s boast about this: that we know and understand Jesus, the power of God for wisdom!!

You see prayer changes things because of who we pray to, in whose name we pray and knowing and understanding the One we pray to.

It changes us, when we establish again our dependency on Him, our surrender to His Lordship and then we ask Him to lead our words to be in agreement with who He is.

So thank you to those who stand in prayer with us. Our school on their second day of class, sat together and prayed (see photo)…

There is power in prayer and prayer in the name of Jesus!!

Amen….

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!!

DTS Sept Soccer Track

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!!!!