Saturday, September 27, 2014

New Blog

Hi friends and readers!

We have moved locations!  To continue reading our stories please visit us at:!

Monday, December 2, 2013

The last 2 months...

Soooo sorry to all of those who have checked my blog, only to find out that another day has gone by and no post has been written.  So here's the 2 month update...complete with pictures & bit of whats been going on in our lives!

We had a special graduation for the girls who finished the Cherish group...

... and started a Bible study with the girls who finished Cherish, and those who didn't...

Isaac was approved for a 10 year tourist US visa, and we got our tickets to go home for the holiday season in December!

We continued doing our Thursday Metro programs in the community close by...

Metro did an outreach (which included a 5 hour kids program) near the boarder of Nicaragua (TerrĂ³n Colorado), and we were able to reach about 100 kids with the gospel...

And we continued with our art club, Bible study, home visits & weekly children's programs in LC....

One of the young women in the Bible study got married!  We were blessed to help her find a dress (through generous friends & family!) and attended her special wedding...

Isaac went on several field trips with his tourism course around the country...

But for the 2nd year in a row, we missed Thanksgiving Dinner together!  Isaac was on a 3 day field trip and got back late Thursday night.  We hope that next year we will break this tradition of not spending Thanksgiving together!

And last, but not least, we made it though the rainy season!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What does a miracle look like?

I've briefly mentioned here something that has been consuming us for these past several weeks: Miriam. Miriam was diagnosed with cancer years ago when she was pregnant with her 9th child. She couldn't undergo chemo because of the baby...  but through prayer alone, she's still alive today, and baby #9 is now five years old.

But a month ago she went back to the doctor because she'd been in a lot of pain.  She found out that the cancer had spread from her stomach to her bones, breasts and lungs.  I started making sure we visited her every time we were in the neighborhood... which for me was painful.  It's hard to see someone dying.  Like, literally hard.  It's hard for me to go inside Miriam's house, knowing that while I'm there she'll pass out every 10 minutes from the pain.  It's hard to think that while I'm there she could take her last breath.  It's hard to watch her 21 year old daughter, Anabel, put wave a cottoball soaked with alcohol under her nose to wake her up, and it's even harder to here Anabel tell her mom, "Don't leave me yet, not yet mom.   And Miriam has 9 kids.  Ages 5-23.  They're watching their mom die.  Can you imagine?

When I walk into Miriam's house, it reeks of urine, because she is unable to get out of bed, and pees on the mattress when she needs to relieve herself.  We've been praying with her, praying for her, asking others to pray... knowing that it's really in God's hands.  There is a hospice- like care that exists in Costa Rica.  But in order to get the care, you first need to get a special note from the doctor to go to another hospital, the "Hospital of Pain."  At the "HOP" is where the doctor's decide how close to death you are to be able to send a nurse to your home.  Miriam has the note to go to the "HOP" but not the energy to get there.  If she can't even get up to go to the bathroom, how will she climb the huge flight of stairs to leave the neighborhood?  And then get to the clinic?

It's hard.

And while I see the impossible in this whole situation- the fact that child service wants to take the kids away, the issue of one of the father's coming to Miriam's house and telling her, "Just die already so I can do what I want with the kids, the fact that they are just barely making it every day...  I also see the hand of God in the life of this family.

Miriam has had cancer for 5 years, has never had any medical treatment, and is still her.  Is that what a miracle looks like?

What about the miracle of little Oscar- the 5 year old child that was conceived at the same time Miriam was diagnosed with cancer, and is a healthy, active little guy.

It's a miracle that they're all in school- and passing their classes.

Every time I see Miriam's kids playing, I think of what a miracle it is, that they have joy in life, despite the fact that they are watching their mother die.

On Saturday Miriam had enough strength to climb the stairs to our Metro van so we could take her to the clinic.  It's the first time I've seen her out of her bed in the past 2 months.  I am a witness to that miracle.

But I'm also praying for another miracle- the miracle that Miriam's body would be completely healed by the hand of God so she could raise little Oscar and all of his older brother's and sisters.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Meet Sabine

Sabine is the other full time Metro volunteer here at the YWAM base.  We work together day in and day out and I can´t begin to express my gratitude for her!  She is from Switzerland and has worked with Metro Ministries in New York, Romania, and Peru.  She has made a one year commitment (so far) to work with Metro-Costa Rica, and I´m greatful that her one year from start to finish covers the entire year that I´m in charge of leading the ministry.  Sabine was a professional truck driver in Switzerland, and is the driver for Metro!  It´s a huge relief to me that she is so great at driving here, since the traffic, hills, and stick shift make for an interesting combination.  So much more than a great driver, she is an incredible missionary, artist, children's worker and a good friend.  I seriously could not imagine serving full time in Metro without Sabine!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Encourage yourself in the Lord

Last weekend I was in Isaac's hometown, Liberia, joining with Bud Miller & Mike Garst and some youth from Guatemala that came to do an Arrows of Light Conference.  As some of you know, I feel like lately I've just been making it.  I've made changes in my schedule to work part time, to deal with my own trauma of seeing abuse, started exercising, etc.  Good changes.    But what I most need is to connect even deeper with God.  Thats where peace, joy, love, and the ability to continue on comes from.

 This last Sunday Bud preached at church and it was if God used him to speak exactly what I needed to hear: Encouraging yourself in the Lord .  In 1 Samuel 30, David had lost everything and his men were about to turn against him.  And what did David do?  He encouraged himself in the Lord.  How did he do that?  How do we do that?  In Bud's message, he shared what the Lord had showed him in how to do that.

1. Know God
2. Know God can help (and know who we are in Christ!)
3. Remember what God has done.
4. Give thanks
5. Cry out to God and pray
6. Wait on the Lord
7. Obey

I've been pretty good at doing number 5- but thanking God and remembering how faithful he is... it's like I'd gotten so caught up with the present that I've forgotten the past.  Which is a trick of satan to keep us from God's best, from trusting Him.    And yes, life has been difficult lately.  Every week there is a new crisis- since I've last written, one of the moms that lives in LC found out her cancer that she had been living with spread to other organs & body parts.  She was given just a few weeks to live- and she has 9 children, 6 of whom are younger than 13.  We've been unsuccessfully trying to work with children's services so that the 21 year old daughter can have custody of the children when the mother passes away. This last month we've been on a roller coaster of emotions with them.  On several occasions I've felt not only helpless, but hopeless as well.

This last weekend was just what I needed- it was as if God shook me and said, "Have you forgotten? I'm with you in this!"

God often uses songs to minister to me.  And this song, is another tool I've found to "encourage myself in the Lord."

Monday, September 2, 2013

Mama D

Last Tuesday I had no desire to go in LC.  We prayed in the morning that the Lord would show us if He wanted us to go the community, by sending a huge rainstorm if He did not want us to go.  "Lord," we prayed, "if at 2:30, there is lightning & thunder and really heavy rains, we'll know that you don't want us to go in."

I was nervous to go because of an email I got from Jose, one of the Metro leaders who is on a year sabbatical.  Someone from LC emailed him to tell him about the situation with Estella, and then said that I had pressed charged against the mom.  Jose said for me to be careful when we go back to LC, especially since my name keeps coming up."

So on Tuesday I was nervous and didn't want to go.

At 2:00 when I walked to the base it started thundering and lightning like you wouldn't believe.  It was pouring rain, and I thought to myself, "Thank you Lord, we can stay here and not go out."  But we prayed for our ministry time as if we were going anyways, just in case the rain stopped...and it did.  At 2:20 there was no lightning, no rain, and just a small drizzle.  It was a yes for us to go.

2 guys from a local church have started going with us, and I asked Matt to go with me to do the door to door visitations.  We said hi to people along the way, stopped for some chit-chat, but I knew that it was important that we visited Estella's mom (Lets call her Mama D).  In one of the many encouraging emails I recently received, a friend share with me this: We can't cure all diseases, make people love each other, or compensate for the wrong choices that people make. But we can do what you ARE doing and that is praying, standing with them, and working for their good. Government workers have the authority to take children out of unsafe places and put them in safe homes. Missionaries have the authority to speak the love, hope & goodness found in Christ. If Estella can't be taken from her home, than our role is to disciple the mom so she becomes someone that knows God and has the fruit of the Spirit evident in her life (joy, peace, faithfulness, goodness, kindness, love, self-control, gentleness).

Matt & I arrived at Estella's home and knocked on the door. Estella answered, and she didn't look happy to see us. I asked if her mom was home and she said, "Why?" I told her that her mom was my friend and I wanted to see how she was doing. Mama D then came to the door, and after a little small talk there in the doorway, for the first time ever, she invited us in. I was shocked. And to be honest, a little nervous. Was being inside her house a good thing for us, or a bad thing? At least Matt was with me.

She told me how hard it was to see her little girl in the hospital- how they wouldn't let her see Estella and she waited outside of the hospital crying because she was refused the right to see her. "They said I did that to her, Karen!" "I know," I told her, "but remember, you showed me the police report. And even though people talk, and gossip, what happened that night is between you, Estella, and God. Remember that God sees everything and he knows the truth." She got quiet and it started to rain really hard outside. I wanted to leave, but she said, "Looks like you'll be staying awhile with the weather like this!" Great... I didn't want to stay, but I had the invitation &; I know that she is a woman in need of the love of God. I asked her if she could give me a tour of the home- it was like a maze of hallways with different doors- each door being the home (room) of one of her family members. She lives in the back room with her husband & 3 children.

It was a complete mess- with no trash can and a pile (4 feet tall) of trash on the ground, and chickens running around inside. I can't imagine living there.

Mama D then opened up even more to me, and shared that when she was 8 days old her mom gave her to her aunt, and when she turned 14, her aunt gave her back to her mom. She has been abandoned, abused, and rejected her entire life. I was at a loss for words for most of the time, but I think she just needed some caring ears to hear.

When the rain let up, Matt & I left, but we spent nearly 45 minutes with Mama D. I believe that because so many people have been praying for the situation, that God is allowing us the ability to minister to her. It wasn't how I thought God would respond in this situation- but something I do know is that He is all about families. And God's best for this situation is for Estella to stay in her family, Mama D to repent & change, and for the abuse to completely stop because the Love of God is what reigns over that home.