Thursday, November 8, 2012

it's completely worth it...

I’m in awe of how my God used the craziness of a presidential election to capture the heart of one of His children in the most beautiful way! 

This morning at work I was talking with a mom, and she said that she and her children had talked about the election on their way to school yesterday morning. Her youngest child had asked her several questions regarding the election, and the mom explained t

hat although we must respect our president, we cannot place our faith in him or the government; that we must place our faith in Jesus, and when we ask Him into our hearts He becomes the President of our hearts. The mom went on to talk about what it means to acknowledge that we are yucky sinners and place our faith in Jesus. She then asked her youngest child what she thought about placing her faith in Jesus, and the child said that she wanted to think about it. The mom said that was fine, and she explained that placing her faith in Jesus and accepting Him into her heart was between her and Jesus. She explained that she didn’t need mommy or daddy there; that she could ask Jesus to be the President of her heart and place her faith in Him whenever she felt was the best time.

They eventually arrived at school and went through the day as normal.

On their way home from school her youngest child said she needed to tell her something. The mom asked her what, and her child told her that she had asked Jesus into her heart during school!

To see first hand Jesus use the craziness of a presidential election to capture the heart of one of His children is beyond amazing, and at the end of the day, if all that comes out of the craziness of a presidential election is this precious child accepting Jesus then it is completely worth it!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

sweet summertime.


7 months have officially come and gone, and I could not be happier with how they have been. I still can’t fully grasp the fact that I am here living out my life long dream! This past Friday was the final day of summer English classes and was spent playing at the park. It was nice to get out of the classroom and let the kids run and play. I must say, I enjoyed having a tiny group of 5 students compared to the usual 18. My students were the absolute sweetest, and I will actually have 3 of them in my class this year!

Even though English classes have ended I am continuing to work this week, getting my classroom ready for the new school year. I am also teaching a Bible class this week for the kids who are still in summer school. I’m excited to be able to teach a small group again and just enjoy talking about Jesus and who He is and His love to these sweet kids.

Once this week ends I will have 4 weeks off before beginning the new school year! I’m happy to say that 2 of those weeks will be spent in Bama! I look forward to seeing my sweet family and precious church family after having been gone for 8 months.

As you know, Soul Expressions has officially launched! We are absolutely thrilled to see this dream come true and have continued to enjoy spending time with our precious kids. For more info, updates, and photos of our precious kids please visit our blog at: http://beautifullyunhindered.blogspot.com/

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support over the past 7 months! I am continuing to enjoy each second here in Costa Rica, and I look forward to more of this beautiful journey! I truly am grateful for each of you!

Here’s a few photos from our day at the park… enjoy! 
































Monday, June 4, 2012

challenging yet precious...


Wow! Where do I even begin?! This past month has definitely been the most challenging, but I would not change it for the world. What I have experienced in this past month has grown and stretched me in a way I never knew was possible. This past month brought with it a horrible viral throat infection that called for my first trip to a local doctor and 3 series of shots. Praise Jesus, all went well, and I’m finally back to normal! The past couple of weeks have been the most challenging as they have been filled with some pretty tough parent conferences. I am not one to love meetings in general, but especially when it’s with the parents of my students. I had my last of the parent conferences last week, and praise Jesus they all went well. This past month has also brought with it tons of stuff to be done outside of the normal papers to grade and lessons to plan. In just one week we begin finals, in a week and a half my precious 6th graders will graduate, and in 2 weeks school is out for the summer! With that comes a ton to do, and it all leaves me to wonder if I’ll even survive it all.  Thankfully I am making pretty good progress on all that needs to be done and am slowly beginning to see a glimmer of light!

Although this month has been challenging, it has also had its sweet moments as well. I have continued to see my sweet Jesus work not only as I teach, but also as the new ministry, Soul Expressions, begins to take its first steps. I am beyond excited and overwhelmingly blessed to inform you that beginning this Saturday, Soul Expressions will finally move from just simply being an idea on paper to us actually loving on some sweet children! This Saturday we will begin working with the Asociación obras del Espíritu Santo, and I could not be more excited! This Saturday will be more of a “sit back, take it all in, begin to build relationships with the kids” kind of day. We are still in the process of figuring out what exactly Soul Expressions looks like as far as exact specifics on what we will be doing with the children. At this moment, all we know for sure is that we have a large group of some incredibly precious kids that we want to love on like crazy and share Jesus with through art and that’s exactly what we are going to do! Your prayers are greatly appreciated more than ever as we jump out on faith and Soul Expressions begins to take its first steps in the direction in which God has called us! 

As challenging and nerve-wracking as this past month has been it has also been the sweetest in that I have experienced the peace and love of my Jesus in the sweetest of ways like never before. He truly has given me strength like no other and has carried me through each and every day. Thank you all so much for your unending prayers and support as I continue on this beautiful journey that my precious Jesus has blessed me with! I am forever grateful for each of you!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

beautiful opportunities


I can’t believe it’s been 4 months… goodness, how time flies! I can definitely say that it’s been the most amazing 4 months of my entire life, and I have truly loved every single second of being here! This past month brought with it several days of much needed vacation. The first week of April was our Spring Break, and I spent it relaxing in Atenas with the sweetest of people! This past week was also a week of vacation, but was spent here at home grading papers and putting grades in the computer as the 4th grading period has come to a close. There is only one more grading period left before the school year ends and my sweet students graduate! The month of April also brought with it changes and new opportunities. During the month of July I will be teaching an intensive English course to elementary aged Costa Ricans, and at the end of August the new school year starts back. I will have the precious opportunity of changing grades, and I will be teaching either 1st or 2nd grade…the official decision will be made soon. I have loved teaching my precious 6th graders, but am super excited about teaching the little ones—they hold a special place in my heart! 

I have continued to teach after school on Mondays and Thursdays helping JiaXin with English and Anthony with Math, and they each have shown great improvement. I have also continued teaching my EFL class, and my sweet students are continuing to improve more and more!

Soul Expressions is still in the baby stages, but new opportunities have begun to present themselves, and I couldn’t be happier! We have been given the opportunity to work with the Asociación obras del Espíritu Santo, an organization in downtown San Jose, Costa Rica that has allowed themselves to become parents to 350+ children born into families of prostitution, alcoholism, and drug addiction. At this moment we are still unsure of then when, what, how, but we are trusting our sweet Jesus and fully believe that His timing is perfect! http://www.obrasdelespiritusanto.org/index.php

This past month has been full of beautiful opportunities and changes, and I am beyond excited to see what else my sweet Jesus has in store! Thank you all SO MUCH for your continued prayers and support as you continue on this beautifully amazing journey with me! I am forever grateful! 

Friday, March 30, 2012

dream{s} come true. literally.

Wow! Where to begin?! This past Saturday was a huge day for me—I moved into my own apartment here in Costa Rica! For the past 3 months I have lived with a precious Costa Rican family. I knew I would eventually move and find my own place here in Costa Rica, but I thought it would at least be a year from now before that ever happened. Never did I imagine that I’d be moving only 3 months after living here. My precious apartment is such a huge blessing for several reasons. It was the only one available in this particular complex, which only has 4 in it. The location is perfect—secure and safe and all of 2 minutes from where I work. It is fully furnished, which is not normal at all here in Costa Rica, and the list goes on. I could not have asked for a more perfect place. Yet again, my God has proved to be faithful and shown me that His timing is perfect!

 
{looking out my bedroom window} 
   {looking out my bedroom window}
   {looking out my bedroom window}















 
Having my own place has opened up the door for a new ministry to finally begin. Soul Expressions has been a dream of mine for quite a while, and I’m finally getting to see it unfold right before my eyes. God has given me a dream and a desire to take art and use it to teach children and youth of their value in Christ. The purpose of Soul Expressions is to bring in children and youth who are broken and hurting and offer them a safe, secure place where they can express themselves from their innermost being through various forms of art. I long to see youth and children restored and healed and a new generation raised up as they begin to see their value in Christ. I’m not exactly sure what all of this looks like yet, but I know that my God will continue to unfold it all little by little!
 He has continued to give me new opportunities to teach English. I am now teaching English on Mondays and Thursdays after school to 2 precious kids. On Mondays from 2:30-4:30pm I teach the sweetest little Chinese girl, JiaXin. She’s in first grade and super smart. Her mother language is Chinese, and she also speaks Spanish fluently. This is my 3rd week with her, and she is already improving in her English. We’ve been working on basic phonics and her pronunciation of words has already improved greatly. On Thursdays from 2:30-4:00pm I teach a precious little Costa Rican boy, Anthony. He’s in 3rd grade and super smart as well. This is my 2nd week with him and we’ve started working on multiplication and division, focusing on the vocabulary. He is very quick to learn, and such a precious boy to teach!

    My precious 6th graders are still wonderful as ever! Next week is our Spring Break which means I’m going to have to reign in my students a little tighter this week, so we all don’t go crazy! ;) God is continuing to move like crazy here, and I so wish you were here to see and experience it all with me! Thank you again SO MUCH for your continued prayers and support as you continue on this journey with me. I am forever grateful!