Safe Arrival and Baby News

We made it through our travel day! All of our flights were smooth with only minimal delays. We arrived in Omaha about 10:45 pm Thursday night. The kids did a good job on the planes and waiting in the airports for all of our flights. Praise God!

We are now trying to adjust back to things here at home. There is a lot of laundry to wash and unpacking to do. We thank you for all of your prayers while we were in Costa Rica. Thank you also for continuing to pray for our hearts as we work through the many changes being in Omaha. The enemy wants to steal what God has done in us this past month and we are fighting to hold onto Him.

The Lord was so good to us. He did many beautiful things in our hearts during our time in Costa Rica. We are richly blessed and our cup overflows. There are good things about being back home, abundant hot water and flushable toilet paper are near the top of the list. Yet, it is hard to be back, our hearts are changed and so many things feel different now. The verse the Lord gave me this morning was Psalm 62:5a “My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him”. Our prayer is that He will show us how to silently submit to Him and hold onto the new things He has done.

On the baby front, Kris and I went to her ultrasound Friday afternoon. Everything went well, the baby is healthy and there are no problems. We thank God for watching over our family, especially this new little child. We were able to get a good picture of the baby and we found out that God has given us a new baby …….

We look forward to talking with all of you about our trip and what God is doing in Costa Rica. We might even tell you if we are having a boy or a girl 🙂

The Final Stretch

We head back early in the morning this Thursday so tomorrow is our final day at the Home. Our prayer right now is that we will be able to finish strong and do all of the things Our Father has for us in this remaining time.

We look back at all of the therapy sessions with kids and staff, preschool classes, hugs for the kids, prayers, meetings, fellowship times, cookies baked, devotions, trips down the slides and shovels of dirt. God called us to come here. We pray that everything we have done was a blessing to the kids and the staff.

Your prayers have covered us throughout this trip. We have been safe and richly blessed through this entire time. The Lord has shown up in mighty ways throughout our time here at the home. He has shown His healing power, guided us and protected us. He has revealed Himself in hugs given and received, smiles shared, praises sung, words spoken, quiet moments, the glory of His creation, the spirit of His people and the life in His Word.

Thank you for continuing to pray for us as we finish our time here, as we travel home and throughout our transition back into life when we arrive home. It is always a challenge to come back from a missions trip. The enemy pounces as our defenses relax, ‘real life’ crushes back in and tries to steal everything the Lord has done in us during our time.

Thank you for blessing us.

A Break at the Beach

We left Atenas Sunday morning for a quick trip to Manuel Antonio, a beach and national park about 3 hours away. We stayed overnight at a hotel and returned midday Monday. The park is a rainforest along the beach and God helped us to be able to spot a number of different animals. We were able to see several monkeys, a snake, a sloth, an iguana, lizards, frogs, red legged crabs and hermit crabs. There are several beaches in the park with beautiful emerald green water. We all had fun seeing the animals, playing in the ocean and finding seashells on the beach.

Walking to the beach we were not able to see any monkeys. Eliana was praying that God would help us to see some monkeys in the park and He answered her prayers. On our way back home, up in the trees above us was a group of 5-6 howler monkeys playing and swinging on the branches. I couldn’t get a good picture but there was even a little baby clinging to the back of one of the monkeys.

There were several hermit crabs running around the beach. I caught one and he agreed to come out of his shell and pose for a picture.

We were walking along the trail and some people were looking at the ground back in the trees off the path. They pointed out several of these little red legged crabs, about 2-3″ across. The picture doesn’t really do justice to the bright Husker red color of their legs.

We hadn’t planned ahead on our trip into the park so we didn’t have swimsuits. Kris and the kids decided to wade in so they could get their feet wet. They kept drifting further and further into the water and it wasn’t long before Elijah took a spill and was completely wet. A few minutes later Eliana and Kris also slid all the way into the water. They had a fabulous time splashing in the water. Daddy stayed dry and took pictures. It was a wet hike home but well worth the time.

Monday morning we spent some time on the beach looking for seashells. We found a large collection before I found a perfect smooth little shell. To my surprise this one was still inhabited! We snapped a few photos before we sent our little snail (or mussel or whatever it was!) back on its way in the ocean.

A Second PT Clinic!

I previously sent pictures of the infant stimulation room I use for physical therapy with the children here at the home. I am blessed to have such a great space to be able to work with the children. There are several toys and a floor mat so I can play with the kids. The only problem is it didn’t really work as a place for me work if I was going to help the staff at the home.

As I was praying the other morning I really wanted to be able to bless the staff as a physical therapist. So many of them have back, neck, shoulder and other problems. Since the infant stimulation room wouldn’t work, I needed a place I could work with them. I have tried using a bed before but it is really too soft and too low to be of much help for a PT session without creating my own back problem.

As I prayed about the situation I thought of the first cabin. If you remember from my previous posts, we are staying in the second of two cabins that are conected by an open air seating area. They are used by short term teams that come to work at the home. Since we are currently the only team here the first cabin was entirely open. Saturday morning I spent some time working around the first cabin to create a place to work with the staff. I cleaned it up and then stacked a couple of the bed frames on top of each other to create a makeshift plinth. I then set up some chairs, found a few pillows and towels and I had a PT clinic for the staff. The bed was a little wobbly but it was secure and looked like it would work. All ready for my first patients on Monday afternoon!

This afternoon was my first PT clinic for the staff. I was able to help a few of the staff when God had another surprise for me. The last person I worked with today mentioned that there was a massage therapist that has come down several times and she had a table here at the home. We located that table so now I have a really nice plinth to use! No more wobbly bed. The clinic may be basic but it has what I need to be able to bless the staff. So now my 3 days a week of physical therapy can benefit the staff and the kids! See a picture of the “second” clinic below.


Praise, Heaviness and Wafare

As I mentioned in another post, we have devotions every morning at the home. I was asked to speak this morning and I wanted to share here an abbreviated version of what the Lord gave me to share during our devotions time. (Thankfully I had a translator so I didn’t have to figure it all out in Spanish!)

As I was preparing for the message and seeking the Lord on what He would have me say two things came to mind. A song of praise to Our Father (“Lift Him Up” by Cory Asbury, it is on the Immersed album from IHOP in KC if you want to hear it) and the overall heaviness and burden has been on many of the staff this week.

As I have been working around the home this week I was aware that there have been two major events causing additional stress upon the staff. The first major event is that Tim and Dena are gone this week. The staff here have a great heart to help and serve, many of them are trying to pick up the responsibility for things that Tim and Dena typically do at the home. Second, the government is doing an audit of the home this week. They have been at the home every day this week completing their inspection. This has created a lot of worry in the staff as they try to make sure everything in the audit report is positive.

So, in the midst of this I am preparing a message and I feel the Lord leading me to these two things, Praise and this burden of responsibility and worry. As I pressed into the Lord to show me what He was saying He opened my eyes to Praise as spiritual warfare. Praise is a weapon against the enemy. Sometimes we think spiritual warfare can be so complicated. We can think we don’t know what to do. Yet, the Lord was showing me Praise and Worship as a weapon against the enemy’s attacks. The enemy wants to weigh us down with our ‘responsibilities’ and our ‘worries’. The Lord says His yoke is easy and His burden is light. That is God’s word and it is the Truth. I pressed into the Word to confirm the idea that Praise is a weapon against the enemy and God led me to Psalm 150.

1 Praise the LORD.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with tambourine and dancing,
praise him with the strings and flute,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Everything and everyone is to praise the Lord, this includes those who are weary and burdened. Next was Psalm 149

1 Praise the LORD.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the saints.
2 Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;
let the people of Zion be glad in their King.
3 Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music to him with tambourine and harp.
4 For the LORD takes delight in his people;
he crowns the humble with salvation.
5 Let the saints rejoice in this honor
and sing for joy on their beds.
6 May the praise of God be in their mouths
and a double-edged sword in their hands,
7 to inflict vengeance on the nations
and punishment on the peoples,
8 to bind their kings with fetters,
their nobles with shackles of iron,
9 to carry out the sentence written against them.
This is the glory of all his saints.
Praise the LORD.

What an awesome Word! I really was struck by verse six “May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands.” Our praise is like a double-edged sword against the enemy! Why do we make it so complicated when it can be so simple? When we struggle we can fight against the enemy simply by praising Our Father.

So, we spent time fighting this morning. Each person prayed a prayer of thanksgiving for something that was difficult in their life. We praised Our God for giving us a challenge that has driven us closer to Him. We gave thanks to Our God, no matter how big our struggle and burden is He is always bigger. We worshipped Our God for simply being with us during all of our struggles. He has never left us or forsaken us.

Thank you Father for my struggle to learn Spanish. You are forcing me to rely on You instead of my own words. Thank you Lord that Tim and Dena are away for it helps all of us to appreciate the many things they do here at the home. Thank you Lord for the Auditors. You are giving us an opportunity to be a witness to them as Christians. You are also showing us how little control we really have. Thank you that You are in control of all things. Thank you God for loneliness for in those times I am reminded of how much we need You.

Thank you Lord for giving us Your Word, for sending Your Son to die that we might be forgiven through His sacrifice, for pouring out Your Holy Spirit upon us to lead, guide and help us along the way. We Love You Lord.