Archive | February, 2009

With Women …

25 Feb

Some of my blog readers know that I attended graduate school a few years ago to become a nurse midwife.  Countless clinical hours(actually each type of visit and number of hours was calculated monthly), coursework, exams, and board certification occurred while the family and I kept up the housework, homeschooling, and mundane tasks every household faces, in addition to seeking the perfect job. God in His infinite wisdom already had a job for Brian and Cathi, unbeknownst to us, serving with Reachglobal in Latin America.


Many days, I thought my role here could have been just as easily accomplished in the Carolinas, in the comfortable surroundings we had grown accustomed to.  But living here has taught me that sometimes it is not about me or my plans, but a plan far bigger than we can imagine. And yes, I am in my sweet spot, using the dreams, skills, and passion to connect with women-of all ages, varied nationalities, from different backgrounds, in English and in Spanish, and in settings I’d never have imagined.


From rural clinics on the Caribbean coast, to pockets of urban poverty and right in my own backyard. This past week I was able to reach out to women at a clinic in a beautiful valley not far from our home, especially enjoying a conversation with a  delightful 95 year old woman. She had been seen in our clinic, and we were monitoring her before sending her home. Her sparkling eyes told the story, and she insisted she had better places to be, in her heavenly home with Jesus-so why not send her home?  Spending time with  Reachglobal women based here in Costa Rica is fun and comfortable. Walking along a sidewalk while a beaming four year old  girl chattered animatedly in Spanish as she held my hand, directing me towards her neighborhood preschool.  Months of interaction turned into opportunity today, when a spur- of- the-moment sharing  of coffee and banana bread with a Tica shopkeeper who runs a tiny panadería shared her heart as I willingly helped her mix a batch of donuts in the workroom in the back of her store.    I am here, right where I am supposed to be, with women for a lifetime.

Remembering history and then moving forward

25 Feb

The year was 1898, and a 22 year-old named David Finstrom followed God’s call to go to Venezuela to share the Gospel. For decades he labored and gave his life in a way that made it clear to the Venezuelans that he was there to help them. But pioneers don’t necessarily make great team members, and soon after other missionaries followed in his footsteps there were striking differences in opinion and approach. Nevertheless, David Finstrom is highly regarded by the Venezuelan church and the last one he pastored in Palo Negro still bears his name.

David Finstrom never wanted to leave Venezuela. He took very few home assignments and stayed in ministry many years after his official retirement. Just one month after his eightieth birthday, he passed away in his home in Palo Negro. His funeral was attended by hundreds, representing churches, government and many who simply knew him as the man who would help in need. His grave is simple, marked with a Bible verse and his name.

I had the privilege to visit this grave and remember that all of the mission work our organization has in Latin America began with this one man. Would he fit the model we seek for missionaries today? Perhaps not. But he was a pioneer when that meant real hardship, and he stayed at it for 58 years. That is amazing, and I am grateful to him for the doors that opened as a result of his commitment made at the young age of 22.

Posted by Picasa

My Colombian hosts

22 Feb

These wonderful folks have hosted me in Cartagena.

From Venezuela to Colombia

20 Feb

I am in hot and humid Cartagena, a beautiful historic city on the coast of Colombia.  This is my first Internet access so I have much to catch up on here from my trip to Venezuela and visit here in Colombia.  Pictures and updates will come as I can find access.  Right now I am in an Internet cafe but later hope to be able to post some updates and pictures from my computer.

Reaching the poor and underfed

14 Feb

Today Cathi and Keri went to a very poor church in the hills to help with a ministry outreach to children. As usual, Keri was a kid magnet, drawing kids to her with a smile and twinkle in her eye. Almost two hours of jump-rope just about did her in though!
We are privileged to have these opportunities to see our kids develop and exercise their gifting in settings that are so different than our own.

Posted by Picasa

A view of the hills

14 Feb

Keri has the best view from our house. She can see the beautiful La Carpintera mountain ridge as well as the Central Valley of San Jose. During this wonderful dry season everyone is outside and loving the weather, including our neighborhood youth who came by to pick up Keri to just hang out with them. As I prepare for another trip soon, I will keep this picture in mind…my girls enjoying the pleasures of life here in Costa Rica.
Posted by Picasa

Happy Valentine’s Day!

14 Feb

Today was a picture perfect day in Costa Rica. I had invited my husband to a sushi grill for lunch and my darling daughters, did my hair, my nails, my makeup, yes, and even picked my clothes. In fact, Keri told me with straight hair I didn’t look a day over 40(is that a complement). We’ve been playing catch-up from January and I am now involved in two Women’s Bible study groups, so I will be having some profound thoughts if I ever get a few minutes to collect my thoughts….after I finish the mile-long to do list!


On this weekend though, I took time to love on hubby and kids(and even Oreo the dog) more, to chat and surprise my local bakery friend with some Valentine treats, and plan to have another valentine’s date with hubby—next time coffee and dessert as time didn’t permit….take the time to love on the special people in your life! And to our faraway(and Costa Rican  and Latin American)family, friends, and supporters, we thank you and pray for you often!

Feliz Dia de Amor y Amistad!(Happy Day of Love and Friendship!)