Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Costa Rica Update - Day 5 & 6

Family and Friends,

Monday morning, our team loaded up our gear and took the two hour bus ride to Grano de Oro, home of Timothy and Kiery Jones, missionaries to the Cabecar Indians.  It is a beautiful drive through the mountains, first on gravel, then on mud roads.  Once we arrived, everyone was put to work cleaning or doing construction projects throughout the missionary compound.  The ladies on the team also were able to spend time teaching many of the women of the village how to crochet.  After a long, muddy day of work, we gathered together in the evening to listen to Timothy and Kiery's account of how God put them together and how he guided their missionary work to the Cabecar.  After World War II, Timothy's father was led to this remote area of Costa Rica to teach the Cabecar about Christ and to help translate the New Testament into their language.  He first had to help them establish a written language.  Timothy has continued this work by updating his father's translation of the New Testament and by translating the Old Testament.  They are also working on an audio version of the Bible in the Cabecar language.  This is a very brief description of their work.  We look forward to sharing the details with all of you in person at a later time.  The Jones’ have an amazing ministry, and everyone was so blessed by being able to take part in a small way.

On Tuesday the team performed our puppet show and did crafts with the children at the Indian school in Grano de Oro.  After a quick lunch, we headed back to Turrialba.  We were all sad to leave the mountain.  Once we were back in Turrialba, we performed the puppet show again and distributed clothing at the local feeding program.  Some of the kids were also able to share their testimonies through our interpreters as a part of our presentation.  This has been a big step of faith for many of them.  Please pray for them as we continue to share our faith on this trip.

Thank you for your prayers.
Louie and Suzie Serna.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tallahassee Family Team - Day 4 Costa Rica

This morning the old men among us shuffled their sore bodies to the coffee pot to seek recovery from Saturday's labor of laying a concrete sidewalk in front of the church.  We opened with a lesson among the group from Matthew 10 followed by a service in Spanish at the church founded in 2005 by IIM, Messenger of Hope.  Pastor Pinkerton spoke and Ruth Martinez, the resident Pastor's wife, translated his message about Judas' act of betrayal of Christ even after 3 years of walking with Jesus and observing his miracles. Pinkerton reminded us that even such closeness and knowledge of Christ is not sufficient without a relationship in Jesus.  Several local people came forward in response to an alter call for prayer and we and others touched them and prayed for them. (God translated.)

After church we lunched on a traditional Costa Rican meal of beans, rice, fried plan tans and fish, chicken or steak at a local restaurant then walked to a nearby shaded, city park followed by ice cream (2 scoops for most).  This afternoon we gave clothes and other supplies to Pastor Juan for a new school being started by a church.  Then we gave clothing, soccer balls, games, toys and toiletries to ladies from a special needs organization.  Both groups were very pleased to receive the items and the gifts should open doors for relationships for other teams. Our children played soccer and American football with local children in the unpaved street adjacent to our resort.  (Both balls went over the neighbor's fence...more gifts.)

This evening we ate Tamales, beans and rice (all excellent), enjoyed the rain under the pavilion, and made crafts--even Dad's were gluing stuff. 

We celebrated Rhodes Heath's 13th birthday with a Costa Rican pound cake and Joy and JoJo made a special gift for Rhodes.  


Heath familia 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Tallahassee Family Team Update - Day 2

Hola friends, family and prayer partners! 

Today everyone was up very early.  When it gets daylight around 5am each day I guess it's hard to sleep late.  Around 9:30am we headed to our first puppet performance at a local public school.  We had visited this school last year and they were very excited to see us return.  Our kids did a great job with their performance and we handed out many gift bags to the teachers and goodie bags to a classroom of children.  They were all very excited and thankful to receive their goodies.

After lunch we headed to an orphanage that we visited last year.  They have about 10 kids at this orphanage and many of the kids we remembered from last year were no longer there.  We hope that these kids have found a family.  Our kids did another great job with their puppet performance.  After the puppets we had several stations of games setup for the children to play;  bubbles, bowling game, frisbees, ballon animals, sidwalk chalk and badmiton.  We all stayed busy and had a great deal of fun playing with these kids.  They brought a smile to each of us and believe we brought a smile to them as well. 

Tomorrow will be filled with a lot of different activities from pouring a new sidewalk in front of the church, painting kitchen cabinets, cleaning the pavilion area and tiding up the Messenger of Hope Church worship area.  We so appreciate everyone's prayers and support and know that we couldn't be here or do it without you!  Continue to pray for our safety and that we will allow God to stretch us over the next several days.

In Christ,
Johnson Family

Tallahassee Family Team Update

Dear Family & Friends,

After a 5-hour bus trip to Orlando, a quick night's sleep at Comfort Suites, spending 3 hours at the Orlando airport; flying in an airplane for 3 hours; surviving customs in San Jose, Costa Rica; and a 2-hour crazy bus ride up and down mountain roads to Turrialba....WE ARE HERE!!

We arrived in beautiful, sunny and hot Turrialba, Costa Rica and hit the ground running!  So far, we have unpacked all of our suitcases, sorted items we will be distributing and enjoyed a great dinner of salad, green beans and carrots and macaroni and cheese!  The kids were ecstatic to have mac-n-cheese for dinner!! (This was the first time our cook, Indra, has ever attempted this dish....and she did a fabulous job!)

Our theme for the week is trusting God.  Tonight's devotional was on Matthew 10:1-10.  We are excited to see how God will work through our group this week as we learn to trust Him.  The kids on our team are preparing to share their testimonies about how they have trusted God with the children we will be ministering to.  Please pray that God will speak through their testimonies.  Tomorrow we will be performing our puppet show at a local school and at an orphanage.  We are all excited for the opportunity to love on these children while distributing gifts and sharing the love of Christ.

Many Blessings, 
Louie & Suzie Serna

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Remodeling the IIM Compound

A mission team from Celebration Baptist Church worked on some remodeling of the IIM compound in Turrialba, Costa Rica this past summer. Below are pictures of the work in the kitchen that this team performed summer 2011.