It has been five years since our first trip to Costa Rica. We went in 2002 with Masters Commission and fell in love. I came back and immediately began looking for real estate to buy. We were young and had no kids and I thought it would be great to "just go". Erin however, with her wisdom said, "Absolutely not!" I still loved Costa Rica and had dreams of living there and having family come down for summers and things like that, but that was it for me. I went to Borders and purchased a map of the country and a couple books and struggled to hold on to my dreams.
In 2003 we bought a house, and in 2005 we had Ella. It has been great. She is such a joy to us. We worked hard at remodeling the house, I got a full time job with The Gas Co., and we live a comfortable life.
One day in 2005 a friend jokingly asked us if we would move to Costa Rica if they started a mission base there with SI. We laughed, and I said yes. Erin said no, but my mind started working again. Later someone asked us again and we began praying. We didn't hear anything so we kinda let it go. Then again in 2006 our friends Jeff and Tracey Dixon asked us to pray. We again did and this time even Erin said she couldn't just dismiss it. We prayed and prayed but heard nothing. We had Judah in February of this year and that distracted us for a while but the thought was still there. We were actively pursuing an answer from God.
I had been planning to go to Costa Rica in June of 2007, but in March Jeff flippantly said, "Hey wanna go to Costa Rica with me in a week?" I said yes and went. I had a great time. We went south almost to the border of Panama to a reservation called Talamanca. We stayed there in Shiroles, a small town on property owned by a church. There are missionaries there full time working with the locals. We worked up in the rain forest putting in collection boxes and purification facilities on fresh water springs. It was a lot of fun. It really ignited something inside me to go back again. I came back and we began praying again. Still we heard nothing.
In May, the last kid from youth group that was going to go with us in June, backed out. I was bummed and needed to fill two spots, then it hit me... we should take my family!! So we did. We express ordered the kids passports, did a hurry up fund raise and were able to get it done.
We had an awesome time. I spent a week without the family in Shiroles and they came down with my sister in law after that. (Thanks Malinda!) We spent a week in San Jose, the capital, meeting local missionaries and church representatives and trying to get an idea of how it would all work, where we would be, etc. Then we spent a week out on the west coast relaxing and trying to get an idea of what God was doing.
We came back with a definite desire, Erin and I both, to move down there soon. We think that the opportunity is amazing for our family and I love the idea of my kids having the experience. We don't know exactly how it will look or what we will do specifically but we want to walk towards this door before us and knock. We will need for God to guide us in preparing, in fund raising, and give us that assurance that we are doing what is right by Him and for our kids.
So here we are... we are excited, and kinda unclear about the next few steps but we have a peace about this. We know whatever we do, God will use all things for the good of those who love Him. He has a plan for us, not to harm us but to give us hope and a future.
Thank you so much for enduring this really long blog. Hopefully the next ones will be more direct. If you want updates e-mailed to you please send me your email address at firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks