Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Morning.

Merry Christmas to everyone. Here's what we did. There's a lot so don't feel obligated to watch it all. I'll be posting more as they load throughout the day.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It was all around a good day.

Brace yourself it's a long one!! If you don't have a few moments to read it come back later. I think what God's teaching us here is soooooo important for all of us to understand. 
So today was the first ever Costa Rica staff training day. Yippie!! It was actually very fun and informative. We had an amazing guest speaker via Skype (that's for you if you're reading Janice) It was our beloved president of SI, Dave Hansen.  We went over possibilities for ministry here, the vision and mission of SI, and just had some time to worship and pray. For our next year (and hopefully forever) our theme will be: Who we are is more important than what we do. It was confirmed in all of our hearts because we had all prayed it in some way before Jeff told us. A few days ago I was reading in James 4 and I read this:  1What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? 2You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. Now when I read this I asked myself, "what are the right motives?"  I began praying and I felt the Lord tell me that sometimes, even though what I want is good, i.e. miracles for other people, abilities to help the poor etc., it's not with correct motives. Everything I do in my life should come from the motivation that I want to know more of God. No matter what I'm doing, my priority should be to know God better. In Matt. 25 (goats and sheep) the goats have done so much for God. They may have looked like perfect missionaries, but they didn't know God. Therefore, whatever I do in my life, whether I think it's the right or wrong choice, whether I live in poverty or wealth, whether I am comfortable or uncomfortable, the goal is to know more of God, both through my circumstances and through the the times of reflection over a period in life.
I had just had all of this run through my head and then I read this a few verses away: 13Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. Now this, after my little revelation, made me think about my time that I have been given here. First, If I know the good that God has given me here and choose not to do it, I sin. Obvious. Second, if the goal is to know more of God than I don't need to worry about tomorrow or where God will take me. Tomorrow is simply a means to an end. It's just to let me know more about God. Sure that will allow for me to work for Him and do the things that He's called us to do. That just means that you wont hear me say I'm going to be a missionary, or a pastor, or a gas man, forever. That's simply not the goal. All of those things are good. All of those things are also just tools that God can use to show me more about His character. 
OK, so back to our meeting... It was just so good to know that God had already been talking to all of us about the same thing. We need to focus on Him before our ministry. We could "do" ministry without knowing God, but really what good would that do us. We'd just be working... Just gritting our teeth and working. THE GOAL IS TO KNOW GOD!!! 
I pray that each of you that read this would have a new or revived passion to know God. Everything you do is simply an opportunity to know more about Him. It's so backwards from how we think but it's really the way it should be.
More Later... There's still another day of training tomorrow, and I didn't even write about our nice dinner with our phonetics teacher, her family, and a bunch of friends.  

Saturday, December 13, 2008

FIesta De Los Niños.

I had the wonderful pleasure of being able to help at a Christmas party for some very poor children yesterday. It was so precious to watch them open presents, or not open presents because they wanted to wait and do it with their parents. We had kids from age 2-12. Each one recieved a ham and cheese sandwich, soda, a ballon character from a clown and one (age appropriate) gift. Some kids tore right into them, some wouldn't open them at all. Others took 30 min. to open theirs. I often wondered what they were thinking. Were they just happy to receive a toy? Did receiving a toy make them realize how poor they were? Were they sad that they couldn't share the experience with their family?  Were they happy to receive a toy and sad that their family didn't gat one? I wonder. One boy took so long to open his toy truck that his friends got upset and wanted to open it for him. Another boy opened his toy and folded the paper and when he thought no one was looking stuffed the paper in his bag to take it home. 
It was very fun being able to give this experience to these kids and especially to be able to share with them about Jesus' birthday. I hope that we will have a way to effect these kids in the future. I'm going to try to upload my pictures so I hope you enjoy!!

Monday, December 8, 2008


We got our car today!!  It's as much of a beater as I remembered. I went to the guys house and met with him and the lawyer. It was a very easy process but it's strange that we needed a lawyer. The best part of the night, however, was when I pulled up to our gate in the car and was waiting for Erin to unlock it. Ella ran out and yelled, "good job getting a car dad!!" She's too cute. She's finally getting the appreciation thing down. She says thank you for everything. The other day she said, thank you so much for getting me water daddy, that was so nice of you." Don't you wish youd get that response for every thoughtless thing you do throughout the day? Tonight I ate late since I was meeting with the lawyer and I made myself some kung pao chicken, I shared one of the peanuts with her and she said, "well thank you for sharing daddy." I don't know what was better tonight, buying the car or thinking about how cute my daughter is. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I hate goodbyes.

I really hate goodbyes... I think that's all that I have to say right now :(

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving, (dia de accion de gracias)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! We don't have Thanksgiving here in Costa Rica but we're still gonna celebrate it. We have chickens and mashed potatoes and pumpkin pies (turkey would cost me my left arm so we'll just do chicken) Our friends are making other stuff so we should have a lot of fun!! We made a small video of Ella saying what she's thankful for. Check it out on youtube. The video should be posted sometime today... It's uploaded but needs to be processed. Click the family videos link on the right side of the blog and it will take you there. I'll make a link later for those of you who can't find it. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! We love you all!
Here's the link:

Friday, November 21, 2008


Well it's colder here, not raining as much but cold. Erin and I have both been sick this last week and we're just feeling out of it. It's been just over 3 months and I think we're experiencing a little bit of culture shock. (more Erin than me but the "we" makes her feel better) It's just hard. If I could tell you how we feel it's just a long uuuuuuhhhhhhhhh. Not bad but not good either. 
Don't get me wrong, we still love Costa Rica and are excited about being here, but we are just now understanding the sacrifices that we've made. 
For 1) You don't come to Costa Rica for the food. If you know me and my family you know that we like to eat... and we like to eat meat... That's not really an option here. The food is mediocre at best. The food in restaurants is ok but we can't eat out all of the time. Meat is tough and has no flavor. We miss other types of food too. They have some of the same brands as we do at home but it's all double the cost and it doesn't taste the same. Food we miss: Black olives, Good chocolate, asparagus and BBQ steaks.
2) It's hard being the "rich" in a culture that you want to make an impact. The people here are so poor that we are rich. Everyone expects a handout from North Americans because we can, and people before us have given to them. I was standing on the street talking to Jeff and these kids walked by and said in english "give money please." It's hard to say no to the giving money thing and still let them know we care and want to help. I want to "teach them to fish" though, not just give them one.
3) We miss our family and friends. On top of that, we are constantly making friends and then they leave. MTI was great but we made friends and then left them. We'll probably never see most of them again. It's the same here... We have friends at school but most of them will leave either in December or next May. It gets kinda hard and just piles up after a while.
I guess I really needed to just vent a little. Also, we would really appreciate your prayers as we continue this transition. I don't think that anyone can ever really be fully prepared to make a large transition in life like this. When you pray ask God to give us peace and joy. Also ask that He would draw us in closer to Him. The natural tendency is that when life gets tough you slip in areas of discipline.. true for us right now. Pray also that God would continue to increase our ability to love and be loved. Sometimes we just want to stop loving because it hurts to loose it... But God is in the love... and the loss. We need to experience both.
I can't say enough that we appreciate all of you who support us by reading our blog and those of you who support us financially and in prayer, but WE APPRECIATE YOU!! 
Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 17, 2008

How do you know if your kids miss home?

Well it's really easy for us to know that Ella misses home. She takes a nap every day in our bed since she and Judah share a room. We walked in one day and here's what we found.
Sorry Mom and Dad (Doug and Debbie) we don't have a picture of you guys to frame... Maybe you should fix that.;)

A little friend for Ella (not Judah)

As I was coming out of the bathroom today I saw something moving on the floor. It was a gecko i think. I quickly called the kids to see it and then caught it in an old lid for  trash can. Ella loved it, she's our dare devil. She touched it and held it by its tail. She rubbed it and screamed when it jumped on her. Judah however screamed and ran back inside. He wanted nothing to do with it... Here's some pictures of Ellas little friend... with and without all of his tail. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Kids Video...

Here's Ella Elizabeth (as Ella) and Judah Michael (as Judah). Kids are a lot of fun and sometimes they're just crazy.  In the beginning Ella sings on of her songs in spanish, then she just gets silly. Go to the follow the link to see our video...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

This is how we roll... Don't be jealous;)

Any 15 year old kid would love to have this car if he didn't have any friends, had very high self-esteem, or was very very poor. Well we aren't 15, can't consider ourselves poor next to a lot of the people here, but we have high enough self-esteem to buy this car. It seems to be a good deal and it will allow us to get around without using taxis and busses. The costs will all wash in the end but it will allow us to save some time which could open new worlds to us. It's a 1986 nissan that runs decent, and it has a manual transmission. The car, all the legal paper work, and insurance for six months will be around $1200. It's a great deal considering that you can't really find cheap cars here. Normally if someone has held onto a car like this it's cause they can't afford to sell it and buy another. We don't want to buy an expensive car and we will most likely be able to sell this one for a decent price after we find one that we will need. We will choose that car depending on what we're doing in ministry. This one just seems to make sense. Now I almost didn't want to post a picture cause I didn't want anyone getting jealous but here you are. Have fun!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Well It's spiritual  emphasis week here at our language school and the speaker that is here as great. It's some good, solid, Christ centered teaching that has really convicted me and spurred me to get back to the Lord in prayer. This week also seems to be the beginning of the dry season and the weather is gorgeous. It has rained a few hours all week and the view of the mountains is fabulous. We are continuing to pray for all of you In Saviors (our home church) that God would meet you during this time of corporate fasting and prayer. As we enter the dry season here we are praying that this spiritual season would be one of flooding. We pray that God would flood our hearts and minds, cities towns and countries with his presence.
  Hope you are all doing well.
May Jesus Bless You Today.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Just Flowers

So I bought Erin a bouquet this last week... It was for $3!! Here are some pictures... Also other plants we've found around.

A few fun things from Costa Rica

This last monday we had the day off and we went to Poaz Volcano. We had a great time. We had a great view of the crater where the steam from the heat of the lava comes out of the volcano. We also were able to see the lagoon on the top of the volcano. It was all very beautiful. 
The country on the way to the volcano was spectacular. The entire countryside is covered in coffee plants and ferns. It is absolutely breathtaking looking out over the coffee fields. 
We were also able to go to the ox cart factory. The ox carts are only a traditional thing now but the factory still makes them and hand paints each one with spectacular designs. 
Hope you enjoyed some sights of Costa Rica.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

New phone #

For anyone who would like to speak to us on the phone, we have a great new gadget. We have a way to talk to you and it's just like a local phone call for anyone in the 559. I don't want to put the number up here but you can email me and I will give it to you... Don't be shy, we'd love to have some short conversations with all of you. For specific info go to:
It's a great deal to eliminate long distance fees and all you need is high speed internet.

Glad to have been of service!! (Gas Co.)

Well, as most of you know I worked at So. CA. Gas Co. for the last 8 years (give or take) and I really enjoyed my job. We worked in the streets and basically I dug holes and filled them... Every day. This wasn't a bad thing though. I learned a lot about soil, and compaction, and I found out that no matter where you go there's a whole other world underground. Needless to say that is true here in Costa Rica as well. 
The other day on my way back from the meat market, I walked up on a group of people frantically trying to stop traffic and block off a main bus route with caution tape. 

As I came closer I found that there was a good reason for the panic. In a 4 way intersection about 3 blocks from our house there was, and still is 3 days later, a huge hole in the street. By huge I mean 5-6 feet in diameter at the top, 15-18 feet deep, with a bottom diameter of 8-10 feet. 
If you can see the red thing in the bottom, that's a full sized grocery bag. It's a huge hole. Now due to my experience with digging holes I can tell you exactly what happened, (for all of my gas co friends, the rest of you may get bored with this so I'll put it in italics and you can skip it) They installed a storm drain at 20' and probably filled the hole in the rain, which means, in clay, the moisture was to high and failed to compact correctly. They should have used sand. Over time the water soaked in through the seam at the edge of the patch and washed the loose and wet soil further down the hill leaving a large hole beneath the pavement at the highest point. Over time the pavement began to sag due to 20-30 busses driving over it every day, and it eventually broke exposing the gigantic hole that had most likely been there for months or years just waiting to cause a lot of damage. (it rains a lot so the time could vary widely). 
So anyways, the police came and brought a stop sign and some dead trees and a lot of wood to block it off from traffic, and now it sits... Who knows when they'll get around to filling it. There are smaller holes on about every other street that have been there as long as we've been here, so who knows. Costa Rica is definitely a good place to be a mechanic. The roads are horrid and the cars get trashed from all of the pot holes.
Anyways, Thanks Gas Co. for all of the education. I like knowing why things are the way they are, and maybe someday I'll be able to help fix some of these problems. To all of you that hate the moisture meter and powder puff... Don't let this happen to your bell hole. LOL.
Thanks for reading.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Time is flying by

Wow... It has been over a week since my last blog... sorry. Erin and I were talking the other day and just realized that it's  been 7 weeks since we came to Costa Rica. Time sure is going by fast. Our days go by a lot faster here than in the states. I guess cause things take longer. (Refer back to now Judah has been sick for a week. I took him to the doctor yesterday and he has an upper respiratory infection. I have a feeling that Ella has the same thing. It costs $28 to go to the doctor at the school and medicine is relatively cheap. At least there's something that is cheaper... I just wish it was something that we needed more of.
Well I think it's time for another paper update to go out to everyone. If you've been reading here there's probably nothing new in it but I have a feeling most people on our mailing list don't check in regularly. Well thanks for all of you who continue reading regularly. 

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Soccer, twins, & cheap ice cream

 Saprissa vs. La liga. 
They are the two biggest teams in Costa Rica and they played each other last night. I was lucky enough to be able to enjoy possibly the biggest game as my first here in Costa Rica. If you've ever seen the craziness that happens at football games and got scared... Don't go to this game. It was madness!! And it was Awesome!! We had a blast. people from one end of the field threw so many rolls of paper (like out of a cash register) that it covered the goal. when they pushed it back off of the field it was probably 2 feet tall the entire width. Amazing!! We weren't allowed to bring any coins in, apparently because of people throwing them. Every time the ref made a call a sign would go up on the big screen saying Remember, No violence!! It's nuts. I do however feel like I need to know about it and experience it in order to fully understand the culture. One missionary who has been here for 40 yrs or more said, " choose your team soon and stick with them." Implying that it's important in order to be immersed in the culture. It's a good thing I like soccer, cause this aspect will be the easiest to assimilate to.
Well sundays are always a nice day for us. We haven't found a church yet so most sundays are just a relaxing and enjoyable family day. Today I spoke to Jose for a while. His wife had twins yesterday. It is very odd to me but he had to come to work... I spoke with him yesterday and he seemed to be crying, probably just excited to be a dad. Anyways, he works from 7am-5pm,  365 days a year. So while he was at work his family was with his wife in the hospital. She went into labor at 3am and had the first baby at 3pm and the second at 3:15pm on yesterday. They are healthy and their names are Georgia and Georgina. Georgina is his mother-in-laws name and Georgia is the name of the daughter of the family that lived in our house before us. Apparently Ken, the father of the family, made such a huge impact on Jose that Jose wanted to name his daughter after Kens. That is quite an honor. He is very grateful for everyone being so concerned for his family. He said all day today people have been coming up to him, just like I did, saying congrats and asking if everything is alright. He said that when his wife has recovered she wants to come to our house, meet us and show us the babies. He really wanted to take pictures of them so he can show them to Ken via the internet, so I loaned him an extra camera, and hopefully he can take some nice pictures of his daughters to send to his friends and family. I hope the camera comes back, but if not... it's Gods anyway. 
So after speaking with Jose we strolled to the park and on to Pequeno Mundo, a Big Lots type store. On the way we decided to splurge and eat out at McDonalds... For those of you who know us well, push your jaw closed. I know... It's very sad that I have to compromise my morality (eating ad McDonalds) to be a missionary.  The kids loved it. I think it was like eating back at home... Besides all of the staring at the cute little gringo kids (people stare at us all the time, but it's not an awkward stare, they just think little blonde kids are cute. Everybody from women of all ages to older men to teen aged boys walk by and say, "Que linda" or "Que lindo" which means how pretty.) So we ate our burgers and fries and then Ella and I got 4 ice cream cones... SPLURGE TIME!!! It was awesome though... We spent less than $2 for all of them. Now you have to understand... In the states it would be a good deal, but here it's awesome. A half gallon of ice cream in Costa Rica is over $7!!! So to get a cone for 50cents is awesome. We haven't had much ice cream since we got here (and that's huge for Erin) so now we found a place to get decent ice cream for cheap. Sorry for all of you who think I'm making a big deal out of this, but to us it's pretty sweet to find something that tastes like something from home and is reasonably priced...
Ok well I've rambled enough for today... We love and miss you all.
May Jesus bless you,

Friday, September 26, 2008

Story time with Judah

As promised... Here is Judah with his favorite book. He's always saying dum dum dum.
Jesus Bless you, 

Rainy day fun...

So I ran home from school with the two kids, Knowing that the rain was coming. (Erin has a study period at the end of the day so she comes home early) I stopped for a minute to tell Jose hello and let him know that I remembered his twins would be born tomorrow at 7:00am, when thunder crashed right over our heads. It was so loud that it set off all of the car alarms for a block. I said goodbye and ran because I could hear the storm and the metal roofs about two blocks away. I began to see hail, a first for us here, and yelled through our gate for Erin to help me 'cause I knew we were in for a good storm... Unfortunately I grabbed the camera just after the thunder past us but here is 5 min of the kids playing in the rain. 
I'm glad that the rain here is not depressing and the kids can enjoy it without being scared... Thanks for checking in. Also Check back for Judahs story time... Thanks Bentons for the Dr. Seuss books, Judah loves Hand Hand Fingers Thumb. He walks around saying "dum  dum      dum  dum      dumdumdum. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New Friends...

  I am very proud of myself for actually maintaining a decent conversation in spanish. I have made my first native friend here in Costa Rica. There is a very nice man who seems to be about my age who guards the street that we live on. His name is Jose and he is from Nicaragua. He has been in Costa Rica for ten years and hasn't seen his mother since he moved here. He works 365 days a year and works 12 hours a day. He will even be working this saturday, the day his wife will give birth to their first children, twins! He told me about his need to go back to see his mom because she is very sick. He also needs to leave the country so he can be legal again and then his daughters can be citizens which will allow he and his wife to be as well. My heart goes out to him and his family. He lives with his father, sister, sister in-law, wife and soon two babies. Their house is smaller than ours and all of them probably make less money than a high school kid working at a pizza place. My immediate reaction is to offer money or help, even though we have been warned not to. Please pray for us as we walk this fine line. We want to help but really we only want to do what God would have us do.  We know that we aren't here to fix the world, just to direct people to Jesus. I want to know more about how to do that. I want to understand what people truly need and when I can help their circumstances. Well I guess today it's just a journal of my thoughts. Don't be afraid to think with me and let me know what comes up.  I will do my best to get a picture in the next few days and tell you more about my new friend, and hopefully soon, friends.
May Jesus Bless You all,

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A few sights.

Here are some random pictures:
Nice tree flowers. This is a common walking hazard. Don't fall in, they're really deep. 

A small part of what we see daily.
A small store. It's actually a house and a store.
A carnecaria, this one is accustomed to gringos so it's expensive.

This is the Catholic church in Desaperados. Desamperados litterally means forgotten or abandoned. This is a shot from just infront of our house.Here's the shot without telephoto. That's my lovely wife on the way to the store with the kids. Notice the bars. Everything has bars. Every house... Window... door... Everything is locked and double locked all the time. If it's not... It's free for the taking. Crazy. I don't think they have this much razor wire in all of the prisons in CA.
Yet another Shot of the road.
Ella has a Hercules beetle, Sorry you cant see it.
Here's a nice plant of some kind...
Thanks for checking it out.
Jesus Bless you,

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Costa Rican Independence

So yesterday was a holiday here in Costa Rica. It's their independence day. We walked down to a school where they began the parade and watched for a while. Basically it's a lot of school children drumming really loud with one general rythm. It's kinda crazy. Families walk with the parade down the street, as if they only care about their son or daughter. I think we were some of the only ones to stand in one spot and watch. For some reason the video wouldn't load on the blog so I posted it on you-tube. Here is the link to the movie.  or use the Costa Rica video link on the right side of this page. The video is Parade.
Thanks for reading.
May Jesus Bless Each on of You.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The ride of the day!

Our washing machine is out of balance. Sometimes it moves about 3 feet to the other wall. It shakes a ton but we found a good use for it. We put the kids on it. It's really technologically advanced, I know. Here's the pictures

Our Stuff is here!!!

Disaster area!!! Oh goodness, there's not enough room. Our crate came on thursday (thanks Zann) and we have all of our stuff. It's like christmas in september. We get to open all of the boxes that we packed and discover what is in them. When we packed our boxes and sold the rest of our stuff we felt so good. We felt like we had simplified our lives drastically. Well now that it's here it feels a bit overwhelming. We don't have room to store everything. It's crazy. Heres a few pictures from our day.

This is our friend Nathan. He and his family came to help us unpack. Of course when we started to unpack it started to rain. Isn't that how it always works...
Jeff is an athlete. He's actually jumping up into the crate backwards. (That's my boss;)

And here are two of our teachers:
Elena is my language teacher. She is possibly the sweetest lady I've met. Fransisco is our grammar teacher. He is awesome. I've learned as much in two weeks from him than 2 years of high school.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What is life?

Some of you are probably wondering what our life is like these days. Well I wish I could say that I am evangelizing the streets of San Jose and impacting students lives through the practical application of the gospel but I can't. Our life will be pretty simple until we finish language school. It is amazing how hard it is to communicate. I thought I was decent at speaking spanish but I am realizing that I can only understand what I initiate. 
So here's a taste of life. 5:30am we wake up. 7:05am we walk to school. (see map) It takes about 15 minutes to walk there so there's your scale for the map. We get out of school at 1:00pm and usually walk home in the rain. 1:30pm we put the kids down for a nap and do homework or rest. 3:30-4:00pm we walk to the store/stores. We have a small fridge and the ants eat everything we leave out so we literally go to at least one store every day. Today @ 4:00pm I walked to the supermarket. (one that's not on the map but it's between the panadaria and the carneceria on the main street) From the market I walked to the Carneceria, and the back past the market to the Panadaria, and on to home. I got back at about 5:15pm. That's an hour of walking just cause we don't have storage space. 
(note: in Costa Rica it is cheaper to go to the bakery or meat market to get food than to get food at the grocery store. It's the opposite of the states) So we will eat at about 6:15 and then put the kids down between 7:00pm & 8:00pm. Erin and I will finish homework and try to be in bed by 8:30 or 9:00pm. And that's a day in the life of the Janzens. 
The moral of the story... Appreciate the luxury of convenience. It is something that we don't have very much of here. I can definitely see why the poor have a really hard time getting ahead. You must pay for convenience & inconvenience takes time. It takes time to make money. It's a catch 22. 
God is really increasing my compassion for the poor here. Because of normal life and circumstances they are trapped in their situations with no way to get out. I pray that as you hear this you realize that we don't have the answers like most of us think we do. The problem is not as definable as us "Americans" (Costa Ricans are americans too) like to think it is. Our job is not to fix their lives or even their situation but to care for them as Christ would and lead them to Him. Because, as I say quite often these days, I don't want my circumstances or situation to define who God is. God is God no matter what. He gives joy to the rich and the poor, the strong and the weak, the educated and uneducated. We as christians don't need to fix the situations because the situations may be ordained by God Himself. We need to show them who God is and that no matter what their circumstances are God loves and cares for them.
Thanks for reading. Dios le bendiga.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mailing address!

If you would like to send paper mail (no boxes please customs could charge us a lot of $$) or address is : Jeremy Janzen
    Instituto de lengua espanola
    apartado 100-2350
    San Jose, Costa Rica
    America Central

Also if you haven't received an email from us please send your email address and we will make sure to put you in our address book. We will still send out paper mail but we don't really know how it will all work yet.

miscommunication. We're in His hands!

Ok. Well I know my ability to convey thoughts isn't the greatest but I thought I was clear enough.Obviously not though. My family wrote and was very sad that we lost our camera to thieves, and a friend was offering to fly down and "regulate" for us. No need. My intent was to tell you that I am smart enough to not take my camera out when things are busy because of the possibility of being mugged. Costa Rica is safe as long as we are smart about things. We don't carry cameras or electronics and if we do they are in grocery bags so nobody knows. We don't let our earphones dangle around our necks because then thieves will know we have ipods. Ect.. Thieves know that as North Americans we have more than they do, or at least access to more than they do, therefore we are, and always will be a prime target for muggers. Don't worry though, San Francisco de dos rios is the safes part of the city if you ask some people. The worst if you ask others, but here's true hope... We are surely undisputedly moving to a more dangerous part of San Jose after language school. So rest assured, we are more safe now than we will be later.HAHA. In reality we can never be more safe. God, ultimately, is responsible for keeping us safe. Therefore, our location, situation, even our actions do not assure safety, we can only truly be safe as we obey The Lords will for our lives. The safes place to be is right where God has us.
Thanks for reading, Dios le bendiga.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Quiet sunday. Muy Tranquilo.

Well ,we haven't gone to church here yet, the language barrier is a problem. We are looking forward to the day when we can understand enough to maintain relationships and understand sermons in spanish. So for now we just enjoyed our sabbath day rest. The kids and I went to the park across from our house while Erin got herself ready for the day. The kids went down for a nap around 10:30 am and when they woke up around 1:30 we went for a walk. We walked to a store called Pequeno Mundo to look for some containers that would keep the roaches out. We found out that a small plastic drawer (one) was 5,000 colones which is about $10. OUTRAGEOUS!! In the states we can get 3 for $7. And this store is like a Big Lots. It's crazy what people pay for stuff here. 
So I don't have any pictures for you today because of the theft problem. Sundays are very busy around town. All of the families go to the parks and fly kites or play games. It's amazing that no one comes out during the week but sundays are crazy. So anyways back to the theft. apparently it is common to be mugged or have your purse/wallet stolen here in San Jose. We have received many warnings from the language school about how these people will rob us "gringos". Students have had three men drive up in front of them and two jump out with guns take your stuff and then speed off. The whole thing is over in 40 seconds. They also drive up behind people and lean out the window and grab bags off of peoples shoulders. Often times the person is dragged for blocks before they fall out of the strap. The other thing that just happened recently is that two men will be on a motorcycle, jump the curb and ride right between two people. The guy n the back will grab at bags and if they don't get it they stop and fight with you to get your purse and wallet. The guy that this happened to snapped and used a sapling to beat the guys off of his wife and they left with nothing. (that's not recommended) Anyways, walking around on a busy day with a camera is not recommended. 
One day I will hopefully take a picture of the walking bridge that we took across the freeway. It is a small Golden gate but it's painted blue. It's quite fun to walk across. I didn't think about it until today but we live in San Francisco de dos rios, a southern suburb of San Jose. Thus the reason for the Golden Gate copycat. 
Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

God is good!

So I realize that I will probably not do this again(three posts in a day) but tonight I was realizing that I have seen God in the small things and have not told everyone about it. 
In the last weeks of living in Visalia we pushed hard to get all of our home improvement projects done. We finished installing baseboards, cabinet doors, painted, and many other things. During this time I learned two simple, but new, things. 1 I learned that painters caulk is great to fill gaps and makes base boards and trim look much nicer. 2 I learned how to take apart and fix an old style of door knob. Well it was no coincidence. 
When we moved into our new home here in Costa Rica, we quickly found out that we had roaches and ants. Not just a few ants either... there are lots, and coming from inside base boards, door jams, behind loose tiles, everywhere. There were so many ants climbing the wall of our bedroom that they left a dark line where they walked. They had built an ant hill in 
 the base board and climbed the wall through the trim around the ceiling, into the attic, and then back down the other side of the wall. Well guess what... If I hadn't learned just weeks before about painters caulk, I would still have a whole lot of ants. I caulked all of the gaps around the trim and the base boards and got rid of the aunts. The same in the tile, trim, and random holes to nowhere throughout the house.
     About two days into our lives here, the bathroom door wouldn't open. The door knob was busted. I really think that I can fix almost anything so normally it isn't a problem. In times of high stress however, I can get quite upset with little tasks. Thankfully God, knowing me and my stress level, had already equipped me with the necessary abilities to take care of it quickly. It was the same old type of door knob I had just learned about. I took it apart and found that whoever installed it did so incorrectly, thus the result of it breaking. I simply fixed it and moved on.
Well all of this long story is to say that God cared enough for me to teach me two little home improvement skills that would help me here. He knows what He's doing. He cares about the little things. It's our job to see how He's cared for us and give Him the glory. It may seem small, but He cared enough to give us what we needed to be a little more comfortable. Glory to God, for He has created all things, and He cares about the smallest of them. He is always good, always faithful, and always God. 

Ah the sweet life.

Here's what it's like to be 19months old on a saturday in Costa Rica.

For the rest of us here's our day so far. Everyone woke up about 5:15ish and then I got lucky and went back to sleep till 7:00am. Now that's lucky. (did you know that ticos (Costa Ricans) bathe their children in cold water at 5:00 AM every morning... Then again before bed at night. They're very clean people) So I got up at 7 made the bed and then made breakfast. I made a potatoe, onion, sausage, and egg scramble thing which we eat with corn tortillas. Breakfast was done by 8:15 and we were off to clean. I cleaned the kitchen and entertained the kids while Erin cleaned the floors and the bathroom. I put the hammocks up and let the kids play until Judah fell asleep. 10:30 am Ella and I are reading books and Judah is still asleep. Erin went with some new friends to a fabric store and to the lady that makes clothes. It might be a good option since clothes are double the price here. 
Later we'll probably clean some more, have lunch, read my spanish dictionary, and then we have some friends coming over for pizza around 5:00 pm. Pizza is about $14 for an extra large. (not everything is super expensive... just most) Thanks for reading! Send us an e-mail some time. We'd love to hear what's going on with our friends and family in other parts of the world. 

Friday, September 5, 2008

Oh, the sweeter things in life.

Man, there are definitely perks to being a missionary in Costa Rica. For one... These sweet chairs. You can't even buy things like this in the states. 
Most houses here come fully furnished. Whether you buy or rent, like we are, the house has at least the bare minimum. In our case we have more bare than minimum. We received these four lovely chairs today because four of our six "normal" chairs were broken. We are really looking forward to our crate arriving. It is really difficult to cook with no utensils. I flipped pancakes the other morning with a wooden spoon. Later that night we served chicken soup with that same spoon and a coffee cup(1 of 3 total) We have 3 plates, 3 bowls, 7 plastic cups, 4 knives that wont cut butter, and some really old pans (guess how many...3)
So tonight we had pasta with salchichon (sausage, and I don't know where or how to put an accent yet)  So here are a few pictures of our dinner. I took the pictures and Ella didn't want hers taken (thus the pics of Judah and Erin)
This week was also the first week of school. It seems to be review for me although I have learned  a little. Erin has already been frustrated with it all and would really like prayer for her ability to retain Spanish. Here's a few more pictures from the first week of school... Just cause. 
Thanks for reading.