Friday, December 18, 2009

This one’s a bit long so hold on… There’s a lot to pray for if you would be so kind;)

So, many of you have heard a little bit about my most recent stresser, but I doubt many have heard the entire story. So here it is to ease minds, tell you a little bit about the culture and hopefully get a glimpse of what God is doing in my life at the moment.

It all really began on the 9th of June when we bought our 4runner. It was a real deal at nearly half the price that we had seen others for. It was missing a door handle but didn't have any other large problems. Here buying a car is like buying a house in the states. You go see the lawyer, he documents everything, then he has to log the documents in the national registry, they check the records to make sure everything is ok and then they send you the title... Well we had a small problem... The previous owner painted the car a gray/blue color... It took three to four weeks to get that figured out but by the time we did that we were so busy with life that I never went to check on the title again. When we finally did, the lawyer saw another problem. There was a lawsuit against my car in a city called Limón which is about 3 hours east of us.!! I had never been to Limón and it wasn't on the title when I bought the car, so our obvious thought was that the previous owner sold the car cheap to get rid of it fast and get rid of the liability for whatever happened. I spent the three weeks following our trip to CA (Aug 26th-Sept 25th) calling him every chance I got. He seemed willing to help at first, but then I told him the incident was in Limón, he told me he had never in his life been to Limón and then every time after that he hung up on me.

So at this point here's what we knew:

1) for some reason there was some kind of lawsuit against my car

2) The former owner wasn't going to cooperate.

3) If the lawsuit was won, they could take my car from me

4) the something that happened was in Limon

Here's what we didn't know:

1) When

2) what




The lawyer, knowing we didn't have a lot of money (He's actually a christian) gave me a deal. For around $150 he would go with me and find out what the problem was. So about three weeks ago we drove to Limon to see what this lawsuit was all about. Come to find out, there was a hit and run accident the night of August 17th and the owner thinks he saw my plates. He had no vehicle color, model, or any description, but somehow he came up with my license plate number. We got copies of the entire case against my car and made our legal declaration saying that I had never driven this car to Limon and that we would permit an inspection of the car to prove it. Well, I was quite nervous but the lawyer thought that it was all great. He said we made huge progress and he was sure that it would all blow over... Well it didn't.

The other thing that happened was I gave my email address to the court so they could contact me. Well they, for some reason, can't send email to AOL accounts so I had to create a Hotmail account. The only problem with that is that I had to go back to Limon to change the email because they don't permit anything to be done by phone.... I never thought anything would happen so quickly. After all, ticos are known to be late and take a long time for any formal process. I was wrong... Yesterday, as we were just finishing moving all of our new tools for the wood shop, I got a call from someone. He said, (Translated) " Is this Mr. Jeremy Janzen? You have an appointment to have your car inspected at the transit office in Limon at 1:30... Are you coming?" It was 1:39!!! I said," What!?!? Wait... Who is this!?!" HE proceded to tell me that he was a judge and I was going to lose my car if I didn't show up... I told him I could leave right then but I would need 3-4 hours to get there... He was nice enough to say he'd wait but by then the stress was overwhelming.

We jumped in the car ( jeff, myself and our newest staff member Dustin) I dropped Jeff off and Dustin and I were off to Limon. Now get this, Erin and I have just moved into a new house, (stress) we have no phone yet (stress) the car had just broken down and been fixed last week (a lot of stress) We had just come back from a staff retreat (not stressful but in the midst of other stress it was stressful enough) two weeks ago we picked up and went to Panama for Visa stuff (stress) ad we have all been sick for two weeks (stress) So we go with all this stress to Limon. We, of course hit a lot of traffic on the way (stress) and finally arrived at about 6pm. The offices had closed at 4:30 so the judge and the owner of the car that got hit had been waiting, a long time. The entire thing was a bit confusing. There were random questions about the incident and about my car but the majority of it was this man, who said I hit him, standing behind my car and describing the car that hit him... While looking at it!!! So it went like this... "Uh, I remember this (while pointing) and this and the tires and this and, well, yeah, this is the car that hit me." NO physical inspection. no questions directed to me... Just a "remembrance" of the other guy. Here is his story. He was stopped at a light facing south when this car came out of nowhere and side-swiped him turning him so he was facing west. He looked up in the dark immediately after and saw the license plate, again in the dark on a speeding car, and wrote it down...But it was too dark to see the color. Right, like that's possible. Also there was a taxi driver who saw the same # and came back to tell him. Taxi drivers don't help anyone!! So anyways, I spent all day today driving around getting receipts from mechanics, my car was in the shop 2 days after the "accident", making faxes, trying to do everything I could to prove I'm innocent. The thing is; the week before and the day of the accident, were the only times in the entire summer that I had nothing on the calendar. So now we wait. The gov. offices are closed until the 4th of january, so until then there's nothing.

Now the good part. God has really been showing me, through this and just all of the stressful things that have happened recently that I shouldn't be stressed!! Stress is the opposite of the fruits of the spirit. It robs my joy, it is literally the opposite of peace, I'm not kind when I'm stressed.. You get the point. The thing is. If I lose the car, or have to pay a bunch of money, was God not there? Does he not have a plan? Did He just take a break for this one? Does He care about the other guy more? NO!! God is in control!! If I could just grasp that... Really grasp that, then I could have that peace that passes understanding. You see my stress is an indicator. It's telling me that I'm relying on myself. I'm doing it myself and I am not trusting God. It's saying that I'm not in close enough relationship with Him. It's saying I'm bearing my own burdens. You see psalms says, "do not fret, because it leads to evil.” How true is that!? When I fret (stress) it leads to evil. That could be, anger, lust, lying, or anything else. For an addict it would mean relaps. Stress is not good!! We as Christians can have a peace that passes all understanding. That means when the world is falling down around us and we have every reason to panic or be stressed… We are calm, resting in God’s peace. Resting in the fact that He can handle it all, that He wants the best for us, that He will use whatever happens for our good… WE can have peace cause HE is in control. The only thing is we have to KNOW HIM!! Learn to trust Him… I’m in the process… If you’d like to be too, let me know…we’ll do it together!

All of you if you can just say a little prayer for us right now. 1) that God would teach us more about Himself in this process.

2) that we would live stress free

3) And that He would take care of this problem in Limon

Thanks for reading!!

May Jesus Bless You,

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Aaaah, a moment to breath...

Judah enjoying his "copo" in a Panama park
Ella cooling off after playing in the park
Our view from our apartment window in Panama City
Painting over the hideous green in our new house
Thanksgiving dinner with team and friends

So once again, a long time between posts. We'll get the hang of this blogging thing someday! Between the last post and today, so much has been happening and continues to happen. Besides the day in and day out of every day life, there has been a few "happenings" worth mentioning! During Thanksgiving time we had a team here from Wasco, CA. We had a fun time getting to know each other and working together. They were an awesome team that actually brought down 2 turkeys for our Thanksgiving feast. Our team here in Costa Rica was thrilled since turkeys are around $70 here! Not an option for us. Jeremy worked on a street in Los Guidos with his team of guys. There were bumps in the road (no pun intended), but the work week was very successful.
Jeremy and I have decided on schooling for our children Ella and Judah. They will both be starting in February, the new school year. They will be going to different schools for a couple of years due to the fact the one Judah will be going to has the option of only going 3 days a week. I like that because that gives me an opportunity to spend one on one time with him, while Ella is in her school. She'll be going M-F, 7:30- 12:30. She is SO excited and talks about all the things she will learn and the friends she will make. We are glad the decision has finally been made and that we don't have to keep looking.
During the week that the team was here, an opportunity came up to move from our house. We have been in this location since April, and really like the neighborhood, the people, and the location in general. We didn't like the fact that we felt we were being taken advantage of in our monthly rent, knowing there is probably something else out there cheaper and more or less the same. We didn't like the idea of possibly having to move away from friends we've made either. Well a house literally 2 doors down became available. We spent time talking and looking at it with the owners, and left wondering if this was an opportunity for us. There were definitely pros and cons and we were trying to weigh them out. The first night after we presented to the owner our price we were willing to pay, we both woke up in the middle of night, nervous and hoping we were making the right decision. We just started praying and asking for a peace and assurance we were making the best decision for our family. Also that we weren't jumping the gun with this, but that it was really God's timing. We both fell right back to sleep and woke up in the morning feeling completely different. Needless to say, we have spent the last week painting and moving our things into this home. We have a deadline of when we need to be out of our home, the 15th! It seemed like all would be fine in the timing, but put on top of that a staff retreat to the beach and leaving the country for visa renewal. We - have - been - BUSY! I am currently writing you from Panama City because cheap plane tickets came up on Friday to leave on Saturday! In the midst of our moving, this was an unexpected thing. Now we will return on Tuesday night, I'll have 2 days of more packing, unpacking, and cleaning, then we leave on Friday morning for our staff retreat. Then I'll have one more day before we absolutely need to be out of our house. Moving 2 doors down is not really an event like traditional moving. We literally just walk boxes down, or load up our car and drive it down. We are now taking some time to rest being here in Panama, knowing the craziness is not over yet. We'll be walking and taking buses to see what we can see the next couple of days. The kids definitely go with the flow, but with all the walking, it'll definitely take a toll on them. Pray for our continued sanity the next couple of weeks and that we get through this time well. On top of all this, it's Christmas time! We don't want to neglect this important time of year or the joy our family finds in it. We'll let you know how everything pans out this month.