Tuesday, October 25, 2011

News from the Tico Times

Rains rip through region

Posted: Friday, October 21, 2011 - By Adam Williams
Update: Storms claimed at least 105 lives thoughout Central America. Will rains let up next week?
Alberto Font
A truck carefully passes a damaged road in Quitirrisí de Mora, southwest of San José. Heavy rains soaked the region this week, causing landslides and damaging 1,600 kilometers of roads across the country. Five people were killed in Costa Rica. Several roads were closed, including two sections of the Inter-American Highway.

The wrath of Mother Nature ripped through Central America this week, as torrential rains, landslides and flooding killed at least 105 people.

El Salvador and Guatemala were the hardest hit, while Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica suffered extensive damage to homes, roads and crops.

In El Salvador, 32 people were reported dead and two were missing on Wednesday. Officials closed schools and relocated nearly 49,000 people to shelters throughout the country.

Guatemala reported 35 deaths. President Álvaro Colom said on Wednesday that rains had affected more than 500,000 residents and caused several million dollars in damages to crops and infrastructure.

The Red Cross of Costa Rica reported that five people drowned in different regions of the country. All five were killed by rising rivers.

By Tuesday, government leaders in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras had declared national states of emergency.

On Wednesday, the National Emergency Commission (CNE) reported that more than 1,000 Costa Ricans were moved to temporary shelters. Most of the evacuees were located in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, which has been battered by rains.

According to Ghassem Asrar, director of the World Climate Research Program, Central America was in the midst of an “extreme event.”

“In terms of the magnitude of the impact, the duration and the amount of devastation that has occurred, including landslides and the loss of lives, we consider this to be an extreme event,” he said this week at a
press conference in Denver, Colorado, in the United States.

Regional meteorologists reported that as much as 120 centimeters (47 inches) of rain accumulated in the past
week in some areas – three times the monthly average for the season. More than 700,000 people in Central America have been displaced by weather-related events so far in October.

Aid from around the world poured in this week from Taiwan, Spain, the U.S., Venezuela and a host of other countries. Taiwan donated $200,000 to Honduras, while the U.S., Taiwan, World Bank and Central American Bank of Economic Integration pledged funds to assist El Salvador.

Many Costa Rican roads were devastated by rains and flooding. The Caldera Highway, which connects San José to the Pacific port of Caldera, was closed and reopened several times throughout the week because of a mudslide between the Central Valley town of Atenas and Orotina, near the Pacific coast.

The 11-kilometer stretch of road between the two towns has been wrought with construction flaws since the highway’s inauguration in January 2009. This week, the road was closed and reopened repeatedly on Monday, on Tuesday and again on Wednesday.

“The landslides started Friday, and then again Tuesday night,” said Álvaro Carvajal, an employee of Alquileres Valverde who has been working on highway repairs since last Friday. “The cement can’t sustain the earth. Thank God no one has been killed. A huge rock fell last year in this same area and killed a man on a motorcycle.”
mudslides 2
Alice Agüero crosses a road washed out by heavy rains this week in Cerbatana, southwest of San José.
Perhaps the biggest road collapse of the week occurred on a section of the Inter-American Highway, which runs from the northern border with Nicaragua to the Panama border to the south. On kilometer 39, in the section of highway known as Casa Mata, a large chunk of road collapsed Tuesday night. A car traveling on the highway tumbled down a large dirt embankment during the landslide, though the driver and passengers suffered only minor injuries.

“The highway collapsed because the field next to the highway was full of water. The land became almost gelatinous and collapsed,” said David Meléndez, emergency director for the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT). “It is going to require a great deal of work to repair.”

MOPT reported that rains damaged 1,600 kilometers of roads this week. By Thursday morning, the National Roadway Council had reported that 25 roads were closed and 85 were damaged.

Harsh rains also damaged crops. Erick Quirós, director of regional operations for the Agriculture Ministry, said that the northwestern Guanacaste province was the most affected region, and that fields of sugar cane and rice were entirely underwater. Quirós said that more than 20,000 hectares of land were flooded throughout the country, and that more than 4,300 hectares of sugar cane and 3,200 hectares of rice suffered damages.

Quirós said farmers were evacuating animals from the region, and that rains could cause “ojo de gallo,” a damaging fungus disease, on coffee plants in the north-central towns of Monteverde, Miramar and Cedral.
Uncharacteristically low temperatures accompanied constant rains. Throughout the week, temperatures hovered at 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit), forcing residents to bundle up in jackets and scarves. The cold front was felt throughout the region, as Central American countries to the north also experienced unseasonably cool temperatures.

According to Eladio Solano, a meteorologist at the National Meteorology Institute, the explanation for the cold is simple: With constant rains and overcast skies, the sun hasn’t been able to warm the isthmus.

“The sun really hasn’t penetrated the clouds much in the past week,” Solano told The Tico Times. “Without any rays of sun coming through the clouds, air pressure has remained low and the temperature has remained much colder than usual.”

As for an upcoming forecast, Solano said that a respite from incessant downpour is expected, but that October rains are expected to continue.

“October is traditionally the rainiest month of the winter season,” Solano said. “Rains have been strong to start the month but they are not extraordinarily abnormal. Lots of rain is always expected in October.”
Ellen Weathers and AFP contributed to this story.

Please pray for Central America 
as these storms continue in the area.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Healing Testimony!!

WOW! Jesus is SO awesome! I know of no one else who can heal anything at any time for any one!! SO many testimonies of healing in the community!!

  • On Friday a group of us went up into the Mangoes to pray through the community. Sadie was having back pain and Jesus healed it on the spot. She was even bending over and touching her toes which she hadn´t been able to do in months.

  • On Saturday, so touched and excited by what Jesus was doing, Sadie took me to her old neighborhood in Escazu to pray for her former neighbors. Her elderly neighbor, Gladys, was also having back pain. Jesus healed her instantly, too!!
Sadie with Gladys and her daughter, Maribel, and her grandbaby, Mariangela

  • We went to her other neighbor´s and prayed for 4 siblings...The oldest sister with a cancerous tumor on her neck, the eldest brother with esophageal polyps, the middle sister with hormone imbalances due to ovarian cancer which forced surgical removal of her ovaries 4 years ago, and the youngest brother with cirrhosis of the liver. I will keep you updated as they receive their medical results.
  • This morning Maruja (one of the women in the community) also had pain healed. 
  • This afternoon David complained of a terrible cramp in his leg and Jesus healed that, too!!

Psalm 147:3
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Matthew 4:23
[ Jesus Heals the Sick ] Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

Luke 9

1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. 5 If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere. 

James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

3 Minute Micro-Cakes (in regular and gluten-free!!!)


Serves: 1
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract or peppermint
  • 1 tablespoon choc chips
  • 1 large mug

Preparation method

Prep: 5 mins |Cook: 3 mins
1. Add dry ingredients to the mug, and mix well.
2. Crack an egg and add it to your mug. Be sure to mix it well to avoid any pockets of flour in the corners. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the vanilla extract. Stir in the chocolate chips or reserve for on top after you cook. Your choice...
3. Pop your mug into the microwave & zap for 3 minutes (maybe 3 and a half depending on your microwave. Experiment. Make 2 if you have to to see how it works best) on maximum power (1000watt). Wait until the cake stops rising, and sets in the mug.
4. If necessary, run a knife around the sides of the mug, and tip the still warm cake out of the mug and onto a saucer. Pop out and enjoy!!!

 Gluten-free-egg-free Version 


Serves: 1
  • 6 tablespoons gluten-free cake mix or gluten-free flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract or peppermint
  • 1 tablespoon choc chips
  • 1 large mug

Preparation method

Prep: 5 mins |Cook: 3 mins
1. Add dry ingredients to the mug, and mix well.
2.  Pour in the milk, water, and oil and mix well. Be sure to mix it well to avoid any pockets of flour in the corners. Stir in the vanilla essence. Stir in the chocolate chips or reserve for on top after you cook. Your choice...
3. Pop your mug into the microwave & zap for 3 minutes (or 3 and a half depending on your microwave...Experiment a bit. Make a second one if you have to) on maximum power (1000watt). Wait until the cake stops rising, and sets in the mug.
4. If necessary, run a knife around the sides of the mug, and tip the still warm cake out of the mug and onto a plate. Pop out and enjoy!!!



adapted from: allrecipes.com.au/recipe/9198/print-friendly.aspx

Friday, October 21, 2011

Out of the Cleft of the Rock

"Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
   he is my fortress, I will never be shaken." 
Psalm 62:2
I saw this tree up in the Mangoes while we were praying this morning. What an INCREDIBLE tree!! It is literally growing out of a crack in the rock. What an amazing picture of us, too, when we are rooted and grounded in the Rock. Some times He plants us in difficult places to be a testimony to His work in us. What seems highly improbable to the world is immensely possible with God.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Sacrifice of Obedience

What does it mean to obey? What is obedience? What pictures and images come to mind? Are they pleasant images? Are they tough? How does it feel to obey? Does obedience come out of love or obligation?


What does it mean to obey
God. I mean truly obey Him? The Bible says if we love Jesus, we will obey His commands and his teachings (John 14) . And there are 2 main ones, right? 1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and the 2. is like it, love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22). Got it. Love is usually the easy part, right? That's the touchy-feely, buttefly-in-the-tummy, do-unto-others-as-you-would-have-them-do-unto-you part, right? The loving by being moved by compassion or empathy for others? Seeing a homeless person and buying them lunch. Hearing someone crying and asking if they're okay. Smelling the trash in the kitchen and taking it out even when it's not your usual house-hold job. This is all part of obeying and loving God, but I believe obedience to Him goes deeper than just doing the obvious. I mean, won't even someone who has never heard of Jesus stop on the side of the road if they see an elderly man stranded with a flat tire? Or let the woman with the two crying kids and only 5 things in her shopping basket budge in front of an over-flowing cart? That's called being a decent human being. I will show what I mean with scripture first, and then get to my point:

Deuteronomy 30:11-20
11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
 15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
 17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
 19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

John 10:2-4
2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

Woah. Wait. You mean loving the Lord is more than just reading the Bible and not flicking off that jerk that just cut me off on the highway? It's about listening to him and obeying what he SAYS?!? He talks to us?? How is that possible?!? Here goes...When we recognize that Jesus is the one who saves us and he is Lord of all, he comes and lives in us through the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16, Romans 8:9, Galatians 2:20) As we start becoming disciples of Christ and doing things like reading our Bibles, going to church and listening to sermons, praying together, becoming part of small groups, etc., etc., we are starting to learn the language God uses. We catch his "lingo". And as we draw closer and closer to him, though prayer, meditation, fasting, all the disciplines mentioned in the Bible (for reference on this, consider the book The Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster) we can literally start to hear the voice of God as well. (The whole "listen to my voice" thing is meant to be literal. Jesus wasn't just being poetic with the metaphor about the sheep.) Yes, it is possible to hear the voice of the Lord (Isaiah 50:4-5;  Hebrews 3:7, Psalm 81:12-14). No, it does not sound like Morgan Freeman. It doesn't often sound like an audible, other-person-in-the-room voice either (although it can.) That's a whole other topic for a whole other time for a whole other day. But it does takes listening and faith that He does actually want to speak and be heard. Truly, though, you can start to recognize and listen to His voice. 

And so we enter my story of the week. I shall title it: 
The Sacrifice of Obedience: Knowing You Heard the Voice of the Lord and The Consequences of Listening.

Every Friday, we have prayer in the house for an hour and then go gather any of the young dudes from the church that want to go with us and pray through the community. Two weeks ago, David and I were praying in the house before heading out into the community and I specifically asked (out loud) for God to show us His strategy for praying through the community. We had a few minutes of silence where I heard the Holy Spirit tell me a VERY specific strategy. I heard Him tell me to start at the top of the community, up by the main road, and the walk along the top of the community on the road in the Mangoes and go to the furthest part of that road (past David and Terry's yellow house where most people never go). He told me that at the end of that road a woman would come out to us and that we were to pray with and we were to give her what she asked. And I thought I heard him say bring 5,000 colones with us. That's about $10. I wasn't sure about the last part, like waking up from a dream and being confident about the first part of the dream, but as you wake up the end is a but fuzzy, so you can't really be sure you dreamed it or not. Anyway, I told David the Lord had given me a strategy and that I would write it on an index card and stick it in my Bible. I told him every detail...except about the 5,000 colones. I still wasn't sure about that. Plus I knew I didn't have exact change, I only had a 10,000 bill ($20). But I put it on the card anyway. I told him when we got back it would be written down and we would have a testimony for the guys who would go with us.

We were off. I grabbed the bag I always carry with me...thought about throwing in some money but brushed off the thought since I never carry money with my into the community and met up with the dudes. Dago, Kevin, and  David told them the plan. And we followed it exactly. And it was exactly as the Lord had shown me. We walked to the end of the end of the END of the Mangoes and prayed. As we turned around, a woman came out of her run-down-but-well-kept house to check on a pot that she had sitting on an open fire outside. David immediately got excited. It was a pot of nacatamales...a traditional Nicaraguan dish that includes corn meal, chicken, peppers, and some spices wrapped in a huge banana leaf and boiled over an open fire. SO delicious!! David looked at me, eyes wide. Here was the woman. David struck up a conversation about the tamales and before we knew it she was sharing about her son who was involved in drugs and how she needed prayer for him. We ended up praying for her and could tell she really experienced a personal touch from God. As we turned to leave, David asked how much the tamales were. 1,000 colones each. No one had any money with them and David, with a forlorn look in his eyes, told the woman that we would have to come back another time to buy the nacatamales. Uh-oh. My heart sank. There were 5 of us. That would be 5,000 colones!! AUGH!!! 

When we got back to the house, David was thrilled. He excitedly told Elidey, who was cleaning at the house, about all that had happened that morning and how God had given us the strategy and it was exactly how He told us it would be!!

"Except I was disobedient, " I interrupted.
"What do you mean?!? You listened to Him and we did exactly that and look what happened!!"
"Yes, but the Lord also told me to bring 5,000 colones. But I didn't. And there were 5 of us." I bemoaned. SO disappointed in myself. The light bulb went on for David. The nacatamales!!


I knew what I had to do. I had to go back and buy the tamales. Of course now it was raining. And I would have to go alone. And I still didn't have the right change. As I was walking, I apologized PROFUSELY to the Lord. He forgave me right away. Of course. But then I again heard the Lord speak softly to me again. He told me that now the tamales would be double the price...ouch....Because what I thought was just disobedience actually robbed the Lord of glory, the woman of a blessing from God, and David of the enjoyment of the nacatamales. For my disobedience, the woman would receive a double blessing. I knocked on the door and they were there. I got my 5 tamales. "How much are they?" I asked innocently. "5,000 colones," she said. I handed her the 10,000 bill. "Oh, no! How embarrassing! I have absolutely no change!! Let me send my son down to the convenience store! I'm sure he can make change!" "No, that's okay. Keep the change. The Lord wants to bless you!" 

As I walked back into the house, I passed the nacatamales off to Elidey and headed straight for my Bible, David's eyes following me the whole way. I pulled out the index card and tossed it to David. There in my own hand was "5,000 colones". David was thrilled, "I was wondering what I was going to preach on this Sunday and now I know. The sacrifice of obedience!" I was left pondering. I should have known better than that. I DO know better than that. I know the voice of the Lord. Why did I do that? Laziness? Selfishness? I think the spirit of stupid just had a field day. Whatever. It doesn't matter. May God STILL receive ALLLLLL the glory. And may I learn another valuable lesson in obedience myself. And hopefully you can learn from my mistake.

So here's the point. There comes a time in everyone's Christian walk where the walk becomes more than just about obeying the street signs to the letter of the law and thinking that's what it means to be on the right path. There comes a time when we need to start actively listening to the voice of God as he DIRECTS our paths and LEADS us where we should go (Psalm 23, 119:35, 133; Proverbs 3:4-6; etc.) Obedience is a sacrifice. It takes not only listening and being confident in what you hear (because you can get to a point in your walk where you know for certain it is the Lord speaking) but also stepping up and actually doing what you hear the Lord say. Letting him lead and guide and direct because he really does know best, because he really does want to bless others and uses us to do it, and he really deserves all the glory!!! I encourage and challenge you to pray this week and ask the Lord to speak to you. Then listen. Listen to what he says and do it! See what blessings the Lord has for others around you, how you can bring Him glory, and how you might just be touched along the way.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Girl Effect

So. True. Amy, Ana Laura, and I are working on the Princess Club website. Soon it will be up and running with all our lesson plans for starting your own princess club in your area. Help teach our girls their importance not only socially and economically, but their spiritual value as well!!!!
Remember, our girls are SPECIAL and have value in the kingdom of God!
They are precious, valuable, lovely, and should be TREASURED!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes

Wow, so for those of you who regularly follow my blog, my year-in-summary a few months back shared how the community has changed over the last, well, year. The biggest change physically has been the Quebrada...the "neighborhood" of the community that is the most dangerous section of Los Anonos. It was also the most heavily damaged during last year's flood. I haven't been in there since August because of some of the changes that have gone on there (and because I was in the states most of September). I went in today to deliver some food to a family in our church and took advantage of the photo op. The changes are incredible.
December of 2010

November 2010 Versus...

October 2011....

February 2010 Versus October 2011...
Days after the flood...


See the red door in the back ground? This was February...

See the red door? This was today....

Praise to the Lord!!

Recent Praise the Lord moments!!!

  • Eveling was able to get a scholarship for her oldest daughter (Katy, who is 9-years-old). The scholarship pays for 2 meals a day at school!!
  • Kathy, a woman in the Mangoes, was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in her uterus. She received prayer the week before scheduled surgery to remove the tumor. When the doctors went in, the tumor had shrunk and was no longer cancerous!
  • Meyling was able to get all of her paperwork from Nicaragua. She and her boyfriend are getting married in December!!
  • We are having a triple wedding in December! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Egg-Free Pancakes

Ran out of eggs yesterday, but still wanted pancakes for breakfast. I love the internet. Found this YUMMY egg-free pancake recipe and gave it a try. SO worth it! The pancakes still came out light and fluffy. Enjoy!!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk*
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup melted butter*

*Vegan substitutes: Instead of milk, you can use soy milk, rice milk, almond milk or fruit juice. You can replace the melted butter with vegetable oil, coconut oil or vegetable shortening.

Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, oil and orange juice. Slowly add in the melted butter. Whisk dry and wet ingredients until just wet. Never over mix a pancake!!! Pour about 1/2 cup of batter onto a hot nonstick pan. Cook until you see a few bubbles rise to the surface and it's dry around the edges, then flip over to cook the other side until lightly browned. Serve with butter and maple syrup or whipped cream and fresh fruit.

Adapted from the blog Art of Dessert

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Quotes to Get One Thinking

  1. If you wait for perfect conditions you will never get anything done.
  2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.
  3. It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.
  4. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.
  5. Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.
  6. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
  7. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
  8. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.
  9. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
  10. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
  11. Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
  12. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
  13. Some days you're the piegon; some days you're the statue.
  14. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
  15. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.
  16. A closed mouth gathers no foot.
  17. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
  18. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.
  19. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.
  20. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Featured Profile: David

Name: David Antonio Jimenez
Birthday: February 4
Favorite color: Blue
Current favorite song: Someone Like You by Adele (he won't stop singing it in the house. Seriously)
Favorite food: Chicken with rice and beans...Mmmmm...Gallo pinto!!

What do you like best about yourself? My smile
What would you like to change about yourself? My cheeks. Because people always make fun of them!
If you could live any where, where would you live: In heaven. That would be so good to live there. Of course, I also like living in cities. I'm a pretty fashionable guy :)

How many siblings do you have? 1 older sister and a younger sister and little brother.
What is your favorite childhood memory? When I met my father for the first time. I was 15-years-old. He had left for the United States to work when I was like 10-yeares-old and I had never met him. He had to come back to Nicaragua for a blood test and some other things, so I got to meet him.
Would you like to see him again? Yes. He lives in New York now, about 15-20 minutes from New York City. I would like to see him again some day.

Where are you from? Tipitapa, Nicaragua originally, but from here in Anonos, too.
How did you end up here? My grandma lives here in Anonos. I have other family here, too. Aunts and cousins. Well, it's a really long story, but I moved here in 2003. At the time I was working for a dental office. I assisted a dentist by making porcelain teeth for people. Porcelain and metal teeth. I worked in that for 6 years. I moved back to Nicaragua in 2009 after I came home one night and some one had robbed my house. They took everything. All I had worked for was gone. So I moved back to Nicaragua and was there a year and 6 months. I came back to Costa Rica to do the discipleship training school (Vida 220) with DeLynn (another missionary here) up in Heredia (a town about a 2 hour bus journey from here...40 minutes by car). That's another story, too. I met DeLynn at the Vineyard in Escazu. He came to Nicaragua with the Anonos people on the missions trips they do and I met him there again. I talked with him and decided to come to Vida 220.

What made you decide to go to the discipleship school, Vida 220? It was an answer from God. So I was working with the church in Managua and in Tipitapa. I had prayed to God for a change. To do something different. I had felt like there was something different for me. I told my mom about it and 5 minutes later I got a call from Vida 220, the discipleship school saying they wanted me to come. And my mom looked at me and was like "God must love you a lot". It was such an answer to prayer.

When did you accept Jesus in your heart? When I was 10 years old.
Why? I was in a small group with other kids. The teacher asked if there was anyone who wanted to accept Jesus in their heart and I was like "ME!!". I was so happy. It was a first love and it was so good. I had a boldness from that moment. I started preaching in my community in Nicaragua at 12. The people were like, "What does that little kid know", but then I started talking with them and sharing the gospel and they were   like, "How can this little kid do this?" But they were amazed but it was only God. 

Do you think those same people are surprised at where you are now? Yeah. People live so differently there than here. They have dreams, but they back away from their dreams. They never expect me to be a leader so young. And to still be a leader.
Where do you think you would be right now if you didn't know God? In a very dark place. Some where really, really dark.

How has God changed your life through your year at Vida 220? It was a good process. Living with unfamiliar people, such different people, in community. We had to share everything. It was hard for me, especially not knowing very much English to start. Most of the classes were in English. So God really stretched my faith. For me it was an opportunity to be trained.
 What is your goal for 5 years from now? I have no idea! I am trying to live in the moment. Some times I think about that far ahead, where I will be, etc., but at the same time I can't think that far ahead. Whatever God wants from me!
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? An architect!
Would you still pursue that? Not now. Maybe something in dentistry, but not that.
What verse in the Bible really speaks to you? Revelations 3:20 "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me." We have a part. We have to open the door. He then comes in and eats with us at the table. It was the first verse I learned when I was 9-years-old and I memorized it.
What do you like about Los Anonos? Nothing. 
I don't like it. I want to see change. I don't like it now but God is doing great things here. I want change for the community. Prosperity for the people. Better things for them. A normal life. Normal things. For them to have food and jobs. For them to be able to work and provide for their families. To see addictions broken.
What would you change about Anonos right now? The pride. Change pride for humility. Open their hearts for God. 
What will you do to work toward this change? Pray. And be an example for the people.

If God would undeniably answer one of your prayers right now, what would it be? When I was little, I used to ask God if I go to sleep tonight, could I wake up in a normal house with normal family and wake up and say my life had all been a bad dream. I would ask him that. If all people could have united families, normal families with normal lives.