Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Refuge Team Has Arrived!!!

The Refuge team has arrived and has already settled in. They are joining the church tonight in a 6 hour prayer vigil!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy Birthday GTD!

Last week GTD celebrated it's 16th birthday here in Costa Rica before Doug flew home to Florida to run the summer Adventure Trips!  Together Laurie and the team of interns kept the surprise hidden from Doug and bought a cake from Musmani's to celebrate.  The night of the surprise Laurie asked Doug if he would share his testimony of how the ministry began, and so he did, and just when he said GTD would be celebrating 16 years of ministry this coming week a birthday cake complete with candles was presented to Doug.  Thanks Doug for following the dream God laid upon your heart so many years ago, it's because of your obedience to the Lord that so many lives have been impact for the Lord through GTD!  

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Here's the link about the body I found a couple of days ago. He was 18 years old and shot multiple times. His mom is deeply grieving. Sad story =(


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

FOUND A BODY TODAY (Tellico Plains, TN)

Murder in Tellico... While looking for some of our hiking gear we lost yesterday I made a grim discovery. I found the body of a young man (maybe in his lower 30's) who had been murdered in the last 14 hours. I was about 12 miles from cell phone range and I was by myself so I jogged back up the short trail and flagged down a car with a man and his young son. They stayed at the gravel parking lot near the body while I drove about 8 miles to the Ranger Station. I led the police officers back to the body. While I was away the man & his son found some gun shell casings about 30 feet from the body in the parking lot that may or may not be related to this incident. The officer said it's the first murder here in about 20-25 years. I stayed to give a report. The police dept, detectives, cheif of police, EMT's, National Forest Rangers, & T.B.I. (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation) were all there. All of our group was off on a seperate adventure and are all safe & sound. We were scheduled to leave tomorrow morning, but have decided to leave tonight instead. Please pray for the family of the man who was killed.


Thoughts From Kayleigh

Hey friends! It's Kayleigh blogging!
I  cannot believe I been here for 3 weeks already! It seems like just the other day I was getting settled in my room for the summer. We've had two groups so far and one more to go! It is unbelievable the work that God has done here, and the relationships we've been able to grow. Last week we went with the group to the inauguration of a new church that was planted in San Bernardo. The worship that night was incredible, and the freedom I felt in worshiping in anyway that I wanted. We were all dancing around and singing at the top of our lungs....the best we could anyway, considering it was all in Spanish. But it really didn't matter because we were all worshiping the same God! Our relationships with the people are becoming more and more rooted as brothers and sisters in Christ. One of the little girls here, Nicol, is always around and clinging onto us for love. Last night she was feeling upset and came and sat on my lap and cried for an hour. it felt so good to just hold her, and let her know that I loved her and that she was valued; and that Jesus loved her more than she could know. It makes me teary eyed thinking about it. 
Some of our other relationships, however, lean more on the lighthearted side. For example, this group of guys that we love came over last night, and we stayed up talking and cracking up until almost 12:30AM. My heart is so attached to the people here, I don't even want to think about leaving! This country is so peaceful and has been such a great place to come and let God speak to me. My thoughts are clear, and my heart has been opened up even more. I can't wait to see what He has planned for this next week and a half. He is so indescribably powerful and beautiful! 
I think it's safe to say I'll be back again next year!

Kayleigh Farris

Monday, June 25, 2012

Beat 'em & Feed 'em! (Transit Adventure Trip)

One of our mottos at GTD is "Beat 'em & Feed 'em". Basically we beat our participants with nonstop activity & feed them good hearty meals so they can keep on going. The Transit Adventure Trip has been going great! These kids can't get enough adventure!! They LOVE Baby Falls! All day long they have rode over, slid over, jumped off,  swam into, and soaked up every bit of this spectacular waterhole. It's been a nonstop blast. In the afternoon we took the group rock climbing on a very challenging rock face. They all worked hard & did great, but only 2 people made it to the top (Dave, one of the group leaders & George, one of the 12 year olds). In addition, Kevin & Dave have been doing an excellent job teaching the nightly Bible studies and conducting the morning devotions. I believe God is challenging both the kids & the dads =).

Pizzadillas for dinner followed by an outdoor movie... good times indeed!

Tomorrow we are going cliff jumping and rappelling =)

On a side note, the curse of GTD has struck again. This time Kevin Starner's vehicle broke down. He blew the clutch on his car. We are working on a solution.

More to come!! Thanks for the love & prayers =). God bless!

Back Home!

We have arrived safely back at he church, our temporary home safely!!
Laurie, Connor and Savannah

Waiting To Have Lunch

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Arrivals and Departures

This morning I left the church in Fortuna with the FPCDC team shortly after 5 to head to the airport in Alajuela.  Once we (Connor and myself) dropped them off at the airport we grabbed a bite to eat and waited to pick up Savannah.  We are now at a local hotel catching up on some well needed rest after eating some pizza and amazing desserts!  It's great to see Savannah again, this will be her 4th year here in Costa Rica...her 3rd time serving as an intern!  Praise God for all he has done this week and for all the safe travels!  The FPCDC has arrived safely at home.  I'm sure they'll have lots of stories to share with their family and friends.

Transit Goes Rafting!!

The Transit youth group is having a blast rafting the Ocoee River today!!

Adventure Update (Transit Adv Trip)

Quick Update: The crew arrived safely yesterday and quickly set-up camp. Afterwards Kevin took them to Baby Falls for a few hours of intense waterfall riding & cliff jumping. Last nights devos were led up by Dave as he spoke about encouragement (Heb 3:13). We had hot dogs & baked beans for dinner & an enjoyable time around the campfire roasting marshmallows. After devos this morning we had eggs, biscuits & gravy for breakfast... delicious!! Right now we are on our way to the Ocoee River to go white water rafting!! Check back in a few hours for another update =)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Door To Door

Check-in/OK message from GTD (GPS Alert) SPOT Messenger

GTD (GPS Alert)
GPS location Date/Time:06/23/2012 17:04:56 EDT

Message:Quick update from GTD: All's good! Everyone is safe & sound. Click on links to see our location. God bless =)

Click the link below to see where I am located.

If the above link does not work, try this link:,-84.12833&ll=35.32795,-84.12833&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

GTD (GPS Alert)

You have received this message because GTD (GPS Alert) has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Every day is an Adventure. Share Yours.

INTO THE WILD (Transit Adventure Trip)

This will probably be my only post of today. In a few miles I will be into the wild (no electricity, no cell phone service, etc). I'm in Tellico Plains, TN. The Transit Men & Boy's Adventure Trip begins at 2pm. They are bringing 23 guys including former GTD Retreat Director Kevin Starner. I can't wait to do this event with him! Today we will be setting up camp, getting oriented to our surroundings, & possibly swim at some local waterfalls. The weather is perfect! We are praying for this week to be spiritually impacting on all who attend. Keep checking back here for pics & updates. To God be the glory!! =)

Friday Photos

Thursday's Blog - From Lizzy

(A message to go along with all the photos from the yesterdays pictures!)

Thursday was an overall successful day.  We were all on a tight schedule due to confusion of time. Laurie thought that we had to be at the school at 11:30 (because of the language barrier) but Tolle corrected us saying that we had to be there at 10:30 for the morning session. We were not really prepared to perform in front of all the kids because we had not practiced our skits. When the time came to perform our “Everything” skit it was amazing. The kids had a blast laughing and screaming. The joy in their eyes was overwhelming to everyone. We made bracelets with them and explained who Christ was and what He meant in our lives. Every child was grateful and so energetic for Christ.
Later during the day we went over to the Rehab center to spend time with the men there. Every single one of them has changed their lives around. It is a huge encouragement to our group to see how happy and joyful their lives are now that they are drug free and have Christ in their life. When we arrived at the rehab center we all talked and got to know each other. Then we had a weightlifting competition to see how many reps a person can do. They all were all so caring to everyone. It was like a family being reunited for a family reunion again. They had smiles on their faces from ear to ear. We then left the rehab center and walked to a soccer field where we played a game of futbol. The game we played had such a positive vibe to it that none of us wanted to depart.
When we left the soccer field we went to the church down the block and ate homemade pizza and intermingled ourselves in with the men and shared our testimonies. The shine in their eyes brightened our day. It is definitely a tattoo on all of our hearts. They all have such a strong determination to change their ways and life style.  We do believe that no doubt that every single one of the men will say their farewells to the rehab center and walk in their own shoes with a new life ahead.
To sum it all up with a quote of the day…” It is all held together by love and passion.” Being stated in Hosea 11:8 “My heart is changed within me; all my compassion if aroused.”

Friday, June 22, 2012


Somehow I squuezed a 12 hr drive into 20 hrs... but I went the distance! I'm in Tellico Plains, TN looking fwd to the start of our adventure trip tmw afternoon with Kevin Starner and Transit Small Group!! Looking fwd to all that God is going to do this week!!! :) - Doug <><

Flat Tire #2

If you liked the first flat tire post then you're going to love the sequel. 45 minutes after I lost the tread on the left rear trailer tire the spare tire also lost its tread. I pulled off on the next exit & a local guy told me that there is a tire repair shop a mile away. When I got there I found a "Closed" sign and a note that said the shop won't be back open until Monday. The next closest tire repair shop is 10 miles away. That means I will need to disconnect the trailer, take off the bad tire, load both bad tires in the truck, and drive to the tire shop. LOL, half the adventure is getting to the adventure!! Our record is 3 flat tires within 24 hours. We did it in Costa Rica in 2005 and in Key West in the early 2000's. Will this be a record breaking trip??? Stay tuned =)

Flat Tire! (Adventure Program)

About 350 miles into my 600 mile journey to TN the tread tore away from one of my trailer tires. If you've followed our ministry through the years you know this is a very common occurance. Sometimes I think God really called me to the tire changing ministry - LOL! With 16 years of experience it only took a few minutes to swap out tires and get back on the road. Trekking towards Atlanta now =)

Please Pray

Please pray for our team today.  We are venturing out on prayer walks and doing door to door evangelism and prayer.  We seek wisdom, discernment and our hearts to be in tune with God's leading and prompting.  We pray we would not stand in the way of something God would desire to do through us.

Born To Be Wild ;)

Get your motor running,
Head out on the highway,
Looking for adventure,
In whatever comes our way,
Born to be wild...

Pulling an all-nighter...
Left Largo at 4am. Almost to GA!!
200 miles down; 400 more to go.

First Adventure Trip of 2012 starts tomorrow!! Hooking up with Kevin Starner & his youth group... can't wait!! =)

Doors Are Opening

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Thank you Lorena Arias Jiménez & family for the beautiful mug that you made for me just before I left!! I love it and I'm already using it!! I look forward to returning to Costa Rica in the near future to see my CR family =). Thank you for all you did for us!!!!! God bless you!! I love you guys!!! <><



Our new backpacking trekking poles have arrived!! We purchased 6 new pairs. We got a great deal on these Mountain Smith poles and we're excited to offer them for the use of our participants while hiking into the Grand Canyon in Sept!! Trekking poles take 15-25% of the pounding off of your knees & lower body. We are looking forward to going back to the Grand Canyon!!!

Packing For Adventure Trips

36 hrs ago I returned from an incredible month of mission trips in Costa Rica. In 16 hrs I will be driving all of our adventure equipment up to TN to kick of our summer Adventure Program. My parents & sister are helping me pack for the drive (including a ton of groceries from Sam's Club!).

Someone asked me if I'm happy to be back home. My honest answer is that I'm happy wherever I am... as long as I'm following on the heels of Christ =). Thank You Jesus for all you've done & all you're about to do!! Can't wait to be wherever I'm currently at!!

Connor & Sarah

Hola! Me Familia,

Today we started our day off with beans, rice, pineapple andpapaya. After breakfast we rode up the road for about ten minutes to an openpasture. We had an amazing guide by the name of Alfredo. An local In the landwith a lot of knowledge in cattle, volcanoes, and petroglyphs . We had a veryopen devotion on a beautiful hill overlooking a lake and mountain landscapes.We read in Genesis 1 where God created the world.

 After morningdevotion in the open pasture we went to a family’s house from the church. They taughtus how to grind coffee beans and then how they roast them. After roasting andgrinding the owner served us homemade coffee.

From her house we went with Mr. Alfredo to see his oxen. Heshowed us how he trains his oxen to obey and follow everything he said. We gotthe opportunity to ride his oxen around the field. There were a few children therethat we got to share the word of God with these young people.   Fromthere we went back to the church and had mashed potatoes with fish and salad.

After lunch we started getting ready for the carnival. Werewe, once again, got the opportunity to share God’s word with people of alldifferent ages. The children got to color, play soccer and have their facespainted.

 Whilethere we preformed our skits for the children. While they were funny, they alsogot the message of God across. A few of the people there decided for the firsttime that they would like to give themselves to God. And from there we prayedfor them. Maybe one day they will go out and make disciples that are willing tofollow God.

Morning Devos

The Lake

Enjoying Homemade Ice Cream From A Local Who Sells Food 
Out Of Her Home

Separating The Shells From The Beans

Albia Making Coffee The Old Fashion Way

Fresh Roasted and Fresh Brewed Coffee 

Pounding The Coffee Beans

The Petroglyph

The Oxen

Alfredo's Truck

Bracelet Making, Coloring, Face Painting and Bubbles

Sharing The Gospel