"The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him."
- Psalm 28:7
Our adult leadership retreat with the Middle School Youth Group from Calvary Baptist Church of Clearwater was excellent. Today we awoke at 6.30am and started the day with individual devotions. Laurie made some kickin' pancakes to fuel our participants for a full day of activity. While I was setting up 8 checkpoints for our adventure race, Pastor Ron was playing a game called "Mafia" with the group while enjoying the campfire. A great discussion about accusing, lying, and judging (all of which are elements of playing Mafia) resulted. It was powerful! Afterwards the group covered several leadership lessons with Ron. We then broke the group into 3 equal teams and started the adventure race. Each group had to find all 8 chckpoints scattered throughout the forest and accommplish a different team task at each checkpoint. The group had a great time & made it back to the base camp just in time for an awesome pizzadilla lunch. The pizzadillas were a huge hit! Ron finished the retreat with one last leadership objective around the campfire. Afterward the group helped break down camp... they were so helpful!! Around 4pm we shared some hugs and waved goodbye. It was an excellent retreat with a wonderful group of Godly people!! Thank You Jesus for a great event!! =)
Our leadership retreat w/ Calvary Baptist Church of Clearwater's Middle School Youth Dept is off to a great start! This is a wonderful group of Christians who dedicate their time to helping young people grow in their walk with God. They are so much fun to be around =)
After setting up their tents we did an hour of team building followed by a delicious taco dinner. Pastor Ron spent an hour during the campfire concentrating on the continued growth & development of the youth group. We finished the night with some smores, a lot of laughing, and some great fellowship. We are getting up at 6:30am... so we are off to bed.
Nite, nite... God bless =)
We are in Land O'Lakes setting up the campsite for a retreat with Calvary Baptist Church of Clearwater. The adult leaders from the Middle School Youth Group along with Youth Pastor Ron Cooney are participating in a 24 hour leadership retreat. We are looking forward to all that God does this weekend =)
Praise the Lord, we have new tents!! These 12' x 12' mini-mansions sleep up to 8 people, but since we supply cots for each participant we can get up to 4 peeps per tent.
Coleman makes a decent quality tent. It's not top-of-the-line, but when you're housing hundreds of teenagers each year you want an affordable durable tent (with a good waranty). Our goal is to get 2 years of use from each tent. We were able to stretch the last set of tents to 3 years... but just barely.
We purchased 8 tents this month & hope to purchase another 8 before summer. We have enough cots & gear to accommodate around 70 people.
We praise God for this awesome blessing!! =)
Our time in Costa Rica is coming to an end on Tuesday. The last 2 days have been very special. Many pictures & stories coming soon... we are so tired tonight, but so happy to see all that God is doing =)
I will try to keep this short... so here are the bullet points:
- After painting yesterday we were invited to have lunch in the home of our amiga "Jadida"... Yummy, yummy in my tummy tummy ;)
- We then had a 2 hour meeting with Pastor Danilo & "Jami" (I don't know how to spell most Costa Rican's names - LOL!!) to plan out the next 8 mission trips as well as some long term planning.
- Then our new amigo Victor invited us to his house for his 4 year old daughter's birthday party. It was an honor to celebrate with her & her family!!
- We were then off to have dinner at the home of our "adopted son" (pretend adoption) "Jixon" along with his mom & step-dad. His mom made a great dinner of chicken, rice & beans, and pasta salad... delicious!!
- Laurie was up at 6am to go with Pastor Danilo, his wife, & our amiga "Jenni" to a youth camp discipleship leadership training.
- Toly & I (Doug) stayed in Fortuna and went to a work day at the government housing area named "Margarita". We worked along with church members & the rehab men to prepare Margarita's "community center" for a restoration project that will be overseen by Samaritan's Purse in a few weeks. Afterwards the rehab men cleaned up the kid's playground which has been run-down for years. I was so impressed with the rehab men!! They are my new friends... and new heroes =)
- My amigo Alfredo took Toly & I on an awesome adventure to see how coffee is made, how sugar is made, & to dump off about 30 bags of debris from the work project. He asked me to drive his truck... and I loved it (and every part of this adventure).
- Laurie & I went horseback riding with "Jixon" to a few waterfalls near the volcano to check it out for future groups!! I did this trek back in 2006, but Laurie never has. Loved it!- We then rushed to have dinner at the home of our cook & amiga - Lila!! Another wonderful meal by a wonderful woman!!
I wish I had time to share about each interaction and the many special moments God has blessed us with. We are blown away & humbled by all the doors that God is opening!! Until the next post, enjoy the following pics... Goodnight & God bless!! =)