God is SO awesome! We have been so excited about what God has called us to do and even more excited that God has been showing up in powerful ways to the people He has called us to! We want to take a few moments to share a few of the testimonies that God has created since we have returned to Costa Rica!
First, we are officially on-board as 6:8 Ministries Staff!! Whooo-hoooo!!! We went through all of the necessary steps and interviews and now we are part of the amazing vision that God has given 6:8 Ministries! We are so excited that God would bring us to a place where He can use our gifting and talents for His glory! If you haven’t already, check out 6:8’s website here! http://68ministries.com/index.php
As most of you know, we were praying about a place to live. We were praying for a place that was secure, inexpensive, had an extra bedroom for friends and family, and that was furnished. Looking around the Alajuelita area, we soon discovered that there were not many options available that met our criteria. But God showed up on our behalf and we found a place to live! We are living in a 3 bedroom apartment within a gated community here in Alajuelita! Not only is it safe and spacious enough for guests, but it is also being rented to us for $300 cheaper than what they go for AND the apartment is furnished!! God is SO good to us!!
Since God has brought us to The Refuge we have seen Him do some amazing things in the lives of the men therein. After the first week of being open one of the men, Thomas, gave his life to the Lord! The men have been fighting their addictions to hard drugs and alcohol and they have been seeing God show up on their behalf!
Ali was our oldest man in the center. His family disowned him 7 years ago and cut him off from seeing his family due to his rampant alcoholism. After a few weeks of being in the center, God opened Ali’s eyes and started to call him out of his current situation. One evening Ali didn’t show up to the center. When Chichi asked him why he didn’t show up, Ali explained that he didn’t need The Refuge any more. Ali went on to explain that his family invited him back to live with them. Now Ali is holding down a job driving a taxi, he attends AA meetings, and now he comes to church on Sundays! This man’s biggest prayer was that God would reconcile him to his family. And now, God has answered Ali’s prayer! Is God amazing or what?!
When Ali left the center, we found another man that would take his bunk. His name is Roy. When we first found Roy a month ago, he was strung out on crack weeping to us that he wanted God to do something powerful in his life. Roy grew up in the church and he told us that he knew that his current condition wasn’t God’s fault but that it was his. He asked us to take him to a rehab center that day. We drove around to two separate rehab centers and both were at full capacity. We invited Roy to stay at The Refuge until he found another center that specialized in rehabilitation from drugs. Since Roy has been in The Refuge, he has taken this opportunity as one given to him by God. We gave him a small business loan of about $5 so that he could buy stickers to sell on the streets and in busses. He has taken that small amount of money and has started creating a flow of finances. When we first met Roy, he owned only what was on his back. Now, he is buying his own boots, pants, and shirts by selling small toys, candy, stickers, cologne, and other little things! His outlook on life and his perspective of his self-worth has drastically changed since he decided to let God have control in his life again! Yet another testimony in Roy’s life is that since he has been in the center (a month and 1 week) he has been clean from drugs and alcohol!!
We can’t help but to be excited over what God is doing in the Men’s center!!
The last testimony that we want to share involves a little elderly grandma by the name of Maria. A couple of weeks ago, we lead one of the teams that came down from the States to a nursing home to spend some time and love on the elderly therein. When we walked in we were greeted by many smiling faces. One of the ladies told us that there was another elderly woman who was sick in her room and needed prayer. Amanda went off to find the sick lady while I helped the team set up the table to do crafts with the residents of the nursing home. After the team was set up and doing the crafts, I went off to find where Amanda and the sick lady were at. I found her laying on a bed with a wet cloth on her forehead and Amanda sitting on the bed holding her hand. We found out that her name was Maria. We began praying over her. Maria was having a hard time getting comfortable and she appeared scared. She was telling us that her lips and her tongue were numb and that her fingers were losing their feeling and tingling. Roughly 20 minutes passed like this and there was no comfort to poor Maria. One of the nurses came by and was feeding Maria water by a spoon. Maria could barely drink the water given to her by a spoon because she was choking on it.
Maria, still squirming to get comfortable and explaining that she couldn’t feel her lips or tongue, told us that she had to use the bathroom. Amanda and I helped her up from both sides and slowly walked her to the restroom. Maria could barely walk because she was so weak. After she came out of the restroom, we help Maria back to her bed. She kept telling us that she was ready to go home to God. She felt that God was going to be taking her soon. Truthfully, I was beginning to believe that she might die right there in front of us too. We decided that it would be a good time to ask Maria if she knew Jesus Christ as lord. She explained to us that she did and that she wasn’t afraid to go. After that we prayed again over her body.
It was a gradual process of about 30 minutes, but slowly but surely Maria began to regain feeling in her lips and tongue. She began drinking water from a cup by herself without choking and even ate a piece of melon that the nurses gave to her. Shortly after sitting up in her bed, she stood up and began walking around. She was smiling and telling Amanda that maybe God was going to give her another day.
Both Amanda and I were so excited to see Maria get up like this! We seriously thought that she was going to die. But God had another plan and part of that plan included Maria coloring some pictures with us using Crayola Markers!
We are so honored to see God work the way He does! And we are so blessed to have such an amazing support base of friends and family who are standing behind us praying for us and supporting us financially! None of this would be possible without your support and prayers! Thank you for your obedience and for being co-laborers with us!