Monday, December 28, 2009

A Memorable Day

Today has been a memorable day in many ways. First of all, today is mine and Charlotte's 18th anniversary! We have had a great life together, and I am looking forward to many more wonderful years! I thank God for the wife He has given me!

Since my parents are here in Costa Rica with us, we all decided to go downtown today and show them the city of San Jose. To get the whole experience, we decided to ride the bus. Well, this turned out to be not such a wise choice, because as we were getting off the bus (at least we think this is where it happened), my dad was robbed by a pick pocket. His wallet was stolen with his credit cards and military ID, and by the time we were able to report it, almost $2000 had been charged on his credit cards. Fortunately, the credit card companies canceled the cards and my parents will not have to pay for the charges. However, I am sorry to say that we have now been affected by crime here in Costa Rica. We try to be very careful in everything we do, but still sometimes things do happen.

Later this afternoon, I learned something new that I am very excited about. I found out that today is "El Dia de Inocentes" - what we would call April Fools Day in the U.S. Those who know me, know that I love to play practical jokes and really look forward to April Fools Day every year. I am excited that now every year on December 28th, I will not only be celebrating my anniversary, but will get to play practical jokes on my friends and family! And what's more - now I have two days of the year to do it! I even managed to play a few jokes today on some of our fellow IMB language student missionaries!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Christmas from Costa Rica!

We have completed our orality training for this week. We studied intensely the book of Acts, and learned how to "tell" the book of Acts in story form. This approach is being used all over the world to tell the stories of the Bible - both from the Old and New Testament, and many are coming to the Lord. However, we want to be sure we are true to the scriptures and never add or take away.

We are now gearing up to celebrate Jesus' birthday! We pray that you are focusing on the true reason that we celebrate Christmas, and that you have a Feliz Navidad (Merry Christmas)!

We also want to thank you for your faithful giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Through this offering, we are able to be here in Costa Rica learning Spanish and ministering here, while preparing to go to Panama City, Panama next year to serve on the Urban Team. This offering allows over 5000 missionaries all over the world to serve through the International Mission Board. Many independent missionaries are forced to regularly leave the field to return to the states to raise support, but because of the giving of Southern Baptists, we are able to focus on the call God has placed on our lives. However, last year the the goal of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering was not met, and IMB has had to cut the number of missionaries they were able to send to the field. That means there are people who are called, but are not able to go at this time. It is our prayer that the goal will be met this year so that more missionaries can be sent out to tell the story of Jesus - because there are still so many who are untold, waiting to hear. If you haven't given, please consider giving to this offering through any local Southern Baptist Church.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Busy (but good) Week!!

We have been very busy over the past several weeks, and this past week has been an exceptionally busy week! We have now completed our second trimester of language school, which means that we are 2/3 of the way finished with language school! What a great feeling!!

We also had a visit from Charlotte's parents - Bob and June Martin! We had a great time showing them San Jose, taking them to our Spanish church, showing them the language school, introducing them to other missionaries, and we even took them on a short trip outside of San Jose to beautiful Manuel Antonio. I think they enjoyed seeing a little of what our lives are like here, and experiencing "life" in Costa Rica! They have now arrived safely back in the U.S. and are at home in Brewton, Alabama.

Now that we are finished with this trimester of language school, all IMB missionaries here in Costa Rica will be having a special conference on "Orality" - which means telling the Bible orally which is useful for sharing with people who do not read or have access to Bibles. This conference will be Monday through Friday of next week.

On Monday, my parents Zed and ReDel Cawthon will be arriving and will be spending Christmas with us. We are looking forward to their visit! It has been so nice to have family here since this will be the first Christmas of our lives to be outside of the U.S.