Friday, July 26, 2013

The Banner has been created!

As one of the craft projects each child was given a square of white cotton fabric on which they were to create their own "reflection" of what they learned in bible study this week.  The women of the "sewing ministry" created the colorful panels onto which the "reflection" squares were sewn.  What's so neat is that each square has the child's name and their individual picture.  This will be hung on the wall of the church.  Isn't it beautiful.  This is just one set of panels - there are 16 in all.

the incredible leaders of Sunday school

These women have done an incredible job teaching the children the Word of God.  They are my heroes!

The winners are!

Here are some of the back packs won by the children for reciting their scripture verses.

Our work here is done - for now

The last day of our work but what a treasure.  Because Sonia is not here I had the pleasure of participating in the bible memorization challenge and it was such a blessing.  Pastor Pablo wanted us to focus on the younger children, so in the age group 1 - 11 we had about 70+ children.  Of those, about 37 asked to participate in the bible memorization.  There are 10 scripture verses, and some are very long!  I watched as children of all ages recited the scripture - from 1 verse to all 10!!!  The number of scriptures they recited determined the size of the prize.  What was so incredible is that the young man who recited all 10 verses completely accurately comes to the church and Sunday school by himself - his parents do not come.  But he has a heart of God and comes even without them.  Our God is so awesome!  The grand prizes are back packs that are filled with school supplies, shoes, clothes, toiletry items, toys (anything you donated!).  We could not accomplish this "backpack" ministry without the love and support of all those "missionaries" who stay behind to pray for us while we are on our trip.  Without your love and support we would not be able to do all that we do.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Even those who have little are giving of themselves

This is our friend, Christian, from the previous church of Pastor Carlos.  He is a very skilled craftsman and he has a heart for God.  Last year when he was out of work, he offered to come to the new church and help us work.  To do so, he has to ride several miles by bicycle to our hotel to catch the bus up the mountain to the new church, then reverse the process at the end of the day.  Last year he was robbed on his way home and they took the money we paid him for his labor.  This year he again was willing to come to help us, but he has a job helping rebuild the only hospital in the area which was severely damaged by the earthquake in September 2012.  It was so important to him that he got permission from his boss to come and help us.  So even someone like Christian, who has nothing, is giving of himself to help others.  It is this kind of Spirit that is alive in this community and we are blessed to be a part.

The pews are done!

The wood working crew finished the pews and they have been stained and ready for the next church service.

The children prepared their own "reflection"

of what the past week's lessons meant to them.  These will be sewn onto the panels that will decorate the walls of the church and which we will show you tomorrow.

Our work here is going great!

The work progresses (slowly now) on the tile in the sanctuary and most of the walls have had 2 coats of primer in preparation for the paint.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Special service today

We had a special service today with the dedication of a very special sewing machine for the church.  All the children prayed and Dr. Carbonelle sang a beautiful song.

The children are so creative!

We decorated the t shirts with the youngest children today.  They are so creative and they love using bright colors!

The tile in the sanctuary is making great progress

It's amazing to me how they are managing to lay tile while we walk all over it and paint primer all around them on the walls, but they do!

The walls are almost ready for the paint

This is the coat of primer.  Carlos is a wonderful member of the church and his wife, Johanna is one of my helpers with the children. He is being helped by Duane Searcy.

What an awesome day in the Kingdom

We had an incredible day today!  The walls inside the sanctuary are prepared to paint, the tile is being laid in the sanctuary and work is progressing very quickly.  We have the supplies we need and that makes a big difference in having work for so many willing hands!

Monday, July 22, 2013

The lessons we learn are passed down from one generation to another

Woodworking is a Skipper family tradition.  Jim passes his skill down to his granddaughter Nicole.

When it rains - move indoors

Katia leads today's lessons inside the sanctuary because of rain.  In spite of the noise of hammers, drills and saws, the children are paying attention to the scriptures.

Preparing the walls for paint

Inger, Tanner and Hunter, with the help of a church member, begin preparing the walls for paint.  Hunter and Tanner helped build the wall they are now getting ready to paint.

Creating colorful banners

We are creating colorful banners for the church.  On Wednesday, each child will create their own "reflection" of what the week's lessons have meant to them and their "square" will be added to the banner and hung in the church.

Sunday school room

Efren and Mark are almost done with the floor in the Sunday school room.  This is Mark's first trip with the Carpenters but he's a fast learner and a hard worker!

Work on Sanctuary

We began this building from the cornerstone up three years ago.  It now has a metal roof, a floor, glass in the windows, doors and electricity.  We are preparing to lay tile and paint the walls.

Work is progressing

Work at the church Miramar, Costa Rica is progressing faster than we expected.  The Sunday school room is almost completed, but we ran out of tile; the work has begun in the sanctuary with the tile there; the walls are almost  ready for paint!
Since we were here a year ago, they have put glass in the windows and put in the doors. 
We added about 20 new children to our original 58 children for bible study.  We planted seeds which represented the words of God to be nurtured and grow; and the older children made yarn crosses.
The people of the church are hard working people and sometimes there are more of them working than us!
Blessings to all back stateside who have helped make this mission possible!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

We begin to plant more seeds!

while one group studied bible lessons, the other group decorated their pots so that Monday they can plant their flowers and watch them grow.

This is VBS Costa Rica style

Katherine beings the bible lessons on Moses and the old testament

Building the pews for the church

The wood was waiting on us; Jim Skipper and his crew got right to work building pews!

Friday's work

We begin tile in the Sunday school rooms.

Seeds that were planted are growing!

We worshiped today with the people of Casa de Bendecion and what a blessing it was.  When was the last time you spent 2 hours in praise and worship, not worrying about beating the other people the restaurant for lunch?  Well we did and there was no complaining.  It was such a blessing to see the children we taught in Sunday school for almost 6 years now participating, leading and an integral part of the worship service.  One of the young ladies who often won the backpack for scripture memorization is now one of the children's leaders.  My children's leaders are still there and have a full class: Dunia, Vanessa, and Kimberly.  We saw so many familiar faces, it is incredible how many are still there and still spreading the word of God.  Gilbert, "Pigpen" to some,
was there to give everyone a hug.  His most treasured possession?  Pictures of him we took back in 2005 at Pastor Jose's church!  He's still carrying them with him.
It is such a blessing to see the seeds of God's word we planted over the years bearing such fruit.  The church is alive, the Holy Spirit is there with them and they are growing!  Praise God.

Worshiping God in another land

We had a very restful day yesterday on our day trip to Isla Tortuga by boat.  The water was refreshing and we had a great opportunity to get to know those missionaries whom we haven't met before.


We have several new members of our group – a man and his son from New York, who met us in Atlanta, and a lady from Quincy and her two granddaughters.  So it's nice to have new insight into our mission here and everyone is getting acquainted.


We will travel to Casa de Bendecion for Church service this morning.  This is Pastor Carlos' church we completed four years ago.  That area of Fray Casiano suffered damage from the earthquake in September 2012, which almost totally destroyed the only hospital in the area.  It will be good to see our old friends again!


Blessings to each of you.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Carpenters Spreading the Word of God in Costa Rica

We arrived safely at our destination Thursday after a long day of travel.  Hit the ground running Friday, started tile in the sewing room, begin preparing the sanctuary walls for painting, began building the pews and had 58 children in bible study.  Not a bad day's work for the Carpenters! 

Had a man who has worked at the hotel 3 years come into our reflection (evening bible study); said he had lost his way as a Christian but wanted to find his way back, and that he could tell we were Christians because we were so kind and friendly.  We prayed with him, gave him a bible, and are taking him to church with us tomorrow!  It was an awesome day in the kingdom!

Had one missionary who was a real "day tripper" and she took a hard tumble in the Atlanta airport.  She's a trooper and had the good Dr. Carbonelle by her side to provide immediate medical treatment.  One missionary thanked the breakfast server for his wonderful Columbian coffee.  We're not sure what trip he's on or where he thinks he is, but we'll keep you posted if he comes back to reality soon.

Love to all those whose donations have made this mission possible!