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You know you live in the tropics when: it rains cats and dogs for 5 days straight!
We have started another group in the “projects”. You may remember that Esteban’s (who recently moved in with us) mom received government housing. Hers is one of about 450 houses in the area and when we went to visit her after they moved in she and a few neighbors asked if we could start a group there so we started the next week! We had the first meeting at Julia’s house which is perfect as they have created a fenced and covered garage along the whole front of the property creating the largest outdoor space in the neighborhood. We pray that as we get to know the people of this area that God will have a transforming effect in these communities that are plagued by addiction, abuse and poverty.
Being and making disciples
We were blessed by the Costa Rican Free Methodist Seminary recently as we took five days of intensive classes covering theology, doctrine, church history and polity. Taught by the Superintendent Huiberth Zapata we were inspired to take what we learned and share it with our church on the beach by beginning our own membership classes. It is good to belong and it was good to be reminded of the rich and balanced history of the Free Methodist church.
Being a blessing to the community …. “for I was hungry and you gave me food…”
We are just coming out of five solid days of torrential rain causing flooding and landslides all over the country. We were safe and dry but the disasters were near at hand and Dennis and many volunteers from the church gave all they could to help lessen the suffering of those who lost everything. With 1000 people in shelters, 30 deaths in landslides and hundreds of houses flooded or completely washed away the recovery from this week of rain will take time and work. We are in the county of Parrita which was hit hard by flooding when the river overflowed its banks. With their houses underwater many people went to the refuges but many stayed near their homes and we were able to bless them with the canopy for shelter, food and dry clothes. Dennis took many trips to and from Esterillos to Parrita with supplies. He even brought some kids to stay with us. When the rain stopped we loaded about $1000 worth of basic food supplies into the car and took it to the remotest places that the Red Cross and other emergency agencies had not reached. We will continue to look for ways to bless these communities this week as people are able to assess the damage and see what needs they have.
Dependence on the Holy Spirit
As we come to a new year and many of you are reevaluating your giving for the coming year we ask that you will prayerfully consider supporting us in the coming years. At this point we are in the process of becoming extended term missionaries with Free Methodist World Missions. We will be extending our term as VISA missionaries so that we can continue the work here in Costa Rica as we prepare to switch over to long term status. This process does include some additional preparation, training and interviews to ensure our effectiveness on the field. If you would like to give a special gift toward these needs or to continue to support us you can continue to send checks designated to “Leon family-VISA” to the:
Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara
1435 Cliff Dr
Santa Barbara CA 93109
Selah almost drove Kyle crazy in these days of rain. With many days without electricity, phones and water, with nowhere to go she was very stir crazy!!! She is a strong willed monkey, climbing everything and pushing all boundaries to see how far she can get. She is so cute, very dramatic and at almost 18 months has quite a vocab: down (as in, “sit DOWN!!!”), ciao, agua, nigh-nigh, gracias, Elias, daddy, Anthony, mommy and a variety of animal noises.
Elias is finally better after two misdiagnosis of impetigo we payed out of pocket and took him to another doctor who said he had scabies which entities a completely different treatment. Although very contagious only Elias got it and he has now been scab free for 2 weeks. He cannot wait to get back to his kinder class, he has been sick or classes have been canceled from the rain since we returned from our trip to California. He is a question asking machine, and amazes us with his imagination and inventiveness. He kept us busy in the rain by handcuffing his feet together with real handcuffs that one of the boys had brought over but that they had no key for. Dennis took him to the police station and luckily the police could see it was just a curious five year old playing around and they were able to get them off of him. He would also like you all to know he has lost his first tooth!
Kyle almost went crazy being enclosed with the kids this last week! Lack of vitamin D maybe? Baking saved her through these rainy days and we ate delicious breads and cakes for dinner every night. She is looking forward to attending a new women’s bible study starting up in Esterillos soon. Keep your eyes peeled for a crazy California driver on the roads of Costa Rica as after a year and a half long process Kyle is a legal resident of Costa Rica with a driver’s license and all!
Dennis has been busy in the aid efforts and has been learning all about how to take care of our car. He has been so glad that we have the large 4×4 car that we have in this time of need and that we can be a blessing with the things God has blessed us with. Please pray for Dennis as he has a persistent cough that bothers him sometimes. He has also taken up watermelon farming with his brother in his “spare” time.
*a big thanks to Zane and Chelsea Wann for the gift of a camera that made the photos in this update possible.