Monday, February 15, 2016

San Jose, Stepping Out In Faith

Day 8:  Here we are on my first full Monday in Costa Rica.  It's either Monday or Tuesday that we visit The Farm.  The name fits on several levels.  It's a Christian drug and alcohol rehab.  It's growing spiritually whole men.  But they also have ducks that lay eggs, a vegetable garden, and their own chef.  That's part of the property, to the left. I thought I had a better angle at that table with the red tablecloth.  You can see the back end of one of the ducks.  He was one of the more interesting ones, with a bright red patch between his top bill and his head.

Keith started The Farm on a shoestring. And it's still run that way.  He takes donations, but he basically communicates the needs, then prays and trusts God for the results.  In that, Keith reminds me of George Mueller. There's a bakery that supplies them with day old bread, another shop that gives vegetables, and a fish shop that donates fish.  The men eat reasonably well.

The program includes working at the facility.  That may include repairs or building.  It also may include farm work.  There's plenty of Bible and there's lots of talk about sobriety.  And there's free time.  The program isn't pampering.  It's a well thought out, well rounded way of drawing the men to God, cleaning up their addictions, while preparing them to face real life again, without chemical crutches.  Our visits generally include helping Keith and doing one of the Bible devotional times.

This particular Monday, Dominick led the devotional, but had me share briefly.  I talked a little about God being the source of my own sobriety.  And we connected fairly well.

If you look at the illustration, it's pretty clear that it's outside San Jose, up in the hills.  And high enough that the clouds sometimes touch those hills.  It was probably my not asking enough of the right questions, but I mostly packed tee shirts and short sleeved shirts.  Although I had two long sleeved shirts, too.  It was suggested I bring something heavier because it was "cool" at The Farm. I had my lighter winter jacket.  So, against my better judgment, I wore it.  And discovered that the wind whipped right through it.  I had come from 30s and 40s (F) in Baltimore, where it worked well. And here I was in 50s (F) and feeling like I was freezing.  A lesson learned.

Day 9: Tuesday was a day for errands, chores, and rest.  I got to start my blog series about the trip. I prepared my devotional for Wednesday outreach.  I got to do laundry.  And I had some really good one on one time with God.

Day 10: The schedule was like the previous Wednesday.  There was the outreach meeting, where I gave the devotional, again.  I was with Pastor Mike for the outreach, again.  We, personally, had no salvations, but other groups did.  And we certainly left people with spiritual food for thought.  Then it was back to the church for a little fellowship and relaxation, then setting up for the fellowship supper and midweek service.

I know.  Tuesday and Wednesday sound kind of "same old, same old".  But they're not.  Remember that I had a long season where, with God's direction, my evangelism and discipleship efforts were very much directed through my blogging and my writing.  My physical issues weren't dealing with some of the outside temperatures as well as I'd like.  And my physical handicaps were acting up. So, I wrote, watched many services online, made church related calls from home.  I was happy, God was happy.

Then, I got the nudge from God.  Blogging and writing were good, but it was time to solve the physical problems.  God wanted me back in face to face evangelism and discipleship.  And that's what I wanted, too.  We'll discuss that in more personal detail, later in the series.

Psalm 119:133 (NKJV)  Direct my steps by Your word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me.

The point, here, is that the mundane is never really mundane when God is ordering your steps and you're joyfully allowing Him to direct your path.  And you experience a joy that's impossible to fake for others.  The temperatures in San Jose are compatible with my breathing problems, Which means I'm out doing more, instead of spending more time stuck in the house.  God is showing me some ways to possibly circumvent some of my walking issues, The people are open to listen to the Gospel.  We'll discuss that more, as we continue with the series.  Is God guiding you to some new changes?

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