Sunday, August 5, 2012

Ministry Update

Below is the email we just recently sent out... for those of you who didn't get it, or were just dying to read all this news all over again :) If you aren't on our email list and want to be, let us know.  We don't email out that often, don't worry!

Dear friends and family –

Many of you have been following our blog ( and have read stories and seen pictures of our life here in Costa Rica.  (If you like hearing what’s going on with us more often, consider subscribing to the blog so you get it in your email inbox.  Just enter your email at the top where it says Follow By Email).  It’s been a while however since we’ve sent out a ministry update.  Here are a few highlights:

Analysis of the Abraham Project
·      Even though our primary focus this first year in Costa Rica has been adjusting to the culture and learning the language, we’ve also been getting to know the Abraham Project (AP) better in order to help it move into Phase II (If you don’t remember, Phase II is the plan to build four more children’s homes on the new property adjacent to the current Project.  It currently operates two homes).  Our main purpose in moving here was to do exactly this: to help the AP grow, to raise funds for the new homes, and to strengthen the AP’s long-term sustainability. But before being able to even start on these goals, we needed to really know and understand how the AP currently operates.
·      After several months of taking part in various meetings and many discussions with the current leaders and missionaries here on the ground, we did a deeper analysis and evaluation of the AP.  Specifically, we looked at the current organizational and leadership structure of the Project and whether it is prepared to move into Phase II and handle a 200% growth.  Our assessment included some potential weaknesses in the current organization and some suggestions to address these issues so that the AP can be successful for many years to come.  We presented this analysis to the leadership in late June.
·      The leadership reviewed our suggestions in July and we have a meeting on August 11th where several people invested in the Project will discuss how we successfully move forward into Phase II and how we become a stronger organization as a whole.
·      You can pray that this meeting goes well and that the leadership understands and is receptive to the necessary changes that we think need to happen in order to make the Project more sustainable into the future.  Change is always hard so we are praying for everyone involved, including ourselves, to be humble, open, and willing to hold things loosely.

·      In other news we hosted our second ‘team’ in July.  Really the team was Joe’s parents and one friend they brought from their church.  For a week, they worked on remounting all the windows on one of the houses at the Project, as well as replacing the rotten casings and painting the trim.
·      In mid-August, a big team of high school kids comes from First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue, the church Joe used to work for, to work at the AP.  It will be great to see several people we know and get to serve alongside of them.

Family News
·      Again, most of this is on the blog, but for those of you who haven’t seen it lately or at all, lots of family has visited us lately and we’ve been able to travel around beautiful Costa Rica with them.  Most recently we took Joe’s parents to see Volcán Arenal where we all really enjoyed the natural hot springs.  Joe and I celebrated our 11th anniversary at hot spring ‘spa’ while Kate hung out with her grandparents.  It was wonderful. 
·      We are continuing to pray about our future plans in regards to fertility.  It has been quite a journey of waiting, learning to be patient, trusting in God’s timing and plan in this process.  At this point, however, we don’t feel comfortable receiving any fertility treatment down here, so we are prayerfully considering going to the States for a time to receive treatment there.  You can pray for wisdom and discernment as we make some decisions in the next few months.  We’ll keep you posted!

Thank you to each one of you for your friendship, love, and support.  We could not be here without you.

Joe, Jennie, and Kate (and Fernando, our Latino cat)

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