A Letter from Todd: Feelings of Home
One of the many things that brought anxiety before moving to a new country was being unsure if Jaco could ever feel like home. Most days leading up to our move we experienced the great excitement of a new calling and mission, but those sensations did not come without deep feelings of fear of the unknown. I’ve never stepped into a new season of life with a vision that seems so strongly clear yet foggy. We knew Jaco was the exact place we needed to be and we felt completely affirmed to step into new roles at Horizon Church. At the same time it was required for us to fully trust in the Lord to guide us when it came to raising support, finding a place to live, learning a language, building community, meeting kids in the youth group, teaching science at a school, and the list goes on.
Each day there is something new to learn, a new person to love, another opportunity to be stretched in order to grow. After two months it’s safe to say that we wouldn’t trade the risk that we took to move here for anything. This place is our home and I couldn’t see myself being anywhere else. We’re already seeing the fruit of walking daily with people in Jaco. It’s the fruit of trusting the Spirit to go and be present where He leads. It’s the fruit of having neighbors, families, couples and kids over for dinner or coffee. It’s the fruit of owning my inadequacy when stepping into a new culture and trying to speak a new language. Speaking another persons language shows you care. Even if you stumble through it and are corrected daily. It sometimes even frees me up to listen more and talk less. Listening more and asking questions is probably better anyway.
The Lord is doing something really big here and it's only the beginning. Because of your support, your prayer, your wisdom, we get an opportunity to invest in young people and families in Jaco – the Vegas of Costa Rica. We're some of the small handful of people doing this full-time in the whole country.
We get to be a part of leading an international youth ministry. That means our group is a beautiful mix of culture, language, class and stories. Besides the several Latin American countries that are represented we also have kids from Canada, the U.S., Europe, and Israel. Thirty to forty students are gathering with us weekly to spend time with friends, play games, worship, and dive into engaging conversation about faith, life and God. We even get to take a bus to their first retreat next month at a camp deep in the mountains. Spending time with these kids and hearing their stories is so life-giving. Although each kid is in a different season with their beliefs, they all share a genuine desire to know truth and to seek out life to the full. Their heart to serve this town is strong and I’m excited to encourage and build on that desire. Of course, there are many heartbreaking and discouraging things that we experience as youth leaders in this town but we know the Lord is present and he cares. I often remind myself of Jesus’ words to His disciples: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
The movement of God's Kingdom is happening in front of our very eyes. The Lord is our home and we are learning to walk deeper with Him daily as we accept His invitation to join in the movement.
We're so thankful for so many of you who have sacrificially given to this mission through your finances, time, prayer and energy. May we continue to see His face, feel His love, and experience His mercy daily, where ever our homes may be.