So, Colleen and I have now been in Costa Rica for 10 months. Well, actually, nine. We took one of those months and invested it in Ecuador. We enjoyed Ecuador, the people, the prices, the beauty, but were eager to get back to Costa Rica. There is just something about this place that seems like "home," and it is a thrill to be surrounded, I mean 360 degrees, with National Geographic-esque beauty, 24/7, 365.
I do not have the words to describe how much fun retirement has been so far. The opportunities for service, fitness and spectacular beauty have been numerous. Three times per week I meet with a group of physical fitness enthusiasts for 75 minutes of exercise. It has been a wonderful privilege to participate in ministry at the Church of the Coast in Uvita. You know I am a dedicated Church of the Nazarene fan, but in the absence of a Nazarene church here, the Church of the Coast has been a wonderful alternative.
The "nature" side of Costa Rica has far exceeded my expectations. Something new every day. Wednesday night after church, on my way home, I happened to catch a "sparkle" in the darkness off to the side of the road. Wish you could have been with me. I stopped the car, turned off the lights and stepped out onto the road. It was one of the most amazing sights of my life. Surrounding me were many thousands of fireflys. Couldn't take a picture, because my flash would have overpowered the lightning bugs and because I didn't have a tripod with me.
We have made lots of new friends and are SO pleased with where God has placed us for this season. Last evening we were at a dinner for all the participants of our exercise class (Yoga). I looked around the room at all the people for whom I have prayed for at least 3 times per week. This is radically different from anything I have ever experienced. I sat next to the founder and CEO of Osa Mountain Village and as the evening evolved, the Lord clearly opened our conversation to spiritual things. A gay couple was there. My prayers for them are difficult for me. My personal convictions about that lifestyle/commitment is solid, but I have to tell you that I truly love them. Among other things, I have prayed for them, "Lord, I honestly do not know what to say here, but I know You love John and Brando and have a great plan for their lives."
Planting seeds. That's all. One of these days, God will bring the harvest.
We have 3 other Nazarene couples who are moving to this area within the next few months. I'm hoping we can plant a Nazarene church around here somewhere. Ministry to the locals and to the expats represents an amazing opportunity. Expats can finance the bulk of the ministry expenses and locals (Ticos) can connect us to the people, the culture and the land, and, they can teach us a great deal about how to be enthusiastic for God.
Feel free to be in touch if you have questions about Costa Rica or expat living. One "well-heeled" friend down here is working with some partners to provide people with an acre and a small home for between $70 & $90K. The development is in a GREAT location.
Just wanted to give you an update. Check out our (son, Josh and I) web site at www.osamountainproperties.com