Saturday & Evening Gathering

Hello Everyone! God bless you this evening! I hope and pray all is SUPER-well with you all. Everything has been going great here, as usual. Praise God!

Today (Saturday, June 18th) was a relaxing day, as we were able to sleep in (we don´t have any excursions or overnight trips this weekend, and I decided to stay home with my tico family). Many other students decided to high tail it for the beach with each other, but I believe I´ll find more opportunities to speak Spanish and learn about Costa Rican and Latin culture here with the family. And so far, that´s what has been happening! :D

At around 1pm, I played soccer at an indoor soccer field in San Jose with Daniel and Mauricio (my two younger tico brothers) and a bunch of their friends. It was a blast! It thundered and poured down rain outside, making an awesome sound on the tin roof of the indoor court, pretty much the whole time. After that, Carolynne, James and I were driven half the way home by one of Daniel´s good friends, and the rest of the way by another friend of Daniel´s and Mauricio´s. At home, we ate lunch (spaghetti! Woo! lol) and then we took a nice, long nap.

Later, about 20 people from the Catholic church that most of the Martinez (my tico) Family attends came over to the house to have a pre-Father´s Day get together. The adults met in the living room for a while downstairs while I spent time with the kids (there were 4 of them: Julio [10], Ashley [12], Angie and Gina [twins, aged 6], and then a 19-year-old named Estefan). The adults talked about God and family matters.

As I was praying, I felt led to share Jesus with the children upstairs in the TV room, while Estefan was there. I had purposely put my salvation bracelet on as soon as I saw that there were kids tonight, right outside my bedroom door (my old bracelet had broken off). Using that bracelet, I shared Christ with them. Most of the children seemed to have already trust in Jesus as their Savior and Lord, but nevertheless, I made the Gospel very clear to them, so they understood, and then invited them to “do” Romans 10:9-10 and confess with their mouths, out loud, “Jesus is Lord!”, which they all did. Before that, I asked them all if they believed that Jesus is God´s Son, and that God raised him up from the dead, and they all said they did believe. Praise God Almighty!

For some reason I could tell that Estefan was not very interested, and like he had heard the Gospel before, many times, so I just focused on the kids, at first. Then, after they confessed Jesus as Lord, I prayed for them all, and they seemed so blessed afterward and all immediately became so talkative and open, which was a huge difference, compared to how they were when I started hanging out with them. Praise God! Then I gave them each their own salvation bracelet, and they were so happy. We talked and drew and colored for almost the entire rest of the evening.

While we were drawing and coloring, I heard Estefan (who was on the couch beside us) talking on his cell phone in Portuguese. When he was done, I began speaking to him in Portuguese, and he was surprised! Though he´s from Costa Rica, he really enjoys speaking Portuguese, which opened a door and broke the ice, and we talked about a variety of things. I found out that his family is very Catholic (as are all of the kid´s families), but he described himself as not really very Catholic, nor his brothers, and that they think differently and believe that one does not have to go to church and “do all these things” to “be a good person”. I listened intently and saw even more that he was not interested in knowing Jesus personally right now, but I still shared a little with him, while being sensitive, and just made friends. We exchanged email info to stay in light contact.

Towards the end of the evening tonight, I went downstairs after the adults had finished meeting and Rosibel (my tica Mom) told everyone that I could sing and play mandolin. Immediately some of the Moms said, in Spanish, “Oh! Please do! Come, sing one! Sing one!” so I ran and got my mandolin from upstairs, brought it downstairs and sang two songs for them in Spanish, which they seemed to really enjoy. Glory to God, always! For the next 15 minutes after that, they all wanted to take pictures with me, in both a group and some individually. It was so hilarious hearing all their jokes and comments during the picture taking, and their laughter was SO LOUD at times!!! Sometimes I felt like I was in a big, Greek family.

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