Showing posts from April, 2012

One Penny at a Time

Support raising seems to be a very slow process. You make calls, leave messages, and wait for people to call you back. You send out emails and facebook messages while planning trips, and then you have to wait. How long do you wait before you can call again? How many emails can you send a person asking to get together before you're a nag? It's a waiting game.

However, little by little our monthly pledged support keeps rising. It's really encouraging that we're now a quarter of the way there! Jonathan wrote in our last newsletter a way YOU can help us raise the funds to get to Costa Rica by simply searching the internet. Every time you look something up online, one penny gets contributed to our fund by It doesn't sound like a lot, but we've effortlessly generated 50 cents ourselves in a couple of days. If we had more people, that 50 cents could turn into $20 a month and get us one step closer. If you follow these 4 steps, you'll be contributing…

An end to a season (literally)

For the past 4 semesters, Jonathan and I have managed Miami University's Youth Climbing Team (YCT). This is basically an after-school program where climbers, ranging from kindergarten to seniors in high school, come once a week to rock climb and learn new techniques. We've worked with over 50 different climbers over the past 2 years and have been impressed with their climbing ability... many of the climbers are better than the university students we also taught!

Today was my last day of coaching, and I must say that I am quite sad to be finished. It's one of those bitter sweet things. I'm sad to stop something I enjoyed so much, but I'm glad for it to be over because it means we're one step closer to going to Costa Rica (or really having more time to work to get there).

It wasn't until I had this job at the university that I realized how much I love teaching. I love the moment when students are able to reach a hold that they didn't think possible becau…


This is Patrick's new favorite word. Hands down. Any time he sees a ball, he exclaims with fresh delight in a high-pitched voice--"Ball! Ball! Ball!" We'll hand him the ball, and he'll toss it, and proceed to point--"Ball! Ball!" If possible, he is even more excited than before. He continues to get more and more excited as he plays with whatever ball he's got. He'll walk around holding the ball, going up to everyone in the room letting them know what he's got--"Ball!!"

But it doesn't stop there. Anything round is deserving of the exclamation: Ball!!! Whether it be a wheel, or a Frisbee, they're all balls. He'll stop whatever he's doing just to point and tell you that he sees a ball. Even if he's screaming and crying, balls get first priority. He'll stop, briefly compose himself--"Ball!"

But it doesn't even stop there. He'll spot a ball 50 yards away. It gets the same level of attention any …

Further Tales and Photos from Costa Rica: Campout

I wanted to tell everyone more about out time in Costa Rica--specifically about our time at La Cumbre with the Youth Group Campout.

On Saturday 3/31 we woke up early: Campout was today!! Students started arriving, and chaos promptly ensued. We loaded all the luggage into an oversized pickup, secured with a tarp, and without much hassle we were off to the IYG's bi-annual campout at the beautiful camp/retreat center, La Cumbre. We had around 80 campers and 10 adults!

We loaded in small buses and took off for camp! After a couple hours, we stopped for snacks at a local restaurant called "Chespirito's", a favorite stopping place for many headed to La Cumbre. Fifteen minutes down the road from Chespirito's, most of the kids got out of the buses. The long standing tradition is for them to hike the 7 km (about 4.3 mi) down the steep road, into the valley. At the bottom of the valley, La Cumbre sat serenely inviting the now-sore pilgrim to a hot most desired lunch. 

The …

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings... but all so much fun

Being back in Costa Rica was such a privilege. It was an honor to meet so many families who love the Lord and so many teens who desire to mature in their relationship with Christ. Plus, they were all really cool! I'm sure we'll talk about camp-out in another post, but I wanted to share about all the meetings we had with the families.

Between our last visit and this one, we've been able to have a meal with at least 15 different families who are a part of the AMCA youth group. It really helped me to see the broad range of students that fit under the description of "Third Culture Kids" (TCK). Many of the students were born, grew up, or have parents from countries outside of Costa Rica. It was so neat to see how each student feels at home in the youth group with others with similar backgrounds. In addition to meeting these families, we also had a parent's meeting. It was absolutely wonderful to meet even more of the parents of our future students. It was a neat …