Recap

21 Aug

Here is a video recap of my EMI internship.

Thank you for all of your faithful support. God Bless!

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Seasons

19 Jul

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: -Ecclesiastes 3:1

Exactly one week from today at approximately 8pm I will be stepping off the airplane into the Kansas City airport. The past six months have been rich with blessings from God. I feel both sad and excited to leave Costa Rica. I will mostly miss the people that I have shared this experience with. Yet, I am excited to return to the US and be reunited with family and friends.

Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes 3:1 express a simple yet profound truth of life. EVERYTHING on this earth has a time and a season.

I praise God for this time I have spent in Costa Rica. I thank Him for the relatioships that have grown. I praise Him for the activities and experiences I have had during this blessed season of my life.

Even if we try to hang on to a time or season of our lives, they will ALL eventually pass away.

I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. -Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

Yet, as Christians we can hang on to one thing.

I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. -Ecclesiastes 3:14

May we embrace our current season as a gift of God and may we praise God for the gift of His grace through which we can spend an eternal season with Him.

Cerro Chirripó

9 Jul

Last Thursday, 3 of the other interns I traveled to the small mountain town of San Gerardo located about 1mile above sea level. We spent the day Friday acclimating ourselves to the elevation and eating lots of pasta. Early Saturday morning we began a grueling 20kilometer hike to the summit of Cerro Chirripó. Located over 2 miles above sea level, Cerro Chirripó is the highest point in Costa Rica. (12,530ft)

The other intern and I set out on this trek seeking one last great adventure together before we departed Costa Rica. An adventure is exactly what we got.

As I meditate our longing for adventure a famous braveheart quote comes to mind.

As the princess pleads with him to ask for mercy and not face his excecution, William Wallace somberly exclaims,  ‘Every Man Dies; Not Every Man Really Lives. ‘

Every one of us has this desire to truly live. Our longing for a mountain adventure was the faint expression of this desire. But what does it mean to truly live?

If you ask 100 people you will most likely get 100 different answers. Some will sayto truly live you must have a successful carreer or great accomplishment. Others will say you must have lots of family and friends. A few may say truly living is traveling to experiencing new things and seeing the world. Whatever you or I say, however, falls far short of the Truth.

Jesus says, For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? -Matthew 16:25-26

Truly living is not found in things or pleasure or places or kids or experiences or friends or successes or spouses. All these things will satisfy us for a moment but, after we experience them, will leave us just as empty as before. It is only when we “lose our lives for Christ” that we begin to know what it means to truly live.

God has an amazing adventure planned uniqely for each one of us. We can easily become bored and unsatisfied because we are trying to “save our lives” by trying to find security or fulfillment in this world.

May we each Truly live by “losing our lives” to Gods good, perfect, and adventerous will.

Enjoy the following video of our adventure:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L51RvQNI44M

Host Family Appreciation

24 Jun

The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God. -Leviticus 19:34

The Tico family I have been living with for the past 5 months has been an example of this verse. A few weeks ago the other interns and I planned a ‘Host Family Appreciation Party.’ Activities included swimming, playing soccer, and launching water balloons at the interns. Here are a few pictures.

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After the fun and games, we ate lunch and each intern shared some words of appreciation with all of the EMI staff and host families.

As the grand finale we showed a music video the Interns and I made. Enjoy.

The Master Plan of Evangelism

15 Jun

A weekly part of my internship here in Costa Rica includes a  mentoring time with one of the EMI staff members. My mentor is Dan, a structural engineer that has been on staff here in the Latin American office for 3 years.

Dan and I just finished reading the book The Master Plan of Evangelism, by Robert E.Coleman. It is a great book that seeks to identify the principles behind the way Jesus did evangelism, whereas many other books on this subject tend to focus on particular methods or techniques of evangelism. The author does a good job of identifying Jesus’ principles and comes the ultimate conclusion that Jesus’ master plan of evangelism is disciples-making. 

Throughout the semester, Dan and I have been challenging ourselves to apply what we are learning to our lives. I have been going to the park weekly with one of the 5 other interns to have conversations with people about God.

A few weeks ago, Wesley and I met a guy named Orontes. Wesley and I were able to share the Gospel with him that day and since then Dan and I have been meeting with him weekly to study the Bible and teach him other important aspects of the Christian life. This is just one example of many lives that God is using us to touch here in Costa Rica. He has been teaching me a lot about his plan for building His church here on earth. His plan is to work through His children to train disciple-makers to reach the whole world.

Jesus said, “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come.” -Matthew 24:14

There is no question whether this promise will be fulfilled. Nothing can stop God’s plan to have the gospel preached throughout the whole world. God plan is to work through believers in Christ to make this promise a reality.

The question is are you joining Him?

Tamales

5 Jun

This past week I had the opportunity to really bond with my host family as well as more deeply experience Latin American culture by making ‘Tamales.’

We made over 120!

Tamales are a traditional Latin American dish made of ‘masa,’ (a starchy dough), in our case potatoes, which is steamed or boiled in a  banana leaf wrapping. The wrapping is discarded before eating. Tamales can be further filled with meats, cheeses, vegetables, chili’sor any preparation according to taste, and both the filling and the cooking liquid may be seasoned.

They are delicious!

Since we are on the topic of food, I would like to share a short story Josh, one of the EMI staff shared with our Bible study group a few weeks ago. 

‘Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

Boiling in water.

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. -John 20:1-8

Why did Jesus fold the napkin?

The Gospel of John (20:7) tells us that burial cloth, which was
placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like
the grave clothes. The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us
that the napkin was neatly folded, and separate from the linen strips.

Ready to eat.

In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin,
you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of
that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and
Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition.

When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made
sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it. The
table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait,
just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and
the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master
was finished. Now if the master was done eating, he would rise
from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his
beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table.
The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those
days, the wadded napkin meant, ‘I’m done’. But if the master
got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it
beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table,
because……….

The folded napkin meant, ‘I’m coming back!’

“For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” -Matthew 24:27

“So also Christ died only once as an offering for the sins of many people; and He will come again, but not to deal again with our sins. This time He will come bringing salvation to all those who are eagerly and patiently waiting for Him.” -Hebrews 9:28

Does Christ know me?

26 May

We are officially in the final 10weeks of my internship here in Costa Rica. Time seems to go by more quickly everyday. Out project is going well. We are wrapping up the architectural portion of the construction documents this month. We will have plenty to keep us busy over the next 2 months to finish the 2 complete sets of construction documents in the by the end of July. As a part of every EMI project, the interns get the opportunity to create a project poster to hang on the wall in our office to remember the work that was done. Below is our project poster.

I listened to a sermon this week about Matthew 7:21-23: 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

This verse declares the sobering reality that not everyone who is religious will be going to heaven. The fact that we go to church every Sunday, put money in the offering plate, prayed a prayer at a revival meeting one time doesn’t mean we have a real relationship with Jesus Christ. The scary thing about this verse is that many Americans claim to be Christian, say Jesus died for their sins, but then their lives and actions look just like those who don’t go to church or claim to be Christians. This verse tells us that it is not enough to know about Jesus Christ and what he did on the cross. Being a Christian involves complete surrender and submission to Christ in EVERY area of life. Christ does not sit in the passenger seat while we drive our lives. When we become a Christian we give Him the keys and get in the back seat.

A modern day example of what Jesus is saying in this verse would be if we were standing outside the White House saying to the guard, “I know the president, I’ve seen him on TV, written him letters, and been to a speech of his, let me in, I know him.” The guard would probably threaten to arrest you and tell you to go away. Unless, at that moment, the president came out and said to the guard “I know him, let him in” only then would we be allowed in. If this is true for the president of the United States, how much more would it be true for the president of the Universe?!

At this point we should take Paul’s advice to: 5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 2 Corinthians 13:5

We must ask ourselves. Do I trust Christ with the car keys of my life? How does my life reflect my relationship with him? What part of my life have I not surrendered to Christ? What is Christ currently teaching me?