Posts

Hopeful Futures

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The day we dropped Obed off at Luz y Amor Recovery Center. After a wonderful visit from friends back home, we were encouraged by them to share the stories of those we serve here in Coopevega, Costa Rica.  Taking their advice, I will share three stories with you.  I am happy to introduce you to Daraci, Obed, and Luisa.  Daraci after her first week of attending High School. Daraci is a 14 year old girl who has the dream to be a doctor.  Last year her family moved out of town to work at a farm.  Daraci couldn't continue to go to school, because they lived too far away from the nearest high school.  A year later, their work at the farm ended, and they moved closer to town where they have family and better access to schools.  The beginning of the school year came and went and Daraci was still not in school.  When I inquired as to why not, I was given two reasons.  One reason was because they did not have the money to buy her school supplies or a uniform.  The second reason was because h

Grand Ideas for a Women's Retreat

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  Women's Retreat Ladies One of my favorite things to do as a missionary is to serve with other missionaries.  It sparks a fire within me, and my light shines a little brighter with the extra kindling.  Therefore, our recent women's retreat was a highlight of my mission experience.  It might not have played out as grand as I had first envisioned it to be, but it happened and it was blessed, thanks be to God and to the support of the other missionaries who helped.   Initially, I had grand ideas for a women's retreat here in Coopevega. Such as an overnight, providing childcare, offering massages, raising up local women to lead small groups, and asking local women to give testimonies. My hope was to invite everyone in Coopevega and the surrounding area.  The more I thought about my ideal retreat, the more discouraged I became.  I decided it wasn't possible, at least not for another three or so years. Once my Spanish is better, once I teach the women more about Jesus, once

Jesus is Born (by: Gemma Becker)

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  This Christmas was the first Christmas I can remember not spending in Minnesota. It was good to get a new perspective but also hard to see a culture where Christmas is not highly looked forward too and celebrated by everyone. For example, the store was open on Christmas Day and I doubt some people even knew it was Christmas, both facts that astonished me. This year instead of only celebrating as a family, we hosted a Christmas program for about 55 poor kids who might not have had any other party to look forward to. Every single family that we invited came. To be truthful, this makes me a little sad because when we invite them to Mass or something at the church the turn out is much, much worse. Sometimes their excuse for not coming is that it is too far to walk, but if they can walk miles to our house with all their kids to get some food and Christmas gifts then they can certainly walk miles to go to mass, a far greater gift than we could ever give them. Even so, I was glad they came

Building a Bike Track in a Cow Pasture

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  Local boys enjoying the track. There’s not much for the youth to do in our town.  There is a soccer field that’s occasionally used, but beyond that the main outdoor activity, at least for the boys, is to ride their bikes up and down the streets.  We started pondering how to help provide healthy outlets for the kids in town as well as our own kids.   In a particular way we wanted to help encourage our twelve-year-old son to get outside and burn off some energy.  That’s where the idea of building a bike course evolved.  How would we do this?  Where could we build it?  Our landlord has lots of connections in town, so we thought we’d start with him.  He liked the idea, and said he’d ask around.  A short time later he got back to us and said he’d found the spot for us to build the bike track.  I have to admit, when I first saw the land, I felt a bit discouraged.  It was very overgrown with trees, bushes, tall grass, brush everywhere and the other problem was that there were cows and a hor

La Iglesia Domestica (The Domestic Church)

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  Something important was missing.  Home after home, I could not find it- not a crucifix, not a cross, not an image of Jesus was to be found.   This is something we take so for granted, that every Christian home has some holy image on their wall.  Not here.  Thus, a ministry was born- installing prayer altars, teaching family prayer, promoting the Domestic Church.  Every family is called to be a place of prayer, service and love- a little church of the home. The pandemic challenged us to get creative in how we were going to minister to the people.  The church closed not allowing us to do any formal ministries there.  We decided that if we cannot invite them to church, then we will bring the church to them.  Poco-o-poco (little by little), we are hoping to visit the homes of those interested in learning how to pray as a family. The idea is not to try to evangelize the entire town all at once, but rather to focus in on a few families, teaching, mentoring, and discipling them into a life

A Glimpse into Our Life

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Aviana visiting her friend Juni where her family cares for a tilapia farm. All the girls love Gemma! She is full of fun ideas! Victoria is getting a new toilet.  Her old one is too far away, down a slippery  hill preventing her from getting there when it rains, at night, or when she is sick. Andrea is learning how to pray.  She is hoping that her son will help her practice the Our Father prayer. These three students are very motivated to learn English.  Alexander is hoping to get a job in tourism once he can speak English. 18 year old Cristian (on right), has suffered health issues his entire life. Thanks to Sister Ana, he will be able to receive catechism classes at his home and soon receive the Sacrament of Baptism! An interactive rosary is the best way for this group of kids to learn how to pray it. It is such a blessing to have other missionary families near by to share this crazy life with. It is always a joy to welcome a new baby into the world!  Mama Maricel was so grateful for

Welcome Visitors

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After a year in waiting, we have finally been able to welcome more visitors to Costa Rica!  We have been blessed with several so far and there are more to come.  We have a desire within us to share our life with others and to provide people with an experience of mission life.  We are renting a guest house right across from us that has been providing our guests a place to stay.  It is a simple home, yet clean and safe.  We have really enjoyed sharing prayer time, meals, times of recreation, service opportunities, and the joys and struggles of our life here in mission with others.  Rest, healing, service and Christian community are things we strive for our visitors to experience while they are here. "It was beautiful to be welcomed into the Becker family's daily prayer life and to see how they opened the door of their home and of their hearts to the families in Coopevega."  -Ellie My cousin, Ellie, spent two weeks with our family.  She shared a room with Gemma and really be