Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 4 living in Costa Rica

(Tuesday August 23rd, 2011)

I usually wake up early because it is light out about 5:30am. The sun goes down each day at the same time around 7:00pm and it has been down-pouring rain every day about 1:30 so if you don't get up early then you can't get much done. After I study I have been taking a walk or run around town to try and figure out where different stores that we can buy what we need are as well as meet people in the neighborhood so I can practice my Spanish and share the gospel.

I am starting to get a feel for a mile or so around our house. I met a man named Victor yesterday who has a daughter in the States. He said that if I stopped by each day, he would help me with my Spanish. This is a great way to learn the language and share the gospel. Everything is very expensive here so finding the best places to buy things is key. I found a hardware store and to buy a standard shop vac it was anywhere from $160-$400. We don't need one but it gives you and idea of how highly priced things are.

After lunch I went over to Killillay's with Emmy. They arrived last night late. Jason Maynard, who a student at the school and has been here for about 8 months, took us shopping for supplies. I found Kim liquid creamer for her coffee, which you normally can't find anywhere in the city, so she was very happy.

Kim is getting the house cleaned up and turning it into a home and she is doing a great job at it. She is adjusting very well to the culture and conditions. The kids are also adjusting well. For some reason we have free cable TV, which is mostly Spanish speaking channels but there are a few English channels. Guess which one's the kids pick. Although I think Emmy watched Strawberry shortcake in Spanish the other day.

We walk everywhere, which I like a lot. You can take a taxi or bus but I haven't figured out the bus system yet and my Spanish is too shaky to direct a taxi to our house with no address. It takes a lot of time to get things done here. Here is a comparison with life in Costa Rica vs. the States as far as something simple like getting supplies.

The States:

Leave the house in your car to run your errands. Stop by a store and load up your supplies. Drive to the next store and do the same for the next 6 stores. Stop at a convenient drive through coffee shop to get a coffee to sustain you. Complain about the little traffic and the cost of your many options of stores and supplies. Drive home in peace as you look at the beautiful scenery of Montana where there are more cows than people.

Costa Rica:

Leave the house early by foot before the torrential down-pours come in the afternoon. Go to the grocery store where you can only get food and usually in a brand that you never heard of. Only buy what you can carry back to your house. Try to calculate how much you would be paying in dollars rather than colones to see if you are getting ripped off. When you realize that you just paid $7 for a small bag of potato chips, you learn that you did actually get ripped off. Walk back to your house while dodging fast cars who don't mind if they run you over, open man-hole covers to the sewers, people, and many other obstacles. Get through your bolted security gate with two locks and razor wire with your few bags of groceries. It's about time for lunch now so you stop and eat. After lunch you must walk to the bank to get more cash from the ATM and then on to the next store. Walk a mile to the hardware store or the store where you can buy a shower curtain (which is not easy to find one), buy your supplies and then walk back to your house. As you are walking home the 1:30 torrential down-pour hits and you realize you forgot the umbrella so you seek shelter. You then realize that the rain is not going to stop for a while so you just run through the rain to your house. Get through the security gate and you arrive home just in time for dinner at sundown. You wonder where the day went.

That is just a funny example but despite the many adjustments to life, we love it here because we are in the center of God's will and are very privileged to be serving Him for His glory and the advancement of the Kingdom of Christ. I did get to share the gospel with a guy selling lottery tickets on the street and the girl who was billing us for the internet we are supposed to be getting.

All is going great. Thank you all for your prayers and support. If anyone would like to come visit us just let us know and we can arrange it.

Para la fama de Su nombre

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 3 living in Costa Rica

(Monday August 22)

I got up early today and studied and then went on a run. Running here is very difficult but not because of the climate but because of the obstacles. I spend most of my time dodging traffic on the busy streets or dodging gringo traps in the road or the many tore up sidewalks. I ran down about a mile and found a park so I ran up to a little lookout and found some guy up there. We got to talking (I say talking loosely because my Spanish is bad) and it turns out that he wants to learn English and I want to learn Spanish. I followed him to his house and it turns out that he owns a beauty salon which is weird. The guy is a little fruity but he is an agnostic and he needs to understand the gospel. I met his sister who is a “Christian” that goes to the Nazarene church in my neighborhood. We are going to meet every Wednesday at the park to teach each other. I will just keep on explaining the gospel to him until God saves him or he leaves.

The whole family walked a mile or so to McDonald’s today. They have a coffee shop in it and also WiFi so we brought our ipods so we could check in with folks back home for the first time. Like everything else, McDonald’s is also very expensive but it tastes the same as back home with a few twists and specialties. We walked back up the street towards our house and stopped by the supermercado to get a few groceries and then walked home.

The weather around here is pretty predictable so far. It is always sunny in the morning and then becomes a little windy in the afternoon and then about 1 or 2 it pours down buckets for a while and then stops. Walking around here I see that they can grow anything here so I am going to buy a few pots and dirt and grow some tomatoes. I don't like to eat them but my wife does and I like to grow them.

I spent the rest of the evening trying to seal up the termites in our ceiling. We continue to fight ants and more cockroaches.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A few funny things in Latin America

Costa Rica is very different than America but similar to many Latin American countries. A few funny things that we have noticed are:

The shower: The shower in our house is not connected to the hot water tank. Instead, it has a water heater built into the shower head. What powers the shower head is a couple wires at 240 volts. So you are standing in flowing and splashing water with 220 volts a few inches from your head.

Man holes: So for some reason people steal the man hole covers around town. So you are walking around and there will be a big open man hole that if you are not paying attention you will drop about 5 feet into the sewer. They call them gringo traps and you can figure out why.

Street Addresses: There are none. I had to call and get internet and the way that you have to tell them how to get to your house is to say: Go to San Francisco de dos Rios then take a left at the school and follow the street to the green house with the tree in front that is not there anymore, then look behind the house and you will see a blue house and that is mine. That is my address.

Paying bills: Your bills (Electric, water, sewer, phone, internet, etc) sometimes come in the mail and sometimes they don't make it because there is no addresses which confuses the bill guys, who are not mail men but work for the company that is billing you. If they don't make it and you don't pay the bill then they shut off their service to you instantly. Many people get there water shut off without notice. If you get the bill then you go to the supermarket to pay all of your bills. You hand the bill to the clerk at the check out counter, he looks it up and tells you what you owe, you pay in colones and your bill is paid.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Arriving in Costa Rica

Arriving in Costa Rica
(Saturday August 20th, 2011)

We still don't have internet so I'm borrowing Killillays.

The travel from Denver to Costa Rica went very well. We had no problems with overweight luggage or anything else. We got on the plane and had good flights with a good lay-over. I shared the gospel with the girl that sat next to Chase and I on the flight to from Huston to Costa Rica. She was a pagan but we had her pinned in by the window and she couldn't escape. She did actually say that it made a lot of sense the way I explained it. We arrived in Costa Rica about 9pm. We went through immigration and they never asked for our ticket out of the country. You can't have a one way ticket into Costa Rica so you have to have proof that you will leave in 90 days. We had bus tickets to Panama but don't intend on using them. We will get student visas while we are here. After immigration we went to baggage and actually got all of our bags. We then moved through customs and sent 15 bags through and they actually never even checked on of them. This is great because they could have opened and went through all of our bags and made us pay a tax on items we brought in. 
Our “Big Brother,” Mike had a van waiting to pick us up at the airport. The blast of humidity and heat when we hit outside was unexpected. They took us to our house and dropped us off. The house needed to be heavily cleaned but we were very tired so we just crashed. We basically had nothing in the house so we just slept on top of the beds with a few covers.
I woke up in the morning to a pile of stuff that looked like yeast on my side of the bed. Kim was certain that a bug of some sort laid a whole bunch of eggs on our bed and on me during the night. It was actually the termites that were eating the ceiling and spitting out saw dust on us. 
We also discovered that it is standard here to have little ants that take over parts of your house. We have a friendly community of ants in our pantry and kitchen and just about everywhere else. If you leave food out on the counter for more than a few minutes, they move in and devour it. Apparently this is just something you deal with.
Kim also found a huge cockroach in the laundry room. We are from Montana and have never seen a cockroach so we were grossed out. Those things are huge down here. For our fellow Montanan's, they are like the biggest pine beetle that you ever saw. Apparently a cockroach every once and a while is not a cockroach problems. I guess the people before us had them by the hundreds when they moved in. 

Because we moved into a house that pretty much had nothing, we had to go buy everything like bedding, pillows, towels, bathroom and kitchen supplies, pans, a coffee pot (which was the most important, we went without coffee the first day and started going through withdrawals), cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, and everything else that you can think of. Mike took us to a Wallmart which was great but it is opposite of the States as far as price. We go to Wallmart in the States because it is cheap but down here it is very expensive. Anything that is plastic, electronic, or American is twice as much as we are used to. There was a standard Rubber made garbage can there for $80. I never bought it but I did buy the cheapest coffee pot there and it was $40. I did buy Emmy a blow up swimming pool so she can play and cool off and she was very excited about it and plays in it everyday. We spend about $550 and got nothing. We also found a supermarket at our house but food is also very expensive. Money does not go far down here and I can see that we are going to have to be very thrifty to survive.
I tried to share the gospel with a guy on the street but I found out he was drunk so I gave him a tract and told him to read it tomorrow. I am running out of tracts and I need more very bad so if anyone can send me some I will let you know which ones and where to send them. Gracias.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Goodbye USA, friends, family, and great churches

I thought I would give a quick update before we fly to Costa Rica tomorrow.  We may not have access to communication for a while once we get there.  We need to get Internet and phones when we get there and I have no idea how long that will take.  So if you don't here from us for a while you will know why.  We will update our contact information on this blog under the "contact" tab when we get it. 

We said all of our goodbye's and and left my parents house at 5am with our heavily loaded car to drive to Denver, which is where we fly out of.  We had a great trip.  We stopped at John Wallace's church/coffee shop to get a boost.  John and his family met us there at 7:30am to buy us breakfast and coffee, visit and pray one more time.  It was a great morning.  We had a minor detour when we never turned of the interstate and ended up in Gillette.  We had to take a secondary highway for 150 miles to get back on track.  It never wasted too much time and we got to see a new part of Wyoming, which looked like the rest of Wyoming:  flat, windy, dry and sagebrush. 

We got into Denver late and met Mr. Killillay who guided us through the city.  If it was not for Killillay we would probably still be looking for the hotel.  Killillay is an excellent driver in a big city and I am going to insist that Killillay gets his Peruvian drivers license right away so he can shuttle us around the country. 

We have a day to get organized and relax before we leave our great country on Saturday at noon.  We thank God for this privilege and for all of you that are staying home and holding the rope for us.  The thought of leaving our country to live forever in countries that are so different, with a different language and culture, where we are now the foreigners, is a humbling thought.  We are first comforted and enabled to do this by our Sovereign God who ordained all of this.  We are upheld by Jesus Christ every second and are ensured that He will never leave us or forsake us.  Finally we are encouraged and take comfort knowing that we have so many good people that are also sacrificing, praying and supporting us back home.  Thanks everyone.  Que Dios te bendiga.

Levi, Carol, Craig, Emmy, Chase, Raegan
Kim's Grandparents:  Betty and Dale
Levi, baby Lauren, Corbin, Emmy, Lindsay, Raegan, Chase
My Parents:  Lynn and Dennis

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A few more days to Costa Rica

A few more days of travel and we will be in Costa Rica!  We have been saying some sad goodbye's lately but Jesus is worth it.  We are going to miss so many people.  We thank God for the great family and friends that He put in our life.  We thank so many of you individuals and churches that are holding the rope for us so that we can go down into the well. 
Many people have been asking about our new mailing address and how you can send us things in Costa Rica so here is some information. 

Costa Rica mailing address:

Scott Doherty
Instituto de Lengua Española
Apartado 100 - 2350
San José, Costa Rica

Sending things by mail to Costa Rica:

Everything mailed to Cost Rica, except books, is subject to duty. Getting packages can be a time consuming process if they are stopped by customs officials. Sometimes packages arrive without a problem, other times I will have to go to the post office and pay a customs charge. In general, it would be OK to send small, inexpensive items, but not electronics or other high priced items. (Also, clothes, even used, are often charged a high duty)

***PACKAGES: We recommend that you not send packages via Fed Ex. it is very expensive for you to send, and it is expensive and time consuming for me to receive the package here in Costa Rica. They are requiring students to go through a lot of "red tap" in order to receive the item, and I will have to pay extra handling fees on this end. It is much better to send it through normal postal services.

Some of you have asked about how to send the kids money or presents on their birthday's and Christmas.  We can't really accumulate anything in Costa Rica because we will still have to get all our stuff to Peru and there is luggage restrictions for the airplane.  It would be better to give money to them if you must give them something.  The best way to do this is to contact me by email and then I will give you our account number at Wells Fargo and you can deposit it at any branch.  I can then take out the money here in Costa Rica with my ATM card.

If anyone has any questions just let me know.  Thanks everyone.  May Jesus Christ be the center of our lives and we live in a way pleasing to Him for His glory.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

July Newsletter

Unless there is the element of extreme risk in our exploits for God, there is no need for faith.”
Hudson Taylor, 1832-1905, China

First of all, thank you all for holding the rope for us, you know who you are. Thank you for your sacrifice so we can give our lives for the advancement of the kingdom of Christ in Peru. As we spend our last few weeks in the United States we realize how fast things are coming, how much we will miss our family and friends and yet we are so excited to move to Costa Rica for language school. We want to thank all of you that God has raised up for His glory to supply our needs physically and prayerfully.
We started this month by getting our house reserved in Costa Rica that we will rent while at school. It is a simple house and will be very good for our family, at least we think from the pictures. It is very blue and we should be able to see it from at least a mile away. This will help the kids from getting lost. 
I'm loving that my job in the world is done, although I loved it, because working full time for God in the ministry is an undeserved blessing that I have received. I spend my days during the week at the church studying the Scriptures, reading, learning Spanish, praying, visiting people in the community, preparing for sermons, sharing the gospel and keeping up on correspondence. What a privilege to spend my day serving my Master.
We took a bunch of kids up in the wilderness to teach them about Christ during our annual wilderness trip for our church. I started this ministry in 2007 and have loved every trip. I look forward to doing something similar in Peru if possible. 
I preached on July 10th in Shelby, MT at pastor Paul Lackey's church. We drove up on Saturday and had some great fellowship with Paul's family. It is so great that God has put such great men of God and churches in our path to support, pray for, and encourage us. 
We thank God for our Health. Kim had been sick for over a month and when she finally went to the doctor we found out that she needed her gal bladder removed. We thank God that He revealed this before we left the country. She had here gal bladder removed on July 13th with no problems. This was an answer to prayer because we needed to get it done while we still had insurance, before we left the country, and laproscopically so she could recover quick. God answered all our prayers specifically and all the glory goes to Him. God has confirmed our calling to Peru in so many ways, from removing insurmountable obstacles like they were nothing to opening so many doors that we could not have imagined, to providing for all of our spiritual, physical and financial needs. Our God is so mighty and Sovereign and He still answers prayers. Step out in faith and trust Him for everything and He will show you His glory!
On July 17th, we traveled to Big Timber, MT to preach at John Wallace's church/coffee shop. It was such a joy to preach to a great flock. I spent the next day with John and we had great conversations, drank too much coffee, were able to share the gospel with different people, even a guy from Ecuador, and were able to encourage others that God put in our path.
I drove to Sidney, MT on the 19th to meet up with Jordan Hall and his outstanding church. It was such a pleasure to be around so many that actually get it and are living for Christ. God is working in so many amazing ways here that it is almost unheard of. God is building His church in Sidney. God is using Fellowship Baptist church to minister to the people in Sidney, plant new churches in North Dakota, and support missionaries like us and others to the ends of the earth. The more this church selflessly pursues Christ and the advancement of His Kingdom, the more God blesses them almost to the point where Jordan is fearful.
In the week that I was in Sidney, I saw God work in such a powerful way. You could say that a literal revival is being poured out by God. The lives of several people were radically changed as they burned all of their worldly pursuits and turned to pursue Christ and His Kingdom with everything they have. I saw a biblical church be brought together and built by God, apart from means, in one week. God brought several families from all parts of the country to an oil field in North Dakota who are already reformed, discipled and mature believers that have sound doctrine for the purpose of advancing the Kingdom of Christ. I saw a young man and woman change all of their plans and make arrangements to move to Costa Rica to go to language school in January for the purpose of learning Spanish to come back to their church in Sidney to start a Spanish ministry to the many Spanish people arriving to the oil field. I saw a man trust in God and give his entire business to Him. God pressed it upon him to use all the money from his company to send missionaries into the field and advance the Kingdom of Christ. He turned in radical obedience and has never had more joy in his life. I saw many Mexican workers being broken and convicted over sin and develop a thirst for knowing who God is. These events were things that I have only read about. I sit in amazement.
I preached on July 24th in Circle, MT at Mike Bartelson's church. It went very well and I met a great group of people there. I also saw God raise up one man to supply almost all of my friend and partner, Tim Killillay. God is so glorious in provision and does it in a way that He alone can get glory.
We are ready to leave now and we don't have any material things left besides the stuff we are taking with us. We mailed some of the kid's school books to a guy in Costa Rica. It cost a lot just to send three small boxes. They got held in customs and they wouldn't let them out until we paid a large fee.

The month of August starts language school and a new routine. While at Costa Rica I'm resolved to:

  1. Resolved to learn the language
  2. Resolved to do street evangelism
  3. Resolved to interact with the culture daily
  4. Resolved to work with churches in the ministry, teaching, preaching or evangelism
  5. Resolved to work with a church that is 45 minutes from the school who print and distribute reformed literature in Spanish throughout Latin America
  6. Resolved to write and translate our church documents.
  7. Resolved to translate a catechism that we will use in our Peruvian churches
  8. Resolved not to get caught up in recreation or tourist activities, but to advance the Kingdom of Jesus Christ through the preaching of the gospel.
  9. Resolved to be alone with God.