Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Questions about care packages

Apparently there was a bit of confusion concerning care packages so I will try and help remedy the confusion.  People have asked if they can send care packages to us and the answer is yes. We have found the mail very reliable. Packages take anywhere from 5 to 21 days to get here but they always make it. You can pretty much send anything you want.  Howerver, don't send perishable items like fresh baked cookies. If you send a package to us and don't hear from us for 3 weeks just send us an email and we will check into it. 

People have asked for ideas concerning what to put in care packages so here are a few. We can get a lot of things in Costa Rica but there are some things down here that are hard to find or very expensive. These things may be no big deal to you but a surprise package of these little things totally make our day. Things like pictures, cards, any American food or snacks. We love Jiff peanut butter which was a staple for us but it is hard to find down here and when you do find it, it is very expensive. Sun tan lotion is also a good thing. A small bottle down here costs $18. Even school supplies for the kids is a great thing. Pretty much anything that you think would be fun and surprising. We so appreciate the thought and excitement of receiving a package as much as what is in the box. Did I mention peanut butter?

If you are interested you can send any car packages or cards to:

Costa Rica mailing address:

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

We once again thank all of you for holding the rope for us.  Your prayers and support are the essential means of God's ordained will.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Day 34 - The daily grind

One of the many homeless that live by us.
It seems natural to only write about the exciting things that we see or experience down here but it may give the wrong impression that all we do is fun and exciting things.  So today I want to tell you a little about our daily struggles and pressures that we must face. 
It seems that it is a common theme among families at the school right now to be facing a spiritual battle within the home.  The enemy uses a combination of the many pressures, adjustments, and trials with our sinful nature to cause divisions in families which could eventually launch a family far away from the mission field. 

On a daily basis we must balance so many things.  We have the pressure to learn a new language and culture upon us all the time which takes up so much of our time and makes my head hurt at the end of the day.  Top this with the business of the city, not being able to get things we need very conveniently (at least it is a lot different than the States and we have no car), language barrier when trying to have simple conversation with people, living in a city far more dangerous than where we came from, the different ways of doing even simple things,the high expenses of everything, the usual challenges for Kim in homeschooling the kids, cooking, the never ending cleaning of the house, and her countless other duties, and the continued challenge of leading the family and being united in Christ.  No more peaceful runs in the solitude of the mountains and hours of peaceful prayer with God because the city is so loud and busy that there is no place to be alone.

Banana tree
For the sake of unity withing the family and peace with God we have the great privelege to get away from everything once and while and as a family just enjoy each other and be with God.  These little breaks are very refreshing to our souls and motivate us to press on toward the goal.

A monkey in the city
These are just a few things that we deal with each day so you can see where the enemy can focus to try and cause division.  Don't get me wrong, we are not complaining at all.  We count all of these things pure joy and have peace and confidence in our Sovereign God.  We are growing through this all and are loving our calling and privilege to be here.  I only wrote this because we know that so many people back in the States are praying for us and this will give you an idea of what to focus on.  We so desperately need your prayers as the enemy of God does not want any of us in his dark territories. 

We are so encouraged how we see God working not only in us but in many other families here.  So we want to confirm to you our joy in being here to serve our might God for His glory and we want to encourage you to pray for us as we advance into new territories that have been taken captive by the devil.  Gracias para orando.  Para la fama de Su nombre.

In the middle of razor wire security on every house, God's glory in His creation can't help but to shout.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day 26 - La iglesia Católico

I heard about a big Catholic church a mile or so from my house so Killillay and I walked down there tonight to give out tracts and share the gospel.  It was a very large church but not as rich or important as the big one that we went to in downtown San Jose.  The church downtown had relics that were displayed with all their other statutes.  This church had no relics but boasted of three full body idols of Maria. 

Along with the three giant statues of Maria with spotlights on them there was a statue of a dead, limp, powerless Jesus still dead on a cross and another of a little, tiny baby Jesus with no power or glory in the arms of the exalted Maria.  The baby Jesus was weak and fully depended on his exalted mother.

If  you know anything of the Vatican's theology then  you will know why this is set up this way at all Catholic churches.

The official worship of Mary started in 431 AD and prayers to Mary were started in about 600 AD.  Mary is worshiped by Catholics as God.  Some cathedrals have a statue of Mary at the top with God the Father and Jesus below her and offering their crowns to Mary.  People kiss her image, her stature, her picture.  People pray to her continually using the rosary.  Mary is believed to hold the sovereign authority of God.

Catholics believe that as the Queen of Heaven she posses the right to the whole kingdom of her Son.  She can dispense anything in the kingdom to whom she wants.  There are just as many creatures serving Mary as there are serving God.  Mary has dominion and power over all creation.  Jesus is King of justice but Mary is queen of mercy.  Basically they are saying that it is hard to get mercy out of Jesus so you must go to Mary, who will get the mercy from Jesus because apparently Jesus can't resist His mother.  Mary determines who gets mercy, who God saves, and who is helped.

The saint Peter catechism states:

Question:  Did God will to make our redemption and all its consequences depend on the free consent of the blessed virgin Mary?

Answer:  God willed that our redemption and all its consequences should depend on the free consent of the blessed virgin Mary.

This is blasphemy against the nature of God and the character of Christ our compassionate Savior.

So in short, this is why every Catholic church exalts idols of Mary and even saints far greater than the Savior Jesus Christ.

You can read all about the heretical views that the Catholic church holds about Mary at the Vaticans web site here.

So anyway, Killillay and I gave out a whole bunch of tracts at the church and I shared the gospel with a guy who said he had no conscience, was guilty before God and was going to Hell.  He did not want to hear about his only chance of escape through Jesus Christ because he hated Jesus.  People in general were very acceptive of the tracts and they all read them right away.

Though the fields are ripe for the harvest and there are so few laborers we are confident and hope in Christ our Savior that He will gather His bride from every tribe, tongue and nation by His power alone and for His glory.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Day 22 - Costa Rica Rain

It rains pretty much every day in the afternoon as we come into the rainy season.  The rainy season starts in September and goes through November and sometimes into December.  We are told that this type of rain in the middle of the rainy season continues 24 hours a day for 2 weeks at times.  I kind of like it now but two weeks of it will get old.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Day 20 - Downtown San José

In an attempt to figure out how the bus system in this city works, Killillay and I jumped on a bus to see where it went.  There are five different private bus companies in Costa Rica.  As far as I understand there is one company that just goes around San José, another goes from a central hub area downtown to the outlying areas like where we live in San Fransico de Dos Ríos, another company called the Períferica goes on loop routes around the city and outlying areas, another goes from San José to other cities in Costa Rica and the last bus company goes to Nicaragua and Panama. 

Killillay and I took one that ended up in downtown San José.  It is a very busy part of town with so many people everywhere.  It would be a perfect place to preach if we knew the language good enough.  It is also a place where there is much sin and general wickedness.  Prostitution is legal in Costa Rica and there is a huge problem with child sex trafficing.  Sadly, many Americans come here to find 12 year old boys and girls.  This is the definition of depravity and shows a hint of how wicked the human heart is. 

On the way back, Killillay and I took a taxi and I had the privilege of sharing the gospel with our Catholic driver.  We had a good conversation, my Spanish is improving but I couldn´t argue with the guy when he said things that were wrong because I don´t know the language well enough.  Killillay and I also went to a few of the big Catholic churches downtown and witnessed many people in bondage to the system. 
Our Spanish classes are going good and we have 4 hours of classes a day and about an hour of homework so we study for 5 hours a day and then we are in the culture communicating with people and actually using what we learn.  This is very helpful. 

Kim and the kids are adjusting well and they have made a nice home for us here.  They also seem to catch some strange animal or bug every week.  They have caught geckos, some weird black worm looking thing, and a giant beetle that was as big as a coffee cup in length and girth.

We are learning a lot of other things as well that are not related to Spanish.  Every day we realize more that God is utterly sustaining us in every way, from protecting us from wicked men to upholding us in the Spiritual battles we go through here to holding our family together.  All the glory can only go to our merciful God.  Gloria a Dios.  We thank God for allowing us this privilege and we thank you for being obedient to God in holding the rope for us in prayer and support.  Muchas Gracias.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Market day

We went to the small feria by our house on Saturday and got some good stuff but I went early this morning before church with Tim, Jason, Joe and Trevor to the huge feria by the bull fighting arena this morning.  They had a much bigger selection and much better quality fruits and vegetables and it was cheaper.  We bought cucumbers, pineapples, bears, nectarines, peppers, bananas, watermellon, mangos, carrots, avacodos, tomatoes, grapes, potatoes, corn, and a few other things.

The food down here has been excellent and if you buy at the markets, cook at home or eat at the little soda's then you can you good for a decent price.  I have never had better fruit anywhere.  Everything is so ripe and perfect.

We found out another different thing about San Jose.  So last time I discussed the sewer issues and now we find out that all the gray water in the house just runs into the street.  So in front of every house there are pvc pipes coming out of the sidewalk and whenever you run the washer or shower all the water comes out into the street and then runs into the storm drains and then into the river.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day 14 - Our Neighborhood

So this is our little neighborhood.  You can see our house, the school and the Killillays house.  Everything has been going very well.  School is great and we are learning a lot.  Being forced to interact with the culture and language daily has been a big help in improving our Spanish. 

Found out something different about this country again.  This may be kind of gross but it turns out that most people in the city don't flush toilet paper because it will clog the sewer.  They put the used toliet paper in the bathroom garbage.  Killillay's found this out the hard way as they clogged up the sewer already.  How were we to know?  Fortunatly our house is on a little hill and the sewer pipe runs down a steep slop into the main line so we don't have any problems and we plan on flushing everything we can as long as we don't have problems.  The Killillay's on the other hand may be taking out the garbage a lot. 

Speaking of sewer problems, Killillay's son Andrew fell into a gringo trap.  A gringo trap is an open sewer with the man hole lid missing.  It is missing because people steal them for various purposes.  So you as you are walking around town you will see a big open whole that is 5-6 feet deep and if your not paying attention you will fell into it.  Apparently only gringos fall into them, hence the name.  So Andrew, being a gringo like us, wasn't paying attention and fell into it.  He is not hurt so we can joke about it now.

Now that we are in Costa Rica my computer knows it and has changed everything to Spanish, which means my spell checker for blogger is now spell checking in Spanish so it says that I spelled every word wrong.  So I appologize if I did spell any words wrong.  Well, have a good day.  We are heading to the Feria in the morning to get fruit and vegetables. 

I planted some peppers, tomatos and corn several days ago and my corn has already come up.  I hope to get a good crop before winter.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 5 living in Costa Rica

(Wednesday August 24rd, 2011)

As I tried to study my bible in the morning I was constantly distracted by the usual 6:30am neighborhood dog fight and then by the 25 or 30 men rifling through my garbage. Saturday and Wednesday are garbage days so you put out your garbage in bags on the street. You can't use a garbage can because people will steel them so bags only. After you put out the garbage put before the actual garbage man comes, the people from around town show up with their carts and go through your garbage and take everything that they want. These are very poor people and it's probably Costa Ricas way of recycling. The people are usually pretty good and taking stuff out of your garbage bag without tearing things apart but nevertheless there is still a mess to clean up after that many people go through it.

We had orientation today which went good. There are about 40-50 new students from all over the states. Most of them are not going to be planting churches though. Only Killillay and I as well as one or two others in the group of new students are church planters.

To get student visas for the year we will be here is a long process and requires so much red tape. We found out we had to go to the police station to get the whole family's fingerprints taken. This was a process and took several hours, which was fast for them. Jason Maynard took us and interpreted for us, which was absolutely necessary.

After the police station we picked up a few supplies and headed home. I went back out with Jason to get groceries and the day was over. Days are going by so fast and it seems like it takes a whole day to do anything.

August newsletter. Finally in Costa Rica!

Click here to read our August newsletter.

Feria (Farmers market)