Selling it all. Pioneering to learn. Risking to restore families.
Here's what's been going on lately
Last week we were blessed to have an amazing group from Two Rivers Church Chattanooga. They excel in love, and we among many were lavished beyond measure. I was reminded once again of the incredible power of vulnerability, humility, love, friendship and kindness. I literally watched hearts receive deep encouragement and freedom as one person simply offered the genuine, authentic, humble gift of their heart… over and over again. This team advanced the Kingdom in powerful ways… We were blessed to be able to support local pastors (from 4 different churches) and local schools. Personally, I’m not a fan of painting, but somehow when we’re doing it together with people that we love… Well, it becomes fun! My friends from Chattanooga, literally, used their vacation time from work (or time without pay) to come here. They saved… they sacrificed… they shared… So that they could offer hope and joy… So that they could serve. With the hope of simply offering acts of kindness… The truth about the faithfulness of Jesus. Friendship. Encouragement. Smiles and laughter. Reminding us not to take ourselves too seriously. Instead, choose to focus on what matters most. My heart was blessed by the privilege to be able to serve “together.” There’s power in “together,” but there’s also the gift of hearts being knit together. I remain in awe of how beautiful and impacting it was to see a diverse group of people unite for a common cause… But also… it’s just incredibly fun!!! Our continued thanks to all who continue to support us… You may not be able to come with a team… but you...Learn More
Three Images… Leading, destruction and science. Look closely… This first picture is of a man pulling his horses while driving his scooter. I’ve wondered do these horses follow with such velocity that the man needs the scooter so he can lead them at the appropriate pace? The next is a man pulling his crew… There are about 7 of them. However, he only puts a rope harness on two of them. He then pulls these two while riding his bicycle. I have wondered… does he gently guide the leaders because he knows that the others will follow those two leaders on their own initiative and volition? Or, does he tie up the two naughtiest ones because he knows that the good ones will will follow out of obedience and training? I know that they’re not great, but it’s hard to take pictures while driving… even if I rarely go over 20mph in my town. I share these pics and ask these questions because they’re about me. I’ve been examining my motives and heart. Which one of these horses best represents me? I think I can identify with each one of them… having to be pulled, following happily and freely. As I’ve examined my motives, sometimes I’ve seen some pretty ugly things. Always grateful that I’m still included and invited by the Good Shepherd. This picture was taken of a house that is on my street. It’s probably 75 yards away. It has been said that it is one of the most secure homes around. It has a huge concrete wall surrounding the perimeter, as well as video surveillance....Learn More
Living open-handed… This is what The Lord has been speaking to me lately. Daily I find myself living the lifelong process of growing out of flesh… And pressing in towards the spirit. The selfish tendencies in me appear to run deep. A counselor by mind… I’m found processing the roots of my many issues… Most of which can be linked back to a lie I have embraced somewhere along the way. Two simple questions reveal almost everything about the faith I claim to stand upon… Do I really believe He loves me perfectly? Do I trust Him wildly with each step of the journey? Anyone could look back over my story and see His hand of faithfulness. But for me… deep ache always accompanies such recounting. The last few weeks I have been weepily looking back through old photos… Photos that feel like they are of a different woman in a different lifetime. I deeply cherish ALL that has been given and all that I have been blessed with. But truth be told… the earnest reflection makes my soul ache. It feels as if life is slipping through my hands like grains of sand. I hear the taunting lies of the enemy… “The best has already passed you by… one only gets so many blessings. “Seeing with Kingdom eyes affords a different view… Each and every sacred memory can also serve as a testimony of the greater things that await… Of the beauty that lies ahead. “When I think upon my ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies.” Ps 119:59 My experiences and memories are testimonies revealing His...Learn More
In the last couple days I was looking over our website… I came across the page that communicated our purpose and role. It was extremely encouraging to see that we were staying the course. Our cups are full… and we are so incredibly grateful for what God continues to do. An incredible team of ladies from the Vineyard in Ohio just left a few days ago.. They were a sheer delight and a gift to all of us here in Samara. Truly, they excelled at love. Being together brought sweet refreshment. Kelly and I continue to discuss our vision and future. We are diligently trying to make sure that the lenses through which we see are the lenses of Christ’s love and desires. It’s a constant re-calibration process. But, I do believe we are seeing more clearly. We continue to remain resourceful and creative as we learn, serve and direct what we can. (This is me doing my version of “plumbing.”) I am practically a plumber now! We continue to have an extremely high value for family… Remembering that shepherding their hearts must remain our highest priority. Still pursuing people for the sake of sharing hope and love… At times offering relief, other times development and rehabilitation and at other times… Simply a hand to hold. The amount of fruit that we see is abundant… both spiritual and physical! Refining seems like a daily process these day… It’s not a comfortable, but it sure is good. We have so many plans for this year. We were excited to host a training on how to minister to precious people with...Learn More
Remember us? Much has happened over these last months and in the midst of it all we didn’t seem to have steam to write it all out. I think I speak for Adam and I both when I say we’ve been pressing on and feeling the weight of everyday living. Having resided in our Costa Rican homeland for almost 2 1/2 years, I have come to realize it takes seasons to rebound from the shock of moving to a different world and learning new everything’s. The fatigue of such an experience has revealed certain ruts in my life and, ultimately, ruts in my heart. Thankfully, I am learning first hand that ruts do NOT disqualify us from Kingdom work. They are simply part of the journey. As I think about the ways I feel stuck and am tempted to rehearse inadequacies… I remember others who were once stuck… Friends like Zacchaeus, the woman at the well, Jonah, Elijah, David, and Job. These… just a few stories of where God didn’t wait for His people to get out of their ruts in order to draw near. This brings me great hope. As I wrestle… He is working. Here in the middle of now. In the middle of floods… Causing life to feel blurry and weary. In the middle of treacherous traveling… When taking new paths and the way feels unsure. In the middle of teaching and creating…And life feels like it is getting lost in translation. In the middle of pursuing that which really matters…And receiving the unexpected offering of a hand… Providing much desired togetherness. In the middle of...Learn More
Life keeps moving… Yet, the new normal still seems strange at times. From transportation (Charli loves it) to the food we eat… the new normal still seems unusual. But life doesn’t seem to slow down or pause. We still have traffic jams and busyness… it just looks so much different than it did in the US. These were two different “traffic jams” within about a week or two. As I sit down to write this, I realize two things. First, my body is deeply tired. Second, we are blown away by the way we have been so encouraged and by the way we have been able to encourage others. Too much time has passed since my last post to try to even summarize what’s been going on… to be completely honest, I (Adam) had a rough few months. My heart was just so incredibly heavy. I manage to be a high-functioning person (very productive) even when I’m deeply sad or discouraged. Ministry is hard, but what an honor it is to get to do it. When you love deeply, you often seem to hurt deeply. Currently, I am extremely encouraged. My precious wife continued to encourage me. Thanks to the generosity of a friend, I was able to make a long weekend trip to the US. What a gift that was! It was a truly encouraging and brought much needed refreshment to my soul. Maybe more than anything, I was so deeply encouraged by the time with our friends from Two Rivers Chattanooga Church. Kelly’s brother, Chris Jessen, planted a church outside of Chattanooga a little over 2 years...Learn More