"Peter began to say to him, “We have given up everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.- Mark Ch. 10: 28-30
I remember reading this passage over two years ago on our Come & See weekend. At the time it really strung a cord with me knowing I would be leaving my family in the United States to go somewhere in the world (not even knowing where that would be at the time). This made my discernment very difficult because I am very close to my family and have amazing friends who I consider my family. But God also spoke to me in this passage knowing the struggles I was having. I felt like He knew what I would be giving up and He knew it was hard.
Now fast forward over two years later and our family is living in Costa Rica (going on 8 1/2 months) in a new mission post. Just the fact that our family came to Costa Rica last May as the first FMC missionaries in Costa Rica is amazing knowing the person I was at my Come & See weekend. Now that we are here and I can look back at all that has happened in the first 2 years of being FMC missionaries I realize a whole new perspective of this passage. How many more brothers and sisters, homes and land, mothers and children the Lord has blessed our family with! This doesn't mean that my family and friends have been replaced. No, no! I still love them and miss them and I always will. But God has grown our hearts and our family in our yes and surrender to Him.
...brothers and sisters and mothers and children...
The first week we arrived in the Philippines (our first foreign mission) we found out we were expecting a baby. There is a really cool story all about that here if you missed it the first time.
|Our sweet little missionary Gabriel is already 15 months old!|
|This kid loves shoes! His shoes and |
everyone elses too!
Our own family grew but so did our missionary family. The last Intake (3 month training for FMC missionaries) welcomed over 50 new missionaries. There are currently over 150 of our FMC missionary brothers and sisters in foreign mission. Then there are all the brothers and sisters, friends and families we have come to know and love in the Philippines and Costa Rica.
|Our 7 + 7 family the first day we arrived in Costa Rica.|
We lived with Pablo and his family of 7 for 7
weeks before moving into our house.
This past Saturday we welcomed our new friends the Geerling family to Costa Rica. They just went through Intake 2015 and are on their first foreign mission with FMC here in Costa Rica. They are such a blessing to our family and a beautiful expansion of our FMC community here. They are currently in language school and will join us in February.
|Penny, John, Mary, Catherine & Teresa|
When we heard that we would be welcoming a new family to Costa Rica to join in the mission here we were overjoyed. Then came the necessity to find a home for them to live in. We talked to our friend Pablo about how we had been looking around Coopevega for a home to rent for the new family. He was also very excited about the Geerlings and offered to call our landlord to let him know a new family would be coming. Pablo had mentioned that our landlord had been planning on building more houses on the property where we live at some point in the future. Our landlord told Pablo, in their phone conversation, that he wasn't planning to build a house right now but he would think about it. It was already the end of December and we only had until January when we thought the family would be arriving. We returned home after our visit with Pablo. Three days later construction started on the new house! Our landlord decided to build a house he and his wife had planned out. It will have 3 bedrooms so it made sense to move our family into the new house and let the Geerlings move into our current house. This is quite the event around here so of course I have too many pictures!
|Laying the foundation with cinder blocks.|
|Building the foundation wall.|
|Filling in the foundation with more dirt.|
|Putting up guidelines for the interior walls.|
|Interior walls going up. Rock drain in front of the house to prevent|
flooding during the hard rains.
|Our amazing landlord hand mixing|
mortar. He is at the house everyday and is
|On top of the cinder blocks the wood wall frames are|
|The metal roof frame arrives!|
|Roof frames put into place|
|Flatten that dirt Felicity!|
|The metal roof sheets are on!|
|Grace loves to hold her brother.|
|Cement floor is done.|
|Tile floors are going in.|
|Wearing his normal attire Gabriel loves to|
visit the new house with Daddy.
Every morning he wakes up and says
"houssssse" because he wants
Donovan to take him to look at the house.
Our homes are right across the dirt road from each other and on a piece of beautiful property lined with all types of trees and plants. What a blessing to be close to the Geerlings and see what mission God had planned for us together! We expect the house to be ready in February around the same time that the Geerlings will be returning from language school.
How much we have received from the Lord in our yes to follow Him. There are so many blessings: growing our faith and surrender, opening our eyes to see what we couldn't see before, experiences of miracles and healings, growing in virtue, becoming more united in our marriage and family, and so much more. Thank the Lord that he doesn't call the qualified, but qualifies the called! He took us where we were and are at and works with us. He is loving and FULL of mercy.
|And of course I can't forget to mention our newest|
"family member" Princess. The girls are so happy
to have a kitty (mom and dad are happy that
the girls are happy)!