Sunday, November 5, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving! 2017

November is a month to reflect on the many blessings that God has given us.   Thankfulness is the condition of the heart not of the circumstances around.

The heavy rains caused extensive landslides, power outages and water shortage in our community.  Fortunately, our area was able to be reached by water trucks where we gathered water in jugs and carried them to our homes. Thankfully we only had to do that for four days but there are towns within 5 miles of us still needing to haul water. Tap water is still not recommended to drink so we are filtering our water and keeping jugs full for our drinking water.

We are grateful Bonnie is back to help with things around the house, at school, and getting ready for Cailene's maternity leave. Cornelio and Cailene are expecting their second baby boy around Thanksgiving day. His name will be Ittai which means,  “The Lord is with me!”
 God continues to open up opportunities for the school and it's growth.   Cornelio applied and received a scholarship to attend a small business conference in the states.  This conference covers everything from administrative work, advertising and promoting your small business and all things that entrepreneurs need to know to run a successful business. It is such a blessing to be able to have him attend this conference.

Mekhi  turned three the end of October.  He continues to be such a delight to everyone he's around.  He easily switches from English to Spanish depending on who he's talking to. 

 We are trying to give Mekhi the opportunity to be around older people so he can bring his youthful joy to their home. 

This is Costa Ricans version of a popsicle.  Generally whatever fruit that is in season is blended and put into a baggie then frozen. You simply bite through the plastic and start sucking on the juice or nibbling away at the ice. Mekhi is having a lemonade “apretado”. 

This cute little guy we found in our shower this week. Life is never dull around here.

 Thank you for giving to the school and encouraging us in our outreach efforts.  Many lives have been touched by your generous gifts of time, energy and finances.

Cornelio, Cailene, Mekhi
And Bonnie

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

October 2017 (Gratitude)

Cornelio and I are taking a graphics design computer class offered free to the community.  It is an intense computer class that will meet once a week for 10 weeks, three hours each lesson. This new skill will help with advertising, starting the school Facebook page in Spanish and presenting the school in a more interesting and fun way. God continues to give us favor and the timing for this class is perfect because. The fact that it's free and coming to our small town is a huge blessing.

This month we are reinforcing the quote that says: “Education empowers a person to become part of the solution versus part of the problem”. 

We are in Costa Rica because we: 
·         Thrive on encouraging others 
·         Enjoy motivating students 
·         Expand parent’s awareness for helping their children 
·         Are enthusiastic about the programs we've developed 
·         Intentionally get to know our students
·         Expose our students to possibilities in higher education and connect them to scholarships

This makes 11 rats!!!!! There has been a lot of noise and scampering across the ceiling rafters in our house.  Traps were set and we are happy to announce that there are 11 less rats then there were two weeks ago and no more scampering!!

This is Mekhi’s first chicken he is helping butcher. We have fresh eggs that he helps bring in everyday and now he is learning from his dad how to butcher the chickens for dinner.

                                                             Mekhi is admiring a butterfly that landed on his hat. 
We are  learning to appreciate the little things in life and have noticed how our gratitude grows and life becomes even more fulfilling. 

Cornelio went to the mechanic to have the tire on our car fixed and on his way home he felt like the car was reacting in a strange way. He noticed the man in the car behind him waving him to stop. At the moment Cornelio stopped the car the entire wheel came right off. The man who stopped him helped Cornelio put the tire back on. Glory to God nothing worse happened and we are so grateful for the protection and grace God continues to bestow upon us! Everyday truly is a blessing and this was a reminder that GOD is in control and he takes such good care of us.


Thank you for supporting our school. 
Thank you for taking the time to pray for us. 
Thank you for coming alongside us. 

Have an outstanding October,
Cornelio, Cailene and Mekhi

Saturday, September 16, 2017

September Independence Day

Costa Rica has Mother's Day and Father's Day just like we do but they also have Children's Day. Lots of small group and family parties are held in homes. We celebrated this day at our school too with the younger students. They all came in costumes and shared in English about who they were.

  We played different games in the park and had some special activities in the class as well. We encouraged good sportsmanship and teamwork as the students participated in the games. Each student left with a cupcake in hand and a smile on their face.  

Cornelio has a friend who has a saw mill and he gave Cornelio some scrap wood for free. This week he took the wood to make his mother a chicken coop.  It's rainy season and her poor chickens are getting soaked. Cornelio enjoys building and is always happy use the talents God has given him.
September 15 is Costa Rica Independence Day!  Many businesses as well as the schools are closed for this day. There are parades, homemade lanterns, family gatherings as well as community activities.


Our church held a couples date night this week at a Jazz CafĂ©. We listened to live music, and enjoyed an encouraging presentation from the pastor just for couples. We were motivated to be purposeful in our pursuit towards each other. As Cornelio and I talked about this idea more we came to the conclusion that our preparation today enables our success tomorrow. The first example Cornelio brought up was, if I want to be a successful parent I need to work hard now in my investment and preparation in my children’s life (less time on the phone and more interaction and involvement in each child).  This concept applies to every area in a person’s life. If we want a closer relationship with Jesus our dedicated preparation in that process is what’s going to get us there. This idea has got me reevaluating my life and seeing how I can have a purposeful mindset in EVERYTHING. We took this as a personal challenge to reexamine our how we are preparing ourselves in the different areas of our lives to enhance our future and that of others.  

Ezekiel 38:7
“Be prepared, and prepare yourself, you and all your companies that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them.”

We are here in Costa Rica because we enjoy: 
 Developing trust and friendships
 Promoting further education for all ages 
 Providing affordable classes 
 Helping our students network in the community
 Encouraging others to think outside the box
 Making learning fun with games and songs 
 Providing tutoring and encouragement 

Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and support in our lives and with our school!
God Bless,
Cornelio, Cailene and Mekhi

Sunday, August 13, 2017

August mothers day!

 On August 15th Costa Rica celebrates mothers day. We had our students of all ages a make different kinds of cards and crafts for their mom’s and encouraged them to tell their mom, in English, what they truly meant to them.

In our advanced class we passed out a piece of paper with a dot in the middle of it.  We asked each student to write about what they saw and create a story.

 Each student struggled to come up with something to write about but most everyone wrote about the little dot described as color the size the location on the paper.

 After reading each of the papers out loud Cornelio said that this that is often how we look at life we focus on the small little thing that's taking up a little space. 

Now the challenge is to look at the big piece of paper that is mostly white and now I want you to write about all the good things that are taking up and available to you in life and not focus on the one little dark circle in the middle of the page.  The students eagerly began to write about the many things that they had in their lives to be thankful for and to be focusing on.

 In our school, we want to make things meaningful positive and purposeful.

 It's not about what we do for our students but what we teach them to do for themselves. 

Our students come to us as they are and we help to motivate them to leave as who they want to be! 

May God bless your week and Happy Mother's Day from Costa Rica!
Cornelio, Cailene and Mekhi

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Birthday for Gram

July is winter break in Costa Rica

Cornelio, Cailene & Mekhi  went to the United States to surprise Cailene's grandma for her 91st birthday. Family from all over the United States came and celebrated both Gram's birthday and Fourth of July together. Lots  of laughter and sharing of memories with a PowerPoint showing pictures of everybody with Grandma throughout her lifetime.

Mekhi  was hearing English every day and has doubled his English vocabulary during the stay in the United States.  He enjoyed  playing with his cousins and reacquainting himself with his family in the United States. This is Mekhi on a friends tricycle enjoying the outdoors.
Cornelio  borrowed a friends bicycle  for a week and went on 40 mile bike rides many different directions many different days so he really got to see a lot of countryside . 

  A few months before winter break in Costa Rica ,Veronica, who is in our 9-year-old English class,  said she couldn't come to class any more. It's a small town so we had already heard that her dad had left the family and had been excessively drinking. Cailene told Veronica's mom that Veronica was at the top of her class  and this was a very fragile and important time in Veronica's life .  English classes were giving Veronica an activity that was hers and a place that she could feel safe and be encouraged when the rest of her world seemed like it was falling apart. The mom agreed to  keep bringing her and encouraging her keep up with the homework.
 Last month Veronica lingered after class and told teacher Cailene she was having bad dreams and was afraid at night.  Cailene told her to start singing happy songs before she went to bed and to ask Jesus to help her not have bad dreams. The following week Veronica told Cailene that it helped her to sing and to talk to Jesus.  No matter who you are or where you are there are always opportunities to encourage others and talk about Jesus .

 While in the states Cailene took  Bonnie to a doctors appointment . In the waiting room at the clinic there was a young mother with four children. The mom was in a lot of pain and kept holding her ear meanwhile her children were restless and having trouble staying in their seats . Cailene got down on the floor  and asked the mother in Spanish if her kids could play a game. Cailene used her Spanish to play one of the game she plays with her kids in her classroom in Costa Rica .   Praising God for moments to reach out to others.
 It has been a wonderful break and we are looking forward to starting classes and seeing students again.
  Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.
Cornelio, Cailene and Mekhi