Friday, December 21, 2012

December Update

Hello everyone! We hope this post finds you all cozy and warm and enjoying the Christmas season. Our missionary couple have thoroughly been enjoying their time in Washington!

Cailene enjoys learning new things just as much as she enjoys teaching. She had a friend teach her how to make mozzarella cheese! In Costa Rica they have a neighbor who sells fresh milk so she is excited to try making cheese when she gets home. She also taught several friends how to knit scarves. For Cailene life is a classroom and she is always either teaching, learning or looking for adventure.

 Cornelio found some kids to play a card game with on the boat up to Stehekin. Once a teacher, always a teacher! Even on vacation.

They also made some"cool" new friends!

As we gather around the tree to exchange gifts and pass delicious dishes around the dinner table, we will be considering the true reason for the season. If it weren't for the birth of Jesus, we would have no hope in this world.
"And the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end." Luke 1:30-33
Let's take a lesson from Mary this season and have the courage to trust God's plan for our lives fully.

Thank you all for your love, support, and prayers! We couldn't do what we do without each one of you.

God Bless,

Cornelio & Cailene

Friday, November 9, 2012

November Update

This month I stopped to reflect on what is truly important. There are many disappointments in life, but we need to look at the blessings and promises that God has given us abundantly. No matter who is President, Jesus is King!

Rio Celeste

What a beautiful month it has been in Costa Rica. The rainy season has been very light this year letting us do some extra work outside. Our school has branched out to another town and we are now excited to have two different buildings so we can reach out to more people. God is so good! This past month we had an English student who was failing all of his high school classes. His parents didn’t know what to do with him so they asked Cornelio to help their son. Cornelio did a 2 week challenge to encourage him to study, not listen to heavy metal music, and most of all to honor his parents in what they tell him to do. He took on the challenge... and passed all his tests at school! His parents told us that they have even noticed a change in him personally. To God be the Glory!

Handing out graduation certificates to our students!

Cornelio has been giving work to one of our neighbors who is looking for a better life for he and his daughter. He is fighting his addictions to smoking, drugs, and alcohol. Cornelio has been counseling him as they work together and it is amazing to watch how this young man absorbs everything and takes action. He has come with us to soccer games and is trying to get involved in regular life again. Last week he accepted our invitation to go to church with us! God is doing great things and we are excited to be a part of whatever he has planned!

1 Samuel 12:24  But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.

God Bless,
Cornelio and Cailene

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ- Ephesians 5:20

Fried Motherboard
Praise the Lord there was no fire! All damage done was repairable. The local government required that all meter boxes on the homes needed to be moved from the house to the street for easier reading. The unexpected 220 volt of electricity shot through their home, and fried many things. Because most things were connected to surge protectors which absorbed most of the shock, replacing the surge protectors was an easy fix. However the security gate and the refrigerator mother boards were fried.

Living by faith, finding joy in adversity!
While waiting for replacement parts, Cailene and Cornelio were without a refrigerator for four days. The food stored in the fridge needed to be discarded.  With the high heat and humidity in Costa Rica, daily meal preparation was an obstacle. Cleaning out the fridge and needing to start over again is just a reminder of how each day brings unexpected surprises and challenges. God is the source of our strength and hope. He continues to provide for all needs.

Cornelio fixing the security gate
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you;  Joshua 1:9

The word "Selah" in Hebrew means to pause, wait, listen.

 But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Praises reports:

  • There was no electrical fire.
  • Donations were made to help cover replacement costs.

Prayer requests:

  • Cornelio and Cailene complete their plans and preparations for coming to the States in December.
  • Pray they have opportunities to share what God is doing in Costa Rica with other small groups and supporters.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Reaching out to four different towns

     This past month has been filled with many community activities.  In Costa Rica Mother’s Day is celebrated in July.  Cornelio and I were invited to play music for the local elementary school Mother’s Day dinner.  He played the guitar and I played the saxophone. It was a great opportunity to get to know more people from our town; Palmichal.

     In September Cornelio was invited to help with a fund raiser run. The fund raiser was to gather money for this town’s community hall and to improve their cemetery. It was held in Grifo Bajo; a small town of about 200 people. There were about 35 runners and Cornelio accompanied them on his bicycle in case they needed medical help or assistance. The terrain was difficult and Cornelio had to carry his bicycle on his shoulder to get past some of the rough spots. It was nice to be asked to participate. It was a good experience to volunteer in another town. The community was so appreciative!!  That’s being the hands and feet of Jesus to come along side and assist where needed.
                                                     Cornelio is the one on the left.

     September 15 is Independence Day for Costa Rica. Cornelio was invited to be one of the announcers for the Tabarcia Independence Day community gathering. He and some of his acting friends did the announcing and introductions. It was done with humor and small skits. I managed our sound system and music while Cornelio and his friends entertained the crowd. There were over 1,000 people who attended. We felt honored to be asked to be part of this big event.

     Soccer is the main sport here, so Cornelio started coaching a girl’s soccer team. I am part of the team. He works on improving our skills as well as developing unity. This gives us the opportunity to work with girls in the neighboring towns to further our outreach. Cornelio is a good coach and encourager. We are now in a competition that finishes in November!! Cornelio has been teaching good sportsmanship and how to glorify God in everything, win or lose. All of the girls participate in the prayer before the game, have agreed to have no foul language or gestures and most of them don’t go to church!!! The attitudes and sportsmanship is amazingly different than when we started. God is so good and is honored on the soccer field!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Logan's Visit

One of my very good friends, Logan, came to visit me in Costa Rica for three months!! This is what she wrote about one of the days here!!

Today became one of my favorite days in Costa Rica.
It wasn't because of a beautiful sunset, beach, zipline, or even a great game of soccer. It was because of God's hand in the day, the quality people people we spent time with, and the clear passion God's placed in peoples hearts. These are all a bit vague, so let me explain what today looked like and reasons why it was awesome.

What today looked like:
We went to a church in San Jose today. One special thing about this church is that it's completely in Sign (Lesco- Costa Rican Sign Language). So, it attracts mostly deaf members. Cornelio, Cailene, and I heard about it through our friends Isaac and Heidi, because THEY have friends that also know sign and go to this church.

There is one boy who is deaf that attends la Iglesia Vida Nueva. We really wanted to share this experience with him. From what I've heard and seen, there is not a lot of deaf exposure...if any at all. So, a church full of signers was a completely new experience.

The church building was small. There were people sitting outside and peeking through windows, yet we were ushered to a few open seats in the front. The leaders commented on all the new faces and asked us to introduce ourselves. I had the honor of introducing my friends in Sign.

The sermon was fantastic! It was also the only one I've been able to understand for the past 3 months! One of our new friends interpreted the sermon so we could all understand it.

We all enjoyed lunch together and shared stories about our passions, visions, and how we got to this point. This is a personal opinion...but the unity and fellowship that people who follow Jesus share is beautiful. It is amazing. Spending the day talking with these people and hearing their passion has left me excited to pursue my own God given goals. That is a prime example of the importance of fellowship, to encourage one another in our walks with God.

After lunch we drove back home. Immediately after closing the car door, Luis started practicing and reciting "the 5 things to remember in prayer."
1.) Tell God how wonderful He is. Adore God. Worship Him first.
2.) Confess your sins. Specifically..not vaguely.
3.) Thank God (for both the blessings and the challenges).
4.) Intercession, pray for other people
5.) Pray for yourself.

Not only did he understand the lesson, but he remembered it. Granted, the pastor repeated it multiple times by chosing volunteers (Including myself!) to come to the front and recite the 5 parts of prayer. After all the repitition, who could forget it?!

Once we arrived at Luis's house, he shared the lesson with his parents. We all chatted over coffee and delicious bread. While backing out of the drive way and waving goodbye, Luis pointed and signed, "You're cool! You're cool! Bye!!" It was in Lesco..but from the context of the sign in past conversations...I'm pretty sure that's what it meant.

I was soaking in the fact that we just conversed in 3 languages in one day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy Fathers Day!!

Thank you Fathers for being more than "a man with a child". Being a Father is a very intentional act, and we want to thank you for it!

The church hosted a breakfast for the fathers of the church in the morning. During the service we honored them through prayer and a song dedicated for them. It was beautiful to see the Fathers surrounded by the wives and children. 

There was one story that very unique that day. There is one woman in the church that has faithfully attended Vida Nueva for the full 3 years it's been established. She was there when we were sitting on paint buckets under a tree. But, this Sunday was the first time her husband joined the family for the service. The service seemed to really touch this man's heart. Having all three children hug him, and having the wife pray for him with the whole church in agreement was a very special moment. After the service, while talking with this woman, she mentioned being very encouraged. Hopefully her husband will continue to attend church with the family. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mothers Day to all our friends and family
        who have adopted us as their 
               "missionary Kids"

      We send our love from our hearts to your home.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Surprise! It's May!

 Here´s a fun fact: In the states there are June bugs, in Costa Rica there are May bugs. This is one of the few times where the American bug is bigger than the Costa Rican bug.

There have been some fantastic surprises the past few weeks. One week, the church bought a new guitar and bass for the worship team! This was a great addition to add a balanced sound to the music. Often times the vocals would be drowned out by the drums and piano. We have amazing singers, so we want a sound system that will show them off! That´s why, the next week, we were excited to find new speakers! To have a new functional system is amazing. However, the best part is feeling the church´s support behind us as a worship team.

A clear sound for worship is nice, however it´s only a small aspect. Worship is a matter of the heart and a lifestyle as well. Last Sunday, the church had a guest speaker who hosted a worship workshop. He gave a refreshing perspective about leading the congregation. It was wonderful to see people from the church attend, not just the worship team.

There seems to be a new addition to our routine. After walking the dog to the field, we have ended in a soccer game with a group of kids. A great surprise was seeing one of the boys the next week as a new student in Selah school! Eros (Our dog) has become quite a celebrity among the children. They literally run from all corners of the school yelling his name in glee as we come walking by the school. 

After observing how well behaved Eros (our dog) is, the neighbors asked for help in training their new puppy. The fun challenge is that their new puppy is a 5 month old, waist high, goofy Great Dane. We spent a lot of time teaching this dopey dog how to sit and to follow his owner. A big part of training the dog, is training the owner. Cailene taught Juan different tricks and exercises that he can practice at home. Juan did a great job positively reinforcing his dog. Training the dog also gives a chance to learn some English vocabulary. The English words are shorter and easier to command. For example, instead of ¨Sientense!¨ we use, ¨Sit!¨ What a difference! 

Throughout life, there´s always surprises. I feel that this month has been a good example of that. Spontaneous soccer games start, plans are canceled, new students sign up, and car brakes go out, anything can happen in a day. However, there are constants as well. There is a beautiful sunset every night, refreshing people to enjoy conversation with, and a God that will provide for every need. Praise God for surprises! Praise God for constants! May is a good month.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Selah!

Isn´t it funny how, in Costa Rica, the English ¨Happy Birthday¨ song is just as well known as the Spanish ¨Feliz CumpleaƱos¨ version? So, we decided to start our Radio advertisement with the English song, ¨Happy Birthday dear Seeeeeeeeeelaaahh, Happy Birthday to yooooou! Selah School is having their 3rd Birthday! Come learn your and your child´s learning style, enjoy cake and refreshments! All for Free! ¨ It was a successful advertisement, we could hear the song play from the porch.

                We planned for this event for weeks! We made goodie bags, stuffed them with candy and a sample of homemade bread, ordered a cake, bought refreshments, reserved the room, and practiced speeches and interpretations! Wow! You can imagine how nervous we were for the actual celebration to come.

                The day finally came for us to put our plans into action. We started setting up chairs, the sound system, projector, and picked up the cake.  People started trickling in, one family at a time. The chairs filled slowly, then at 3:15 it was time to start the presentation.

                The speech was filled with games, visuals, and a test to uncover your learning style. The test was the hidden agenda for this celebration. Yes, we were excited to celebrate a successful 3 years of education. But the hope was to give parents tools to better understand their children (and themselves!) Bonnie was the speaker, and she explained 3 different learning styles: Visual, Kinesthetic, and Auditory. Then she explained what the learning styles would look like at home. The speech was very applicable to everyday life.

Naturally, Selah was advertised as well. The speech encouraged the listeners to learn English because of the growing tourism in Costa Rica, and the opportunity to have higher paying jobs. Bonnie mentioned how Selah uses all 3 learning styles and gives a well rounded education.

After the speech, cake was served, refreshments were given, and some of Selah´s registration forms went out the door. The evening was considered successful.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

 My mom came down to visit us. We did a lot of catching up, seeing new things, going to a birthday party, a baby shower and visiting friends. It has been 3 years since she has been here in Costa Rica. One of the things we did was to go to a cooking class in San Jose to learn how to bake typical breads for special occasions.

 We learned how to make 6 different kinds of breads. I am trying to continue my knowledge of cooking and baking things here in Costa Rica.  I also sell bread to friends and neighbors to make a little extra income.

 It has been fun to have my mom here and help us get several projects done. She loves to use her creativity to make learning fun. Her fresh approach to learning has energized and encouraged us.  It's been wonderful to gather new ideas for our growing school. 


We are renting the bottom of the internet cafe for our school. This new location is in the middle of town which makes it easy for our students to get to. The internet cafe is a hub of the town because that is also where you pay your cell phone, internet, insurance, water and electricity.

The internet building has a porch where many gather. This creates a relaxed environment. We have had the opportunity to talk to many people coming and lingering there. We have had various conversations about Jesus and how real he is. It is not about religion it is about the relationship.

This month’s praises!
* We have had our car for 8 months and no car problems!!
* Donations that came in extra this month covered the cost of Cornelio’s much needed glasses!!
* Our school was donated a lap top computer and printer. What a surprise and blessing!!

Prayer requests:
* That we will continue to get more students.
* That our church worship team will grow.
* To receive donations for dental work Cornelio needs on his teeth.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy Valentines Week
 Let's take to heart the words of Jesus. "'And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength...You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."  (Mark 12 28-31 esv)

"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13 esv) This is exactly what Jesus did for us.
God is the God of love.  We have so much to be thankful for and so many opportunities each day to share the love of Jesus with the ones around us.

Cornelio surprised me and planned a day trip for Valentines. Just the two of us went on a horse back ride all morning and enjoyed the mountains. He is so creative and thoughtful. It was the perfect Valentine surprise for me and I feel so loved and special.


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Journal

      Yesterday we had the youth group over and we took them to our favorite swimming hole. An hour later we heard someone screaming and as we looked over we saw a snake and a mouse that had fallen into the river. The snake was so intent on trying to eat the mouse that that it was unaware of us. All the girls went screaming out of the swimming hole, and the boys got a thrill out of chasing them with the snake and the dead mouse. I was especially entertained by it. No matter where you live snakes are gross and boys love to chase girls with them. So needless to say our outing for the morning ended in a funny way.  Our life here is full of unexpected adventures and we love it!

Cornelio is taking one college class to continue working towards his masters degree. I just finished my first year of college. Some of the classes are in English and some in Spanish so it has been a real challenge for me, but I enjoy it. 

Cornelio has been biking a lot and this has been a good sport to invite others to join him.

I play my saxophone for special occasions and at church once in a while so others can be learn and playing the keyboard. We are trying to grow and train new musicians. 

      Our private English and music classes in the evenings are going well and it continues to be a great way to meet new people and grow our outreach in the community. The school keeps us busy as we are the only staff. We are the principle, secretary, and teacher. Also we clean, prepare classes, correct papers, handle all parent questions and information and schedule changes. It is a big responsibility, but the outcome and growth from this is more than rewarding. God has a purpose and a plan for us here in Costa Rica and we see it daily as He teaches us and opens opportunities to learn and be bold in who He made us to be.
God Bless,
Cornelio and Cailene

Psalm 69:34 Let heaven and earth praise him!!