5.23.2012

Five Years; a Farewell


I can't believe it has been five years.

Five years of life and ministry in Costa Rica.

Five years worth of blood, sweat, and tears poured out so that God might be glorified and Jesus might be proclaimed to those who have not yet been restored to the family of Christ.

Five years of learning what it really means to be a “missionary” and examining missions in the context of the church, the neighborhood, the city, and the world at large.

Five years of trying to live out His call to be and to make true disciples.

Five years of heartbreaking failure, overwhelming sadness, silly mistakes and the kind of sweet, holy Redemption that can only wash over you when you're lying flat on your face on the living room floor at three o'clock in the morning, wondering what in the hell you're doing.

Truly, we have lived five of the most Grace-filled years you can imagine, finding that our God is utterly present with us – always – and that without Him we are aimless.

We have been challenged, tested, broken, humbled, and, irrevocably transformed. And now, after five incredible years, we find ourselves bringing our time in Costa Rica to a close.

Yes. It’s time for us to go “home”.

I'm super excited and little bit terrified to announce that in just 7 weeks, on July 10th, we will be returning to our hometown of Folsom, California, where El Chupacabra has taken on a key role in Missions and Outreach at Lakeside Church.

This is a dream come true for us! We get to return to our roots to share out of our experience as missionaries and to continue on our path as learners. We have never stopped loving and feeling connected to Lakeside, so for us this is a true “homecoming”.

We couldn't be happier. And we couldn't be more sure that this was God's hope for us, all along. Five years of preparation. Five years of education. Five years of vision.

We leave behind (though we don’t take an ounce of credit) a country that is thriving for Jesus. Costa Rica boasts a wonderful, growing community of Christ followers and a host of Seminaries where Costa Rican leaders are being trained and equipped to lead the Church. We believe the hand of God is upon this tiny country and her beloved people, and have seen with our own eyes how His spirit dwells here.

Words cannot express how much we will miss this place and the dear friends it has brought us, nor the depth of our gratitude for having had the privilege to live here. Seriously, y'all... Life here has been no less than AMAZING. While we're looking forward to this next chapter, we will dearly miss this place.

Five years is a heartbeat and it's a lifetime; it's just long enough to fall in and out of love approximately one million times. I have.

And it was good.

. …. ….

Through this journey, you have been our faithful supporters, our financial partners, our prayer warriors, and our friends. Without you, these five years would surely have looked different. Your partnership has been invaluable - I will never stop being grateful for the encouragement I've found in these pages.

Of course, I've wondered what will happen in this space, what will become of “The Very Worst Missionary”? And maybe you're wondering, too.

I'll share my thoughts on that another time, very soon, but some other time when I'm not crying so hard I can't see my own words through my tears.

For now I'll just say this;

I told you, recently, how I would happily exchange a life that was interesting for a life that was meaningful, and... well... I think I just did.

....    ....    ....

I'll be posting more on the details of our transition (that's gentle speech for "I'll give you the low down on my rapid spiral toward crazy-town") on Friday. 

Feel free to ask questions... I already know what the #1 question will be: "Will Knives the Cat be applying for a green card?!"