Children at Risk School

April 11, 2009
the children at risk school 2009

the children at risk school 2009

April 3 was the last day of classes and final evaluations –  cleaning up the classroom, wrapping things up and saying goodbye, we are done with the lecture phase!  Of course this is only 1/3 of the course, but it is an ending nonetheless.   Looking back we feel blessed and we feel that it was successful.  The feedback we received from students was very positive and we feel that they have learned a lot.

Jon, a children at risk school student, on his local outreach at Angelitos in Los Guidos

Jon, a children at risk school student, on his local outreach at Angelitos in Los Guidos

They’ve taken an important step in their journey to become people who impact the lives of children at risk and follow the mandate of God to “seek justice, encourage the oppressed, care for the orphans and widows.”

Kelsey, a crs student, working in Los Guidos

Kelsey, a crs student, working in Los Guidos

It was a really exhausting and intense three months, especially for our family.  We couldn’t have done it without Jessi and Rachel, our amazing staff, who were so flexible and so understanding of the pioneering nature of the school.  They were always full of creative ideas and always made themselves

joy and laughter is a key to ministry!

joy and laughter is a key to ministry!

available to us and to the students.

On Monday a team left for Colombia to begin their internship there with “Formando Vidas,” a ministry for street kids.  We’re praying for them and know that

Colombia Team

Colombia Team

the learning will continue as they practice hands-on and experience some of the things they have learned during the lecture phase.  One student will stay here in the city to complete an internship with Viva Network, we’re really excited about this opportunity as well.

In June we will begin the last 3 months of the internship in Jaco, working with Christian Surfers, local churches and other existing ministries, as well as conducting surveys, prayer walks, and other research.

We’ve decided to definitely run the school again next year!  We’ve learned a lot and have ideas for how to improve.  Also some students are praying about coming back to staff.   So spread the word!

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A week with Steve Bartel

April 11, 2009

One of the best things about running the children at risk school is having time with the teachers that come to spend a week with us.  We had 4 speakers that flew in from outside of Costa Rica – Janna Moats, Carol Boyd, Steve Bartel and Dave Swann.  With this being our first school it was so encouraging to have these wonderful leaders come and share with us.

Steve Bartel with our family

Steve Bartel with our family

In February Steve came from Colombia.  Steve has been a missionary in Colombia for over 20 years working with “Formando Vidas,” a street kids ministry.  With his wife he has raised four of his own children, adopted two, and had 100’s of former street kids in his home for various periods of time.  When he came to speak, he left his wife in Colombia at home with 8 children in their home, including a baby!   They are such a special couple and have seen so many lives transformed as they follow God’s leading to open their hearts and home.

One night while he was here in Costa Rica we had him over for dinner.  When he arrived for dinner, while we were finishing up the preparations, he went straight into the playroom and laid on the floor with our three boys and started reading them stories!  Our kids, who are generally shy, took to him right away.  It was so cool to see his heart for children and watch him interact with our boys!  He really understands kids.

He talked with us about the possibility of having children in our home someday in the future.  It’s an idea that Scott and I have had on our hearts as a ministry, because we love children so much (in the future – not right now!).  As I start walking more and more into my calling as a mom, I’m realizing the depth of this ministry and the potential to really make an impact in children’s lives.  He invited me to come to Colombia to spend time with his wife, Evie, to shadow her and talk to her about what it takes to be a “ministry mom” and what all that entails.  Our children at risk school is on outreach there so I could visit them also!  It’s something I would truly love to do, so pray with me if this is an opportunity I should take!