A new blog

March 28, 2010

Just wanted to highlight a new blog!  Everyone who has a heart for children in need, or who is working in this field or simply desires to make a difference in childrens’ lives should definitely follow along with Jill Aspegren and family as she shares her heart and years of experience in the Casa Viva greenhouse blog.  Click here:  Casa Viva Greenhouse to find out more.



March 18, 2010

Multiplication is happening, people!!  The past two years we have been running the Children at Risk School at YWAM San Jose.  This is a University of the Nations course that trains and equips new workers and advocates for children at risk.  It’s an amazing school with an incredible potential to impact many children’s lives around the world.  As we’re moving on to Jaco and a new ministry opportunity, one thing we truly desire is to see this school continue to run.

Spotlight on Rachel Grimes

This is Rachel.  She’s been working with us the last two years and helped us pioneer the first school and lead the second school.  She has been a huge encouragement to us as she’s completely embraced not only the school but our family as well.  She was there for us when Koa was born and has been a really good friend to us.  She is such an excellent staff and completely invests her life and heart into the students.  Rachel is taking on the school and will run it next year.  We know that she will be an excellent school leader and this next school will be AWESOME. Yay Rachel!!!

Spotlight on Amanda Noyes

This is Amanda.  She came to us from YWAM Tijuana and has such a heart for this school she is taking it back to run at the YWAM Tijuana base!  Not only will the school continue to run in San Jose, it will also run in Tijuana – the training is multiplying!!!  We’ve been meeting with her and passing on everything she will need to run this school.   She has also plugged in with the Women and Children’s Advocacy Centre who are committed to help her make this school a success.  Hooray!!!

Our hearts are so encouraged by these two and we are so glad that this training will continue to be offered!


March 18, 2010

Last week I (Leslie) had the privilege to teach.  It’s always an honor to be able to share my heart and experiences with children at risk schools.  I teach on the topic of children with disabilities.

I only taught two days this year, but it was a challenging and interactive two days.  I also invited the students to have classes in our home, and set up a “classroom” in our garage.  It worked great!

photo by Becky Davis

This week the students got to spend two days volunteering at a special school for children with disabilities in San Jose.  I can’t wait to feed back with them tomorrow and hear how their time was.

Here’s a few resources I used :

National Dissemenation Center for Children with Disabilities

Nick Vujicik’s website:  Life without Limbs

UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Where Is God When It Hurts? by Philip Yancey

Brokenness: How God Redeems Pain and Suffering

Jaco Here We Come

March 9, 2010

Yes, that’s right.  You heard it here first.  We are MOVING!  This is something that we’ve been praying about for over a year now.  After much prayer, research and investigation, we finally feel that this is the time to GO.  We have had a fruitful two years with YWAM San Jose, leading several DTS’s and 2 Children at Risk Schools.  Working with young people in discipleship and training them to reach children at risk has been such a blessing for us.  It was not easy to make this decision to leave.  We love the work we do here and we are sad to leave so many of the wonderful friends we’ve made.  But, we really feel this is the right step for us and the right time to move forward into a new ministry.  Thank you for all your prayers and support through this decision making process!   The good news is we’re only  moving about an hour away!  We will still be “YWAMers” and under the covering of YWAM San Jose, working as an outpost or satellite ministry.

5 Children at Risk School students have decided to do their 6-month internship in Jaco with us!  We  are so excited about this and will spend our first six months coordinating and overseeing the 6-month outreach.  This will be a great time for us to network and build relationships with the people already living and working in Jaco.  We will come alongside churches and projects in Jaco to serve and learn from them.   We are all about networking!  We feel it’s the best way to get started in a new location.  Before jumping in and starting any new ministries, we have to meet people, find out what the needs are, find out what’s being done, and then we can determine the best way to move forward most effectively.  We’re excited we can spend our first six months doing just that.

For those of you that don’t know about Jaco – it is one of the top destinations for sex trafficking and prostitution.  Poverty, drugs and crime also mark the town.  At first glance, the town can appear attractive, but just below the surface it is a dark place in need of light and hope.  Local youth and children are only in school half a day (if they go) and have no safe places to go afterwards.  There are so many needs and lots to be done here.  We truly desire your prayers!!!

Read our update here

March 8, 2010

In their own words…

March 1, 2010

We’re over halfway through the lecture phase of the Children at Risk School here in ywam sanjose.  We thought we’d let you see first hand what students are learning, doing and discovering with us.

“…The facts are devastating. The stories broke our hearts, and it was difficult to emotionally handle the intensity of such a terrible topic. I became aware that Costa Rica is called “The Thailand of the West” in reference to the exploding numbers of tourists that come here for vacation and to enjoy legal and available prostitution. Because Costa Rica is such a safe and convenient country for Americans and Europeans to travel to, and considering its beauty and attractions, it has become a top destination for sex tourism. This means that the trafficking of women and children in and out of San Jose and different beach towns around the country is at an alarmingly high number.”

click here to read the rest of Emily’s post entitled, “God’s Extraordinatry Simplicities”

photo by Pablo Jimenez

“This week was full of hard questions and inspiring ideas. We were probed to dig deeper inside ourselves. We learned how to ask the right questions and conduct research that will help us develop projects and create change…Something Dave said this week was that the excuse “I don’t have any personal responsibility,” has killed millions of people. When we look around at issues in the world and hear the stories, but simply say that it doesn’t affect us and not do anything about it…we are killing people. People are dying, because we just aren’t doing anything about it. “It’s not my responsibility,” or “I have my own life to worry about,” or “I’ve made a way for myself, why can’t they do the same?” When we don’t do anything about child prostitution, human trafficking, poverty, child soldiers, violence, racism, gangs…people are dying. This is our responsibility, our call as Christians and as people, really.

Read the rest of Amanda’s article, “Questions” here.

“This weekend most of the CRS class went to Jaco to do some prep work for their outreach there. Scott, our school leader also went, leaving Leslie with the boys. Being the wonderful, nice person that I am, I volunteered to help Leslie with the kiddos this weekend.”

Continue reading about Becky’s weekend with Leslie.

“During the week we studied many cases of ministries and people who tried with good intentions to look out for children who were at risk, but either were not fruitful, or made some major mistakes.  In most cases, many of the people who began ministries, and walked out their “word of the Lords” did so with poor planning and research. They failed to see what other ministries in the area were doing and why. And they failed to know the culture before asking the people of the community to “buy into” what they wanted to do.”

continue reading “Be smart and LOUD” here

Amanda talks about our upcoming 6-month outreach and writes about what she saw in Jaco:

“It was hard for me not to get absolutely disgusted. I don’t even know how to describe what I saw. There were old men, young men, middle-aged men. They were mostly white, completely drunk and absolutely obnoxious. They were being swarmed by girls prostituting themselves, some sitting around, some heading off in Taxis with the girls.  I wanted to punch those men, in all honesty.”

Read the rest of this post, “Outreach”  here

photo by Pablo Jimenez

Becky says, “…the motive for why I do what I do, is because He is worthy of my life and when I do what He has called/gifted me to do, it brings Him pleasure. Any other motive, just isn’t good enough.”

continue reading, “Because He is worthy” here