A Week in Review

July 24, 2011

This Monday all the kids were back to school after a two-week school holiday. The holiday was amazing. We opened mornings and afternoons, did all kinds of fun stuff, had a skate contest, several visiting teams from the states come and do VBS camps, surf camps and more.

Our idea was to take some time during the two weeks to think and pray about what our regular hours are going to be after the holiday. We knew we needed a change, but just weren’t sure what was going to be best. Things were so busy, we never really had time to talk about it! Finally, Monday morning, Scott and I had to decide on what our scheduled hours would be. We talked for less than five minutes and turns out we both separately had been thinking the same thing. And it was decided as quick as that. So nice to be on the same page!

On Monday we had lots of fun with water color pencils. There’s lots of different ways to use them using paintbrushes and water. We also used them as face paint, which was fun! We introduced a new game as well – “Guess Who.” Do you remember that game? It’s a really great game because it involves some critical thinking skills. It’s been interesting to see the children try to learn and understand the game. From 7 year olds up to teenagers, it’s a little bit challenging for them to understand how to ask questions and through the process of elimination determine which character your opponent has.

Tuesday we made a giant marble run using some tubing. The kids got to experiment setting it up different ways and racing the marbles through, catching them in a tin can. This was really fun. As well as the marble run we made shiny corn syrup paint, which has a great sensation and is a neat medium to paint with.

Corn syrup paint

Giant marble run

Wednesday was another amazing day. We taught the kids some English – some basic phrases. The pronunciation is so difficult for the children. We used mini whiteboards with markers and the book “One Fish, Two Fish.” The next day I picked up a curved piece of PVC pipe at the hardware store. With this the children can listen to their own voice and it helps them with the pronunciation. It was fun to watch their reactions as they spoke through the tube back into their own ear!

A highlight from Thursday was sitting on a blanket reading stories to a boy who was having a lot of trouble playing games. I could see he needed to de-stress, so I pulled him away to relax and have a story time. “I don’t like books. I don’t know how to read,” he protested. But I convinced him and several others joined us to read a bunch of books together. Moments like that are priceless.

Friday was a super-fun day. Liz and Lisa, our interns, planned a water balloon fight – they even added a little paint inside the water balloons. It was an epic battle that ended in a huge water fight, screaming, laughter and joy. They created a waterslide at the park next door by shooting water down it and the kids flew down.

These are opportunities these children do not get in their homes or schools, and yet creativity and play are essential components of a healthy childhood. Nothing gives us greater joy than watching children come, relax, explore, be creative, improve their skating skills, stretch their brains in a fun way, build friendships and all in a safe, loving environment, modeling who Christ is to these children.

What a privilege!


Kai discovered an important life principle today.

July 21, 2011

Kai has been working really hard at skateboarding and practicing a lot. I know that feeling. I remember feeling like that about gymnastics at his age. It’s good to have an obsession at this age- 8 ½ – it’s an age characterized for stamina, drive and practice. So I’m happy he’s found something to pour that energy into. He’s been dreaming about being able to “drop-in” on the ramp. So he’s been working up to it for weeks now, getting close, but not quite there. Well, today was the day. We made sure he had on a helmet and pads and Scott helped him a few times until he got the feel of it, and then he was doing it! His face was pure joy as he dropped off the edge of the ramp and whooshed down and up the other side at full speed. Exhilaration! When he paused to come eat lunch, he sat there, just smiling.  “This is the good life,” he said. What a great phrase to express what he was feeling. Then he explained how it felt so good to finally do it, because he’s been wanting to do it for so long. He said the wanting to do it for so long made the good feeling feel even better. Interesting, Kai! That’s called anticipation. When we want something and patiently work for it, the satisfaction we get from that is so much greater than instant gratification. It’s worth it to steadfastly work each day towards your goal, and then finally achieve it.

I thought about so many things in my life that feel that way. Marrying Scott meant having years of desiring to find my soul mate. Then when I finally found him, the joy was so great. I still carry around that joy with me to this day. Scott and I will have moments where we look at each other with just relief that we will never have to go back to that time, that we will never have to date again, all that is over. We found each other!

This ministry we started. For years I’ve been thinking, hoping and dreaming of this. Almost despairing that it would never happen. But patiently plugging away at where God had us in order to reach this point. And I can see His wonderful hand of guidance and His perfect plan and timing in all of it. But the joy of being able to do what we are doing is so much greater because of all the years spent anticipating and working towards this goal.

Is there anything you are anticipating right now? Be faithful to what He has asked you to do today, patiently and steadfastly plugging away, “practicing” so to speak, like Kai on the skateboard ramp, until the day comes when you finally receive what you have been waiting for. It will be well worth the wait, and your joy will be that much greater for the waiting.

 ~Leslie


Things That Are Making Me Smile :)

July 12, 2011

1. Water fights on hot days

2. Making cookies – including flour and icing fights

4. Lots of board games, puzzles, playdough, coloring and more

5. Listening to story after story of a boy’s life in Nicaragua before coming to Jaco and being able to understand. Listening to a child is so powerful.

5. Reading children’s books aloud in Spanish

6. Giving two children their first Bible

7. Seeing one of the children sitting outside his house reading his Bible and sharing how he read his Bible before bed and didn’t have nightmares like the night before.

8. Taking children to church with us

9. Watching my own children have fun and embrace new friends

10. More hugs and love in my life than I could ever have imagined

11. Feeling so privileged to do this work that we do


The Power of Play

July 9, 2011

“Play is the medium through which children explore, learn connect and fully engage with the surrounding world. It is an essential activity through which children form healthy attachments, discover the world around them, and develop a foundation of competence, self-worth, and joy that can impact them for a lifetime.”


The Karate Kid in all of Us

July 8, 2011

Liz Moss is other Children at Risk School intern here serving with us. She also is an enormous blessing and we are so thankful for her. She wrote a really touching post, that just brought tears to my eyes and I have to share it with you. Hop on over to her blog and read her latest post:

The Karate Kid in all of Us 


Ministry is Bubbling!

July 7, 2011

We wanted to share with you a blog post written by Lisa Postma, a Children at Risk School intern here working with us for six months. She is a huge blessing to us personally as a family and to the ministry. We’re very thankful for her. She just wrote a sweet blogpost about the ministry, you can read it here:

Ministry is Bubbling!


June Update!

July 2, 2011

Just click the picture below for our June update!