Greetings! We hope this update finds you well and pray you’re staying healthy, safe and warm this season. We are so blessed to have your love and support as our family remains in the middle of this fundraising season for NOW Costa Rica. Here is a brief update for you.
Marriage Retreat - Horizon Church in Jaco hosts a quarterly marriage retreat that Pepper and Jordanna have been lucky enough to enjoy during 2020. Two couples we have been walking alongside that baptized last month, were able to join us at the marriage retreat. It is common in Costa Rica to prolong marriage for many reasons; finances, cultural differences, religious differences and the like, but we are happy to report that both couples have plans to wed in 2021, demonstrating their outward faith, loyalty and commitment to God for their children and the community to see. We are delighted to celebrate with those families in the new year and thank our church for pouring into all of our marriages routinely.
Sofia’s Story - A few weeks prior to departing to the US, Jordanna approached a woman who was a victim of the sex trade industry in Jaco to see if she would be willing to share her story on camera. This particular woman embodies such strength and resiliency, and although it was tough for Sofia to share her memories of being lured into this work at age 16, she got through the difficult experience. Her story has been shared in five presentations this last month and will be shared in six more during the coming weeks. Please continue to pray for Sofia as she navigates the world in front of her and as others are inspired by her courage and consider contributing to NOW Costa Rica. We are very proud of her. God is doing great things through her story.
Trip States Side - Jordanna, River and Windsor boarded a flight to Richmond via Atlanta Nov 16th for a long awaited reunion with family and friends. Both kids wore masks the entire time and we were delighted to have our youth pastor’s wife Alicia alongside us as we navigated customs, baggage claim and more. We are continued to be reminded that God always provides. We have been so blessed to stay in the homes of the Barstow Family, the Dunn Family and of course our parents’ homes as well. Many have lent us their cars, their cell phones, warm clothes and watched our kids while Jordanna continues to seek support. Thank you to the Chan family, the Thompson family and the Carneal family for helping during this season. Each of you have made an impact in NOW Costa Rica gaining its foundation.
Speaking Engagements - Jordanna has been able to speak with many groups in the Manassas and Tappahannock areas about the work NOW Costa Rica aims to do in combating the lure of the sex trade industry. Most people have been quite shocked to learn
about the legal and legitimized industry of prostitution and have come alongside Jordanna in prayer and support. We are forever thankful. We are approaching the 50% marker of our needed goal so we ask for prayers of strength and stamina as we continue to seek supporters. Please pray that we find twenty more families willing to give around $75 a month so that we can fully launch efforts for the vulnerable women and children in Herradura and Jaco. Please pray also for a large donor willing to provide a 15 passenger van so that women and children can be taken to church, appointments, interviews and so that mission teams can have ease of transportation while serving in our community. This would be an additional cost of $20,000 but we know we serve a big God who can do great things. While COVID may be shutting down the world, we can stand firm in our faith and pray God continues to open doors for donations. Please pray alongside us.
Pepper’s Travel - Pepper has resumed his work of hosting troops in Costa Rica and we are very excited. At this moment, his group of five are enjoying the beautiful landscapes of Costa Rica while continuing to heal from the traumas of war. We praise God for open borders and continued, face-to-face opportunities for support for our veterans. Pepper will travel to Virginia to join us Dec 14th. We ask for travel mercies for his trip and a great reunion with family and friends. This is the longest the kids have been away from Pepper. We all miss him.
Jackie’s Winterbreak - Our oldest, Jackie will finish up her exams in a few weeks at Stevenson University and be ready to board her first international flight back with us Dec 24th. She will spend her winter term with us for most of January volunteering for NOW Costa Rica and helping serve at the church. We are thankful that God is allowing her this time to see life outside of the US. Jackie left her refugee camp in Tanzania at age 6 and has not been able to leave this country since then. We’re excited to see what God has in store for her. She will graduate in May with hopes of joining the Peace Corps after a summer internship in Kenya. We are so thankful to have Susan and Len Eastwood caring for her next summer and mentoring all us here in Tappahannock while we launch efforts and navigate the nuances of being a missionary family.