The Day Before

bold faithTomorrow I will head to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic with a mission team from The Tree.  Six of us will fly out from Miami.  But it won’t just be us ministering next week, this is actually an International Mission Team, as we have a team of six ladies meeting us from Costa Rica and one from Honduras.  All joined together by One Spirit, to be a witness for Jesus – to share His amazing love!

I always love the anticipation of what is ahead, because I know God has already gone ahead of us, preparing the way!  The fact that there are women from three countries headed to a fourth makes me shake my head in awe at what God has prepared.

I really don’t know the details of our schedule, except that we will be ministering in churches each night, and outreach programs; orphanages, jails, nursing homes, hospitals, during the day.  On Friday night and Saturday, we will host a 2 day conference for the women, an opportunity to give some teaching on the love of Jesus and how to walk in what He died to give us.

There will be tears and laughter, joy and sadness, friendships renewed and new ones forged.  There will be late nights and early mornings, little sleep and lots of coffee, and chocolate.  There will be hearts turned to God and lives changed by Him.

Our theme is BOLD FAITH, we are stepping out and allowing God to do with and through us as He wills, His way.

Our scripture is:   Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your pathsstraight. (Proverbs 3:5,6)

We are trusting, we are acknowledging and we will walk through a path that He has straightened.

In Jesus Name!

Advertisements

Day Six – Costa Rica Journal – Babies and Birthdays

Day 6 - 1On Sunday morning, we had breakfast and then headed off to Pastor Octavia’s church for Sunday service. We were going to be guests this morning and everyone was ready for a little break, I believe. Serving the Lord on these mission trips is awesome, but it is not for the weak at heart or body.

Day 6 - 2Selene and Serene met us at the church, it was Serene’s dedication day and we were all excited to be a part of such a special event. The kids at the church were also putting on a special dance presentation for us and we were eager to spend the morning with our special friends. It will never cease to amaze me, the special connection of love we felt with our friends here. We loved them and they loved us. Even though we could not communicate through words with most of them, God’s language of love is universal.

day 6-4We so enjoyed the spirit of the kids during the dance time. They did two numbers for us and none of us had a dry eye when they finished. The depth of God’s love they were able to express during their worship was overwhelming to us. So very special and such a blessing to each one of us.

After church, we headed off to purchase souvenirs. We didn’t have the opportunity to do any shopping during the week, and we enjoyed seeing the local crafts. T-shirts and handcrafted jewelry are always a hit when we head home!

Deanna found a really neat hat and was happy to model it for us. She looked so cute!

day 6 - 6

day 6 - 7We then headed to Pastor Martin and Pastora Sonia’s home for lunch. It was Pastor Martin’s birthday and we were eager to join in the celebration. We headed up the mountain, once more to Miramar. What a special place this tiny mountain village had become to us!

day 6 - 9Pastor Martin and Pastora Sonia had a beautiful home, on the side of the mountain, and we were all enjoyed their hospitality. We loved our time serving the people of Costa Rica, we enjoyed every minute of it, but I have to confess, it was so enjoyable to sit on their deck and just enjoy the food and the company.
We were served ceviche and tostones and homemade pizza and we were honored to be enjoying the day with our special friends.

Day 6 -10After lunch, the keyboard came out and Pastor Wilmer and Ruth began blessing us with worship. It was such an amazing time of ministry. All week we had been ministering to others, now the Holy Spirit was ministering with us. Each one of us had our own personal time with the Spirit and it was so very special. Sometimes we think we have to be in a church to experience God, but that afternoon on the mountain showed each one of us that when we seek him, we will find him, no matter where we are.

day 6 -11Pastor Martin really touched my heart on this special day. He shared with our team that he didn’t really have a good impressions of Americans, most of the ones he had met were not really people that he wanted to associate with. But he saw something different in our team, he saw love being lived out and our group gave him a different perspective of how Americans could be. I was so thankful for God that we were able to live out life, His way and be a living testament of His love! Thank you Jesus!!

5th Sunday Dream Team Fun Night – October 30, 2011

On the 5th Sunday in October, 75 members of the Dream Team met to have a night of good food, good friends, and a great message by Cal Montenegro.  We love and appreciate our volunteers, they are the driving force here at The Tree! 

Everyone brought their favorite Intenational food, and for dessert we had melted chocolate for dipping!  We divided into teams and did a team building exercise, the human pretzel.  And then we were treated to an inspiring message by Cal Montenegro. Cal is an International Evangelist who travels to Central and South America several times a year sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Living Stone – October 2011 – Monica Wiggins

Monica Wiggins- October 2011 – Tree of Life Living Stone

Monica Wiggins loves Jesus and she loves serving him.  It shows in her smile, in her eyes and in everything she does.  Monica spends most days at The Tree, as a volunteer, helping out wherever she can.  She has a gift for organization and we’ve been blessed to have her  skills put to use throughout the church.  Monica, we love and appreciate you.  You Do Rock!

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  (I Peter 2:4,5)

Yard Sale – October 15, 2011

On October 15, 2011, The Tree of Life sponsored a church wide yard sale to support missions and children’s ministry.  Troop 255, which is sponsored by The Tree, sold refreshments.   Over $1300 was earned from this event, everyone had a great time.  Thank you to everyone who participated by donating items and / or giving of your time during this two day event.

Living Stone – September 2011 – Edison Tungpalan

Edison Tungpalan – September 2011 – Tree of Life Living Stone

Edison Tungpalan  is a true Living Stone for Jesus.  He is our Sound Tech Technician, and every Sunday he is faithfully sitting at the controls, making sure all the sounds coming forth are unto The Lord!  Edison is here at the church during praise team practice, making sure all is as it should be with the sound system. Edison always has a smile on his face, he is a true joy to serve with.  Edison, thank you for all you do!  We appreciate you!

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  ( I Peter 2:4,5)

Living Stone – August 2011 – Smiley Castaneda

Smiley Castaneda – August  2011 – Tree of Life Living Stone

You only need one look at Smiley Castaneda to know why he has this nickname.  There is always a smile on his face!  Smiley loves Jesus and he has such a heart to serve Him.   Smiley donates his time and talents to The Tree through his business, Smiley Graphics & Promotions. Smiley provides all lour printing and t-shirts, and does such a great job with everything.  Thank you Smiley!  We appreciate you!

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  (I Peter 2:4,5)