Hi Everyone! I am doing a little housekeeping on our website! We have just one more trimester here in Costa Rica before we head to Ecuador. After I graduate form language school it is my plan to write articles and send newsletters and updates through this website. We want to get as many followers as we can. Please consider visiting the site and sign up to receive our blog in your email inbox. The button is on the right or at the bottom of the site in the left hand corner. Go here: Fletcher Steps 4-17-17
Happy February! Many people think Valentine’s Day is cheesy or say, “Why celebrate love only one day out of the year?” To me, it is a holiday I welcome and consider it a favorite. In fact, I (Allison) decided to start the month out celebrating my four favorite people by putting an encouraging heart on their door each day leading up to Valentine’s Day. I know, cheesy, but it is an atmosphere changer:)
We started 2017 hopeful and thankful! Josh started his second trimester on January 9th with no cane and no crutches! PTL! His orthopedic doctor said no follow up appointments are necessary, and he finishes up with his last physical therapy session this week. Although he continues to have some difficulty with going up and downstairs, we continue to pray for improvement especially muscle strength in his left leg.
Fletcher Steps Homeschool is back full swing. This semester we added a new geography and writing program to our eclectic schedule. The kids continue to attend Spanish club twice a week, on Wednesdays we join our friends at a nearby park, and Friday Homeschool co-op.
Josh and I started receiving one-on-one tutoring January 9-10 with two wonderful teachers, Maritza and Marlene one day a week for an hour. Josh has already put together a mini sermon and continues to work on various talks. Allison is getting down grammar rules and will be working on past tense and subjunctive.
We have been attending Mundo de Fe church for over a month. It is located close to our apartment and we already feel like they are family. We had the privilege of having the pastor and his wife over for cafécito (a traditional mid afternoon coffee and visit time) as well as two dear sisters in Christ. (pics) On January 24th, Allison and the kids joined the church for a kids day event. We played games in the park, ate arroz con pollo (chicken and rice), and enjoyed making new friends. On the 28th, Josh was asked to paint at the youth’s Noche de Arte/Night of Art. He was inspired to paint from I John 1:1-5 that talks about the Word/El Verbo. At the end of the night, he presented this painting (first one of 2017) to the youth of the church.
We can not do what we do here without all of your support, prayers, and encouragement. We can’t tell you how many times we have felt the covering of prayer. Prayer makes a huge difference. We love you and keep you in our prayers as well.
Love and Blessings,
Joshua, Allison, Grace, Abby, and Simeon
(PS Here is our address if you want to send us or the kids cards or letters)
It has been almost two weeks since we arrived here in Costa Rica and it been great.It has been a whirlwind, but really great.We are all settled in now and beginning to find our way around the “San Francisco de Dos Rios” area.Things we want are not as easy to find here.Certain stores have one thing while other stores have another.And the cost of living is much higher here, but we knew this would be the case.We are living simply and learning from it. We are adjusting to not always having what we want when we want it. There is no Amazon Prime with two hour shipping. There are no 24 hour Walgreens or CVS Pharmacies here, and even though there is a Wal-Mart, it is much different than those back home in the USA.We do not have a car either so there are some limitations when we go shopping.I was hit with this truth about four days after our arrival.
There will always be something that we do not have and want. If we allow ourselves to be unhappy because of what we lack, we are in danger of falling into a bottomless pit of want and discontent. Lord let this never happen!
One of the lessons I learned right away came from the building (a quadriplex) where we are living with three other families.This building is unique in that the missionaries who constructed the compound long ago dug out a cistern for times of drought. If there is a water shortage in the city, we will have water which is a good thing because this does happen sometimes. It is a sure bet that we will never have need of water during our year in Costa Rica!Jesus said this about our need for water in John 7: 37-39,
On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Meand drink! The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said,will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” He said this about the Spirit. Those who believed in Jesus were going to receive the Spirit, for the Spirithad not yet been receivedbecause Jesus had not yet been glorified.”
These “streams of living water” Jesus talks about are available to us and that means that we have a well inside that will never run dry, not a bottomless pit, but an everlasting well because we can be filled with the Holy Spirt.It is gratitude and contentment that cap off the bottomless pit of want adn discontent and help us find and draw from the well of the spirit Jesus has placed within every believer. Our wants will trap us so we must learn to overcome them with gratitude and contentment.
The pit of want is safely covered by gratitude and contentment and the tree ythat is happiest is planted by God’s always full and never shallow well. This blessed tree produces many different fruits like Joy and Patience! Lord let me be that tree!
We have also learned about making adjustments.It seems that living in a city of 2 million is a little different than living in Rimer-town in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. We left the quiet countryside for the noisy city.And we left wide open spaces for concrete walls, razor wire fencing, and ever present traffic.Our bed is hard, things smell much different, and we are 4000 feet above sea level so the air is a little thinner.Adjustments are a part of life.Sometimes they are scary.Sometimes they are huge and sometimes they are small, but everyone faces adjustments.If we cannot learn to adjust with the adjustments it is going to be hard for us. Our four days of orientation to the school were meant to help us adjust to life here in Costa Rica.
I have learned that humility and a teachable spirit are very important qualities that I must ask God to keep developing in me if I am going to learn a new language and culture. God is moving and changing hearts and minds by His Word and His Spirit.How can I expect others be open and teachable if I am unwilling to be open and teachable myself?
The Fletchers are going to learn a lot this year in Costa Rica, much more than language and culture!I cannot wait to share some of these things here on this blog.Please pray for our learning this year, for a humble,open, andteachable spirit to come and stay with us throughout the year.And pray for all of our adjustments, known and unknown, both the ones that are here and those that will come. We will pray for you as well as things change while we are gone and as God moves in you and through you as you draw deeply from the well inside that God has given you. You are all very precious to us.Thank you for your prayers and support!!
Great news- We are 90% funded and have been cleared by OMS to go to Language school so that we can start school August 24th! We leave NC on Monday August 15th. Please continue to pray for all the details to be worked out as well as the remaining 10% to come in before we leave. Pray specifically for more people to partner with us so that we can depart with our support account at full strength for the journey ahead. We need about 20 more faith promises at $25 a month or just 10 more at $50 and we will be fully funded! #thankful #oursupportersrock #cantdothiswithoutyou!
We want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for the monthly support and one-time special gifts that you have given in the last year. Your investment in us is an investment in the Kingdom of God and the many Christian leaders in Ecuador who need to be encouraged, equipped, and unleashed into ministry. As of today, we are almost but not quite funded for our first term of five years. We are lacking only $1000 in monthly support. We need this final amount of monthly support before we can leave for the mission field.
We need this final amount of support to arrive in the month of July so that we can make it to language school which starts in August!
If you are not yet supporting us monthly, would you consider supporting us? We need faithful friends to join the 70 other families, churches, and business in partnering with us monthly. With nearly 1000 friends on Facebook, even a small monthly partnership will add up.
Only 40 new supporters giving $25 monthly will send us to the mission field or only 20 at $50 monthly!
If you are currently supporting us, Thank you! Please pray for us and let your friends and neighbors know what we are doing together. Some of these last supporters will come from your help in spreading the word and encouraging others to support us.
And everyone, please continue to pray! We cannot go unless we are sent by faithful supporters. But we dare-notgo unless we are covered by faithful prayers!