How to Engage in the Healthy Practice of Self-Reflection at the End of the Year

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My Dear Friends,

During our break from language school I took some time to write.  Here is one piece of writing  have been working on.  I hope that it inspires you to start 2017 off on the right foot. We love you all!

Christ’s Reward,

Joshua and Allison, Grace, Abby, and Simeon

(Click the line below)

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A Couple Lessons From Our First Two Weeks in Costa Rica

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This is our outside gate! This is the fisrt place we came after leaving the airport.

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 Me and 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 Spirit had not yet been received because 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, and  teachable 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!!

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We live in the bottom right Apt.  The Cistern cover is on the ground in front of our porch, a constant reminder in our comings and goings to drink deeply from the well within!

Exciting Fletcher Steps Update!

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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!

“Christ- The Hope of the Nations”

https://vimeo.com/173162551

 

Friends,

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-not go unless we are covered by faithful prayers!

This link will enable you to partner with us:

https://onemissionsociety.org/give/TheFletchers

Christ’s Reward,

Joshua and Allison (Grace, Abigail, and Simeon)

 

 

The Tale of the Tape

Image.pngOur update for June is this:  We are getting very close to being fully funded!  We only need around $1300 in monthly support to leave for language school.  To put this in prospect, its only 13 partners at $100 a month or just 26 partners at $50 a month or simply a handful of monthly anchor donors, churches, or businesses. Please pray for these new faith partners to join us soon.  In order make the next trimester of language school, we need to be 100% funded by the first week of August. This is our “Tale of the Tape” but its not the complete story.  God is writing our story and we would love for you to be a part of it.

You can partner with us here: https://onemissionsociety.org/give/TheFletchers

We have learned that measurement is necessarily part of being a missionary.  We are constantly measuring our support account.  We are measuring our time and travel on calendars and clocks, and on odometers and gas gauges.  We also measure ourselves.  Are we doing enough?  Are we making enough phones calls, talking to enough people?  Do we pray often enough?  What can we do better, more efficiently, more effectively? I am sure you can relate.

Measurement is not a bad thing.  It helps us understand where we are and what we might need to adjust or recalibrate.  It helps us be good stewards of the time, talent, and gifts we have been given.  But we cannot live from measurements.  The “Tale of the Tape” is often just that, a tale.  Statistics tell an incomplete fiction that can be interpreted in many ways.  We must live from the measureless love of the Father.  He alone can interpret the numbers.

The real challenge for us in this season of endless measurements is to swim, not in the numbers, but in the promises and proclamations of our Heavenly Father.  The numbers are useful, but they can drown us. God’s Word will not drown us. Numbers are not eternal and they are not our Source of strength and encouragement. Jesus is forever and the Holy Spirit is our Source.  Of you find yourself drowning in numbers this summer, remember and remind others, that the “Tale of the Tape” is not a word that Compares to the Living Word- Jesus.  Your story is wrapped up in Him and not in the numbers.

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