Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We've reached the 3-month mark!

2 more weeks of classes left in this trimester! Wow! We have definitely picked up speed in our classes over the past few weeks as we try to learn as much as possible before we change classes. Josh is learning past tense verbs (it's great that he can speak in more than just present tense now ;-) ) and I learned the 15th out of 15 rules of the subjunctive today. We have continued to use a lot of Spanish around the house and have gotten creative :-). Some friends of ours loaned us a fantastic board game called Settlers of Catan. We have been playing almost every night with our Tica family in Spanish and it's a ton of fun, not to mention great language practice. The currency in the game is madera (wood), ovejas (sheep), ladrillo (brick), piedra (stone), and trigo (wheat) - we will never forget those words in Spanish ever again!

I have been blessed with the opportunity to do a lot of dancing recently through the school! I have mentioned in previous blogs that we have been practicing traditional Costa Rican dances throughout the trimester and in the past two weeks we have gotten to perform them twice: once for the school's Cultural Day and once for the Costa Rican community around the school. It was an incredible rush to get to perform what we'd been working so hard on and it was super-fun to get to wear the traditional Costa Rican skirts, blouses, and shoes.

Also, for the past two weeks I have been choreographing and rehearsing a liturgical praise dance to perform at chapel and last Tuesday I got the chance to do so. Psalm 149 says "Praise his name with dancing, accompanied by tambourine and harp" and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to use a talent that God has given me to glorify him! I danced to the song "Shadowfeet" by Brooke Fraser. She is an awesome Christian contemporary artist and I'd definitely recommend checking out her music!

Josh and I have started meeting once a week with a missionary-pastor, Mike, and his wife, Tricia, to augment our scriptural knowledge. It has been an unbelievable blessing for us! We have realized that while we have a clear understanding of the importance of LIVING our faith day-to-day as a witness of Christ in our lives, we really need to focus a lot more on sharing the gospel verbally with those around us. Mike and Tricia have been talking with us about various ways of lovingly sharing our faith and answering any questions that we have. I have shared my testimony before but it feels great learning how to clearly articulate the gift of Christ Jesus and what that can mean for someone. We plan on continuing to meet with them in the weeks to come and want to specifically learn about Roman Catholicism in Latin America and ways to serve and minister to Roman Catholics in Ecuador.

There has been cause for praise as some of our best friends here at the Institute had their first baby on July 17th: a healthy, beautiful little girl named Eliana. We visited them in the hospital and have been over to visit at their apartment quite a few times and they are doing very well. :-D

We are definitely missing some people and things from home after 3 months here in Costa Rica. We've started really craving some foods from the states and Josh just tortures himself by watching the Food Network at night. Overall though, we are still incredibly happy here and blessed to be living in the will of God. Thank you for your prayers and love and enjoy the rest of your summer!!!

(We wanted to post a pic of Josh's birthday party from the last blog as well!)

Love and God Bless,

Steph and Josh

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