Friday, February 18, 2011
A new year, a new group of in incoming freshman, and new opportunities to share Christ at the Tec! In the picture below with Shirley are Paulett, Kandra and Gabriel. They took initiative and handed out leaflets to about half of the 1,000 incoming freshman class informing them about CruTec, our Campus Crusade group on campus.
Posted by Philip DeCicco at 12:52 PM
Saturday, December 04, 2010
Thank you for your prayers for Rigo and Juan Gabriel! We wanted to give you an update of what has been going on in the past couple of weeks. It has been a busy and emotionally packed time. We thank the Lord for opportunities to minister and we have seen his hand clearly at work!
We spent last Thursday with Rigo and his family for the viewing and funeral. I put the Turkey back in the freezer -- we celebrated Thanksgiving along with the first Sunday of Advent together!
Rigo's dad, Carlos, was an usher in the church and loved by many. He always greeted people with a smile, and was quick to tease or share a joke. The church was packed out for the funeral. Rigo and his sister, however, did have some difficulties in their relationship with their dad. Rigo had just shared with me a couple weeks ago how that he had been able to speak with and come to peace with his dad. I can't imagine if he had not been able to do that! It is a powerful reminder of our need to love and forgive, and always have short accounts in life!
That same day, I called Juan Gabriel to let him know about Rigo's dad. He was in town with his younger brother, taking care of some the details after his dad's death. We were able to get together Friday morning, and he told me about what happened with his dad. His dad and 4 other men (including his dad's uncle) were going to get the village's water supply working. There was a problem with the pump. They took a short cut through a dangerous area, and as they were crossing, there was a mudslide. The men in front, just steps away from his dad and two others, were able to escape. But his dad and two others were killed. The bodies of the two other men were recovered within a couple hours, but it took 3 days to recover Gabriel's dad's body. Gabriel's dad was just 47 years old. Gabriel is the 2nd of 4 children, 24, 23, 13, and 7 years; his mom, Rosemary, is 45. I can't imagine the pain and shock the family has been going through. I was able to share with Gabriel some scripture, but mostly just tried to listen as he told me what happened and what they have been dealing with over the past few weeks. Gabriel did tell me his dad had visited his grandparents and some other relatives just the day before the accident -- and they feel it was as if he was able to say good-bye, and they are thankful for that.
Christmas Coffee and Elementary School Outreach
Last Saturday we had a Christmas Coffee to celebrate the end of the school year, the coming Christmas season, and to thank God for the activities of the past year. We specifically wanted parents, alumni and faculty to be exposed to the work, in order to gain support and even volunteers for the future. There were about 40 in attendance. We had a powerpoint and photo presentation of the work over the past several years, Juan Elias' testimony of coming to Christ through his involvement with the group, and a short drama the students put together. Despite some technical difficulties in the beginning with the electricity and the video projector, everything worked out! We started almost an hour late due to the problems, but the coffee, tamales, and homemade "pumpkin" pie (made from ayote, a local squash) from Shirley were a great hit, and everyone seemed to really enjoy the evening! We could also see that it has helped to build the group's closeness with each other.
The students did a drama based on the song "Everything" by the group Lifehouse
Tomorrow we and the students are going to San Marcos of Tarrazu, to hold the end of year Christmas party for a small elementary school with just 35 students. Paulette's mom is the school's director and one of the two teachers there. It is a poor, farming (coffee) community. We have collected presents for each of the students, and will also bring apples and grapes, which are traditional gifts during Christmas. About 12 students from the Tec will be going -- we will play games with the kids, have lunch, and give the the presents and some school supplies.
This past semester, Shirley had a women's Bible study in Paulette's house. Paulette came to faith in Christ a little over a year ago during the project from Mexico, and has really been growing since that time. One of the evenings at the Bible study, Paulette's mom, Wilma, began to share with Shirley her life and background. Shirley was just about floored by what she heard, in terms of brokenness and pain.
This opportunity to serve and bless these children, their community, and Paulette's mom, Wilma, is another open door the Lord has put before us. When the Lord brings a student, like Paulette, or Juan Elias, to himself, we are always aware that there is a context, a family, a bigger story behind the story, so to speak -- with our Lord's love for people and desire to bring them to himself.
Our prayer is that the Lord would open these hearts and bring many more to himself. Life is precious and fleeting. Shirley and I have talked for the last three years of visiting Juan Gabriel's family. His father's untimely death was a strong reminder of how urgent and important it is to continue to sow the life giving seeds of the Gospel abundantly and at every opportunity!
Thank you for your prayers and partnership with us, as we invest in these students, the next generation of leaders!
serving with you,
Philip and Shirley and the family
- Rigo and Juan Gabriel and their families during their grieving, that the Lord would comfort and use these tragedies to bring people to Himself
- The outreach to the San Marcos children, their families, and Paulette's mom, Wilma; future opportunities to bless this community
- Isaac and Carol, the new staff couple, for their support raising process
- For our family, rest over the holidays and re-creation
- Wisdom as we review and formulate short and long term ministry plans
Posted by Philip DeCicco at 12:03 AM