ESTAMOS TAMBIEN EN REDES SOCIALES

… por la gracia de Dios soy lo que soy. 1Co15:10

 

TESTIMONIO FAMILIAR

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It was around July 2009. I was working as an architect, serving as a teacher in a young professional ministry and about then part time as a project manager in a church. Meanwhile, Maria was finishing her university degree as a Special Needs Teacher, serving in a Christian Surfers Chapter in San Jose and in a church. We were looking strongly for God’s guidance in our lives. I always remember a story were Maria’s college teacher used to call her out side the classroom to tell her: “Please. I don’t know how to tell you this because I believe it is a good thing what you are doing, but please stop reading the Bible 100% of the time in my class.” I think that this story gives you an idea of where our hearts were. I had met her before a couple times, we had friends in common. Once I went to hear a testimony after a Mission trip to Africa where she went with a close friend of mine. They were best friends but somehow, we never got to see each other a long time after that. A while after one day, I went to the Christian Surfers meeting in San Jose and there she was. We start talking and we found out that our parents lived close, so I gave her a ride to the bible study from time to time. We start knowing our selves better and enjoying a lot our time together. That took us to a very important point in our lives. We were, extremely, taking care of our hearts. We were praying and praying (each alone) to understand God´s will with our friendship. I had even made a promise at that time that I wasn’t going to open my heart to anybody (unless it was God´s will). I wasn’t going to Bible studies to look for a girlfriend but God had something different in mind. It was all about God surrendering me to his will. So one night I remember telling God: “Ok God. I’m going out with Maria tonight. I need you to rock every inch of my body in the most explosive way if you want me to open my heart to this relationship.” Obviously I cannot explain you what the Lord did to me that night. Try to imagine jumping with no parachute from Jupiter all the way to the earth and landing on an ocean full with feathers. It was an amazing night. We prayed together that night and decided to open our hearts always keeping our eyes on Christ. We started dating. I remember Maria telling me about her dream job. 5 hours away from the city at a beach town call Nosara. I thought to myself: “hum, that’s not that bad. In case she gets it, I can move to the area to a friend’s house and work as an architect” But one more time that wasn’t Gods plan for us. Maria got her job on a Sunday. We were wondering but still trusting God´s will. The next Wednesday, I got accepted in a very exclusive Master’s degree that I only dream of. Now I was attached to San Jose for 2 years and she will be 5 hours away in a full time job. After 3 months of dating she was moving to Nosara. And that was terrifying to my flesh. We prayed and prayed for God´s guidance and God always took us to the same place. We were so sure that this relation was from God that we believed with all our hearts that we were going to see His glory holding it together. She went to Nosara on December and I started my masters on January. I remember asking the bank for a loan to pay for my masters been 100% sure that with this degree my professional life will be solved. That way, we could get married and live our lives together. Hahahaha. That wasn’t Gods plan either. She was living in Nosara, working as a teacher and serving the Lord in a Bible study. Nosara has a very extreme weather so is not easy to move around in some times of the year. She used to drive a bicycle everywhere under dusty or stormy weather. I remember that some nights she even called crying because it was impossible for her, because of the strong rain, to get to the bible study were people were expecting the learn the word of God. She suffered the beauty of serving the Lord in difficult conditions. Months were passing. God started building a beautiful burden in our hearts for the town of Nosara and the surroundings. I was in the last months of my masters and that was when it hit me. I realized that I didn’t want to do anything else with my life than serving the Lord. Now. Try to imagine me, two years before, begging the bank and my parents for money to study and now I was just wishing for it to be over so I can leave that behind and serve the Lord full time. That’s crazy. But that was God´s plan. I finished my master´s, married the beautiful Maria in April and started planting Casa Vida Nosara’s church on May 2012. We rented a house that has access to a public “Rancho” and that´s where we do church every week. We pick up people from different towns every week and bring them to the service. It’s beautiful to see how God adds people to his church. After two years serving the Lord together in this town we have learned to trust the Lord and he is been faithful. We meet through the week for Bible studies and discipleship and we complement this with outreach activities and missions in and out the community to get the Word to every corner that we can go to. Our mission: To be churches that form genuine disciples committed to God, through a healthy and complete teaching of the Bible. Our Vision: Impact communities by planting and developing churches Biblically healthy and culturally relevant. It’s been more that two years now and we are more than blessed in the place where God has our lives right now. We are still paying for our student loans and other debts. We work in a community were having a salary, as a Pastor, from the church is hard to imagine. Maria still works full time as a teacher (but possibly 3 days a week after January 2015 to take care of our baby) and we know that that’s not going to be enough to pay our bills… and the work as a Pastor is becoming more and more demanding in terms of leading community projects, preparing the messages and specially shepherding the church people so the Architect work has been displaced by the Church Needs and to the point were it needs to be a full time job. But it’s beautiful that we live in a faith path. We rest in the hands of God knowing that He is taking care of us. We believe God has been, and always will be good and so our faith journey will continue. This is a big year for us. We had our first baby on August 26. His name is Juan Felipe and the way he came to the world was one more time a way for God to show His Grace and Love (in terms of every detail and also specifically about God’s provision for all the expenses a baby can represent). In Church we have been doing a big fund-raise (in the last 4 months) to get a property to build a project that includes a church building, cabins for mission teams, community center to educate people and a house to our family. In addition to this, we urgently need to get a way of transportation for the people from church (a car). Most of the times we fit between 15 to 20 people in a regular pick up for a 8-mile ride. :-(. Not safe at all but the passion for seeking the Lord make them and us do it. The property was bought after a donation done from some people and churches but we still owe part of it and need to cover the upcoming expenses for the possible building of the Rancho/Community meetings and classroom and the transportation as well. In this path God has put different kinds of people that are passionate for his kingdom and want to support us in prayer, volunteer and also sponsoring some of the projects we do. The next step is possibly visit the churches in United States that have expressed interest in support Casa Vida Nosara Ministry in prayer, through mission teams or donations. Our family needs to raise a secure income for next year so we can start to work full time in the church with a full time salary (at least definitive for Dani as a pastor), which hasn’t happened since we started. This is a faithful step but we believe that since God has lead us to this point it is because he has more for the spiritual needs of the community in Nosara and we want to address His call on faith. So, here is where we are, looking to be in the center of God´s will, and we are thankful. With all the respect, if you are reading this and we can ask you for something, it will be to join us in prayer. We are not going to lie to you as you know, been in the battlefield can be scary (specially away from family, friends and the body of Christ). But we believe in the strength of the body of Christ worldwide and to have you near us, in prayer, fill our hearts with peace and joy and help us to go another step forward in this, the most beautiful path you can ever walk, serving the Lord. Dani, Maria and Juan Felipe

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