Carrie Smith is delighted to be serving Jesus in Costa Rica with the Roblealto Child Care Association. Roblealto is a Christian organization that provides comprehensive care to 700 at risk children and adolescents. At the Bible Home, Roblealto's temporary shelter, Carrie prepares materials for house mothers to use in daily devotions with the children, serves as an AWANA leader, participates in house calls, leads a Bible study for parents and guardians who have children at the Bible Home, coordinates special activities, and provides spiritual support to the children and personnel at the Bible Home. Carrie is also studying online to get her Master's Degree in Religion with a concentration in Christian Care and Counseling through Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She thanks God for the opportunity to study and serve him and share his love with those who need it most!
Dec 10, 2013
Happy 2nd Tuesday in Advent Greetings to you!
So much is going on, and I wish I had time to tell you so many things. But, I didn't have supper until 8:30 tonight since it took me so long to get around to making bread (a New Year's resolution was not not buy bread anymore and I've kept it!) and I didn't feel like cooking anything else. The last of my leftover turkey with gravy on a thick warm slice was worth the wait! But anyway, my room again looks like a light tornado came through, and dishes are piled up on my sink and stove (those will be taken care of in the morning though).
In more interesting news, yesterday was the Annual Christmas and Thanksgiving Service at the Bible Home. It was wonderful! The school chorus sang, we all sang, and then we told the story of why Jesus came to earth. Each house put on a different scene. In between scenes, a small group of personnel sang a related song, and I lit an Advent candle and explained what it represented. Doña Magali, the director of the HB, narrated the rest. We concluded by having cake and fruit nectar (not juice) boxes. Overall, it went really well, and everyone did a great job. A couple people and I sang the first part of "Mary did you know?" after the announcement to Mary and it sounded really nice. The kids all did a great job and the costumes were adorable but:
-I didn't know I had to say anything while lighting the advent candles until doña Magali (who got there late from her morning appts outside the HB, so we started late because we couldn't start without her!) arrived. I had to go and make photocopies of her script as we were starting. And of course I forgot the last page, so I had to quickly copy what I said for the Christ candle by hand.
-I didn't tell our asst director, who was our M.C., to not introduce the school chorus since da Magali's daughter who had been out with her, hadn't arrived yet. Oops. Magaly the daughter is the soloist in the school chorus, so they couldn't perform without her.
-Da Magali had me ask the kitchen staff to help get the stuff together to cut and serve the huge cakes. They weren't prepared for that. The 180 nectar boxes that da Magali supposedly ordered had not been purchased, so our driver had to dash out and hurry back... he made it in time though!!
-Da Magali made the program in a hurry and accidentally paired the shepherds with the announcement to Mary instead of with Jesus' birth. That made for a bit of confusion. But, oh well. We can't turn back time, and we know Luke got it right!
Even in spite of the wild stuff, I still loved it. And I loved how 12+ people came together in the cake serving process: as soon as we brought the cakes back to cut them, many helpful hands appeared and worked together well and efficiently. And, I felt really good that da Magali had taken me into consideration and given me so many responsibilities, even though I blew a couple of them.
And yikes, I just wrote you over twice what I normally do on a Tuesday. Sorry!! I hope it's been entertaining and a blessing. Oh, and THANK YOU so much for your prayers for my studies. Saturday I read about 500 pages and wrote 3. That was only possible through God's grace! I averaged over 10 pages/hour faster than my normal "fastest" reading pace! Now all I have left is to finish one more big assignment due Saturday! Please keep praying!
Muchas gracias y buenas noches!!!
Yikes! October was over 11 days ago! As I said in my last few Tico Tuesdays, I've been way too busy. Life will continue to be quite intense until my semester ends December 14th, but I have everything organized and planned out so I can finish the rest of my assignments well. It's a lot of work, but God is good and if he's brought me this far, I know he can bring me through to the end. I think part of why this has been so hard is because I didn't get any breaks between my semesters earlier this year. I'm really looking forward to December 14th! Thank you so much to all of you who read and shared your thoughts with me about my paper on singleness and for all of you who are praying me through my Master's program!
-We had another night of games and fun with AWANA leaders one night. We included a beautiful time of worship and then played HOCKEY!!! That was a blast, as always.
-I met Kiki (who appeared in the last Tico Tuesday) for the first time. I cannot tell you how excited I am to have another single female under 30 join the LAM! Right now she's only committed to being here for a year, but of course, I'm hoping she stays longer. :-)
-I started attending a different church! Again, I know. I'm not thrilled with the church (s)hopping I've been doing. Every year and a few months to year and a half I've changed churches. I've been trying to find a place where there is solid biblical teaching, I feel comfortable with the style of worship, there is a good sense of community and an active group of peers for me, and some way I can get involved even though I'm limited by AWANA about half the year. I had been unsatisfied at the church I was going to, and the young adult group fell apart when the couple leading it got pregnant, and I never really felt a part of it anyway. The church I'm going to now is actually right in San José de la Montaña (the town I live in), so it's about a 13 minute walk away. They have a number of youth that are involved in the church and a number of other activities. They invited me to hang out with them last week and that was really cool. I love the worship: there is such a freedom and joy in celebrating God and all he has done for us. There are a number of people from the Bible Home I know there, and so, up to this point, it's feeling like a much better fit. I long so much to be able to say I have a real “church home” here in Costa Rica. So, please pray for this transition and for wisdom and good relationships, etc. I look forward to getting to going to the young adult group in a couple weeks!
-I was able to Skype with my church in Maine for a few minutes one day during their Fall Missions Festival. It was really fun to see and meet some people and get to share with them, even it just briefly. I loved their fall festival idea and the efforts they made to connect with their missionaries around the world. I think all churches should do stuff like that!
-Now that all the Bible Bees are over, things have calmed down a bit... it's been the calm before the big boom of the end of the year. One boy has been spending a lot of time in my office helping me with different things and just keeping me company. I've really enjoyed growing closer to him. He is such a sweetie, but definitely not as nice to be around when he's not in a good mood. His family situation is so hard. He was in a Child Services shelter for 5 years at some point in his life before coming to the Bible Home. That means he's spent most of his life institutionalized. Please keep him and his little brother in your prayers.
-Part of why this Chronicle is out so late is because I'm currently in the States for seminary and visiting supporters. I'd hoped to be able to find a scholarship for seminary, and figured it really wouldn't be hard for a single female missionary to find one. I was wrong. But, since this is with the purpose of enhancing my service, I am able to raise support and have my own personal seminary scholarship! So, in order to finish the second half of seminary and cover the expenses of this trip and the trip I have to make to seminary again in the spring, I need to raise an extra $7500. Would you consider investing further in me and my service to God by making a Birthday/Thanksgiving/Christmas/Year End gift to the Latin America Mission? I am learning so much in seminary and am already putting to use a number of things I've learned!
Thank you so much for your prayers and support!
Please prayerfully consider partnering with me by regularly supporting me and/or making a special gift on my behalf to:
Latin America Mission, P.O.B. 52-7900, Miami, FL 33152-7900 (with a note that it's for Carrie Smith).
Or by internet: http://www.lam.org/missionaries/carrie-smith
Read more on my blog! http://smithcj1.blogspot.com/