This update is a little late but circumstances have hindered getting it out any sooner. We three have been excessively busy since the last update but much has been accomplished to date!
Although transportation still slows us down to a crawl at times we have been busy building a house for a family in a town about 35 miles away from where we live. They are up in the town of San Ramon. This poor family had a piece of land purchased for them by a donor family and the beginning rough stage of a cement prefab house was erected through the help of the government.
We have been completing the finished cement floor, the finished stucco type coatings on the walls�both inside and out, plumbing, electrical, finished roof, power pole at the street�needed to get the electric connected, the septic system and a myriad of lesser items needed to make this a home for this family of four.
Those things being done will allow us this coming week to start painting the inside and outside of the house, putting in the new windows, hanging the doors and installing the electric from the street to the house once the electric company makes the main connection, putting the bathroom in�toilet and sink, installing the kitchen sink also, finishing the last details of the roof to secure the house from the coming rains etc.
We are hopeful that the house will be ready to live in, less a ceiling, by the end of this month! The ceiling is expensive and will have to be done in the future as our funds have been exhausted at this point! The head of the family is a young man of about 42 years old that has been diagnosed with a very weak heart; he is one level away from being put on a list of heart transplant patients. He has been admitted twice to the hospital just in the past 9 weeks so far.
His only means of supporting his family over the years has been to walk the mountain roads here in Costa Rica and try to sell plastic snap lid bowls�he calls them TUPPERS�to raise daily food money and to cover his rent of about 55,000 Colones per month plus his electric and water�the rent is only $98 a month plus about another $35 for the other things but $134 a month plus food daily and things for his daughter to go to school is a huge mountain to this family.
He now cannot walk for even short periods of time without having chest pains and having to sit until he feels the pain go away�.his ability to earn a living has been diminished considerably but he still goes out daily to try and sell anything he can. The poor house they are living in presently is at the very end of a dead end street that is so steep only 4X4 cars can back down on it and expect to drive out! He has to make 4 or 5 stops along the way just to get up to the main road from his house and his street if not long, it�s just steep! The doctors told him that he needs to eliminate any stress in his life or he could fall over at anytime, but how does a father not get stressed when his family is hungry and the rent is due?
This is where we come in, once we complete this home for this family they will never have to pay rent again, that�s the biggest thing on their list eliminated. The new home is at street level, no more climbing that steep hill to get out every day. We are also helping him to get on the governments disability pension here, this is not an easy task for too many reasons to list here but with much prayer and tenacity we have overcome the majority of the hurdles to date�only one more doctor to go see and the final hearing to petition his case to the board�.hopefully in the next 3 to 6 weeks.
Once this is accepted he will receive a small monthly cash allotment that will pretty much cover the electric and water bills plus enough to cover the schooling costs for his children each year! The government will also give him a monthly food allotment that will cover about one meal a day for the family but this will certainly relieve the major burden from this mans shoulders and even his limited ability to sell his Tuppers will fill in the blanks each month!
This is one project we have been really busy working on and the lack of transportation has eaten up our days to where we have no time for much internet use�still waiting to get internet installed at our house, the government owned internet here is a lesson in patience trying to get them to install as it usually never happens sooner than 3 to 5 months from when you request it! It�s been 4 month for us so far and we�re still waiting!
We are working with another small poor church here that is trying to get opened but they have a building that they have been remodeling for about a year and the children�s classrooms are up on a second floor balcony just above the main church service area and the government just advised them this past week that they cannot operate unless they put in an elevator to the second floor classrooms�.this is an impossibility for this poor church, plus the powers to be knew this all along but waited to inform this small congregation only after they have exhausted all their funds in remodeling this building so now they are in a serious bind!
They could get by the law by simply installing a chair lift but these are not sold here in this country and the congregation cannot afford one at this time anyway! The chair lift will only end up costing a small percent of the price of putting in an elevator but without the help of donors to help cover the cost of buying one in the US and paying to ship it here and cover the taxes on it they have just wasted all their energy and funds building this new church�.the people were all so enthusiastic about their new church and so proud of how nice it was coming along and now this road block is stopping everything they have accomplished from bearing fruit! The enemy is not going to win, this will be resolved, and by faith we stand believing that the answer is on the way in Jesus� precious name we pray!
We will be trying to help this congregation to get over this hurdle by raising funds to get them a chair lift, I will be shopping online to search out a lift and find out what they cost and the cost of shipping it here also!
Anyone that wishes to donate toward either the completion of the home for the family we are trying to help or the chair lift are greatly appreciated. Those of you who have the information on our bank accounts either in the US or Germany can make direct deposits to those accounts, if you have our stateside mailing address you can send a check and our mission director will deposit those into our missions account for us and notify us of those deposits! Anyone who needs these instructions, please drop me an email and I will send you the needed info for you to make your donation!
In advance I thank each and every one of you who support this ministry with faithful prayers and much needed funding�without you this work would not be getting done! You are making a difference! May the Lord God mightily bless each of you for your faithfulness!
Regarding the three of us, Bonnie is getting stronger and looking and feeling better by the month, Praise the Lord! Buddy has been quite busy working on building his first Electric Guitar!
I have been busier lately than I want to be but that is mostly due to the lack of transportation�I have figured that I loose about 45 plus hours a week just getting to and from places waiting for busses that stop every 100 yards or so to pick up or drop off customers, think of that happening on a 35 mile trip, and the wait between bus stations for the next available bus going my way. Once we get a vehicle a 3 and a half hour trip by multiple busses both ways to a meeting can be cut down to 1 and a half hours of total travel time�.this will be a huge blessing!
My health is great, thank God, and there�s so much to do here that finding a new project is not difficult, the time in prayer seeking discernment as to what the Lord wants us to get involved in is the difficult part!
Regarding the funds raise to date for buying a used vehicle, we have raised about $2050 from many of you to help us to purchase a used vehicle�.so that you know what is happening on that end we have been actively searching out a small simple 4 door car but to date�including this morning at 8:15,we have seen many vehicles that are either, overpriced and well out of our price range or in such poor shape that the repairs would cost more than the price of the vehicles!
The one this morning was around $4500, in great shape but way out of our shopping range. Everyone here thinks that because we are American that we are rich�third world perception�it�s hard to change this. We tell people that we have only around $2000 to work with but they all seem to go out and find cars that are $3500 to $7000 each and it is becoming frustrating. The few that are around the $2000 range we have too work with have all had major issues that need repairing and every one of them needed new tires on top of that. By the time we would repair the motors or brakes and transmissions or front ends and put new shocks or struts and tires on these the costs would be around the $3000 to $4000 range and a 1984 to 1990 vehicle is not worth that kind of money!
The 1991 to 1996 vehicles are in the $3500 to $4500 price range and for the most part are in pretty good condition so they could be bought and driven without having to do any major repairs. So unless the Lord brings us a vehicle in the $2000 range that is in really good condition we are still walking and taking busses and taxis! The bad roads in Costa Rica are what beats the older cars up, they are constantly in need of repair and buying new shocks every three to 5 months is beyond the average family here that owns a car so they drive them that way and the constant banging as they drive through potholes and over unpaved roads beats the front ends to death so the repairs end up being major instead of simply changing the shocks as needed.
I said all that so you have an idea of what we are dealing with here, but rest assured that we are in daily prayer over getting a much needed vehicle and I follow through on any lead about a vehicle that comes my way! I am very diligent to check out every vehicle I see and not throw good money into a major problem!
Well, I�ll close for now and pray that this news is going to give each of you a more defined line of prayer for our needs here. God is the final authority and we are confident that He will supply all our needs.
May each of you be blessed with an overflowing filling of His peace, that peace that surpasses all understanding to come into your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. We love and appreciate each and every one of you and remember, God loves you more that we do�Awesome!
Until the next update, God bless you!
In His service,
Ernie, Bonnie and Buddy