Dear Family and Friends,
This weekend we hope to be able to catch our breath a little as it has been an eventful few months for the Clark family. We’ve posted some new photos at www.clarks-costarica.com so you can get a better idea of what we have been doing.
In December, Grace Bible Institute graduated its second student. At the ceremony Emiliano blessed us when he shared that all he wanted to do is become more like Christ. It is such a privilege for all of us here to work with a young man who is so dedicated to serving the Lord.
Last year we planned to take up to eight trips Nicaragua in 2012 in order to continue to minister to friends we already have there and continue to seek out new people with which to work. So far, we have taken two such trips with very positive results. In early January a team of five of us traveled to Nicaragua for a long weekend sharing Bible studies in both Managua and Nagarote. What was so encouraging is that Marvin, our principal contact in Nagarote, invited all of his neighbors and friends to attend a mini-course (How to Study the Bible) that Emiliano gave over the course of two nights. It was great to have 12 men and women take this class. Also the ladies on our team conducted daily Bible studies with women in Nagarote. On the last day, 19 women participated!
It was a fruitful first trip and laid the groundwork for subsequent visits. It didn’t all go as planned, however. About a week after getting back, Emiliano and I both came down with Dengue Fever which we contracted while in Nicaragua. It’s a virus which is spread by mosquitoes carrying the virus. It’s like having a horrible flu times five, but what makes it dangerous and distinctive is that it brings your white blood cell count and platelet count well below normal. This is sometimes why it results in general hemorrhaging. Thankfully, neither Emiliano nor I had it that bad and after a few weeks we were back to normal.
At the end of January I had the opportunity to visit Grace Bible Church in Phoenix which we had never visited before. It was an encouraging and refreshing weekend to spend with the believers there. I wouldn’t hesitate to visit again!
This past weekend we took our second trip of the year to Nicaragua. This time Andrea and the kids came too! It has been about two and a half years since they last visited Nicaragua so it was great for them to not only see the ministry, but to be a part of it too. Berea, Jason and Lydia helped us with puppet shows, playing games with kids, and just being an encouragement to the people we met. Andrea probably had the most unusual conversation of the weekend. While chatting and sharing the gospel with a couple of ladies, one of the young women offered her two year old son to Andrea (which she didn’t accept). What was so incredibly sad is that this woman did so in front of her six year old daughter.
Once again Marvin invited his neighbors and friends to Bible studies that we held at his friend, Harold’s, house. On Saturday and Sunday night Emiliano and I taught regarding the nature of God, Jesus, and salvation. We were so encouraged to spend time with men and women who were hungry for God’s Word. Another thing that impressed us was how giving the Nicaraguans are. None of the people with whom we met asked us for anything, but rather continually gave to us. Marvin and his family fed us four meals. For our Bible studies, Marvin and Harold had rented chairs. When I told Marvin that I gave Harold the $1.50 to pay for the two day chair rental, he rebuked me asking that we not take away the blessing it was for them to be able to invest in the weekend.
As we left our friends in Nicaragua, we encouraged them to continue studying God’s Word together and we let them know that we would be back in a couple of months to spend time with them again. Please pray for this ministry.
Thank you so much for being a part of our ministry here in Costa Rica and beyond!
Jeremy, Andrea, Berea, Jason, and Lydia
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