Wednesday, April 24, 2019

It's Gonna be May!

“Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
 and you will find rest for your souls” 

Hello hello my friends, no I have not forgotten about you! I have just been all over the place.  The verse above is Matthew 11:28-29 and really resonated with me this morning as I sat down to fill you in on all my comings and goings from the past few months.  Sometimes, life can feel so overwhelming there are so many things to get done, so much busyness, things grabbing for your attention, stress, wanting to be that person who can help everyone but knowing and having to accept your limits, comparison,  realizing that community is positive and wonderful but also comes hand in hand with conflict and frustration, dealing with the reality that many things are out of your control – you can fill out the right forms, communicate clearly, hand things in on time but at the end of the day you just have to wait and pray…
It’s easy to feel beat up, discouraged, not good enough especially if you forget to keep yourself yoked (aka connected) to the Lord.  God uses the Bible to literally tell you “Come to me.”  The Message (a translation of the Bible that uses a more contemporary language) says:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
I don’t know about you, but when I read that first opening I was like “Tired? Yes… Worn out? Yes… Religion? YES!!!” An escape with the Lord and real rest sounds pretty appealing at the moment!  So maybe you’re asking, “great where do I find the Lord and get me some rest?!”  Well, the easiest place is none other than the Bible! Taking some time to go through the Bible and apply what you’re reading; to recognize that your worth doesn’t come from what social media or others say, but rather, recognizing that you are  “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14)  God made you special!  There is purpose for you!  You were meant for something meaningful! Huzzah!! You’re on the road to rest!

These past few months I have been to camps, conferences, meetings, immigration, evaluations, traveling…
…visiting host families and mentors,  becoming part of the mobilization team leadership for the Missions Cooperation in Costa Rica (CMC)…
…Assisting a young family dealing with the husband/father’s aggressive cancer, more meetings!  Hosting visitors, keeping up to date with my striders, prepping for the Step teams and new Striders!   
Being in a wedding party, tending the garden, getting myself a flight to Canada! Not to mention English classes, translating for a visiting team from Canada, doing some conflict resolution… ooh! Dare I go on?!?
It’s no wonder I’ve been feeling a little tired…all the more reason to celebrate that my friend is coming on Saturday to take me to the beach for 5 days!!!  She surprised me last week! As someone who struggles to vacation this couldn’t have come at a better time!

PRAYER & PRAISE! 
  • After 7 years of pain with a glomus tumour (not dangerous, just painful) in my thumb I was blessed by a kind member of my LAM family donating Photo Light Therapy to me so that, Lord willing, I will no longer have to deal with the piercing pain and distracting discomfort!  I started my first session yesterday!  Please pray for complete and speedy healing,
  • For safety during my impromptu minibreak next week, may it be a time filled with joy, real rest, refreshing!
  • For the many refugees who are without homes and food, particularly those coming to Costa Rica from Nicaragua and Venezuela.  May the Lord show me how to get Latin Link Costa Rica involved!
  • Continued safety and growth for our Striders as they continue to learn how to navigate being in a different culture and all that that entails.  May they continue to search for God in all circumstances and be open to what God is trying to teach them!

Thank you again for being so wonderful! I appreciate each and every one of you who takes the time to support and connect with me!  If you are in the lower mainland I will be there, Lord willing, from August until the beginning of October!!!  So if you’d like to hang out, introduce me to your pastor, have me speak at an event or really anything else  let me know and we can put something in the books!   May the Lord bless you and keep you safe!  I’m really looking forward to seeing many of you in a few months time!
Big hugs!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Here I am vs. There You Are

Today, I was reading a book and it was talking about leadership and integrity and the idea of here I am vs. there you are; how many leaders walk into a room and are looking to be seen, noticed, to be appreciated (here I am!) – all natural desires but yet the Bible teaches us that Jesus came to serve, not to be served and how as leaders we should be focusing on others – how can I help you? What is the best for everyone?  Putting others above yourself…
I can remember a time quite a few years ago, I was working in a community  and one of the leaders came to me and said there was a small group coming to visit/serve us for the day and what were some activities they could help me with.  I thought about it and said “to be honest, right now the biggest blessing would be for them to help pick up all the garbage around the yard” it wasn’t a glamorous job, but it was genuinely one of the most pressing things needing to be done.  To my surprise I was briskly told that that was not an option and how could I even suggest that so and so pick up garbage!  Apparently, they were big donors and very important people – even the notion was preposterous to this leader.  I don’t remember what they ended up doing but I do remember feeling discouraged and confused… “weren’t they coming because they wanted to serve?”

It made me think about  ministry life and whether or not I fall into the here I am category, I thought about a conversation I had just yesterday where someone was telling me about a leader and their attitude – it’s something people really do notice, once you look past the ‘glamour’ of the spotlight.  Reality is, I think, we can all fall into the here I am category, it’s natural.  It’s not about judging others but rather being aware that we are human and sometimes we suck...but doesn’t that make the whole notion of grace and forgiveness that much more impressibe and valuable?!  I mean we screw up all…the…time!  Well, at least I do!  Yet, Mr. God still loves us, still hangs around to cheer us on and pick us back up… pretty exciting no?!



2018 wrapped up pretty nicely for me and 2019 has been off to a delightful start!  Back in November I finished up the Perspectives course (I passed! Woohoo!) it was a great experience and I had a wonderful time learning and making new friends.




My brother and future sister-in-law came the day after my last class and toured me aaaall around Costa Rica!  It was so much fun!  I love them so very much, it was a great way to unwind after a stressful semester!  I could go on and on spamming you with pictures but I will spare you! (mostly because my phone/computer and the internet are being difficult)





I spent Christmas and New Years here with one of my Tico families, which is always a good time!










January has been great so far!  A week ago, I went and picked up our latest Strider from Switzerland – haha well I didn’t pick her up from Switzerland, just the airport!  She’s here!  She’s absolutely delightful …may I present to you *cue drum roll* Zoe!!! 
Please keep her in your prayers as she picks up some more Spanish and settles into her new position in a local elementary/high school where she will be working with children with disabilities!













This past weekend I represented Latin Link at a youth conference called CIMA and it was super successful and a great testament to what a dork I am, can you even believe that I was discouraged at the beginning, feeling like people wouldn’t want to talk to me or care about the cool stuff God does through Latin Link?!  So ridiculous!  He proved me very wrong!  I literally had someone come racing up to the table and tell me she had been waiting for me to show up all week (the conference had started on Monday and I was doing the booth on Saturday) because it was exactly what she’d been looking for!  She told me part of her testimony and I told her all about what we do…*swoon* it was so amazing – I tear up basically every time I think about it, because it’s just like .. how amazing is God?!




What’s next you ask!
Well, next week I will be helping in the kitchen for the youth camp at church, then starting in February Zoe will move into her host family home, we’ve got the annual Latin Link Central America South (haha yes! It’s a mouthful!) conference, THEN I’ll spend the following weekend serving in the young adult camp for church (games team).  Aside from all those fun things, I also have my wonderful administrative duties, discipling, we’ve got TWO Step teams coming this year, plus I’ve got some Stride profiles to find opportunities for, I will, Lord willing, get my residency this year (still in process, no news as of yet), plus I’ve been overwhelmed with the amount of English students I have piling up.. but all of that is nothing compared to the very exciting event and creator of joy within the Chandler family that is, the wedding of my baby brother later this year!!!!

2019 is shaping up to be an excellent year!  As always, I’m super grateful and blessed by each and every one of you who support me whether by faithfully praying, keeping in contact, financially supporting me, and all of the other ways you make me feel loved and cared for.  I am truly blessed!

Big hug!

PS.  It looks like the blog doesn't automatically send out updates anymore, so if you would like to be notified please send me a quick email or follow me on Facebook or Instagram to see when new stuff is posted :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

I bring you good news of Great Joy!

That’s how the Gospel starts!  So why can’t it be the start of my blog right?  If it’s good enough for Jesus it’s good enough for…well.. it’s probably too good for me, Jesus is perfect and way more awesome than I!  But Jesus lives in me and he loves me (and you!) and because of Him I too have great joy and good news!  On with the show!

So the other day I got a message from someone saying that they check the blog weekly only to be disappointed that I haven’t uploaded anything!  I was so embarrassed, it has been something on my To-Do list that just keeps getting put off..that ends TODAY! 

IMG_0353In the past few months I have been all over the place: visiting potential project sites, setting up for my new Striders (one came last month and another is coming, Lord willing, in January!) , I started the Perspectives course a few months ago so there’s been lots and lots of studying!  I’ve been up to Canada and back! There have been baby showers, babies, weddings, engagements, a few funerals,   MY BIRTHDAY!  Sooo much English (there has been a large request for clases con Kayla)!  God is really allowing me to work in a lot of different areas in a variety of ways!

 




My birthday pizza!IMG_2083IAUV3377
(my birthday pizza, some prayer at my info night – I'm in the middle there somewhere, Perspectives course group shot)

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(Some of my family, representing Ticolandia, working hard, prepping for Ariana!)

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(family and friends in the Mother land)

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(part of the Latin Link CR team, CARPIO, send off for one of the girls from the Costa Rican church)

 PRAISE/ PRAYER

  • SO as of a few weeks ago my visa application was accepted and I am now in process!!!!  Very exciting news, this means that I don’t have to leave the country every 90 days and it means DLNR1716I’m one step closer to getting my residency!
  • Our lovely Swiss strider (Ariana, pictured right) arrived last month!  She’s been here in San Jose studying Spanish; this weekend I will be moving her up to her project site (about 3-4 hours away).
  • Costa Rica could use some serious prayer, we’re over a month into the national strike over the fiscal plan – it has included marches, road blocks and a lot of misinformation has been given, sometimes it’s hard to know what to believe.
  • I have quite a few new English students (one of whom asked to learn more about the Bible so we take an extra 30-60 minutes after her class to read and learn about God) which for me has been really interesting to see the Gospel through the eyes of someone with no prior experience/knowledge.  She asks a lot of great questions – which are usually super profound and thought provoking – it’s a lot of fun.  You can pray that God would really open her eyes and allow her to fully see all that God is doing in her life, that she would develop a genuine and deep relationship with God and continue to flourish.
  • My friend Ron, went home to be with the Lord.  It’s bitter sweet, because while I know he is in IMG_2160heaven, living it up I still miss him down here.  He was always so kind and supportive; he was usually the first person to comment on any updates/ pictures to tell me what a great job I was doing and how proud he was, he was so encouraging and made me feel like I could do no wrong!  I’m very lucky to have had a friend like him!  Please pray for his family and friends during this difficult time, that the Lord would fill them with joy and comfort in knowing that he really is in a better place.   In memory of Ron, why not tell someone how special you think they are today!

 


On that note I bid you adieu but not before telling you that I appreciate each and every one of you!  I would not be able to do what God allows me to do here without the loving support and care of those of you out there who keep me well covered in prayer.  I’m so grateful for the friendships, encouragement and privilege I have to be cared for so deeply! 

 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

15 days until my birthday!!!

AND less than one month until I will be in the mother land!

Hello my peoples!   So I was reviewing all the things that have been going on this past little while and got really excited and just delighted in the reality of my life.  God is such a babe and He treats me very well, which is particularly amazing as I deserve none of it!  The other day I was reflecting on my flaws and was like “man, I thought I had dealt with this…” turns out you can deal with stuff and then, like all the ants in my kitchen they attempt return - uninvited and in greater numbers…

Thankfully, I am not defined by my flaws, insecurities, selfishness, jealousy, or any of my other bajillion sins.  I am a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).  It’s easy to get caught up in little things that don’t matter, I’m always told I’m my own worst enemy – I beat myself up, negative self talk, exaggerated expectations and then if I do give myself grace there are times when it’s not real grace, it’s fake “ah so you’re giving yourself ‘grace’ eh? How about you just call it what it is …little miss  lazy!”  haha so ridiculous!  When you take a step back and remember God’s truths and not lies from the devil life tends to be a lot more enjoyable!  Challenge accepted!2018-04-08-18.01.07-2_thumb1

 

These past few months have been super delightful the Canadian boys have come, they’ve conquered everyone’s hearts and now in a little under 2 weeks they will be off to Canada to more (colder) adventures!

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We also said toodlepip to our Swiss Strider in April.

 

 

 

I’ve had a lot of visitors (Mexicans and Peruvians and Canadians – oh my!!!), a visa trip to Nicaragua, we commissioned my Tica sister who is now serving as a missionary in Mexico,  graduations, birthdays…. I could go on and on and on!

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Praise

  • I am seeing lots of opportunities to connect and build into others!
  • As I type this another (non-blood related) nephew has just come into the world!!!
  • My back and knees are doing much much better

***I’M GOING TO CANADA!!!! I’ll be up for a month and it’s going to be amazing (that’s also a prayer request).  I haven’t been up for about 2 years and was blessed with the opportunity!!!****

    • I’ll be having a church interview during the 9 and 11 o’clock services on June 24th 
    • There will be, Lord willing, a meet and greet on June 25th (more details to come)

both will be held at Cedar Grove Baptist Church <—click to see contact details for directions

If you would like to meet up send me an email/facebook message/Instagram .. haha basically communicate with me and we can put something in the books!

 

Prayer Requests

  •  For unity, particularly within the church
  • I met a homeless guy a few weeks ago, Jose,  he’s really wrapped up in alcohol and not ready to commit to getting sober.  Please pray that he would realize the path he’s on isn’t going anywhere glamorous and that he would meet up and hang out with Jesus instead.
  • Nicaragua is going through a civil unrest, there are over 80 people unaccounted for/deceased and there doesn’t seem to be an end in site.  We have Latin Link missionaries there, most of the Nicaraguans here in Costa Rica have family there.  Please pray for safety and wisdom, that peace and forgiveness will be found.
  • For my upcoming trip, that it would be a huge time of blessing, refreshing, and general enjoyment!!!  That there would be no complications in any borders and that I would have all the documents needed for a safe and enjoyable trip to Canada and again back to Costa Rica (in July). 
  • Latin Link’s week of prayer is starting this Friday https://www.latinlink.org.uk/Blog/week-of-prayer-2018  here’s the link, if you’d like to join us!

 

I love you all, thank you and goodnight!  *drops mic!

I am now no longer capable of typing logically as I’m too excited about my new nephew – I've just been sent a picture aaaand I LOVE HIM!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Grateful!

Oh the gratefulness that flows through this body!  The other day I was mentally listing out all the wonderful things that have happened these past few months.  I was moved to tears, overwhelmed at the tangible evidence of God’s love and faithfulness!

Last night I was pondering what I was going to write for the ol’ blog – as I’ve been MIA for a wee while and then it hit me!  I would share the list – and include pictures!!!  The perfect combination!

 ENERO/ JANUARY:  New year means a new planner!!!! I LOVE my planner – this one has a monthly and daily part, it’s amazing!

  • In December I received a certificate for Biblical Counselling from one of the  local seminaries.  One of my Tica friends came with her dad to cheer for me and remind me that I have family here too!

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  • This year started off by celebrating with my Tico family (I have a few, but these guys’ called first dibs)  We celebrate Christmas, New Years and then usually some together time the first few days of the year.  I am very grateful for them!  Ciro (the dad) and I used to work together when I was first in Costa Rica in 2014 – back when my Spanish was non-existent and I had no idea of all that God had in store for me and Ticolandia!

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  • Jana (Strider from 2014-2016) came back for a visit!
  • I helped translate for a medical caravan – and got some new pens!!! Doctor pens!  They’re amazing!  I also go to see a lot of friends and had a muscle contest with one of the local men (it was a draw, haha unless you ask him – he claims to be stronger, but I’ll let the evidence speak for itself…).IMG_8210

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  • Canadian visitors!!!!  Some family friends came and spoiled me just shy of rotten!  It was so relaxing and fun to not have to be responsible for anything and to just be showered with hugs, food and presents!!!! (which included but was not limited to a dream toaster, cinnamon buns from my mamma, so much tea! aaah I could go on and on!).  I was so overwhelmed and encouraged by their visit, it was so fun to just have the space to be,  to be fully accepted and loved.
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  • My local church had 2 camps (13-25 and 26+)  I was able to help serve in the kitchen for the younger camp and be a campista/server for the older camp.  It was a really fun to be able to get out of the normal routine and enjoy getting to know people better!

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  • My temporary roommate moved in on 31st She’s really great and it’s been so fun to have her here!   She’s officially with me until May – but I’m pretty charming so I may be able to woo her to stay longer!

FEBRERO/ FEBRUARY

  • Latin Link International Assembly 2018- it happens every 4 years.  For those of you who have been with me for a while you may remember that I tried to go to the Assembly in Ecuador in 2014 and was denied entry at the border and abruptly deported!  This year, assembly was in Guatemala and I was able to make it.  It was a really great experience to see so many Latin Link members (some of whom I’d only ever met via email/Skype!)  there were also a lot of LAM’ers as they were also invited to participate.  It was like a giant family reunion and I fully enjoyed myself, learned a lot,  hosted the talent show (it was so fun!),  and had some very tasty food!
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(Latin Link team 2018, reason for the season, LAM team 2018)

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(Peru, England and Costa Rica all together!, a little talent show hosting, group of very talented people… and Kayla)

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(out with the old and in with the new!  We said “Toodlepip!” to Alan Tower as he has stepped down as International Director and big “Helloooo! to my friend,  Mr. Paul Turner).





  • After the Assembly wrapped up we had a few days to have our annual Central America South team IMG_1877conference (Latin Link Nicaragua and Costa Rica).  This was a good opportunity for some team bonding, administrative house keeping and voting in a third member for the leadership team – which as it turned out was me!  I was little shocked at first (as I was only told I had been nominated maybe 10 minutes before the meeting!).  Once digested though, it’s pretty exciting!  I am encouraged and honoured to be able to serve on the team and to have this opportunity to have a greater influence!


Upon returning from Guatemala I was absolutely delighted to receive IMG_1916my Auntie Shana (my youngest, most beautifullest maternal aunty!)  * Yes I know, bold statement! But she brought me homemade honey and the most epic popcorn! *  She’s also probably the only aunty who reads my blog!  Case and point – she’s a babe!   I really loved spending time with her and showing her around! 



After Auntie Shana shipped off I received a pair of Striders from Ireland who are currently serving in Chile – IMG_1930spoiler alert – they’re wonderful and I love them!  I knew that they were coming to CR a few months ago as they emailed me to ask for ideas of where to go, to stay etc. IMG_1919(obviously I said they had to stay with me!)  Then I officially met them in person  at the IA and now that they’re a part of my life I do not even know how I survived without them before!  It was SO fun to have them here with me, to be able to hear about their experiences and goals.  I made it my mission to seduce them to come back and serve long term in Costa Rica, I feel like the odds are in my favour!

     

Also, they’re famous!  They were featured in Latin Link’s magazine – Latin File





Carpio programs have finally started up again! (I’ve been working on my Latin pose – so far I have not been successful

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      • My latest nephew (not blood related!) Benjamin was born!!! Look how cute he is!  Please pray for him and hisIMG_8645 family!  Benny’s a babe but there have a been a few complications and he could use some extra prayer!



        MARZO/ MARCH

        • Met up with the Costa Rican LAM team to spend time with a LAM board member (from Canada) who is here20180308_221158 visiting.  It was encouraging to be in a room with over 305 years of mission experience in Costa Rica – LAM has a real history here.  We were even fortunate enough to speak with the President of Costa Rica, who called to thank us for our work and allowing God to use us here to bless the country. 

        2018-03-07 14.31.14Last week I was able to go spend some time with Nela and Eliza (recap, Nela used to live with me back in 2015).HFRK6104




        • I was able to go up to Aguas Claras this past weekend to spend some time with the community- visiting the church, the family I lived with during last year’s Step team and attending a 15th birthday party!!

         

         

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        I was able to meet up with a small mission team from a high school in Surrey (Canada) – one of the boys (the bringer of my gifts! I’ve known since he was a baby!), who came bearing presents from the North!  While the trek to meet them was not an easy one, it was totally worth it!  Before we parted ways their teacher/leader suggested they pray for me.  The kids were so sweet and it really encouraged me – there may or may not have been some tears!   



        Prayer:

        • Two boys with LAM arrive on Sunday to serve here for 3 months.  Please pray for their experience here, spiritual growth, their mentors (both are new ones who I will be training tomorrow).  It’s a bunch of firsts!  My first boys, first time with these new mentors – I’m quite excited about it all!
        • My Swiss strider is finishing up her time here with us in CR, please pray for her last few weeks.  That God would really bless her and speak to her.  Give her closure and peace and the ability to fully digest all that has happened while she’s been serving here the past 5 months.
        • On February 26, the son (32) of a lady in my Thursday bible study suddenly passed away.  The autopsy revealed that it was a fungus that had infected his entire body.  Had it been discovered two weeks prior it would have been treatable and most likely saved his life.  Please remember the family in prayer – I knew the son and the loss came as a shock and has brought a lot of confusion.  At the end of the day one just has to trust that the Lord is good and that there is purpose in this.  Please pray for peace and comfort for the family, as obviously, this has had a major impact.
        • I’ve been making really great improvements with my shoulder/back – physio is going really well!  Please continue to pray that my body would continue to heal and improve!
        • I am in the process of attempting to get residency (round 2!)  Please pray for wisdom, that the lawyer would know what to do (that he wouldn’t charge an arm and a leg!) that I would have favour, for a good experience and I would get my residency!!!  Woooo!!!

        A rainbow is the perfect reminder of God’s faithfulness and promises. 
        He who has called you is faithful – He won’t leave you hanging
        My rendition of 1 Thessalonians 5:24

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