Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.
To the choirmaster: with stringed[a] instruments.
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
- Welcome to this week’s update on The Journey Of 2. Jamie and I appreciate all of you who take the time to follow our journey as we serve God in Costa Rica. On Thursday Jamie will be on a plane headed to Southern California. She will be visiting both of our children and their families. This is a rare event; to have both children, their spouses and both our grandchildren in the same place at the same time. Praise God for arranging this opportunity. While in So. Cal. Jamie plans to share, to a small group, a presentation on what God has us doing in Costa Rica. If you are interested in hearing the latest you can message Jamie, Suz Wittman or Karen Thormahlen for details of where and when this event will take place. The Saturday before last Jamie and I, along with other servants of the Lord, had a ‘workday’ at Casa Esperanza. While Jamie and the others separated about a thousand bras of various types and sizes from cardboard boxes into plastic containers, I cleaned three shower/toilet stalls that have not been used in years. The bras are part of the “Free the Ladies” program. The program is to help Red Zone women get out of their current life styles by creating micro-businesses. Instead of selling themselves, they can sell bras. This is just one of the ways Casa Esperanza is helping women help themselves. In other news, I learned Leroy’s real name! I don’t know his whole name yet, but I have learned that his first name is Willy. So now we can all pray more specifically for this man. Truly, he is in need of prayer, and I am in need of discernment on how I could best serve him. Please continue to follow our journey as we serve the Lord in Costa Rica.
- Ronald L. McDonald
Today I am posting a couple of days early. I do still plan to post my weekly post on Monday, but I feel I need to share our yesterday with you now.
Yesterday, Jamie and I did something we have never done. We walked in the procession of the remembrance of the day Jesus was led to the cross. I must confess that through two thirds of the procession I was inwardly grumbling; God forgive me.
Sinfully, I viewed what I was seeing and doing was some type of idol worship. Praise my gracious God for opening my eyes before we finished the walk.
As some of you know I was raised Catholic. This post is not in any way a debate for or against a denomination. It is to tell you what we experienced.
After walking two thirds of the one and a half kilometers, God opened my eyes, my mind and my heart. I looked at Jamie and realized that she truly understood what was happening that day. I saw before me a child of God who was full of wonder and praise for the One who, through this horrible but glorious day, brought salvation to the world.
I truly believe that thirty years ago God used Jamie to bring me to the knowledge of salvation through Jesus Christ. Friday I was reminded, once again, through Jamie, that while it was a terribly painful day for our Lord, it was a glorious day for His creation.
The very spot I had this revelation was caught on camera. In photo #9 of the pictures Jamie re-posted last night you can see the top of my head as we stood behind the image of Peter.
At this point we had stopped, again. (The procession stopped about every 180 meters to read scripture that described Jesus’ walk that day. After each reading the people would pray and sing.) At this stop another, smaller procession joined the main procession. It was people carrying an image of Jesus’s mother, Mary and an image of John.
As the two processions were about to merge, we all stopped and listened to scripture and the head priest of the Church of San Isidro gave a short message.
It was during this message that I realized the faith of the people of San Isidro and their thankfulness and reverence they held for what Jesus did for us all that day.
In a way I believe I felt some of what Peter must have felt when he heard the rooster crow for the third time and looked into the eyes of Jesus.
Praise God for His mercy. I walked the rest of the procession united in truth and spirit with the people of San Isidro and my lovely Jamie.
My life is good. All praise, glory and power are due to the King of Kings!
Please continue to follow our journey as we serve the Lord in Costa Rica and continue to work out our salvation.
Ronald L. McDonald
- Welcome to this week’s update on The Journey Of 2. Jamie and I appreciate all of you who take the time to follow our journey as we serve God in Costa Rica. In June, Jamie and I will travel to El Salvador. It was the closest, cheapest, and therefore, easiest place for us to travel to renew our visitor’s visa in Costa Rica. We have some dear friends in the States who have decided to meet us there, so on this trip we won’t be completely alone. Since becoming missionaries who serve in foreign lands, Jamie and I have lived in or visited four Central American countries; El Salvador will be the fifth. We have found that each country is not what we expected. Honduras has long been described as the murder capital of the world, with San Pedro Sula as the worst. During our six years of living in Roatan, Honduras we traveled to many locations, including S.P.S. In all that time God kept a hedge of protection around us. We found the people in Honduras to be polite and kind to us; particularly after they came to know and trust us. In Panama we found the people to be very “North-Americanized”. Very modern and very busy. It was a wonderful stay in a country that has a fascinating history. The Panama Canal is well worth visiting. In the future we hope to go back to more remote parts of Panama; particularly the towns closets to the Costa Rican boarder. In Guatemala, we found the country to be way nicer that we expected. The traffic on Friday night and Saturday were horrendous. While driving was slow it was surprisingly organized and polite. The country was very pleasantly clean. The people were gracious and helpful. Antigua was fantastic. Between the shops, restaurants, places to stay and the history of the place, it was wonderful. We’ve been living in Costa Rica for almost a year now. Here, we have been somewhat surprised at how hard it has been to find and make friends. The culture here is very family orientated. If you’re not in the family, it is very hard for you to get close. Praise God for our Bible Study group. They have been very instrumental in getting us connected. As a result, while it took almost a year, we are now serving in several different ways with the Red Zone ministry and Jamie’s English classes currently being the main area of serving. Please continue to follow our journey as we serve the Lord in Costa Rica.
Ronald L. McDonald
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Post for April 8, 2019
Welcome to this week’s update on The Journey Of 2. Jamie and I appreciate all of you who take the time to follow our journey as we serve God in Costa Rica.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a street person that, for now, I have been calling LeRoy. As many of you know, on Tuesdays, and now also on Thursdays, I go with Jamie to the Red Zone. As Jamie, and other volunteer women, serve the ladies of the Red Zone at Casa Esperanza, I man the door.
Not sure if I mentioned the name of the location before, but they named the facility Casa Esperanza (House of Hope).
Anyway, back to LeRoy. As I informed you in my earlier post, LeRoy sits and/or lays on the sidewalk, in ‘his spot’, across the street and three doors down from C.E. Usually he is up against the wall but the last couple of weeks he has been out on the curb.
Last Tuesday he got up and walked up the middle of the street and past C. E. Most of us didn’t even know he could walk. As he walked by, I observed more about him and his appearance. He wore at least three layers of clothes. It appeared that the first layer included something along the line of long johns. Hard to tell because all his clothing is army green. How could I see his long johns? Well, the first two pairs of pants were down around his knees.
I had no idea why his pants were down, but it explained why he shuffled when he walked. He slowly disappeared somewhere a few doors up from us.
As he shuffled by, I observed his manner. He purposefully walked up the middle of the street, which has a fair amount of traffic. No vehicles honked at him or invaded his space as he walked.
He did not have an angry look. Others had told me he was always grumpy. Thus far, that has not been my experience with him. He seemed to a specific purpose for his walk. As he passed before me (I was watching him through the locked bars of C. E.) I looked as intently as I could at his face.
What I saw was a man who just wanted to live his life. I saw loneliness. I saw kindness. I saw pain. I saw a completely lost man who had given up on hope.
At some point I realized he had walked out of my sight and I realized I was now staring at a wall across the street. I had been so intent on deciphering what I was seeing that time, and LeRoy, had passed.Please pray for LeRoy. Please also pray for me as I strive to discern specifically how I should minister to this man; and one day know his real name.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.