August 4, 2019
Dear TJO2 Supporters,
The past two months have proven to have a number of continued and new developments.
Jamie have been spending more time in the Red Zone. Between the activities going on inside Casa Esperanza and the activities going on outside, we have been kept rather busy.
There have been some staff changes at the center that have resulted in better communication between the staff and the leaders of the ministry. While the changes are good, they also require more time and commitment of Jamie and I.
As we just stated, the changes are resulting in a more effective ministry. However, we do have some concerns that we need our followers to pray about. Specifically, our time management and our emotional state.
Jamie and I pray on and off all day, every day. Every morning when we first wake up, we do a bible study together that includes listening to one to three short sermons. This is followed by listening to daily broadcasts, daily devotions and a daily prayer on God’s Feeding Station.
We are telling you this so that you will know that we are diligently seeking discernment from the Holy Spirit.
Recently Jamie and I have come to the understanding that we have mild cases of PTDS, mostly from our time in Honduras but has been somewhat increased by what we experience in the Red Zone of San Jose, Costa Rica. Very much like Honduras, Jamie and I don’t really take days off. As an example, we have traveled into San Jose (30 to 40 minutes away) eleven out of the last twelve days. What use to be four to five hours in town each day is developing into as much as twelve hours. Most trips are to the Red Zone with other locations added as we serve with other ministries; such as Chepe se Bano.
On one hand we feel emotionally beat up, and on the other we feel as exhilarated and blessed as we have ever been.
For those of you who have been close to us, you know that Jamie has the gift of compassion. It is not uncommon for a complete stranger to tell Jamie their life story. Somehow people know that Jamie does not judge and will not betray a confidence.
Jamie also has the gift of being a get-it-started, managing organizer. When teams visit the Casa Esperanza, Jamie quickly gets people actively involved in serving, and her mind is always spinning with ideas of jobs the red zone ladies can do to get them off the street and to stop selling their bodies.
Currently she has some of the women sewing aprons; which she plans to sell to people when we visit the States at the end of this month. This has involved some stressful decisions on which women to involve and then train them in sewing choosing not only fabrics that North Americans will buy but sewing them with the quality NA’s expect.
Next weekend Jamie will be hosting another ‘Bra’ party here at our apartment. She has another set of women that have chosen this as a way of supporting themselves. In this Jamie mainly hosts. She requires the ladies to do the selling. She uses her experience as a former retail manager to train them in how to display the product and how to engage customers.
For my part, as I’ve stated before, here in Costa Rica God has told me my main function is that of support. I run errands, I do maintenance and I ‘man’ the door.
Casa Esperanza is a place of refuge for the street ladies. Mainly from the men. The ladies are fed, encourage via God’s Word and trained in other options for earning a living. The men, while there are more places of refuge for them, tend to hang out in front of Casa Esperanza. Some, so that they can keep an eye on their “property”. Some because they want attention and some because they just want what the ladies have. Recently, it crossed my mind that they are so used to having the women do for them that they would rather go without than to have to go to a men’s center and get it themselves. We often struggle to keep the ladies from handing food and clothing that is meant for them, through the door to the men; which results in the ladies receiving little or even nothing.
Part of my service is to prevent the men from preying on the women while they are in Casa Esperanza. I am not going to share the ways I perform my service. Rather I want to share what God is revealing to me.
Normally, as I am at the door, opening and closing it for the ladies as they come in and out, I face outward toward the street. Partly so I don’t see some of the things that happen inside. I have already seen things I can’t erase from my eyes. However, I face out so that I can effectively manage the area around the door.
So, you may ask, what is God revealing to me? As with Jamie, those of you that know me can probably testify that I am not as compassionate as Jamie. I am also not as observant and I am more of a ‘Let’s try this’ type of guy, rather than a planning a step-by-step guy. Therefore, God put men like Charles Lybrand and Robert Kolher in my life. They were always able to make my iffy projects actually work.
Concerning compassion, when I first started working the door I would tend to look out and see often disgusting things. The area is old, dirty with lots of vehicle and pedestrian traffic. I viewed the street people as a real mess and wondered how they could just stand around all day, every day. They were dirty. They were either selling drugs, taking drugs or both. It is not uncommon to see someone share a cigarette in between sharing the crack pipe and each taking a sip on the acetone bottle slightly diluted with orange drink.
Rather than seeing what many call the “dredges of society”, I see creations of God. Creations of beautiful human beings. We all know that God does not make mistakes and He does not lie. When He made man He said “ So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 NIV He did not say He created mankind in the image of “Dreg”; and we all know God love; which is beautiful.
Therefore, what I see is God’s beautiful creations that Satan has used the world to attack. These “street people” are the result of a world corrupted by Satan.
Satan rejoices when we disregard these people. Each one is someone’s child, brother, sister, mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather, etc. The stories of how they are currently in this state are a varied as the excuses used to ignore them.
The Good News is, God is still in control. Nothing is impossible for the creator. Our job is to obey and serve. He is responsible for the results. When the day comes, and it will, when Jesus returns, I want to be found loving others; especially those in need of food, water, physical and spiritual help.
If you are interested in hearing in more detail what God is doing through The Journey Of 2, we invite you to attend one of our meet and greet presentations in late August and mid-September. Details of the dates and locations can be found on our blog.
As always, if God leads you to start or continue supporting us financially, TJO2 is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit tax-deductible ministry. We would really appreciate your monthly giving or a one-time donation. You can use the PayPal option either through our email or blog or mail your donation to:
TJO2 at PO Box 1196 Springerville, AZ 85938
Email: Thejourneyof2@gmail.com Facebook: Jamie-Ron Rich-McDonald
Blog: wejourneyedsouth.wordpress.com (there is a PayPal button on this site)
If you have specific or personal questions for us, please email us and we will answer your questions. =)
Always, In Him, Ron and Jamie
Viviendo el Sueno