sorry about the last duplicate here is the new one…

Welcome to today’s post.  Today, I want to share with you one of the ‘other’ things Jamie is doing in Costa Rica.

As many of you know, Jamie has been working hard to become fluent in Spanish.  Most missionaries spend the first year of their ministry in language school.   Some missionaries have learned Spanish either as a child or young adult.  Being an “older” adult, it’s harder to learn a new language.

A year of emergence into Spanish on a campus outside the United States runs into the thousands of dollars.  Many include living with a local family.  Many missionaries have a sending organization that cover this cost. 

Jamie and I (The Journey Of2) are a 501(c)3 non-profit.  We were not sent by were ordained but we do not belong to an organization.  We were sent by God.  We go where He sends us and we serve as He directs.

Jamie and I did not have the financial ability nor the time to emerge even one of us in such a course. 

When we moved to Honduras, we began serving the community immediately.  While not knowing Spanish was a hinderance, we were able to be effective.  First and foremost because God was doing the work.  Second, because many people on the island spoke English.  Third, because Jamie was teaching English. 

Every teacher of a second language knows that you need to use the language you are teaching.  Therefore, during all the years in Honduras, speaking Spanish while it would be great, was not as much of a priority.  

We did seek out Spanish teachers and Jamie took a variety of classes with various teachers on the island.  However, we were not able to connect with any teachers actually trained in teaching Spanish as a second language.

Even if we both knew Spanish, we would have still used an interpreter, such as we did with Sabino and Hector as a way of helping them (locals) financially.

Plus, as in most ministries, our long-term goal was to eventually turn things over to the locals; leaving a sustainable ministry when God called us to continue our journey.

Once, while living in Roatan, we were able to send Jamie to language school for one month in Costa Rica at the cost of $1,100.  It was an intense course that put Jamie under a lot of stress.  However, it gave her a foundation to start with.

Now that we are in Costa Rica, English is not common.  We immediately started looking for Spanish teachers.  Here, most Costa Ricans (they call themselves Ticos) only speak Spanish, but they want to learn English.

Therefore, Jamie spent many very difficult hours earning her TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate.  

A few months ago, Jamie stumbled across an on-line course where you have private lessons with in a live-chat format.  It’s called Baselang.  For $147 a month you can have unlimited classes each month.  The classes are half hour each.   Jamie strives to take an hour and a half to two hours a day. 

We are active in the service of the Lord, so classes must be taken as time allows.

This is working.  She has learned so much but stills has a lone way to go before being considered fluent.

Pray that at some point (hopefully sooner than later) it will all click together for Jamie and she will be fluent in Spanish.

We have no doubt that this will enhance her ability to build Christ-like relationships with the people we serve.

I will share the story of my efforts to learn Spanish in a future post.  Know that I am trying.

Ronald L. McDonald

Welcome to today’s post.  Today, I am continuing to share the events of last week in the Red Zone.

In the previous post I shared about the drug dealer.  Today I want to share an event that involved some RZ ladies, Jamie, Michelle and the Red Cross.

At Casa Esperanza we have several regular, occasional and rare attenders.  There are always a few first timers and a number of ladies that only visit once.

This past week we had a one-time visitor that only God knows if we’ll see again. 

The event began about thirty minutes after we had opened.  I had already been to the bakery and brought back the nine baguettes, which Jamie was slicing in preparation for serving.

I was at the door letting in women as they arrived.  I looked out and saw a women standing in the street about five feet off the curb.  She looked to be on the verge of crying, and I could tell she was debating whether to come in our not.

I deal with this all the time.  Some are not sure they will be allowed in.  Some are uncomfortable coming close to an old gringo.  Some debating whether they want to come in, and some are obviously in a spiritual battle.  Casa Esperanza is filled with angels; not to mention the very tall, very large one that always stands behind me.

I opened the door and stepped outside and to the right of the fully open door, giving her the full opening.  She limped through the door as quickly as she could, bursting into tears as she sat done on one of the lounge chairs.

I immediately looked into the kitchen way in the back of the building, making eye contact with Jamie.  She’s seen my look many times and hurried out.  Michelle and one of the RZ ladies also saw my look and rushed over to the lady.

The lady is in the last stage of ovarian cancer.  She had paperwork proving she was terminal.  She was in terrible pain because she had no medicine.

Casa Esperanza is not able to provide this type of assistance.  From time to time women (and occasionally men) will show up at our door in a desperate attempt for any kind of help.

One of the other RZ ladies was on the phone to the Red Cross.  Here in Costa Rica, the Red Cross is the ambulance service.  When they learned we were in the Red Zone, they absolutely refused to come and hung up.

A second call was made, the RZ lady pleaded with the Red Cross and told them that Casa Esperanza was a gringo organization.  She gave the phone to Michelle in hopes that Michelle could convince them.  They said okay but did not come.

A third call was made.  Michelle called and was very insistent.  I stepped over and told Michelle she should tell them that if the lady dies, we would lay her in the street and tell everyone the Red Cross left her there.  I would not call myself a compassionate person, but a terminally ill person should be supplied with pain medication with little or no cost.

This time they promised to come.  One of the other RZ ladies (who also has cancer) gave the lady a pill that she had.  After laying hands on and praying for the lady, Jamie stood out in the street to prevent anyone from parking in front of CE, and to flag down the Red Cross when she saw them coming.

Michelle continue to hold the lady’s hand, praying with and for her; and giving her words of encouragement.

Praise God, the Red Cross came.  The medic was very kind and gentle.  After a quick exam (mainly of the paperwork) they loaded her in the ambulance and headed for the public hospital.

Here in Costa Rica the health care system may be painfully slow and limited for street people, but they do provide a fair level of emergency care. 

We may never see this lady again.  Our hope is that she, at the least, is provided something for her physical pain.

One thing I am sure of, all the ladies, and many people outside, witnessed Jesus in the love and compassion that Jamie and Michelle shared that day.

Ronald L. McDonald


02/02/2020 (last time was 900 yrs ago or so facebook says)

Welcome to today’s post.  Today, I am continuing to share the events of last week in the Red Zone.

In the previous post I shared about the drug dealer.  Today I want to share an event that involved some RZ ladies, Jamie, Michelle and the Red Cross.

At Casa Esperanza we have several regular, occasional and rare attenders.  There are always a few first timers and a number of ladies that only visit once.

This past week we had a one-time visitor that only God knows if we’ll see again. 

The event began about thirty minutes after we had opened.  I had already been to the bakery and brought back the nine baguettes, which Jamie was slicing in preparation for serving.

I was at the door letting in women as they arrived.  I looked out and saw a women standing in the street about five feet off the curb.  She looked to be on the verge of crying, and I could tell she was debating whether to come in our not.

I deal with this all the time.  Some are not sure they will be allowed in.  Some are uncomfortable coming close to an old gringo.  Some debating whether they want to come in, and some are obviously in a spiritual battle.  Casa Esperanza is filled with angels; not to mention the very tall, very large one that always stands behind me.

I opened the door and stepped outside and to the right of the fully open door, giving her the full opening.  She limped through the door as quickly as she could, bursting into tears as she sat done on one of the lounge chairs.

I immediately looked into the kitchen way in the back of the building, making eye contact with Jamie.  She’s seen my look many times and hurried out.  Michelle and one of the RZ ladies also saw my look and rushed over to the lady.

The lady is in the last stage of ovarian cancer.  She had paperwork proving she was terminal.  She was in terrible pain because she had no medicine.

Casa Esperanza is not able to provide this type of assistance.  From time to time women (and occasionally men) will show up at our door in a desperate attempt for any kind of help.

One of the other RZ ladies was on the phone to the Red Cross.  Here in Costa Rica, the Red Cross is the ambulance service.  When they learned we were in the Red Zone, they absolutely refused to come and hung up.

A second call was made, the RZ lady pleaded with the Red Cross and told them that Casa Esperanza was a gringo organization.  She gave the phone to Michelle in hopes that Michelle could convince them.  They said okay but did not come.

A third call was made.  Michelle called and was very insistent.  I stepped over and told Michelle she should tell them that if the lady dies, we would lay her in the street and tell everyone the Red Cross left her there.  I would not call myself a compassionate person, but a terminally ill person should be supplied with pain medication with little or no cost.

This time they promised to come.  One of the other RZ ladies (who also has cancer) gave the lady a pill that she had.  After laying hands on and praying for the lady, Jamie stood out in the street to prevent anyone from parking in front of CE, and to flag down the Red Cross when she saw them coming.

Michelle continued to hold the lady’s hand, praying with and for her; and giving her words of encouragement.

Praise God, the Red Cross came.  The medic was very kind and gentle.  After a quick exam (mainly of the paperwork) they loaded her in the ambulance and headed for the public hospital.

Here in Costa Rica the health care system may be painfully slow and limited for street people, but they do provide a fair level of emergency care. 

We may never see this lady again.  Our hope is that she, at the least, is provided something for her physical pain.

One thing I am sure of, all the ladies, and many people outside, witnessed Jesus in the love and compassion that Jamie and Michelle shared that day.

Ronald L. McDonald


Welcome to today’s post.  The serpent did not temp Adam and Eve to steal, kill or commit adultry.  He simply tempted them to question God’s Word.  If you are being tempted, ask yourself who are you listening to?

Back when I was doing Bible Study with the court boys in Roatan I would always ask a question before, during and after.  “Is God a liar?”

There is a liar.  He is called “the father of lies”.  Hence why we always need to read, believe and obey what He says.  God tells us in 1 Peter 5:8 “Be of sober spirit, be on alert.  Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour”.   The truth is, he can only devour those who believe his lies, and not the Word of Truth; which is God.

Okay off my soapbox and on with the events of this week in the Red Zone.

A long time ago I stopped saying “Well, now I’ve seen everything”.  Truly, we never know what we are going to see when serving in the Red Zone.  There’s always something new and/or different variations of regular activities.

As I was serving at the door of Casa Esperanza, as per my norm, my eyes were scanning up and down the street tuning myself to the vibe of the street.  In another post I will share the risks of not be vigilent.

This week, as I was observing the drug dealer across the street, a number of new and thought-provoking events ocurred.  One such event was the motor-scooter rider who stopped.  The drug dealer did something I’ve not seen him do before.  He took out his wallet.  Prior to this day, all I’ve seen him do is receive money.  On this day he took twenty-thousand colones (roughly $40) out of his wallet and gave it to the guy on the scooter.  The scooter rider pulled a handfull of pea-sized balls of crack and gave it to the dealer.  As I realized what was happening, I turned and looked the other way, so that neither would know that I witnessed this exchange.

A couple of days later, as I was observing the drug dealer, I noticed he was suddenly focusing on something going on on my side of the street about thirty yards east of us.  He suddenly took off running that direction.  I quickly unlocked the door and stepped out to look down that way.  He was confronting a couple of guys who were now headed my way!  I stepped back in, lock the door and walked towards the back of the room; but my curiousity drew me back to the door.

For the next several minutes there was a lot of activity going on down that direction.  Eventually, the police showed up.

My thought was that the drug dealer maybe confronted either a rival, or someone who owed him.

Twenty minutes later he was back in his normal spot across the street and the street was relatively normal.

Later, one of our RZ ladies went to talk to him.  She came back with a very interesting story.  Turns out that the drug dealer noticed a couple of guys trying to rob the parking lot attendant where our fellow servant, Michelle, parks her car.

The dealer and some of his friends prevented it and inflicted some street justice in the process. People on the street (even the drug dealer) watch each other’s backs.  Interesting.

Ronald L. McDonald

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