from a mama's kitchen

Our menu: tamales - lots of them. 
Our desire: feed the hungry - Jesus says to do so. 
Our heart: obey His commands. 

A quest for the best tamales led us to Digna. She is courageous, a fighter, a mom, and a chef with a sweet spirit; she is a mama in the kitchen trying to make a living by serving up the best! Everyone has a story, here's a little of Digna's...

After becoming very ill and spending time in the hospital, then there was much time spent in her bed. It seemed death was a quick corner away. Then God moved, her body healed. After so much time of being bedridden, Digna lost her already meager job. With her health now restored, she is doing what she loves (and what she is fantastic at doing) - cooking. She prays that this will support her and help her care for her family too. 

Buy locally, buy the best - head to Tamales y Comidas for your next event!  There to greet you will be this sweet face, from a mama's kitchen!

Tamales y Comidas
Digna Corres
Tel. 2279 9634
2279 9838
250 mts Sur de la ermita de San Juan de Tres Rios
Posted by Picasa

into these waters

Following their Savior into these waters. Baptism is a beautiful expression of our faith in a blameless Savior and of our desired obedience to follow Him. Nothing sacred about the water itself: from a swimming pool, barrel of rainwater, a lake, to the Indian Ocean…they have stepped
into these waters.
From children, teens, dads and moms to elderly… they have stepped into the waters expressing both their need and love of our Savior, and with courage - some unable to swim, with faith followed their Savior into these waters.
"Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child, shall not enter it."
Mark 10:15
Posted by Picasa

work hard, play hard

Our family of five (with Mariana) piled into our borrowed Honda and headed to Atenas, famous for having one of the best climates in the world!
It was our day with Cherie...
she is giving her life to loving children, creating a home for siblings without a home - not just a house, but a home filled with love. Cherie has spent the last months preparing her house for the filling of children. One room for boys, bunk beds built, bedding ready, and toys waiting. A room for the girls neatly prepared with each bed made perfectly, clothes hanging...ready. She is waiting for all of the legal paperwork (and there is a lot) to finish processing. THEN this house will be filled with the sounds of laughter, foot steps running, sweet voices, and brothers & sisters teasing one another. Cherie's home will be one where siblings stay together! 
We arrived with a bag of goodies (supplies donated) and a much needed microwave (gift given by a friend here) to Cherie's big smile!
There were little odds and ends that needed to be done, so we got to work right away. The boys unloaded & assembled the new, large microwave. There was some painting on the outside, painting trim on the inside, scraping the front porch clean, hanging laundry, and shelling the dried beans...lots and lots of beans!

After a full morning and into the early afternoon of working hard around the house, we headed out to a mountaintop 
cafe for lunch. 
It was deliciouso!

With our "work hard" behind us and our bodies refueled, it was time to "play hard." We rode with Cherie to pick up four children who, God willing, will be in her home very soon. The children climbed into the van and warmed up to us quickly. As soon as we were back to Cherie's house the play hard was on. From chase, to vrooming little plastic cars and mooing farm animals, playing dress up, to jumping on the trampoline - "otra vez, otra vez" was heard many times! 
Tired and worn out, but with our cups overflowing this family of five climbed back into the much appreciated little Honda, waving good-bye to these sweet faces, 
another family of five...

steeped in tradition

 Traditions run deep in every family, every culture, every nation. 
     It was a pleasant surprise as we rode through the downtown area of San Jose to see Nativity scenes displayed with colored lights flashing Feliz Navidad. Small homes behind their barred gates had their nativity scenes out (some nearly life-size). At the center of the big mall, inside there was another giant nativity scene. Santa Claus wasn’t the focus, hardly there at all. A Costa Rican friend said that Santa arrived about a decade ago via a Coca~Cola billboard!
     Christmas day was one of worship from beginning to end. From baptisms, purchasing a large food order, delivering needed gifts to families in the barrios, a Christmas service to serving a dinner to each of those who showed up at the worship service.
     After incredible worship led by the band, poetry being read, and mime acting to a song, Pastor Alejandro shared insight (for me) and a challenge to each of us. “Christmas is not about setting out a nativity in your home, it is not about baby Jesus in a manger, it is not about baby Jesus bringing you gifts, it IS about the Gospel, Jesus coming, dying and being resurrected – bringing salvation.” As Mariana whispered his message in my ear (interpreting it for us) my back stiffened a bit; thinking how hard the pastor was being on baby Jesus and the nativity scenes…
then I got it.
The United States has their Santa Claus, and Costa Rica has el niño Jesus bringing gifts. Catholicism is the primary religion, with extra traditions added on of course -like Christmas Eve, if you have been good el niño Jesus will bring you gifts.
     As we made our way through the barrios on Christmas day, my heart ached a little more. It’s ok if Santa’s sleigh never makes it here, but what if they have been pretty good kids all year and they desperately want baby Jesus to bring them a gift on Christmas Eve and he never shows up? A hard reminder of how some tradition and religion can kill faith. Will it make it more difficult for them to believe that Jesus came as a baby, not bringing our wants on Christmas Eve, but bringing salvation to all who will trust him?
Vivid in my mind are the faces that we saw, spoke with, touched on Christmas day, may the Gospel that they heard change everything for them!
Posted by Picasa