Hello friends and family,
This month of love and Valentine’s day we are thankful for God’s endless adoration for us! Costa Rica has a similar celebration of Valentine’s Day, or Dia de San Valentin, as the United States. At the nursing home we volunteer at there are plans to celebrate by having the residents create and give each other valentine cards as well as host a little party. We have experienced the love, kindness, and many friendships of the Costa Rican people while living here the past four months. It has been amazing to see how the extended family operates- grandmothers watching grandchildren, aunts bringing over meals, brothers fixing your car, cousins helping you get a job at the bank, etc.
While the extended family is rich in love, support, and attention, we have also noticed a break down of the nuclear family. Many children only have their mothers at home. Most women that we have contact with in Costa Rica (our teachers, women that we volunteer with, friends at church) are single moms. From what we understand it appears that fidelity in relationships is viewed as a nice concept, but not imperative. Our hearts ache seeing this breakdown of the nuclear family. We know that only with Gods help will these cultural norms will change. Also, we are reminded that God is the only source of true love! John 15:13 says “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
When I (Alisa) fail at loving my spouse or house mom daily, I am thankful that Jesus was the perfect teacher and example to follow. I am also thankful for the Holy Spirit who helps me to give love and grace to those around me even when I do not feel like giving it.
This month in Spanish school we have been learning about the present perfect and pluscomperfect tenses (who knew they existed in English!). When we use these tenses we are able to express that “we had/have” completed an action. It requires a kind of double conjugation, so at times can be a bit tricky. I have been making some granola and other goodies that remind me of home in our host kitchen. Our Costa Rican host mother also sells baked goods out of her home as a side job, and she liked the granola recipe so much that she is now selling it as well.
We have continued to enjoy our young adult bible study every other Sunday and love to hear what they have been learning through the weeks. It is an encouragement to us to live life beside these gracious friends. Lastly, we experienced the only cold place we know of in Costa Rica at the beginning of the month- Mt. Chirripo! The highest peak in the country is a popular trip for locals here, especially in this region as it is quite close to where we live. The view of the sunrise from atop the summit was spectacular and at night the stars are incredible.
We wish you a love filled month! Andrew and Alisa Geers