Christmas 2016

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Dear Friends, As this year comes to a close, it is always good to reflect on what has been learned and what has been accomplished. As we look back over 2016, we are encouraged by all that has been going on at YWAM-Heredia. Our schools have been to five countries; Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, Chile […]

Still Going Strong!

handsglobeWhat is the newest nation in the world? The answer is South Sudan. Many of us do not even know where Sudan is, but the Lord has put it on our hearts for years. Sudan is located in Africa and lies north of Uganda, Kenya and the Congo. If you watch the news you will remember that for many years, before their independence, they were part of the Republic of Sudan, ruled by the Arabs in the North. After years of war, persecution and enslavement by the North, they finally became a free independent nation on July 9th, 2011. Unfortunately, that was not the end of their troubles. Civil war and tribal conflict continued until a recent peace agreement came between the government and the rebel leader. While that is good news, the conflict has left 2 million dead and 4 million displaced in a country of only 10 million people. Refugee camps in Kenya, Uganda and Ghana have received hundreds of thousands of these refugees. Today Kenya announced it can no longer afford to keep the camps open, so they are threatening to close them. The people of South Sudan are largely tribal, (Dinka and Nuer). Most are sustenance rural farmers, who struggle to feed their families.

As I mentioned in our last newsletter, our school of Environment and Resource Stewardship decided to go to East Africa for 3 months to work in Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan. They have been working in the refugee camps teaching on water, health, hygiene and sustainable agriculture. Please keep them in your prayers since they are in very volatile areas. They will be returning to Costa Rica the end of June.

In April, Donna and I returned from ourtrip to New Zealand. We spent two weeks in Matamata helping with the RescueNet Training.

Hobbit house

Hobbit house

While in Matamata, we visited Hobbiton, where much of the filming of Lord of the Ring movies happened. After that, we took a 12-hour bus trip to Wellington to visit one of our former students and meet her husband, daughter and brand new baby boy. We also had the opportunity to reconnect with some old friends from our time in Colorado and to speak in a local church. The only challenge we had was on the way home. We were supposed to be flying home on a Buddy-pass, but that fell through at the last minute. A friend graciously bought us return tickets for $1600, but we need to pay her back. If anyone could help us with this, please let us know!

On May 26, I will be leading a team of five to Ghana in West Africa, to build an aquaponics system at the City of Refuge! They are feeding over 300 people, many who are refugees that have fled the conflicts in the area. The aquaponics will help them provide fish and vegetables for the people they are trying to serve. We will be flying through Brussels, Belgium where not long ago they had the terrorist bombing. Please pray for us as we travel and work in these parts of the world.

In July, we will be going to Salem, Oregon where we will be leading the RescueNet Introductory Course. We will be gone for 3 weeks. The day after we get back, I will be teaching a seminar on Resource Stewardship and Sustainable Agriculture.   At this point, we have no funds for the trip to Salem. We estimate it to cost us around $2000 for our airfares, room and board while we are there. If you would like to be a part of making that trip possible, we would really appreciate your help.

We are excited about all the new opportunities God is opening up for us. In each case, we ask God if he would have us accept these offers. If we do not have clear direction from the Lord, we do not proceed. What that means though, is that if God is sending us, we have to trust Him to provide the funds and the visas to do so.   It also means leaving our home and ministry here in the hands of someone else. This has not been easy, but when we hear that we have made a lasting difference in someone’s life, it makes it all worthwhile. We thank God for faithful partners like you that have stood by us over the years! May God richly bless you!

Yours in Christ,

Hobbit bridge

Hobbit bridge

 

Terry & Donna Keith

 

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. 8 With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” ~ 2 Chronicles 32:7-9

 

Please check out the other blog pages like our Needs & Prayer Requests, and our Thank you page!!

~ Ten Year Cycles~

usSometimes life is all about cycles, isn’t it?  Well, for us, one cycle that continues throughout our married life is the fact that we seem to move from place to place in 10-year cycles.  Between 1975 & 1985, we were based out of the Bivin’s Ranch in Texas.  Then we were based out of Miami, (with YWAM), from 1985 until 1995.  We moved to Stonewall, Colorado in 1995 and left there in 2005 for the YWAM work here in Heredia, Costa Rica.  We have been in Costa Rica since then, in the same house, and were just talking about our 10-year stints, and what that would mean?  Is another move coming up?  We felt no word from God that we are to leave Costa Rica.

A few weeks before we left for Christmas in the States, the owner of our cabin told us that we had to move out by the end of January. The landlady recently divided her property between her kids and now our cabin belongs to one of her daughters. (They were both very emotional about telling us we had to leave, as they said we are like family, ~like grandparents, and they didn’t want to see us go).  It was a little hard for us to go to the states knowing we had to move when we came back.

Well, it was nice to spend time with our kids and some of our grandkids in both Colorado and Texas, but it was really a cold winter with more snow than we have seen in 10 years. (smile) We are not too sure we want to come back again during these cold seasons, so maybe we can get our kids to come visit us here in Costa Rica for some of our warmer climate!

Ten days after we returned to Costa Rica, we hit the ground running with our 9th Environment and Resource Stewardship School with nine students from five nations. We are already in our fourth week of the school and the students are doing great. They are an awesome team! They are planning on going to Kenya and South Sudan for their outreach. Next week our DTS students will be returning from their outreach in Central America, and after a week of debrief, they will be graduating.

So now, in the middle of all this activity, we have been looking for another house to rent. For the past 10 years, we have only been paying $400 per month for a 4-bedroom cabin. We have been looking for over a month but have not been able to find anything for under $800. Well this weekend we finally found a 3-bedroom, 2-bath house for $650 per month, which we believe will meet our needs. It is only 15 minutes from the YWAM base so we will still be close. The property owner said that we could move in this coming Wednesday. We will have to pay the first month and a deposit so we will need $1300 to get into the house. They are willing to let us move in if we give them $800 now and $500 by the 22 of February. We could do that ~but it would leave us nothing for food, gas, utilities etc., for the rest of the month. Would you please pray about helping us with a special gift so we can make this move? Once we are in the house we will still need an additional $250 more each month to add to the $400 we already have budgeted for rent in order to continue. We are trusting God to meet this present need, just as He miraculously provided us a home for these past 10 years for such a low cost! He hasn’t failed us yet!!

Next month I (Terry) am planning on going to New Zealand to teach at the next RescueNet training. I will be taking one of our staff who works as a Paramedic here in Costa Rica. He will be taking the course so that he can become a part of our RescueNet team here. A friend of his has graciously provided our airfares so all we will need is our ground fees and housing while we are there. I believe this friend has even offered to give tickets for both our wives ~ so Donna and his wife, Sara might be able to come with us. This would be a great opportunity for them to be a part of what we are doing, as they usually do not get a chance like this very often.

We appreciate all your prayers, letters and gifts. Wishing you a wonderful Valentines Day and may God’s blessings be with you!

Yours in Christ,
Terry & Donna Keith

New Opportunities & New Challenges

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June, 2015 Dear Friends, After a short holiday, we began this year with our fourth Rodeo Bible Camp. First Christian Church from Trinidad, Colorado came down to help us. We had 26 kids sign up for the camp and many gave their lives to the Lord. As soon as the RBC was over, we prepared […]

Please Forgive Our Absence!

It has been a very long time since we’ve been able to share about what has been happening in our lives. Although some of you have followed along with my updates to my Facebook or maybe Terry’s emails, I have been unable to use our blog since my (Donna’s), computer died many months ago – (I believe around August of last year). For whatever reason that happened and other setbacks & struggles of the past year, we have seen God move in miraculous ways.

It would be very hard to go back in detail to share all the ways God has blessed us, so I am going to focus in this post about my health situation that I had shared about in previous letters.

One of the last things we shared about in the blog, was the room remodel we were doing for me to move in downstairs and not have to climb the stairs anymore to our upstairs bedroom. I have stayed downstairs for close to a year already. It has been a very strange living arrangement for us, to be honest. Also, around this same time, I no longer went to work at the base, as it was just too hard for me. I was struggling just to walk anymore, so I felt pretty worthless in many ways. This was also a lonely time, not to mention the difficulties just doing normal activities, like cooking, laundry, housekeeping and the simple enjoyment I get from walking and caring for my dogs. Terry had to step into all these areas – cooking for me, and caring for the dogs & chickens. We have a wonderful maid who did a lot extra too to help me out, while I tried to keep up with most of the laundry. I experienced many levels of emotion during this time, and pleaded with God for something to change. It was such an encouragement to me to begin seeing money coming in, donations from friends to help! We were also able to sell our Hyundai jeep to help pay for the surgery.

Following is the history of my back & hip problems:

2011-2012 ~ Low back pain and hip pain worsened.
April 2012 ~ Made Apmt with Orthopedic Dr. – findings: chronic                     back/leg pain affecting my walking

June 2013 ~ 1st Apmt with Orthopedic Dr with the “Caja” (C.R. social               medicine)
July 2013 ~ Dr sent for MRI – findings: degeneration in 4th + 5th                  vertebra ~ urged back surgery

April 2014 ~ Friends donated easy chair, we remodeled downstairs                   room, I stayed at home
May 20, ’14 ~ 2nd Apmt – Caja … decision to be made about back                   surgery.
May 29, ’14 ~ Clinica Biblica Apmt. for 2nd opinion
July 8th, ’14 ~ Laser surgery w/Dr. Delgado, Clinica Biblica, ~ burned                     nerves between vertebras
July 22, ’14 ~ at checkup, Dr found I still had debilitation due to hip,                     ordered hip X-rays & Dr gave a steroid shot into joint,                        ~ helped with pain for almost a month.
Aug. 28, ’14 ~ X-ray on hip joint taken to Dr. Delgado – he said he                could do nothing more due to severity of damage in hip joint.                   Only option, complete hip replacement.

PURCHASE OF
WHEELCHAIR: I could no longer walk or stand for any length of time,               even sitting was painful
Sept. 2014 ~ another assessment at Caja – further X-rays taken for hip             problem, had to change Dr’s
Nov. 2014 ~ I created a “GoFundMe” account to raise funds for needed               hip surgery

Feb 3rd, ’15 ~ 1st appointment w/hip Dr. (5 mths later), no checkup,               told to lose 15 lbs, no news of possible surgery date                                       ~ Major disappointment!
Jan-Feb. ’15 ~ Union Church made plea with Clinica Biblica to help us                financially, (as missionaries), cost lowered>>>                                         from $14,000 to $9,200
March 9, ’15 ~ Complete & successful hip surgery with Dr. Blandon               of Clinica Biblica – findings: deformity in hip (congenital),                           badly damaged hip joint, but great bone density.
March 24, ’15 ~ Removal of stitches and assessment of surgery.

As you can see, this has been a long process for me. I haven’t been able to travel with Terry, or go the beach, or any long drives for well over a year. But, at present time, I am doing much better. My hip soreness is from the surgery and muscle stiffness. I have to learn how to use my leg muscles properly again. I’m having therapy in our home 3x a week since I came home from surgery. It has been amazing to see the progress and I feel hopeful again. I will soon be into a time of strengthening, besides just range of movement. I can’t wait till I have the go-ahead to begin water therapy, as they say that is one of the best.

Again I want to thank each and every one of you who helped give toward my surgery, or even remembered me in prayer! I value each of you and pray God bless you and keep you all healthy and safe!

In His love always,
Terry & Donna