Christmas 2016

This gallery contains 10 photos.

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.

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

Remodeled bedroom

Hi Everyone,

We wanted to get a quick update to everyone to let you all know what is going on.  First of all, we finished the remodel of the bedroom and we have updated photos below to show you all that has been done.   We started with repainting the room, then we tiled it and fixed the broken windows and then Donna had someone make curtains.  We had the used twin bed and the little lamp stand, but we needed to buy an orthopedic mattress.  We had the sheets but needed one blanket for a twin bed.   Donna has already been staying in the room now to avoid the strain of going up and down the stairs.  She has already felt the difference and has enjoyed the new mattress.  We bought a small (adjustable) table and it has been a nice place for her to do some crafts and I’m sure will come in handy during her recuperation time as well.  We also had to hang a new door because the old one wouldn’t fit due to the new tiled floor, but we still have to stain it to finish it.  We had the wall hanging, but Donna found a nice typical Costa Rican painting that she bought and it fills a very empty wall quite well.

Finished Room

Finished Room










Finished room

Finished room










New bedroom

New bedroom










We have been waiting to hear back from the surgeon to tell us when we can proceed with this procedure with burning the nerves in her back.  We finally heard from him yesterday afternoon.  He said he can schedule it as soon as Monday, July 8th …. IF the operating room is available.  He was going to check on that and let us know.  But at this point, we need to go in Thursday and get a booklet that will tell us the steps we need to do before, and then after the procedure.  This is a big relief for Donna ….. knowing finally that there might be an end to some of her pain.  She has endured a lot in the past several months, and it seems it has just gotten progressively worse as time goes on.  She has noticed that her pain is increased during our heavy rains, and of course, we just entered our rainy season, so there aren’t many days without it.  We just have to pray for God’s hands to be over Donna and the surgeon and that everything goes well and she can come out of this on the other side pain free!  Afterwards of course, she will have to go through physical therapy to get her back muscles, legs, etc. strengthened and back where she needs to be.

We still may need some assistance with continued therapy sessions, as they are not included in the price of surgery.  But, we just want to say how grateful we are for all the help we’ve received for remodeling the room and for the help in paying for the surgery.  The love and care we feel from all of you is overwhelming at times.  Thank you so much for every monetary gift, for every prayer and encouragement that you have given!!   May God bless each one of you!

With His love,

Terry & Donna



PS:  For information on giving, please go to the upper left corner of the blog to “HOME”, then to the “NEEDS & PRAYER REQUESTS” section.  There you will find options and directions!

An Urgent Request

Dear Friends,

We have shared before with you about Donna suffering from debilitating low back pain since last year. She has tried physical therapy, chiropractors and medication, but nothing seems to relieve the pain. For the last five months, she has been staying home since she can only sit, walk or stand for short periods of time. She has always been very active, so this has been really hard for her.

In Costa Rica we have socialized medicine, which is inexpensive – but it has many limitations. One is that the system is very slow and many procedures are not even available. Since last October, she has been seeing an Orthopedic Surgeon with the socialized medicine. He has sent her to do several X-rays and to get an MRI. Last week we met with him and he says that she will eventually need the back surgery, which would place steel plates and screws to stabilize the lower back, which he says we can begin planning for that in August. Since there are many risks to general anesthesia and back surgery, we decided we needed a second opinion. Yesterday we went to Clinica Biblica, one of the leading hospitals in the country, to have Donna seen by a Neurologist there. After reviewing Donnas’ records, X-rays & MRI and giving a brief checkup, he said that he would not recommend the placement of plates and screws in her vertebra since there are other options available which are less invasive. He gave us a very detailed explanation of what is going on in her back, which is the first time we’ve ever heard what the real problem is. And he told us that even if she had the surgery the other surgeon wants to do, – it would do nothing for the pain she’s suffering from. Donna has what’s called “Lumbar Facet Syndrome”. She has two vertebras that have degeneration due to the fact that they are rubbing together because of a herniated disk. In her sacrum there is another small herniation of the disk there. The pain comes from small nerves being pinched between the facets of the vertebra, mostly in the sacrum area. The treatment he is recommending is a Neurolysis, which is similar to laser surgery that uses radio frequency to eliminate the offending nerves. Next they use steroids to reduce the swelling in the bone tissue, thereby relieving the pain. This would be followed by physical therapy to strengthen the back and lead to long-term health. This is an outpatient surgery, which only requires mild sedation and local anesthetic. He says that she should have a 50% improvement within 3 days and full recovery in about a month.

Our problem is that this surgery is not offered under our insurance with the government provided plan, so to have this done we would have to pay for it ourselves, which could be done at any time after we get the money together. The total cost for this surgery is $4500. We don’t own a house and our car is 17 years old, so we don’t have assets to borrow against to get that much money, so we are going to need help. Please pray with us about this need.

We know God can provide as we have seen him do so many times in the past. If God puts it on your heart to help financially, just let us know and we will send the information on how to get the funds to us.

Thank you for letting us share our needs with you,

Yours in Christ,

Terry & Donna Keith10170707_10152339926914494_1159057958604522729_n

We’re back …. !!!

Dear Friends,

Please excuse the delay in our blog updates. Time has gotten away with us and the daily happenings in our world have taken its priority. We will try to make amends!

Our daughter Erin + granddaughter Leah

Our daughter Erin + granddaughter Leah

This last December we decided to travel to the States to spend Christmas with our kids, since it had been 9 years since we had been able to do that.


Yohana on the frozen lake!







It was a special treat for us and also for Jason and his wife Yohana to join us this time. Yohana had never been to the States, or experienced winter, so it was a lot of firsts for her.   Sadly we didn’t see a lot of snow, but it was very cold, (below 0* F.) for many days, so we had to find extra clothes, gloves, snow boots, etc to feel comfortable, since we weren’t prepared for all that. It was fun to watch Yohana walk on the frozen lake and watch her experience that! Quick prayer request for them: They are trying to have a baby, so please pray that this would happen, (and we can have a grandchild here in Costa Rica)!!   🙂

When we got back home we began our Environment and Resource Stewardship School, which is designed to train missionaries how to do development in a sustainable way in rural communities. We teach them how to address important issues such as water, health and hygiene. We have 7 students that come from 5 nations; the United States, Columbia, Finland, El Salvador, and men from the Embera and Waonan tribes of Panama. Currently this team is working in an Indian village in Southern Panama. After that, they will be headed to Kenya to work with our friends there.

Our September 2013 DTS team came back from their outreach in February. They had been to Peru, Panama and places in Costa Rica. At their graduation, one of the girls shared how she didn’t even want to come do the school, but her parents forced her. She went on to share how during the lectures, God began to touch her and heal her from the inside out. Now her life has completely turned around and she is so glad she came. This was really encouraging for us, because this is why we are doing what we are doing because we want to see people’s lives transformed!

We have shared previously about our national goal of putting a Bible in every home in Costa Rica. In March we hosted YWAM’ers, churches and volunteers; 120 in all – for a 3-day distribution in our area of Heredia. By the end of it, we had put Bibles in 1700+ homes. If you or your church would like to be involved in this project, we need teams and we need Bibles. The cost per Bible is $3.00, which is really inexpensive, so just let us know if you would like to get involved!!

Next week we begin our RescueNet training with 12 students. It is a very intense 2 week course to prepare YWAM’ers to respond to natural disasters, so please pray for all the staff & students who will be participating in this seminar. Some of these students have had trouble coming up with the tuition for this, but we have received a generous donation for them which was a tremendous blessing. As you can see from the news reports that earthquakes are common for us here in Latin America. In the past month there have been major earthquakes in Chile, Nicaragua, and Mexico. Thankfully not major damage or loss of life has resulted from these disasters, but it is only a matter of time and there will be another one, so we want to be ready to respond.

On a personal note, Donna has been struggling since last year with low back pain that has steadily gotten worse. She has tried physical therapists, chiropractors and medication, but nothing seems to help. Around June of last year, she saw an Orthopedic Surgeon and he says that she has degeneration in her vertebra, specifically in the 4th & 5th lumbar region, which is putting pressure on the nerves. At times she can barely walk. He says she will probably need surgery so he ordered an MRI to be done. Her next appointment is May 20th, when he will make a decision about the surgery. For now, she is staying home and taking medication, but the wait is hard for her.

We live in a 2-story cabin with all the bedrooms upstairs, which is hard for her to climb every day, so we are in the process of remodeling a downstairs room into a bedroom, (which we’ve been using for storage and our dogs). We’ve put a new roof on our shed, so now more things can go there, like our saddles and odds & ends. This room needs tile, (which we’ve already purchased), painting, a new window, curtains, and an orthopedic mattress. April 16th was her birthday and the YWAM family here generously donated to buy her a lounge chair that was a wonderful gift for her! Any donations toward this work would be a great help and continued prayers for Donna as well!

Below are pictures of the room we want to remodel and a picture of Donna’s birthday gift of the lounge chair!  Many thanks to all of you who gave and may God bless everyone in this year 2014!

In the service of our Lord,

Terry & Donna Keith

PS:  More ministry pictures will be posted in a gallery format, along with updated photos of finished bedroom!  Check our Needs & Prayer Request area for giving information!


Donna’s birthday gift – Lounge chair! 🙂



Entering room, broken window & needs new curtains.

Entering room, broken window & needs new curtains.









Tile for floor

New ceramic tile for floor




Wall between bedroom and bathroom

Wall between bedroom + bathroom. (still needs organizing)! 🙂


Presently dog room (back corner)


Safe + Closet/Shelves