Furlough Trip – Update #3

It is hard to believe but we have already been in the US for 2 months.  This is the longest furlough we have had in 27 years and it has been long overdue.  We have been from Colorado to Alberta, Canada, to Austin, Texas and  Trinidad, Colorado.

Next week on August 15th, we will be headed back to Costa Rica.  It has been a great trip, but we are looking forward to getting home.  Listed here below are some things for you to think about.  We are trying to describe what is involved in taking a furlough.

For a missionary to take a furlough – it is no easy task.  First you must find someone to watch your home, water the plants and feed your animals while you are gone.  Next you need to buy your tickets and make arrangements for someone to take you to the airport in flying out and also pick you up at the airport you arrive at.  Since we don’t have a house, a car or car insurance in the US, God must provide all of these things for us.  Also we need places to stay, money for gasoline, a car to borrow and opportunities to share with people or churches so we can raise money to be able to continue the work God has called us to do.  

Back at home in Costa Rica we still have to pay our rent, utilities, phone, etc so we have to wire money back for this as well.

A good furlough consists in having all of the above in order to be able to visit our kids and grandkids, speak at churches, see some sights – such as national parks, rodeo etc, and some time to just do nothing and get some rest.  This furlough has had all of the above.

We have seen 6 of our 11 grandkids, visited 3 national parks, went canoeing, took hikes and even went to an archery range.  God has given us the opportunity to share in 5 churches and 5 home fellowships and way too much good food.  (I think we have gained several pounds this trip!)  We want to thank everyone for making this time in the US, (and Canada), both fun and productive.

Now we are ready and able to go back and jump back into the work that God has called us to do.  We so appreciate your prayers, letters and financial support!  Please check out our blog periodically for more updates!

 

Bulldogging event from the Calgary Stampede

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Update from Colorado

Update from Colorado

We have been in Denver and Trinidad in the last two weeks since leaving Costa Rica.  Our time in Denver was fruitful and refreshing.  The Lord miraculously provided all that we needed to attend the conference and counseling sessions, thanks to the generosity of Exchanged Life Ministries.  First Christian Church sent someone to pick us up from Denver to Trinidad last Friday.  They are going to loan us the church van for the next 2 weeks for our travels to Amarillo, Texas and Woodward, Oklahoma.  This past week we have spent visiting with our daughter’s family in Trinidad and other friends in the area.  This Thursday we will be having a potluck at the home of Bill & Kristin Thurston where we will be sharing about our work with some of our YWAM family who are still living in the area. 

Tomorrow we will be heading to Amarillo where we hope to meet with some of our friends and supporters from that area.  We are still looking for a truck and a 4-horse trailer, so if you know anyone who might have one and could possibly donate this for a tax-deduction, let us know.

Monday we will be driving to Oklahoma where our son’s family lives and to visit our newest grandson.  We will be there until Thursday when we head back to Trinidad to drop off the church van.  At this point we need to get another vehicle to continue our trip to Wyoming, Montana and Alberta Canada.  We did find a 1998 Dodge 15-passenger van at a dealer in Trinidad.  They are asking  $4900 for it, but we have asked them to consider donating it for a tax-deduction.  We haven’t heard from them yet, so please pray with us about this possibility.  It would fit our needs for transportation while we are here and would be great asset for the YWAM base since our old van is on it’s last leg.  We have included a picture of it here for you to see.

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Our plans to go to Kona, Hawaii for the sustainable agriculture seminar have been postponed until August, so we have to make some adjustments in our plans for July.  At this point we are planning to leave for Wyoming on June 30th and then work our way north to Alberta.  All of this of course is contingent on having a vehicle to do this with, so that is our main concern right now.

We appreciate all the prayers, support, hospitality and great food that we have been getting over the past two weeks.  It has really made us feel cared for and loved and we pray that God will bless you all for it.

Stay tuned for next update! 

 

Online link to send support:  https://www.meigiving.com/mei.php

Terry & Donna Keith –  #3010

You can also send a tax-deductible gift to:  

Mission Enablers International, (MEI), P.O. Box 1311,  Fayetteville, AR  72702                

Make check out to MEI; please include a note saying your donation is for Terry & Donna Keith – #3010

U.S. Furlough

We are in the United States right now, presently in Denver Colorado.  We left Costa Rica on the 7th, had our flight cancelled in Houston where we spent a relaxed night at the airlines expense in the Hyatt.  We needed that rest!!  We finally arrived in Denver on the 8th and just in time for a conference with Exchanged Life & Grace Ministries.  Since then we have been in some counseling sessions to help us with some “burn-out” symptoms from the stresses we’ve been under for several years.  This has been very timely, encouraging and refreshing for us!

Besides our need to find some rest & encouragement, our goal is to raise our support, as this has been a huge stress factor for us to live with a fraction of what we need.  We can’t continue to operate with our present income, since we can’t even meet our basic living expenses.  In order to travel and visit churches and supporters we will need reliable transportation for the next two months, along with donations for our daily expenses.  If you or anyone you know has a car they can loan us that would be a real answer to prayer, along with any financial gifts.

On another note we have been asked to come to Kona Hawaii to help staff the school of Sustainable agriculture for the first two weeks of July.  They will cover our food and housing but we have to come up with our airfare.  We have close friends and one of my cousins living in Kona so it would be a great chance to see them.  If you would like to help us with this trip please let us know as soon as possible since we only have about two weeks before we would have to leave.  We need appox $1500 for the trip, which would cover airfare for both of us.

After our trip to Kona we will be travelling north to Wyoming to visit the new director of CWAM and to visit one of our supporting churches in Meeteetse.  Then we will head to Montana and on to Alberta to visit  freinds and one of the churches that has supported us and the base for many years.  All in all it is a lot of traveling but we are looking forward to seeing many of you.  If you want to contact us while we are in the US our new phone number is 806-349-3288.  Please give us a call, we would love to talk to you.  We covet your prayers during our travels and time in the U.S.

Blessings to all,

Giving instructions can be found on Needs & Prayer Requests

May – News

On May 13th we drove to Nicaragua for our Regional Conference in our Heredia base van.  Thirteen of our leaders from Panama and Costa Rica rode with us for the hot 11 hour trip.  Two hours of that time was spent in the chaotic atmosphere of a Central American border crossing with other travelers, vendors, beggars and plenty of people willing to help you, (for a few bucks of course).

The first 3 days of the conference were for the leaders of the different base locations to get together for fellowship, training and encouragement.  About mid week, the staff and students arrived until we had about 250 people there.  It was great to reconnect, worship and pray together.  Several international leaders also came to share with us some challenging messages.  It was a long week but we came home encouraged and inspired with new vision for the future.  One of the highlights for us was to do some Bible distribution on some of the streets of Diriamba, Nicaragua, where many people were touched by the Lord, prayed with and came to know Jesus personally, as they accepted God’s Word into their homes.

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Most of you remember our sharing that our personal vehicle was stolen 3 years ago but within a week the police had found it completely stripped to just a shell.  Well, in the past three years since that, through the help of many friends – – we have slowly been rebuilding it – – replacing all the engine and transmission parts, tires, doors, hood, seats, etc.  We still lack the fenders, fog lights, hitch, and luggage rack, but even without those things, we are happy to report that two weeks ago the vehicle finally passed inspection and is legal to drive again.  At least we are able to use it and get around more.  We want to thank all of you who helped to make this happen!  Thank you for your generous gifts toward this need!

About two weeks ago our first summer team arrived from South Dakota, so we were busy every day with them.  They worked in a local church and some public schools where they did drama, puppets and clowns.  In their spare time they were helping us with some building and maintenance at the base.  We were especially thankful for all the help they gave towards building our new greenhouse.   We have teams coming through June until mid July, so it will be a busy time.  If your church would be interested in coming down to join us for a summer outreach, we still have room from mid July to mid August.  All the information and a team application is available on our website.  ywamheredia.com

The Missionary’s Dilemma

I woke up this morning struggling with my thoughts, (what my husband and I call – our “stinkin’- thinkin’).  How can we do the work we’re called to do, without having our monthly needs met?  Here again, this problem looms the greatest in our minds.  I was really questioning the Lord – what is going on these days?  And then I thought about how we recently met a pastor – ( a friend of our friends here in Costa Rica), – who introduced us to him as missionaries.  He then asked us some very pointed questions . . “Please tell me, as a missionary, what is your greatest frustration?”  I answered quickly – “our lack of support – we struggle constantly trying to find committed supporters“.  Then he said, “And when you visit the states, what do you see?”  Without even pausing, I said, “I see people living with excess – with televisions in every room, with “boy-toys” stuffing garages – – I see people hoarding for themselves, but also many who criticize us for having to ask for help”.  This man then told me about a “mega-church” he had attended where the pastor has his own jet to get around the country in.  Then he said, this pastor was telling someone that his wife had to arrange to get somewhere, and someone asked this pastor, “so are you sending your jet to go get her?”  And this pastor answered, “No, she has a jet of her own.”  This to me is unheard of.  What is going on with the churches of today?  Who are these people that they have to have jets for themselves, (more than one, mind you)?  Or how many houses does a person need, or cars for that matter?  There are people questioning our presidents and politicians for the very same thing – “why are they spending so much when our country is suffering financially?”  When is enough, enough?  God is going to hold Christians accountable for this lavish spending on themselves.  God has blessed Christian people to BE A BLESSING TO OTHERS!  Do you see God blessing someone?  If so, does it end in their hands, closed fists hanging on to all that they can accumulate in this world?  Are these people needing to build a bigger garage to house their various automobiles, motorcycles, boats, travel trailers, – and God knows what else?  What are they giving to missions, anything?  Can I venture to say? –  I’ll bet those with all these things don’t even give a tenth of what they make.  We’ve seen that those who seem to have so little, are the greatest givers – why does Jesus say?:  “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” – Mark 10:25

We have another friend who tells people who have wealth that they should begin to convert their assets from earthly treasures into heavenly treasures.  After all, no matter who they think they are, or how much they have accumulated, not one of us can take anything with us when we’re gone. Yes, they may be able to pass some of their wealth to their children, but what about the excess?  What about all the duplicate items in a large empty house?  Many times the things left behind by parents to their children are for the most part – not valued the same way.  What item really has true value?

I find that the greatest item we can have is our relationships!  That is something we can take with us, because it’s what we hold in our hearts.  We may not be near those who we love, but it doesn’t change how we feel about them.  We still love them.  This is especially true with our relationship with God.  This is the greatest thing we can possess!  This is what we must hold on with all our strength, our hearts our minds!

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Please read some of the following scriptures and study done below concerning our tithing.

There are four things Christians must do in giving: they must give willingly from the heart, they must not give grudgingly; they must not give of compulsion; they must give cheerfully  (2 Cor 8:129:5, 7).  Christians who give what they can to those in need will find that the grace of God furnishes a sufficiency for their own needs, and even more, in order that they may abound in good works for others  (Psa 41:1-2Prov. 11:24-2519:1722:9;  Eccl. 11:1;  Luke 6:38;  2 Cor 9:68-15). 

At the heart of all Christian giving is the acknowledgement that God is the creator, the owner, and the giver of all things, and what we give back to God is only a part of what He has given to us in the first place (Gen 1:1Exod 19:5;  Deut. 8:7-20;  1 Chron 29:10-16Psa 24:150:10-12Hag 2:8; John  1:1-3James 1:172 Pet 1:3).  Everything Christians have belongs to the Lord.  No one has anything that they had not first received from God.

Scriptures are very clear on the subject of giving – only those who sow into the Kingdom will reap the Kingdom benefits (Gal 6:6-10). Paul is defining God’s law of sowing and reaping here.  It applies to every aspect of the Christian walk:  Christians giving of themselves, their finances and their time to others; their financial support of the ministry, their moral behavior, and their Christian service.  Gal 6:9-10 teaches that whenever Christians keep doing good, in spite of the opposition they may encounter, in due course they will reap the fruit of the harvest.  And notwithstanding that they are to do good unto all men, they are to be particularly concerned with the well – being of other Christians  (Mt 25:31-46).  All Christian giving has to be as to God, the Christians’ source, for whatever Christians do they are doing it as unto Jesus.  Jesus equates Christians’ treatment of those in need with their treatment of Himself:  what Christians do for them, they do for Him.  The Christian walk is not only a spiritual walk, it must also serve the material needs of others, especially other Christians  (James 2:13-17).

Here Christians are presented with the real test of their faith. Christians are not justified by works, but because they are justified by faith, they do the works.  This proves their consecration to God’s service and confirms their love for God and for each other (1 John 3:16-19).  The only faith that saves is that demonstrated by works out of Christians’ love for God.  This scripture is the exact counterpart of John 3:16: “Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. 1 John 3:16-19  is the acid test of Christianity by which Christians know whether they are following the example of God’s love to others.  If Christians are not willing to give of material things to others in need, they certainly would not lay down their lives for them.  It is not enough that wealth and material possessions are acquired for self-gratification.  They must always be made available for the work of God  (Matt 6:19-24; Luke 12:13-21; 2 Cor 9:5-6).  Although God’s law of sowing and reaping dictates that blessings will always be returned for generosity, Christians must never give in order to receive.  Giving must always be motivated by love.

 Partial Studies by Br Val Boyle

Our thanks ..

We want to thank those of you who responded to my recent “desperate” email sharing our needs. We have been without full support for more than a year now and it has been stressful to say the least. The money that came in from many of you helped to catch us up on all our late bills from previous months and pay for other necessities. You were definitely a part of God’s hand in answering our prayers.

We still need to know if some of you would make monthly commitments to give on a regular basis, and what that would look like. We aren’t looking for large amounts here, but various individuals who can commit to give smaller donations on a monthly basis over a couple of years. We cannot continue without knowing what our budget would be. Please contact us by email, in a private message to let us know if you would be part of our support team!

Again, thanks so much for your gifts!

terrylkeith@gmail.com or donnajkeith@gmail.com

2 Corinthians 9:11-12 – “You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God!”

Intruders & thieves ..

Our saddles were stolen April 17th, on Tuesday night around 11:00 pm, they were taken from a locked shed. The thieves were able to slip the lock by prying it sideways, (allowing extra space with the latch), and after taking what they wanted, they put the door back on to look as though nothing happened. It worked until we fed our horses on Wednesday afternoon.  

This was such a frustrating experience .. because Terry and I had decided it was one thing we really enjoyed doing together – riding the horses, giving us a chance to take time for ourselves, and enjoy God’s creation.  During our previous years of working on ranches we had to have horses and tack so we had held onto much of it, thinking one day we would enjoy that again.  God has allowed us to have horses again, one being given to me several years ago, and the other was a rescue – a mare close to starving to death.  So .. it just seemed that here again .. Satan was targeting his attack on us, on any attempt we made to build our relationship and find personal time.

Terry’s saddle was a very expensive saddle to replace.  It was specially made for him by a man named Eddy Collins in Amarillo Texas in 1986.  It was unique and nowadays would cost possibly $2500 or more to replace.  Mine was a simple Aussie saddle that in recent years I had purchased for around $500.  Other tack was stolen as well, including bits/bridles, ropes, blankets, so we’re talking several thousands of dollars of tack in total.  

Interesting enough, it was heartbreaking news, but not overwhelming to discover.  I remember at one point saying, “What an adventure .. living this life in Costa Rica!” Maybe it had to do with having our car stolen over recent years, and many other items taken from the YWAM base.  It seems such a part of life here in this country.  So many here live behind bars on a daily basis .. just to hang on to what is theirs.  If thieves are caught and prosecuted to any degree .. it’s not for long, they could be out in a matter of weeks or months.  It’s a losing battle the police investigator told us ..  After a few days, I decided .. it’s out of my hands, God is ultimately in control – whether I like the present circumstance or not, God can handle it and as for me, “I will rejoice in God my Savior!”

Well, we also thought back to the last time we rode together in a horse parade in our area.  There was a man following us, harassing us, quite a bothersome character.  Another woman who rode with us thought the same thing.  As we began questioning others about him, it led to a friendship he had with our neighbor.  Hmmmm .. then I remembered .. over a year ago this same person was working with our neighbor (at the YWAM base), cleaning up the debris left by trees that were harvested between the two properties.  I had been riding my horse that day and went to unsaddle her.  This guy followed me to where I put the saddle telling me we should hire him to train our horses.  I had told him we didn’t need anyone, we did our own training.  But, he then knew where we had kept our saddles.Image  It seemed God was giving us the clues we needed…

So, Terry went to speak to our neighbor.  We realized this had to be the best hidden entry into the base property where the shed and saddles were.  Our neighbor had to know something.  Terry told him that others thought he was involved in the theft and that we would give a reward for the return of our saddles.  Our neighbor initially only wanted to know “who” was naming him as a suspect, – but then said he would find out to clear his name.  The following day, he said he knew where they were.  Isn’t that interesting?  So, by the end of that first week, we had our saddles returned to us – although we had to pay a few hundred dollars, it was nothing like replacing the whole thing.  Meanwhile, we’ve never heard back from the police or investigator.  We’ve been told this is so common, but also others are amazed at “the miracle” that our property was returned!  It’s a rare occurance.