Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We pray that you have a wonderful Christmas with family and that your New Year be filled with all of God’s blessings.
We are sorry that it has been so long since our last newsletter. Since August a lot has happened and we wanted to take some time to seek God. We will do our very best to explain everything, but please feel free to email us with any questions that you may have. You can reach us at email@example.com or if you would rather call. you can reach us at 229-299-5446.
Last days in Costa Rica
We spent all of August selling or giving away our things in Costa Rica. We are praising God that we were able to sell our car even though we sold it for less than it was worth. The reason for this was because another missionary in Costa Rica needed a car, so we all prayed about a price and all came up with the same amount.
We also spent as much time as possible saying “hasta luego”, see you later, to all of our friends that we had made over the last 5 years. The hardest “goodbyes” were to the families that we had been working with for so long. We explained to them why we felt we needed to leave and that we would continue to stay in touch with them and that we would be back for a visit one day.
Back in The States
We returned to the states right after Hurricane Harvey and just in time for Hurricane Irma. We were staying at Cindy’s moms house in South Georgia and the Hurricane was predicted to pass right over that area. Thankfully the storm was downgraded to a tropical storm and we only had to deal with loss of power for 52 hours. Many people have had to deal with losing much more than power from all of these hurricanes, and can really use your continued prayers.
After our power was restored we were reading one of the Costa Rican newspapers on-line and saw an article where some women had been arrested. As we were reading this article, we realized that the women who got arrested were some of the moms we had been working with during the last 3 years. Needless to say, we were heartbroken and very concerned about the welfare of their children. After making a phone call to the grandmother of the children, we found out it was all true. We also found out that she had all of their children. When the moms got arrested, the police just handed the children to her. At that moment, she went from having 2 children to 22 children to care for. We knew after talking with her that we needed to return to Costa Rica and find out what was going on with the children and how we could help her.
Back In Costa Rica
When we arrived, we found Grandma was a little overwhelmed and she had 15 of the children for a total of 17 kids to take care of. (Some of the other children were living with a neighbor and another grandma.) The kids ranged in age from 1 year old to 15 years old and 7 of the children were in diapers. Grandma was very thankful that we came and helped out. We pitched in with giving baths, changing diapers, playing with the kids and whatever else was needed. We were also able to provide them with food, diapers and cleaning supplies; thanks to your continued support of our ministry. We did find that the children were adjusting well to their new situation and one little girl even told us she was happier now, because she was getting to eat everyday. We continue to help them out with food and supplies when we are able.
Back in The States Again
Once we were back in the states we started to wonder if God was returning us to Costa Rica and if so, why did He have us sell all of our things. We quickly realized that God was protecting us. If we had been there when the moms were arrested things could of turned out differently for us and we would of not continued to follow God’s will for our lives.
Following God’s guidance we will continue on with our plans to move to Honduras. This decision did not come lightly and we took a lot of time to seek Him and make sure that this is what we were to do. After several weeks, we were reminded our vision has always been to work with single mothers (especially young mothers) and their children. To give them an opportunity to change their lives and help break the cycle of prostitution and selling of drugs as their only means to support themselves. We have included our vision statement, but please understand that this is still a work in progress.
Even after getting our detailed vision we still wondered where this vision was for. Was it for Honduras, Costa Rica or maybe somewhere else? After some more time had passed, we realized that it was for Honduras. However, we asked God to confirm,which He has, and now we clearly know that we are to go to Honduras. We must admit that this next venture is a little scary, because we will now have to raise all of the funds needed to build our house and our first pilot house, plus any other facilities that we may need. We are truly blessed in that we do not need money for land as we have been offered to use a piece of land “rent free”.
We will be making a trip to Honduras sometime in February. We will be there for about 3 weeks and it will be a planning trip. We will be working on some logistic details along with a projected cost for the project. We are really excited about this next venture and we would covet your prayers.
P.S. - If you missed our May and July updates click HERE
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3: 5-6
With God ALL things are possible. Matt 19:26.
Lots of love and Blessings,
John & Cindy Thalheimer
Missionaries to Costa Rica