Team Honduras

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Our Last Trip to "La Feria"

 One of the wonderful things about living here in Costa Rica has to be the abundance of fresh fruits and veggies. Every Saturday there is a small "feria" or Farmers's Market just a few blocks walk from our house. We wake up early and head out so that we can get some of the freshest produce available. We also usually end up spending an hour and half just chatting with all of our ILE friends that we run into coming and going. Not only is this a time to get most of our shopping done but it is a nice time to fellowship with others we know. Many "MK" (missionary kids) kids are there hanging out at the playgrounds while one or both parents do the shopping. It is just a nice morning out and has been our routine now for almost a year. It is so amazing to see what we can buy for so little. No taxes, no perservatives and so much variety to choose from. Now keep in mind we do not have the same selection that we would back home, such as butterbeans(which I miss), sweet potatoes, blackeyed peas, yellow squash and such.....but there are more benefits such as fresh pinapple and mango. I am going to give you a sample grocery list that we would get on a weekly basis and the price and see how it compares to things in the states. Sometimes, yes being in another country is tough and we miss out on things that we are so use too. However, this is one thing that I LOVE about living in a tropical country.

cilantro and herbs

Grocery List/Feria
1. Head of Iceberg Lettuce @ $0.20
2. Head of Butter Lettuce   @ $0.20
3. Large Stalk of Celery     @ $0.40
4. Lg, bunch  ofcilantro       @ $0.20
5. 2 pints strawberries         @$1.60
6. 2 Mango                        @ $2.50
7. Pineapple                       @ $1.40
8. 5lbs Tators                     @ $3.00
9. Plantains  (5)                  @ $1.00
10. 10 Bananas                  @$1.00
11. 4/5 Cucumbers             @$0.60
12. red/green peppers(5)    @$0.80
13. Chayote(4)                   @$0.40
14. 3 avacados                   @$2.00
15. 2lbs Tomatos                @$1.80
16. Fresh Garlic                  @$0.40
17. Head of Brocoli            @$1.00
18. 2.2lbs baby string beans @$1.00
19. 5-6 Carrots                    @$0.60
all of the above for               $20.10

That is a ton of food......I really hope that we have one close in least for the fruits. We plan on having a garden on the grounds to take care of most of the veggies and fruits that we can grow on sight. Please pray with us that the "Tiller" we have on our Wal-mart Wish List will be purchased so that we can put it on the container to be shipped to Honduras. One of the big things that we desire for the children's home is to become self-sufficient in the area of fruits and veggies. Not only will this help out with the expenses that we will have but we will be able to teach the children that they can take care of themselves once they are on their own one day. we hope that you all have a wonderful day and our Tampa count down is now 3 1/2 days.....May God Bless you all....
My Little Helper with Cilantro


our shopping

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Aprender una cosa nueva/ Learning a new thing

When we first moved to Costa Rica almost a year ago we tasted a typical Latino food called "Empanadas" for the very fisrt time. Empanadas,  usually consist of chicken and cheese, refried beans and cheese or just cheese. Our empleada Etelvina makes the best empanadas and she makes a pico de gallo to go with it. I have watched her make them many times to see how she makes them but today I watched the entire process. As much as I wish we could take her along with us to Honduras she will be staying here in Costa Rica, which means after this more homemade empanadas by Etelvina.

So, with that she proceeded to  teach us how to make everything. Starting with how you cook the chicken and with what veggies and spices to get a good broth. Then after the chicken has cooled you cook it again in onion, butter, garlic, cummin, oregano and some other things. Then you set that aside and start to work on the "masa" or the dough. It is a very long process that takes a lot of work and yet there are devoured up in no time at all.

While having my hand in the dough making part, Mark thought it funny to laugh at me for how slow I was going. I proceeded to explain to him that it is not as easy as it looks to shape this dough into a perfectly flat circle ready to be stuffed with cheese and chicken. So, I suggested that he give it a whirl....we laughed....he tried....and we laughed some more...he agreed that it looked easier than it was but he did manage to make a few to be cooked. We both enjoyed learning how to make a yummy treat that we have become acustom to eating here during our stay. I must say though,it is a time consuming job but they are very yummy. Maybe one day if you ever come to visit us in Honduras...we will make you some of our "empanadas".

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Tattered Shoes......

Before we arrived in Costa Rica we all went shopping to purchase the much needed items that we would not be able to afford to buy here. With that, we all purchased a brand new pair of shoes. We have put many the miles on some shoes here and well, needless to say have worn some out. However, none of us have worn out our shoes as much as Hunter has worn out his.

 This pair of shoes was Hunter's first pair of shoes. They lasted all of 3 months before the soles were gone. With thinking on how he wore out his shoes.....makes me stop and think. Hmmm....if he wore out a pair of shoes in 3 months from constant many of us have worn and tattered Bibles. We all have a favorite book, cookbook, shirt or even a pair of shoes that we run too, to use all the time. Do we take that same approach with the Bible? Are our Bibles, tattered and worn with notes in the margins, or special verses that spoke to our hearts underlined? Have we written down special sermon dates or times were we have made an important decision for the Lord?  Or is our Bible a book of perfection...meaning that there are no wrinkled pages, the are crsip when you open them, or maybe they even have that "stick together" feeling because it is like new? Well, if you have a Bible like that then what will people say about your Christian Walk with the Lord? Will they know how much you really know about God's word and how much you study His promises?  I want my kids and others to see how worn and tattered my Bible is and know that I used it and studied God's word. I do not just want it to be a pretty book on a shelf. I do want my Bible to last more than 3 months unlike the shoes.....but I do want others to know that it is being used.....what about YOU?
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Colossians 3:16

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Home Sweet the works....

As you all know, our time is coming to an end here in Costa Rica. It is bitter-sweet but we are excited and ready to go. You all have been helping us through prayer and added extra support to help with different things concerning the cottage. We want to thank you all for that. This blog is to share with you some recent photos and other info concerning the cottage.

We will leave here on March 30th and while things are going great on the construction end of the cottage and the men are doing a great job it will not be ready when we arrive.  We are hoping to arrive in Honduras by April 15th and if not that day no later than April 20th. With that said, we are going to have to rent a house for about three months. Our fellow team members are already hard at work to help us find a home to rent once we arrive. Please help us by praying that they can find a house that is safe, reasonable and will be close to the others. We also need to pray that we raise the remaining $5,000 that we will need to purchase a van there once we arrive.

Many of you know what it is like to furnish a new home or at least you remember when you were first married and had to purchase a bunch of things to make your home livable. This is the same case for the first cottage. We have many things that we still need to have to be able to open and run the home. We actually have two lists. One is a list of specific items on and the other is on the  page listed under Hope of Honduras Urgent Needs. All of these things are things that we need for the cottage. Some are basic like hair dryers, hair clippers, lice kits(b/c all the children will need to be treated).

Other things are important things such as linens, and cooking accessories. Some things you may have that you can donate if you live in the Florida area. Others are things that you can purchase and have sent to Hope Children's Home in Tampa with a note saying that it is for the Cottage in Honduras. We know that God will provide all of the needs that we have for the ministry but we do ask that you help us by praying. Thanks again for all that you do for us and our ministry.

Monday, March 7, 2011

100 Things About Language School

In honor of our 100th blog....I am going to tell you 100 things about language school. Some are sad, happy, funny, crazy....but one thing is for sure they are all true. So I hope that you enjoy reading it and thanks for sticking with us on our journey. We have 23 days as of tomorrow before we head back to Tampa to gather our belongings and move to Honduras. Here goes and they are in no particular order.

1. Flying to a new country, with 3 kids and 13 suitcases
2. Kids that have more stamps in their passports than most average adults
3. Not having a car
4. Going to the pharmacy to get a presciption without a doctors note(wow what a blessing that is)
5. Bread store around the corner (open 24 hours)
6. gates and walls everywhere
7. Living in a beautiful country
8. Sharing a gospel track with a taxi driver, bus drivers and other people
9. Learning to navigate a city with no street signs
10. an entire season of non stop rain
11. Hunter...literally walking his shoes to death
12. Loving Saturday mornings for the "feria" farmers market
13. having no heat or air condition (it can be done folks)
14. washing your dishes in cold water
15. Sharing a plate of food with a homeless man
16. Walking to the post office to get your mail
17. Wondering if you will ever see Wal-Mart again or the special end cap clearance sales at Target
19. Turkeys that are $35 each (b/c they don't celebrate Thanksgiving)
20. Walking past a sleeping homeless person laying on a used pizza box
21. Looking out our window observing the beauty that God has created
22. Hearing our children speak in Spanish
23. Making friends with people from all over the world and will end up somewhere different than they came.
24. Meeting people in Costa Rica from our hometown in NC
25.Learning to count in Colones......starting with 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 500 and then it gets to the paper money
26. Gallo pinto/ famous beans and rice
27. wondering how I can make my own cheddar since it is $11 a block
28. watching Josiah greet people on the street with a sweet smile and Buenas Dias
29. Not being able to sing in the choir
30. Buying strawberries for $1 a pint
31. buying Christmas presents on-line and having someone bring them to us b/c they are to expensive here
32. Not being able to make a lunch date with a dear friend
33. Having tons of family fun nights playing games that include; scrabble, clue or cards
34. using public transportation
35. losing water or electricity for no reason and wondering when you will get it back on
36. loving Care Packages
37. not being able to console a hurting friend in the states
38. Missing out on weddings and baby showers of friends and family
39. paying almost $40 for Tide or Gain laundry detergent b/c your spouse is allegic to everything else
40.  Buying eggs from a man on the street selling them from his car
41. Wishing that Burger King and McDonalds here had a "Dollar Menu"
42. Learning to create new recipes
43. Excited to get mail, or email or any news from home
44. Conversing with SKYPE
45. Kissing people on the cheek when you meet
46. Getting calls from telemarketers in SPANISH
47. Arroz con pollo (chicken and rice)
48. Buying cleaning products and soap in a plastic bag (so you can refill the bottles you have)
49. Loving that you can always get fresh fruit and veggies
50. Watching out for holes in the road or sidewalks
51. Having some of the best teachers to help us learn Spanish
52. Waking up in the middle of the night b/c we just had an earthquake
53. Family Time with SMORES using Costa Rican Chiky cookies
54. Excited to have friends and family come to visit
55. Going shopping and loving the Costa Rican could mean buying a blender and getting a soccer ball for FREE
56. NO carpet anywhere
57. Learning to read the Bible in Spanish
58. Hearing birds and chickens awake at 4:30 in the morning
59. First Sunday here....sitting in church....wondering if we will ever understand Spanish
60. starting a new tradition of our Missionary Christmas putting up our friends prayer cards
61. Forgetting how to read and spell in English b/c we think so much in Spanish
62. being 34 and 39 and having homework
63. there is still pressure in taking a TEST
64. Cafesito
65. Following the Chile Miners story with friends that are from there
66. Not missing the rising gas prices in the states
67. having to watch UNC football and basketball on the CPU but being thankful that it is on there
68. walking in the store seeing an Aerospace shirt that cost more than the Aeropostale shirt in the states
69. Taking the term "Window Shopping" to a whole new level
70. Walking in the rain with an umbrella and still getting soaked (Forrest Gump
71. Showing your family around...that has not yet learned the money exchange and they think that they saw something for $25 but in fact it was 2,500 colones or $5
72. Having geckos on your ceiling
73. Keeping your windows closed during dinner so moths don't dive bomb in your plate
74. Having moths land on your wall the size of a small bat
75. Homeschooling Taylor and Hunter for the first time and trying to do our own school work
76. Taking Visa Trips
77. Disliking the border of Nicaragua
78. Potty training your child and teaching him to put toilet paper in the trash can
79. Having a cat come in your house b/c you have no door
80. Happy that we can hear sermons in English online
81. Having a security guard each night on our street
82. Walking to church
83. A family who loves Flip-Flops
84. POPs Ice Cream
85. Our greatest find here was the day we found A-1 Sauce
86. Learning to enjoy hot tea and for Mark...good coffee
87. Cooking Chayote
88. Missing Bojangles and Chick-fi-la
89. Steps, steps and more steps...we have 32+ steps in our house
90. Praying in Spanish
91. God giving us another miracle....a new baby to be born in late May early June
92. Being Blessed by faithful people who support our ministry
93. Being humbled by the fact that we are still in the baby stage of Spanish
94. But grateful that our friends remind us that it will come once on the field
95. Going to miss all the friends that we have made over the past 11 months
96. Thankful for the oppotunity that God has given us to live and learn in Costa Rica
97. Seeing how excited Josiah gets when it is time to go to school...his class is all Spanish
98. Josiah asking me to sing him a song in Spanish
99. Enjoying warm sunny days and not having a winter
100. Making at least 100 New memories here in Costa Rica

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Chayote.....what is this funny green thing..............

   When we moved here to Costa Rica we saw a funny looking green fruit/veggie that we had never seen before. It is similiar to a pear in shape and texture but yet also kind of has a taste like a seedless cucumber. This veggie/fruit that belongs to the squash/gourd family is very cheap here. We noticed that it really has no flavor, but can take on any flavor that you add to it. They use it alot here in soups and stir-frys and such. Some people even half them and stuff them with meat and cheese and cook them until the chayote is tender.

chayote root
We have become fond of it because it can be a "filler" food and again is cheap and takes on the taste of anything that you cook it in or with. When I say cheap....I can get 4 for around 200 colones or 50 cent and no that is not each that is total.  However, we recently learned that the root of the chayote plant is a special treat and a very expensive one at that. A kilo or 2.2lbs of chayote root sell for 3,000 colones.....that is $6 a kilo. However, joking with the vender in the feria a few weeks ago about this "special find" and how good it was he proclaimed...we decided to buy a 1/2 kilo just to see what all the fuss was about. When we asked a bunch of different people they all came back with the same answer...."este es muy rico" is so good....and they boil it then slice it or cube it and fold it into scrambled eggs. Others said that you can slice it and fry it like guess which one we did? We chose to slice and fry. I actually liked it but to me it was no different than a potato...maybe a little sweeter. Mark did not really care for it. However, then we wanted to see what the fuss was about why it was so expensive if it was so similiar to a potato. Well, you see a chayote plant may or may not have roots that are big enough to cut. What I mean is it needs to be as big around or bigger than a softball. This process could also take up to 2 years or more. So, once they cut the root of the plant.....there it more chayote.

On another note, I love to cook and well, I watch t.v. shows and pay close attention to the produce in the grocery store. However, when we were home for Christmas we were down at Mark's parents house in Surf City, N.C. and as we were loading up on flamming hot cheetos and chex mix.  I looked over and saw what I thought was a chayote. I turned around and sure enough...I had to show Mark....not only did a little grocery store at the beach(of all places) have chayote but they were like $3 each. To me I was just blown out of the water.

My favorite thing to do with this new favorite very inexpensive veggie/fruit is to cook it like yellow summer squash. I cook 2 slices of bacon in a pan and then remove it and add in 3-4 peeled and chopped chayote along with 1/2 an onion diced. Cover and let it steam cook. Stirring occassionally. Once it is tender, i season with salt and pepper and then add in 1 tbsp of brown sugar and sprinkle with the crumbled bacon. reminds me of living in N.C. and picking fresh squash from the garden.

This was just a fun little peice of info for you to learn about the local produce that we have here in Costa Rica and will have in Honduras.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Prayer......A Powerful Medicine

   Today, I sit and think about many friends and family members that are heavy on my heart. We have friends back in the states that are battling cancer. We have family members that are facing trials of their own. We think of our parents and how they are doing in everday life. We also think about how they must feel with their children and grandcildren living in another country. We have so many people that we pray for and we pray for friends and family of friends that we have never met. Prayer is an amazing tool that many only use as a form of communication when things go wrong or a trail arises. But we should have prayer as a daily routine to talk with the Lord in good times and bad times.

Some people think that because we are in full time ministry or serving as missionaries that we are somehow different than everyone else. Well, let me just say this.......we are not any different. We have just been given a call that we chose to obey. (Not everyone is given the call to go to another country but we do all have a call to be a witness for Christ.) However, we are still human and the devil attacks us just like he attacks you. Our life did not just "with the snap of a finger" become perfect and burden free. In fact, those who are doing God's work are put in the hot seat and the devil is trying his hardest to bring us all down and to get us to throw in the towel.

I can say that we have seen that first hand here, living in Costa Rica. Almost, all of the students that walk through the gates of "ILE" are here because God has called them to the mission field. It is sad to say that some will not make it to their field of calling. Some have been hit with sickness, lack of support, or emotional strain. Last week, the devil had us ready to leave very early beacuse of all the contractions that I was having. However, we prayed and turned it all over to the Lord and he gave us peace that everything was going to work out and that would take care of Micah and myself. Things here are great and we only have 28 days to go.

This week we have a dear friend here who has a very heavy heart. She is a sweet lady and a dear friend and at this time I am not going to give her name because I have not asked for her permission to use it. However, I am asking that you all please lift her and her family up in prayer. (God knows her name and so if you earnestly pray he will hear you). Since she has been here studying Spanish she has lost her mother, sent one of her children back to the states for college and is preparing for her other 2 children to return to the states after classes finish. Her and her husband will head to their field by themselves. I can say that there is much stress in trying to learn a new language. Some days are great and others are days where you.....well wanna go home and cry or pull out your hair. With that said who needs anything else thrown your way? Well, this week she ventured to the doctor because she has been having some joint pain and her body never would know by the sweet smile she carries on her face. She has been an encouragement to me and I know many others here. I am asking that you help me by praying for her and of coarse the many others that need prayer. Just becasue we are a missionary does not mean that again we do not go through trials and have burdens. I know that God answers prayers and he hears his children.

I am thankful to know that we all have a comforter. It says in John 14:16-18 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; butye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shll be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

The Bible also says in 1 John 5: 14-15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us:And if we know that he hear us, whatsoeverwe ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

I know that there are many of us that have special needs and prayer request. I can say that we have a family prayer board to help us remember special prayers and needs. We did not always have one of these, we learned of the prayer board when we moved to Tampa to train at the children's home. Pastor Mike told us that if the children or staff needed something or had a special need it had better be on the board and they should be praying for it. God can not answer prayers if we do not ask HIM to answer. While we lived in Tampa we saw just how God supplies the needs of his children through prayer. The children were very involved in prayer and they prayed for things that were on the board and when God answered a prayer they would remove it. We do the same thing with a white board. We plan on continuing this tradition once in Honduras. I challenge you all to have some form of a prayer board to help with prayer request and erase them once God answers them.
The Coats Family Prayer Board