International Ministries

Thanksgiving, Graduation, and Life

December 12, 2016 Journal
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What a year it has been since we were commissioned at the First Baptist Church in Painesville, Ohio almost a year ago.  We moved to Costa Rica to begin studying Spanish.  We graduated language school and are setup in our “permanent” home.  Our country of service changed from the Dominican Republic to Costa Rica and now we are setting up house and getting settled for the long haul.

                The old song, “Count Your Blessings,” comes to mind every year about this time.  What are we really thankful for in our lives?  Do we allow outside circumstances control our emotional state of being or do we look to God to be our source of comfort and well-being? 

The last three weeks of November, I was struggling with what we thought were kidney stones but ended up being scar tissue restricting my organs in my abdomen.  I had surgery and spent 8 days in the hospital over Thanksgiving. I am feeling a lot better now and I am praying this stops after this round for a good long while. 

We moved in the first three weeks November.  The day before we started all sleeping at the new house, I awoke at 4 am to a hot water heater not working and flooding the downstairs.  I spent two hours mopping and getting fans and a dehumidifier working.  The heater is replaced and things are getting in place for our trip to the states.

What would I have to be thankful for?  Honestly, if I let the circumstances control my emotions, then not much.  However, I like to let scripture and my understanding of God and who He says I am guide and direct my emotions.  I prefer to make a choice about what I feel and not let the feeling lead me.  So I am thankful.

I am thankful for each of you that read, pray, and support us.  It makes a big difference in our lives each month.  I am thankful for the little gifts in the mail or cards of encouragement from the Women’s groups.  I am thankful for my children and the school they are attending online.  I am thankful for my wife who loves me and cares for me even when she has her own things to worry about and do.  These are a lot of the things I am thankful for. 

For me, it isn’t about the material things of a house, cars, or even job.  The relationships are what I am most thankful for.  That is a cultural difference here, the relationship is more important than the schedule or the agenda.  It is something God has been moving in me to shift from, not focused on what I am trying to do but whom I am with.

I am with you through your emails, cards, and Facebook.  I am with my children and wife.  I am with the person I am visiting.  I am with Christ.  That presence of God in me makes more of a difference than I realize at times but it is there.  My presence with other people can give them a glimpse of Christ’s love. 

In closing, we are already celebrating Christmas here in Costa Rica, the idea of God with us or Emmanuel is central to the message of this season.  Are you and I being present with those around us to provide that opportunity for someone to experience the love of Christ?

We leave this evening for Christmas in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York.  We are so thankful for First Baptist Church, Hamilton, OH that helped make this trip possible.  We will be speaking there during Sunday School Dec 17.  If you are in the Cincinnati area, we would love to see you.  We return to Costa Rica on Dec 31. 

If you would like to send Christmas Card, our USA address would work through Dec 30: Peter and Sarah McCurdy, 255 Euclid Ave, Ridgway, PA, 15853. You can still send to the Language School address in Costa Rica. 

Prayer Request:

·         Safe travels

·         20 new donors at $100 a month

·         Good Health for the family

·         Wisdom on schooling for the kids

·         Grace and Wisdom as we begin the new ministry in Costa Rica


·         Peter is feeling better.

·         Going back to the USA for Christmas

·         God’s provision for support, house, and vehicles in Costa Rica