So sorry it has been so long since we have updated.
Our time seems to evaporate here.
So let me try to update everyone!
Maggi is doing really well in 6th grade. She has made some great friends at school, for which we are so THANKFUL. This has been a direct answer to prayer, as many of you know. She is our very quiet girl, who through itineration and visiting churches, has learned to shine for Jesus, and learned to dream big and take risks to achieve great things. We went to visit with a team that was working on a church, and Maggi was not going to be happy until she was able to actually work. We looked over and she was helping carry cinder blocks from the pile to where the workers needed them. We are very thankful for her quiet determination, her heart of prayer, and how she quietly longs to please our Lord.
Emma, is still going strong. She is in 3rd grade, and is always chatting and talking. She is also adapting really well. She continues to surprise us with her vocabulary in English and Spanish. Emma is very tall, and with her blue eyes, dimples, freckles, and love of BIG headbands/hairbows, she tends to draw attention to our family. She loves to be the center of attention. We know that our Father has big things in store for our little girl who has all the confidence, courage, and faith that it takes to move mountains. We THANK the Lord for this sweet girl
Since we have been here, we have been busy.
We obtained and submitted our complete packet for our residency visas. This required many steps and trips to various official buildings here in San Jose. To give some examples, we had to go bring documents from 3 states in the US with us, we had to have background checks here and the US, we needed to be fingerprinted for interpol, we had to register with the US embassy here, and other random documents, all of this needed to be submitted within our first 90 days in Costa Rica. If we didn't obtain our necessary paperwork, we are required to leave the country every 90 days to maintain legal visas. We won't actually receive our residencies for several months (or maybe even 18 months) but, we are very excited to have all of that paperwork submitted.
Can I hear an amen!
We have also been house hunting. This is not as much fun as the show on HGTV. Trust me on this. The girls became weary of the house hunt. But we finally found something that we are excited about making our home. This was another direct answer to prayer. We feel that we had the favor of the Lord on this big decision. Our landlord lowered the price by $700 a month for us.
The girls had been praying for specific things (unknown to their parents) and other than having a bathtub, meet every one of the secret desires of their hearts.
OH HOW HE LOVES US!
(one of the things on the list was having a toilet that we can flush the toilet paper, instead of putting it in the wastebasket)
I really need an amen on this one
We have managed to shop for our furniture, all the while learning about the culture here.
For instance, if you see something you want, you should most likely purchase those things immediately.
We learned this the hard way, who knew that within 5 days, the sofa and chairs I had picked out would sell out in 3 different stores. We shopped from people leaving the country, from Craigslist Costa Rica (who knew), and from fellow missionaries. Our move in date is next Friday! We all thrilled to finally be settled. In the past 18 months we will have moved 6 times. The landlord allowed the girls to pick out their paint colors, and we are finding ways to make each room special. We will show pictures as soon as we get settled. Emma's bed had to be ordered (again, who knew they sell things so quickly), so it may takes us a while for the big picture for her, but we will show you soon!
And we will be receiving our Speed the Light car soon.
Merry Christmas to us!
We are actually buying a STL car from other missionaries, to help keep cost down for our first term.
We have done all of this while still attending language school!
This is no small thing, let me assure you.
We attend classes Monday through Friday, and have done countless hours of homework, written papers, done lessons on the computer, etc, and then used our baby level language in the police station, with the lawyers helping us with visas, in the grocery store, in the court house, to the taxi drivers, to the salesclerks, to the security guards. . . Because of our adventures outside the classroom we have learned many new vocabulary words
(fingerprints for example)
And since arriving we have experienced many tremors
(or as I like to call them. . . EARTHQUAKES)
I will never ever ever get used to that.
We have survived rainy season
and even go to take a trip to the mountain to let off some steam
(actually the mountain let the steam off)
Put we exchanged our annual fall trip, to Volcan Arenal, and really enjoyed getting out of the city.
So I think that catches us up. The first trimester (as we call it in school) has been all about setting up house, and getting settled. Our BIG goal is to be completely settled by Christmas. With a little help from our friends, we think that is almost a reality. (we have people sending us some packages with shower curtains from South Carolina, a friend from Connecticut bringing a suitcase of supplies on a business trip here, and a friend's nephew from Texas bringing some of our favorite supplies from the states, and of course Nanny bringing some suitcases full of small appliances from our friends in the Northern California Nevada district).
(it takes a village right)
All that being said, we are ready to meet our National Church friends, scope the field for ministry opportunities, and find our niche here in the country. We feel we are at a huge advantage to be able to do this our first year, many of our friends at language school will have to do this after they arrive on the field. We had the option of staying at CINCEL (language school) for the entire year, but we were ready to be settled. We have visited many churches here, and are starting to meet the presbytery, and executive members. We feel that this is such an awesome way to ease into a new life.
So please be in continued prayer for us in the following:
that we begin to see the right ministry for our family
that we will walk in the favor of the Lord
that we all remain healthy(we have all been on antibiotics since being here)
that the girls continue to THRIVE and begin to feel rooted here
for language acquisition
that our house becomes our home and is a safe shelter for the family
That we are able to make relationships with the Local church despite the language barrier
pray for our families back in the states specifically for their health
for our finanical needs to be continuously met
Maggi asked that you join her in prayer for friends at school begin to know Jesus in a real way
Here in Costa Rica, after the rainy season, the Christmas winds come to dry things up.
And so it is for the Cartwright family, another season is closing, and the winds of change are upon us again. And we are thankful for so many things. We are thankful to be here in Costa Rica, after a life long calling. We are thankful to have a body of supports who give to us out of sacrifice, that are sowing seeds here in Costa Rica. We are thankful to have friends who pray without ceasing for us. The emails, the facebook messages, and phone calls just to let us know you were praying for us, humble us, and often brings us to tears, who are we that you would call out on our behalf? We are thankful for friends all over the nation, and now the nations. You have supported us through a very difficult last 18 months, and now many have become our missionary family. We are thankful for our family, leaving them in the US was the most difficult thing we faced in itineration (surprising that it wasn't the raising of the budget). We are thankful to be on this amazing journey.