Monday, November 24, 2014

Christmas Time is here.....

I will be in California this year for Christmas! 

I am really excited to spend time with family and friends this holiday season In Fresno :)  As much as I would LOVE to see you all and catch up on life, I have realized that there is not enough time. BUT there will be a few opportunities for you to hear about my life in Costa Rica and how God is using me here for His kingdom.
I will be at the following churches :) 

Sunday Dec 14th:: The Well Community Church North Campus. 9am, 11am, 5pm & 7pm.
Sunday Dec 28th:: The Well Community Church Fig Garden Campus 9am & 11am
The Well Kingsburg 5pm

I will be at each campus before and after each service and would love to see you there. :)  Plus I will have my new prayer cards and few other fun Costa Rica things there that you could take home!

I am so excited to be back in California but I am not excited for the cold weather. But most of all I am excited to celebrate the birth of Jesus with family this year! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

What's On Your Playlist?...

I love music!

You can take away my TV shows, you can take away coffee or even my Hot Tamales, but dont take away my music!

I tell people that you can tell what kind of mood I am in by the music that I am listening too.

The beauty about living in a different country that has good public transportation, is that almost everyone on the bus or is walking, has headphones on and are listening to music. (Or at least I think it is music) Since I am one of those lovely folks that walk, I am listening too more and more music each day.

So what is currently on my playlist???
(they are in no particular order and I will do my top 10) 

1. You Make Me Brave - Bethel Music


2. Evan Craft - Jovenes Somos

3. Brooke Fraser - Brutal Romance

4. The Fault Of Our Stars - Soundtrack

5. Clarity - Zedd

6. With Everything - The Well Community Church 

7. The Best Of Me - Soundtrack

8. 1989 - Taylor Swift

9. Hillsong United - Zion

10. Safe Haven - Soundtrack

(You can get each of these on iTunes
Keep in mind that these are just some of the albums that I have played in the last few days. I have a Road Mix 2014 playlist that has a LOT of singles on there from artists such as  Ace of Base to Eminem to anything else between. Trust me it is fun mix!

So what are some of the music that you are currently listening too?

Remember I love music so I would love to hear some of the artists that you are listening too!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Cooking for who?......

I don't know about you, but I really enjoy cooking!
I also really enjoy cooking for friends and family. Recently I had the chance to cook for some friends that were in Costa Rica. I was so excited to be able to make Mexican food. But I was more excited to be able to have people over and talk and just do life together.

Then I started thinking about the last time that I did something like that, cooked for a group of friends...

You see before I moved to Costa Rica, I would host game nights and cook for friends. There would be times that over 25 people would be over playing games, eating and enjoying each other company. It was a house filled with love and laughter and good food.  Lately I have been missing those days.

I have been living in Costa Rica now for about a year and a half. In the year and a half that I have lived here, I have cooked for friends (not family because none have come to visit me yet) probably about 3-5 times. That means that for the most of the year and a half, I have cooked for myself. A dinner for one. And that also means that I eaten by myself too.

Welcome to the life of a single living in another country.

Now don't get me wrong, there are times were I went out to dinner with friends. But that can get expensive real fast.

But the reality for a single person is that you make and eat a lot more times alone then with someone else. And honestly I am getting kind of tired of making a dinner for one.

I know that this is the season that I am in, a season where I am cooking for one. And I know that living in another country does play a factor in the dating game. I mean who wants to do long distance?? But I still have hope. A hope that one day I wont be cooking a dinner for one but for two and then maybe more.

Till then, I will continue to make my dinner for one because, a girl got to eat! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

My Week Without TV.....

This last week, TV and I had a break.
We (mainly me) decided that I needed sometime apart from him (yes I just made my TV male). TV did nothing wrong, but did everything right, but I still needed a break.

Why you ask?
Well, there are a few reasons that I wanted to take a break, but my reason was that I felt as though I was spending too much time on Hulu Plus, catching up on my American TV shows and I wanted to change that.

See sometimes living in another country can be exhausting. From learning and speaking another language, to figuring out how to pay bills or even what bus to take to get home can be hard. The little things that never bothered you in your home country (like driving), now seem like such a huge hurdle and so overwhelming. BUT yet by God's grace you were able to pay the bills, drive to the store and the lady at the register understood what you were asking. So it is easy at the end of the day to come home, and want to do something that is familiar to you. That is a little taste of home.

For me that is watching my American TV shows. For 42 min, I get to watch something that people back at home are watching or at least familiar with. I can Skype with friends and family and know that I can talk to them about what happened on Scandal, or that funny joke on that episode of The Mindy Project. (Yes I watch these shows, please don't judge my taste of TV) That when I already feel out of place and out of touch with the day to day things in America, I at least have my American TV shows to keep me current.

But what happens when your TV shows start becoming more important then God? Or more important then the relationship you need to continue to build? Now let me say that I no way think that the shows I watch are more important then God or the relationships that I am building here. BUT for some people this has become their reality. Escaping the hardships of life with a little or A LOT of TV.

So how did it go?
It was actually a lot easier then what I thought it would be. I didn't go through withdraws or cravings. Instead, I spent time hangout with friends, Skyping with people and reading. I notice that when I went to bed, I was more relaxed. My time with God was longer and not so rushed at night. Yes my nights seems LONGER, but that meant that I had more time to do other things.  At the end of the week, I was glad that I did it. It helped me to see that I need a balance in my life. That it is okay to watch TV shows and relax, but I also need to make sure that I make more time with God and friends.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Summertime Sadness...

Well Hello There September!

I cant believe that it is September already. It feels like we just said good-bye to our last outreach a couple a weeks ago, not over a month ago. But on the other hand I feel like I took my vacation months ago, not 2 weeks ago.  But none the less, we are in September and I am already looking at flight prices for December.

Summertime Madness...
Summer time. I loved summer time when I was in Fresno. Going to the coast, visiting friends in the Bay area, Summer camp with my WSM students, Thursday Nights at The Park and the list could go on and on.  Now, I have a love/hate relationship with summer.

Summer is the busiest season here for us in Costa Rica. From May - August we have teams coming every two weeks. That means, every two weeks we say good-bye to our new BFF's and welcome a new group who will then become our new BFF's. This goes on for at least 12 weeks. It means long days, working on weekends and translating a lot. BUT it also means that for 12 weeks over 100 people will be here, working with us. That means that we have extra hands to help the students in our Tutoring Center, kids in the Social Service site get some extra love, the teenagers at the Woodshop get extra help on making items and the list goes on and on. It means that over 100 people will be here seeing and doing what God has called us to do everyday, which is LOVE.

And he answered, "You shall love the Lord
 your God with all your heart, and with 
all your soul, and with all your strength, and with
 all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.
Luke 10:27

You see my love/hate relationship come because I LOVE having teams here. I love seeing how God changes peoples lives while the team is here. How team members come here one way and leave differently. There lives have been change and we didnt do any of it, GOD DID! My hate with it is because I go home exhausted. I am exhausted in every area of life by the time we half way through the season. And my introvert is not happy! But my LOVE for it out weights my exhaustion.

With every good thing, it must come to a end. 

Summertime Sadness... 
You see when August comes, schools, colleges and life starts back in the states. That means we dont have any outreaches, no teams coming to help, no semester students (at least for this fall), just our little SICR family. And as crazy as summers can get, I miss having teams here. I miss seeing people from my church, building community with each team (it is so hard to build community in this country. That is another blog post) and just being able to share apart of my heart with them. So for a few weeks, I am sad and miss teams and I am in a funk. (thank the Lord that is over now)

Fall Transitions.... 
Now that we are in full swing of our rainy season (There are only two season here: Rainy season and Dry season) with no semester students, it just seems like the perfect time to move. Well actually it is never a good time to move but that is what Kenzie and I are doing. In June, Kenzie talked to me about how she felt God calling her to move to Las Fuentes (where her site is at) and asked if I would take sometime to pray about joining her there. After praying, I didnt have a peace about it. Right now I live 10 min from the office where I spend a lot of my time at and I live where all the host families are at. For me, Desamparados is my place of ministry. So I am going to move in with 2 friends/coworkers that live down the street. I am excited about this change but sad because I have LOVED living with Kenzie BUT I am excited for when we have our weekly sleepovers so we can catch up on life!

Prayer Request... 
1. Moving.. We move out this next weekend (Sept 13). For the process and transition from going to 1 roommate to 2. 
2.Flight to Fresno.. Pray that I found a great price for a ticket back to Fresno for Christmas. My parents are wanting to pay for it, but because of the drought, my dad's hours have been cut. I dont want my ticket to be a financial burden on them, so I am going to help out with the ticket. Finding ticket for a great price would be a huge blessing! 
3. Community... I have started to get involve with my home church here in Costa Rica. I am excited for the different opportunities that God has opened up for me. I am also excited because I have longed for a community outside of SICR (my SICR family is great) and I am hoping that this will help create community for me. 

Thanks for reading and I promise to do a better job of blogging. I am trying to figure out a balance of writing about life, work, living in a different country, God and so many other things. Hopefully soon I will be able to master it. 

Till next time! 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Year Has Come and Gone....

A year ago, 
I boarded a plane with 3 bags, a carry-on and one personal item. I said good-bye to my family, friends, Church, Fresno, Untied States and entered a new country that would become my new home. I traveled for 14 hours that day. And through out the day, I talked to God. I asked Him with every plane that I boarded (3 that day) if this is what He really wanted me to do. And every time He gave me His peace. I cried a little because I knew it would be months before I would see family or friends. Also because I was afraid of the unknown, but through it all, I still felt God telling me to trust Him. 
I did and I still do.

It is hard to believe that I have been in Costa Rica now for a year.
The time has gone by so fast. There are days when it seems as though I have only been here for a few months, and then there are days where it seems I have been here for several years, BUT through it all God has been faithful!

It has been a year of so many different emotions. I have felt times of joy, peace, frustration, sadness, pain and love. I have learned how to drive a stick in a country were driving laws are only suggestions. I recapture my love for photography, learned that I am more of an introvert then what I thought. I am more persister then harmonizer, and I miss Mexican food.

I also realize that I am a different person now, how could I not be. My heart hurts for the needy. Not just here but for those in the world. I have less grace with Americans that come and think they can fix everything or that are suck in their American mentality or are not willing to try to understand this culture. I get more upset when people assume that I gave up on the idea of marriage because how could God ever bring someone into my life while I am in Costa Rica (He can).  I have learn to depend on God in a new way.

But the thing that has really been humbling to me, is that I couldn't be here without your support. I have felt all your prayers when I have been sick, missing home or just having a bad day. Your financial support is what has made it possible for me to be here. Through your cards, FB encouragements and packages, I have felt your love!

So now what?? Well I have committed to be here another 2 years, Lord willing. We (SICR) have started our busy season two weeks ago, SUMMER SEASON! What does that mean? It means that we have teams coming every 2 weeks till the beginning of August. I am excited about it because we have 2 teams from The Well coming! :) Visiting Fresno soon??? As of right now, my next visit will be next April. My parents are planning on coming to Costa Rica for Christmas this year :)

Again, thank you all for an unforgettable year!
I am excited for what God has in store for this next year!

P/S:: dont forget to sign up to receive my e-newsletter here

Wanna make a donation?? 
There are two ways that you can donate::
1.You can do by mailing a check to:
Students International
PO Box 2733
Visalia, CA 93279-2733
Account:: Rosa Torres (on the memo)  
2. You can donate online for a ONE TIME gift. 
3. If you are wanting to be a monthly sponsor you can email me at and I will send you the correct forms. Or you can send in a check with a note that you would like to to donate monthly and SI staff will send you the correct paper work.  

Wanna Send a letter or care package?? 
Rose Torres
C/O Jeff Dixon
Apartado 946-2400
Desamparados, Costa Rica
America Central

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Finding Joy in my suffering....

" He gives strength to the weary and to him who lacks might He increases power." 
Is 40: 30

This has been my verse for this last month (February)

Even as I write this blog and type out this verse, I am praying that God will continue to give me the strength that I need.

 My health hasnt been the best this last month. For over the last 3 weeks, I have been in such physical pain. Pain that I have never been in before. It started when I got a fungal virus at the beginning of the month. It became a rash that would itch as well as cause pain. It would keep me up at night, it would hurt as it rubbed against my clothes. It was just uncomfortable. So I went to the doctor. He gave me some anti-fungal pills and a cream to put on it. 

Perfect! I thought, just take these, put the cream on the spots twice a day and I am golden. But I was wrong. After I started taking the meds, I was having bad joint pains. EVERY part of my body hurt. It was a constant pain that never went away. I couldnt sleep because when I moved, the pain would wake me up. I soon realized that it was a side effect of taking the anti-fungal medication. 

So I pressed forward and continue to take them. Dreading it every time I took a pill, knowing that in 30 min, I would start to feel the pain. Pain that I didnt want to feel, pain that I was tired of feeling and would cause me to be exhausted.  

For me, when I am sick or not feeling well, I am just 10 times more emotional. I feel more stress out, feel more anxiety and I am more weary. And being here in a different country, I felt more insecure about EVERYTHING! There were days, that I didnt want to move or get out of bed. I just wanted to feel better. I was exhausted physically, mentally and was starting to get spiritually exhausted too.

I didnt want to get to the point were I would be spiritually exhausted, but with all honesty I just wanted to stay home, get better and then go back to work when I was 100%. But the reality of it, is that I couldnt do that and I didnt do that. So instead, I took this verse and proceed to quote it in my head every time I was in pain. I chose to focus on the promise that God will give me the strength that I needed. There were some days that were great and I felt like me again. Then there were some days that I would just go home and cry.

Through this process, I realized just how weak I am and how much I need God's strength. I need HIM everyday, even when I am feeling good or weak. I need HIM to strengthen my body, give me the endurance and remove any weariness or anxiety that I have. I need HIM to shower me daily with His protection here. 

I am done with my meds now and I know it will take a few days to get it all out of my system, but i am starting to feel like myself again. I still get some joint pain here and there, but I hope to be at 100% soon. 

YES February was not a good month, but there is always MARCH. 
And MARCH is my birthday month! And I pray that it will be a pain-free, sick free month for me. :) 

Here is my address if you would like to send an encouraging card, a birthday card or pics! 
Rose Torres
 C/O Jeff Dixon 
Apartado 946-2400 
Desamparados, Costa Rica 
America Central

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Good bye 2013... Hello 2014

We said goodbye to 2013. For some people, they plan for the next year by making a new year resolution. For some it is setting new goals or places they want to visit.  For me, it is looking back at all the blessings and changes that has happened in 2013.

As I reflect on 2013, I am reminded just how bless I am. I moved to Costa Rica only by the grace and support of friends, family and church family who believe in me. It is by their financial support, prayers and encouraging words that I am able to be here serving God and the people in Costa Rica.

Some of the girls I get to invest in.
Kenzie and I found a house! God knew what we wanted and what we could afford and He provided the perfect house for us. It is big enough to have bible studies with our semester students, host friends and family that visit us and a place to rest when life feels overwhelming.

Also that I have a car. Even though the public transportation here is great, it is nice to have a car to be able to go to the grocery store, movies or even go out of town. What is not so great is learning how to drive stick in a country where there are pretty much no laws for driving that are enforced. I have said this before, but driving here is like playing a cars video game.

I have found a church that I love. It is not like my church in Fresno, but it does have good worship, good teaching and I am building a community there. Sunday's have become a day that I purposely dont plan anything but church and lunch with my new friends.

My friends/co-workers have been a huge blessing to me here. I work with a great group of people who have a heart for God and for Costa Rica. They encourage me when I need it and challenge me in a healthy way.

Our semester aboard program is a huge blessing too. I am honored to be able to invest in the lives of the students who come to CR though our semester program. I get to walk along side them as they figure out this country, this culture and learn the language. I get to see their growth in their walk with God and see them become more and more of who God wants them to be. I am truly blessed to be apart of their lives while there are here.
Fall 2013 Semester Students
Spring 2014 Semester Students

I live in a beautiful country, that everywhere I look, I see God's art work. God is truly an artist. I see it in the volcanoes that are near my city, the coffee fields near my house, to the beautiful sunsets and exotic fruit at the farmers market.

I got to go back to Fresno to spend the holidays with family and friends. I got to spend 2 weeks in Fresno. It was so great being able to see my family. It had been 6 months since I was able to hug them. I also got to spend some good with my friends. I didnt realize how much I needed that time with my family and friends till I got there. Trust me it was an adjustment being in the states for 2 weeks, but one that was worth it. (more on that on another blog post) 

My parents

My brother and me

There are so many more blessings that I am so thankful for.
 2013 was a year of change and blessings for me.

So with that, I say good-bye to 2013 and 
HELLO 2014!
May you be a year of continued blessings and sharing God's love!