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!