Thanks to Nashville First Adults for Bringing Rain!

The First Adult Mission Team from First Baptist  Church Nashville, Tennessee
on my terrace after lunch last Sunday. Photo by Jason Quesada on Pam’s phone. Me back center in blue shirt.
Atenas, Costa Rica

The national bird of Costa Rica is the Clay-colored Thrush or Yigüirro in Spanish. It is a rather plain brownish robin-sized bird to be a national bird – BUT – the story is that it’s singing in April (mating season) is what brings the rains in May. Well, this year the rains started in April (the day the Nashville group arrived), so we don’t know whether to credit that to the little thrush or the First Adults!   🙂   But whatever – it’s been raining ever since! Each afternoon. ¡Muchas gracias!

¡Pura Vida!

Tourist Day for Mission Team

Pam Stockett, our fearless leader and example on the zipline!
FBC Nashville Mission Trip to Costa Rica
And 8 of the 10 in mission team geared up for the zipline!
FBC Nashville Mission Trip to Costa Rica
Dinner at Jaco hotel at sundown in the rain!
FBC Nashville Mission Trip to Costa Rica

A Day with Helen!

Helen (seated) at Hogar was our helper, translator, and inspiration today – another great day!
Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

Also today I walked some of the group to town for a look around and the walk was too much for some of them, but we enjoyed seeing the Central Mercado, Central Park and Catholic Church.

Saturday at Hogar de Vida

We scraped trees in preparation for painting the bottoms.
Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

Team members sharing stories.over morning coffee.
Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

Sorry, but we are not allowed to share photos of the children on the internet for security reasons.

First Full Day at Hogar

Sorry, but we are not allowed to show children’s faces on the internet! My best photos!

Sign at Entrance Gate
Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

Matt gives team tour of campus (3 team members not in photo)
Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

8:30 AM Devotional for those not in school
Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

Rene painting in one of houses

Welcome sign for team at San Jose Airport  for Thursday.
Hogar de Vida, Atenas, Costa Rica

Nashville Seniors to Help Children’s Home Here

One view of Hogar de Vida campusAtenas, Costa Rica

I was recently contacted by a fellow senior adult in the church I attended in Nashville, First Baptist Church, Nashville, TN USA. They were interested in doing a mission trip to Costa Rica and so I contacted the director of the Hogar De Vida children’s home here in Atenas and in short the group from Nashville will be coming in April 2018 for a week of assorted service activities at the children’s home. If you are in First Baptist Nashville and are interested, talk to anyone on the SAALT Council or to the project coordinator Fred Linkenhoker. 

If you would like to know more about the non-denominational private Christian children’s home, Hogar de Vida:

Facebook page of Hogar de Vida:  (See photos of others serving there in the past.) And be sure to see the featured video linked on their page:  What We Do… Video  (I can’t link it here.)

And their web page is actually a Costa Rica section inside the web page of their larger program of children’s homes in multiple countries: 
The work is being directed & coordinated by the children’s home and I am just serving as one of the team members and sort of a local host to my old friends in Nashville, especially if some decide to stay over for some Pura Vida tourism in Costa Rica. 

Speaking Spanish is not required, though very helpful if you do! 🙂

Learn through on-the-ground moments about the world beyond your zip code.   ~Samaritan’s Feet Website

In Memory of Mary Alice McMains

I just got word that Mary Alice McMains of Nashville, Tennessee died. My memory of her is as a quiet, ever faithful, behind the scenes Christian and “Prayer Warrior” at First Baptist Church Nashville. When I served as a missionary in The Gambia, West Africa she was possibly the most faithful person to pray for me and respond to my prayer requests. Anytime things were difficult I was reminded that Mary Alice was praying for me. I pray now that she and her life will be an inspiration to the many other people she has touched over the years.   ~Charlie Doggett

The Loss of Another “Best Friend” Today

It is with great sadness that I recognize the expected death of my dear friend Rus Roach. I already miss him.   -Charlie

Below is the announcement I received from Tom and the funeral is available online

An Update from our Executive Pastor
1 message

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Dear First Baptist Nashville Family,

I must inform you of the passing of our dear friend and beloved Minister of Senior Adults and Pastoral Care, Cleatis L. Roach, Jr. (Rus). 

Rus demonstrated the most valiant faith and strong fighting spirit, especially over the five years since he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma cancer. All of us have learned from him and admired the way he has continued to serve Christ, family, and church throughout his illness.
October 18, 1987, Rus and his family moved to Nashville from Texas to serve the Lord in our church’s missions ministries. Since then, Rus has served in a variety of ministerial positions-missions, pastoral care, and senior adult to name a few. Every aspect of his ministry with us has contained the common DNA of serving Christ, helping others know Christ, brightening our day with humor and happiness.
Rus grew up in Houston, TX. As a junior in high school, he knew he was called to ministry. He graduated from Baylor University and received a Doctor of Ministry from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was pastor of several churches in Texas including Lone Camp Baptist Church, Palo Pinto, Texas; and Belmont Baptist Church, Abilene, Texas, before being called to First Baptist Nashville where he served loyally for nearly 30 years. 
During his First Baptist Nashville ministry, Rus helped thousands of people know God’s love. He wrote and delivered over 1,000 sermons, baptized over 75 people, and performed over 120 weddings and over 200 funerals for families, bringing joy and comfort. Rus was a world-traveler for Christ, leading trips to Rome, Costa Rica, Rio de Janeiro, Russia, the Middle East, Europe, North Africa, and Canada, to name a few. Rus always had time for others in need. Celebrate Recovery was a highlight of his ministry as he gave every Friday evening for years, serving adults dealing with life-struggles. His church family loved him deeply because he lived fully and brought everyone he encountered toward Jesus Christ.
You may send condolences and expressions of love to these and other family members:
Mrs. Debbie Roach
Holly, Heather and Hailey
102 Gillette Drive
Franklin, TN 37069
Mrs. Pam Sloan (Rus’s sister)
1936 Edenbridge Way
Nashville, TN 37215
God bless you and thank you for your kindness and many expressions of love,

This is the way. Walk in it.

LifeWay VBS 2015 Theme Journey Off the Map, and yep! Parts of Costa Rica look like this!
Remember, Jurassic Park was here! Some thought of Costa Rica with Avatar, but there are no blue people here! 🙂

I just read about the jungle theme “Journey Off the Map” and focus verse of Vacation Bible School at my church back in Nashville. I love it! It is where I have been and where I am now both physically and spiritually:

Isaiah 30:21, “And whenever you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: ‘This is the way. Walk in it.'” 

I taught in Vacation Bible School this time last year at First Baptist Nashville and learned then this would be the theme and verse. I liked it. Soon afterwards I wrote a poem based partly on this Bible verse:  “Metaphors of Modification” which was one of the early posts on this blog. I’ll let you click the link to read it if you wish. It was back when I was still dreaming, before even the relocation tour.

I have felt at peace ever since about my “Costa Rica Decision Process,” the first title of this blog, and at peace about the final decision I made in September, and all that has happened since then.“This is the way. Walk in it.” (And I understand that the spiritual meaning of this is not specifically about my move. I hope to write more about the verse later, because in some ways it is another “life verse” for me.) I will miss teaching in VBS this year and especially the theme. If you are one of the good guys who helps in VBS, think of me down here in Costa Rica!  🙂


When I was in the apartments the first four months, I was walking to the nearby little non-denominational evangelical church most Sundays and the two times I tried the “streaming worship service” from First Baptist Nashville, my connection was not good enough to get more than little hiccups of video. With my new and better internet connection in this house I discovered today that it works very well here! I’m thankful for many reasons! The local worship in Spanish is not always working for me and Pastor Frank started a new sermon series on “Mile Markers of Life” today. I’m looking forward to his messages and thank Bill Latham for sharing them on Facebook.

But the biggest surprise today was that the flower arrangement in the Nashville church looks like it could have come right out of my Costa Rica garden, with Heliconia and Red Ginger dominating the arrangement! Both are blooming in my garden every day! Maybe they chose it for the exotic VBS theme! VBS starts there tomorrow. Here’s the two dominate flowers in their arrangement:

Heliconia in my garden, Atenas, Costa Rica
Red Ginger in my garden, Atenas, Costa Rica

Both of the above two flowers in my garden were a part of the flower arrangement at First Baptist Nashville today as I saw them on the computer screen in a streaming of their worship service.