Saturday, April 26, 2014

April Newsletter {by David}

Here is David's newsletter for April if you have not already seen it.  If you are not on his email list and would like to be added please send me an email.  Simply click on the green envelope icon with wings under the FIND ME, and it will pop up an email.
To enlarge this, simply zoom in or click on the image.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Reservation Update

Several weeks ago I shared about our visit to the Cabecan Indian Reservation and our hope to help them in a humanitarian way in the future.  From talking with Israel, a medic who works for the Costa Rican public health system, we initially thought that building them a small building to function as a clinic would be the best thing.  During this visit he gave us contact information of a husband and wife, who are both doctors, that have helped the Cabecan Indians for several years in many different ways.
A couple weeks ago we were able to meet the husband, Dr. Alexi.  It was a very informative meeting and he was able to explain a lot of things about the public health care system here in Costa Rica, the needs of the Indigenous people of Costa Rica, obstacles we could face, and current projects that he currently has going to help the people on the Cabecan Reservation and other highly impoverished areas of Costa Rica.  There were so many things we would have had no way of knowing if we had not been able to meet with this man.  It was also nice to be able to discuss these things in depth in English.  It was more difficult speaking with Israel, the Cabeccan, because we were both speaking our second language.  
Dr. Alexi explained to us that he has had several run-ins with the CAJA, the public health care system that operates here in Costa Rica.  During his many years of devoting his time and private funding, he had confrontations with the CAJA.  They informed him that they did not want him helping them.  He simply told them he was simply enabling the Cabecans with skills to help themselves medically and to be able to recognize when they need to leave the reservation and try and seek medical help.  He has also been teaching them basic skills like hygiene, basic prenatal education, and other similar things.  
Unfortunately, what Israel had hoped to accomplish by having a small building for a clinic will not be able to happen the way he was originally thinking because of the CAJA and him being an employee of the CAJA.  The CAJA will not send a doctor to work on the reservation.  Israel had hoped that the CAJA would allow him to work from the clinic, but Dr. Alexi said the CAJA will not allow that because he is only trained to give out immunizations.  So, a clinic built by an outsider could jeopardize his job with the CAJA and the few things that they do receive from the CAJA.  Dr. Alexi said the only way that we could possibly get cooperation from the CAJA is to meet with the director of that reservation and ask them if they would man the building if we constructed it.  The downside to that is we are essentially building a clinic for the Costa Rican government that may or may not be used.  Dr. Alexi says the Ministry of Health administration changes with every president and while maybe one administration might man it, the next one might remove anyone from there.  And the building would be the governmen's do with as they wish.  We do not want to get involved with the government, so we need some more time to figure out how our help can be the most beneficial and how we can do that without the CAJA getting involved. 
{what you see is the "town" that is a 3/4-1 day hike from the edge of the Reservation}

We are still brainstorming and looking at all the different options and things that we can do to help them wether it be constructing a new structure (without the involvement of the CAJA), possibly making modifications to existing structures, supplies, or many other things.  To see what would best meet their needs, we need to spend some more time talking with the people on the reservation.  
Keith is coming in May to give David a little break and allow him to meet us in the states to visit with our family.  While Keith is here, he is currently planning, Lord-willing, to visit the Cabecan Reservation and talk more with the people and Israel.  Distance and time are keeping us from being able to move forward at a more timely pace.  We have faith that the Lord will guide this work and will make it very evident what we are supposed to do in the right time.  Please keep praying for the work here and these people on the reservation and that they may see God in everything we say and do and lead them to the truth.
{Israel and David- first meeting}

I Say "Healthier"

If you know me really well, you know I love to bake, create in the kitchen...and it usually has to do with sweets.  I mean I will cook anything and enjoy cooking everything, but desserts, breads, pastries, that is where the fun is.  I try to be healthy, I really do.  I am better at controlling portions than controlling the what the contents are that I put in my mouth.  I go in cycles of trying to cook healthy...well, maybe that isn't completely accurate, it "healthier" than what I would normally eat.  But, hey, I am trying.
A group of girls, whom I went to school with, and I started a little support group to help keep ourselves motivated and share our ups and downs of just being healthy.  They all keep it real.  And real is how I can live.  To me real life is trying.  I try to be a healthier person but I still live, meaning I want to eat yummy food and carrot sticks do not count.
This muffin recipe has always been my "go to" muffin mix for all of my muffins.  It was loaded with a ton of sugar and lots of shortening.  A couple of months ago I decided to see if I could make it a little bit healthier without compromising the wonderful taste and perfect muffin texture.  And SUCCESS!!!
Some would still say it isn't healthy, but I say it is a whole lot healthier than what I was making before.  For me, this is healthy.  Actually this modified recipe is better than the original.

{Click on the image below to enlarge}
Go enjoy some "healthier" muffins!