Saturday, June 16, 2012

An Introduction

The world of blogging is one wholly unfamiliar to me. Being that as it is, I find myself, as my former highschool taught me so well, in need of stating my thesis. The reason for this blog is to connect the world of Costa Rica with the world I know and love in Minnesota (or Rome, or New Jersey, or any other place which I do not love quite as much, and also which is not Costa Rica). I hope that by this blog, the work of the people of Costa Rica, as well as my own service, might be a source of light and strength to those that read it, and that it might serve in furthering God's kingdom.

And now to the details. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the story, on August 13th, I will embark on a nearly ten-month journey in the beautiful country of Costa Rica. I will be serving directly under an organization called Kairos during my GAP year. I will be working with a Christian Community called Arbol de Vida ("Tree of Life"), serving their youth, their offices, surrounding universities, and also visiting other neighboring communities in Honduras and Nicaragua. During my year, I will stay with a family in the community and care for their families as well as be cared for by them.

"As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”  At once they left their nets and followed him."- Matthew 4:18-20

Why on earth am I doing this GAP year? Believe me, there are days when I wonder myself. The motto for Kairos' GAP program is "a year set apart for a life set apart". Even before I was familiar with this phrase, or even with the GAP program, I felt the call, as Peter did, to leave it behind and follow Christ. Throughout my life, I have embraced the role of student, daughter, friend, classmate, employee. Now, I see myself not so much abandoning these roles, but refining and re-centering them in Christ as Peter left his nets, yet remained a fisherman.  This year is an active way that I can step forward in that call to be a disciple. It is also a way for me to give back in a more direct way for the huge blessings I have been given in my life. God has given me an amazing family, strong friends, and a ever-supportive community. I am overwhelmed at the thought of even attempting to repay the Lord for his constant goodness.

One Final thing: I am still very much in need of support both in prayer, and financially. The year will cost somewhere between 2,000 and 5,000 dollars (depending on housing arrangements), and the idea of going to another country whose language I barely speak is quite daunting at times. Please email me (catherine.v.demarais@gmail.com) if you have any questions or if you would like to support me in this year of mission.
So there we have it. The first post of a hopeful many. Blessings,
Catherine DeMarais