December 14, 2011

2011. The year God did nothing..


...but bless our socks off! In this busy Christmas season, it is especially challenging to set apart time from the tugs of consumerism and traditions to focus on God and rest in God: to be refreshed in our soul, attuned to what God loves and is doing around us, through us and for us, and connect with our perfect parent, friend and Lord. May we continually be challenged to receive the gifts of His Peace, Joy, Wisdom, Mercy, Life and God Himself in deeper ways that He offers generously all year round. May we ponder this Christmas season how our love and peace can overflow more from God to others.

Please celebrate and glorify God with us as we remember and bask in a list of some of His miracles of 2011. This list helps us to remember that an extraordinary God works through ordinary people and how much God desires growth in our faith, character and understanding of Him. We have learned that hardships keep us humble, growing, and close to Him if we do not cling unto our own ways of avoiding pain and growth. And that gratefulness is a choice to receive the unexpected and undeserved blessings if we do not choose to take them for granted and complain. We have also learned a great deal in respect to grassroots development; our trips have changed from being service oriented to being a mutual learning experience between two communities.

May we all continue to choose contentment in what God has done, is doing and will do, as we enjoy those around us and cherish the Life that we have in Him. Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year!


JANUARY
*Ben and Frances, both with Masters degrees and great experiences, came to join ADE.
*Owner of Economia, local grocery store, offered all ADE staff 15% discount on groceries!
*Van was donated another year from Korean businessman in San Jose.
*ESEPA Seminary did research field study in Vara Blanca and presented to our church.
*First International Board Meeting through SKYPE.

FEBRUARY
*We were completely out of money at the restaurant and God miraculously provided a huge weekend of customers for us that allowed us to pay off all bills and leave the restaurant.
*Made decision to leave the restaurant initiative; then God brought a family who took over.
*Neighboring community board invited our high school to move to the community center for a more central location, serving three communities.
*19 students started at the ADE High School!
*Staff person needed medical assistance and on that day the doctor happened to be visiting the community

MARCH
*Great, smooth, collaborative trip with Eastern and leadership development with our students in the census.
*ADE High School students sent 1000 hand folded Origami Cranes to affected high school in tsunami stricken Japan- Local news channel visited and filmed the high school.
*Found a house for staff-no rent or deposit; rent was in exchange for maintenance and repairs
*Formed partnership with national organization,UNDP, to renovate the community center, set up area’s first library

APRIL
*Frances’ mom visited.
*One 15 year old student, not knowing how to multiply and who was out of school for 3 years, entered Colegio ADE as a 7th grader and after 2 academic years has passed 18 national exams, catapulting forward two grade levels.
*Hired local teachers for high school- Joselyn and Doña Ana.

MAY
*Had only one student registered and were doubtful the Au Sable TAM (Tropical Agriculture and Missions) course was going to happen, but had fantastic 7 students, went well, and provided much needed support for ADE staff. Exciting exchange of teaching from both high school and TAM students.
*Nadia (daughter of Tomas and Chelsea) lacerated her head really badly in a bicycle accident, but God protected her and she wanted to go to school the next day.

JUNE
*Lindsey got to go to language school and a few family friends stepped up unexpectedly and provided most of the money to allow that to happen.
*Started High School Boys and Girls Soccer Teams, getting more involved with community soccer
*Job E. with Technology for the Poor presented to high school.
*English night classes to the community.

JULY
*Students put on an arts night sharing their poetry, drama and artwork.
*Interns helped with creative writing at school and helped us with blogs.
*Awesome games put on by ADE in the area’s first Strawberry Festival (Go Strawberry Wars!).
*In exchange for translation and web design, students were given free canopy trip and art seminar.
*COS’ mature youth group blessed us with their visit.
*Peace Through Culture stayed at ADE Center; ADE high school shared cultural dance and foods.

AUGUST
*Planted Blackberry with donations from University of Costa Rica. 5 community members joined.
*With ADE’s help community board obtained funds to remodel the community center where the high school currently meets.
*Elgin’s (ADE board member) youth group stayed at ADE Center for a retreat.

SEPTEMBER
*Formed ADE board with diverse members and organizations.
*Solidified Vision and strategic planning with ADE staff and board for everyone to be on the same page.
*English Intern Sean became our first intern to do full time homestay with local family!

OCTOBER
*First meetings for a community newspaper.
*Formed School Board who insisted on keeping the area’s first high school where it is and were committed to transitioning ADE to be locally run.
*FundaVida leadership team stayed at ADE Center.
*Local university student (with help of ADE) offered weekend computer classes to the community.
*Plannings underway for first Zero Down Conference set for 2012
*2 years of ADE tentmaking and using Zero Down Model

NOVEMBER
*High school received the highest average in National Exams in Costa Rica!
*Exciting partnerships with Christian organizations.
*Thanksgiving with Miller family and E3.
*Jordan, son of Chelsea and Tomas, rocked at translating for a mission trip.

DECEMBER
*Mayra and Hannia who are on ADE board, treated ADE staff to the beach- great company and great food!
*Students and parents insisted on keeping the school’s name to Colegio ADE, saying the vision of ADE to multiply and see other high schools formed in other areas.
*High School students finished Earthquake Writing Project!
*Support from organizations to start Reforestation Project in the area.
*Many students enrolled for next school year. School now serves 5 communities.
*Students involved with local community boards in completing the Census to advocate for health care.
*Recruiting more national staff.
*Teresa, a mom to one of high school student, as Director of ADE Center


Written by Chelsea Dozier and ADE staff