The Present

Lilly’s 7th birthday

With each new day, we are reminded to live in the present. This is the life-long learning we have talked about previously. Even here, we have our everyday routine tasks. We are learning to think about these in a different way though. Each one is a significant piece in the puzzle of our lives. What we do each moment does count, it does matter….because we have a choice in HOW we do it, no matter where we are. Needless to say, we find ourselves humbled daily by our LACK of “present-ness”. With each new day, we commit to trying again! For instance, we TRY to internalize the uniqueness of turning seven. There are some that never get the chance to turn seven. There are some, like Lilly’s birthmom, that never get to see their children turn seven. We commit to TRYING to put ourselves in another one’s shoes. Mostly, we commit to realizing we cannot understand everything and trying daily to be at peace with this fact! Yet, it seems we falter more than we succeed, in all of these areas. Just the other morning, rather than being awakened by raccoons in our trash (like the time at Lake Vallecito!), we were brought to tears by the young boy scavenging through our garbage. Don’t know if we were shaken more by this or the 4.6 earthquake we felt the night before. I believe the spanish verb “temblar”- meaning “to shake, or shiver” could be used in both situations.

With much sadness in our hearts, we mourn the recent loss of our good friend Leanne from Durango. Taken by cancer at an early age, she no doubt, was living very much in the present during her final months, days, and hours. Why is it, that all last week, the song, “This is the Day” was being sung around our household (in spanish, nonetheless!), and just now, we discover this is Leanne’s favorite song. We like to think of this as a “God-cidence” rather than a “coincidence.” With faith, as in all things, we are given a choice. The choice to cultivate it, however; requires a daily commitment, each and every day. We thank God that He is continually “pushing the envelope”, so that we grow in faith. It’s somewhat, strangely reassuring that while WE may be satisfied with our level of maturity, He is not. It’s because of this love, that He keeps pushing us, keeps teaching us. (Man…kind of sounds like a parenting technique…)

My participation in a local English as a Second Language program here, has provided much insight. Laughter and smiles from within the classroom are definite signs that the transfer of information is taking place. Not surprising, the sights and sounds of Ticos learning english are identical to those of our own classes while learning spanish. While some days I enter the class with much trepidation and fear (of failure, gosh darnit!), most days I leave totally high. It’s truly amazing to gather together as strangers to learn each others’ language and hearts. What a gift this has been…surely one of my highlights here!

Winding down to our final month here in C.R., we find ourselves far from fluent! We feel we have a strong foundation though; one which we would not have had otherwise. Thus, the learning will continue in “the field.” Meanwhile, any chance to leave the noise, pollution and crowds of San Jose are always welcome. We took a trip to the caribbean coast to a small community called Puerto Viejo, which is just north of the Panamanian boarder. The beautiful tidal pools as well as the black sand beach, provided hours of entertainment. A trip to the San Jose zoo, while large and rather run-down, proved to be an interesting venture. Several monkeys and iguanas had managed to escape! Luke, being the most intelligent one of the group, was quick to point out that we might want to leave before the lions too, escape! Ahhh…the adventure of life continues. Until next time…..

22 replies
  1. Juliet
    Juliet says:

    Logan’s glad Luke didn’t get eaten by the Lions at the Zoo! He would also like to hear from Luke. He was wondering what Luke’s favorite Bible Verse is. Logan’s is John 3:16.

  2. Gordon and Wanda Greve
    Gordon and Wanda Greve says:

    It windy and cold here in Durango, so at least you have warmer weather. At the moment we are looking at an old video from a mission trip to Merida, Mexico where our Houston church was helping to build a church. At this moment we are attending a church service at the Mexican church. As I remember we were good at singing their songs, but bad at understanding the sermon.

    Hope with your language lessons you will be able to understand the sermons better than we. No matter, the people are so good and loving that language is not a barrier to our love for them.

    Give everyone lots of hugs and good wishes from us.

    Gordon and Wanda Greve

  3. Cathy Roberts
    Cathy Roberts says:

    Thank you so much for your inspirational musings of how God is at work. I too am feeling the paramount importance of HOW we do what we do each day – each interaction, each task, each difficult conversation. It’s the WAY we do these things that witnesses to Christ. I continue to pray for each of you, and know that God is using you to bless the people of Central America and the folks back home.

    God bless,

  4. Jenny Houle
    Jenny Houle says:

    Hi All. What a beautiful message this month! Your saying “It’s because of this love, that He keeps pushing us, keeps teaching us”…I have to always remember that as I continue to heal. And as I read your story about the boy in the trash and the passing of our dear sweet Leann, that I remember just how blessed I am. God is good all the time!! Thank you for sharing all your life experience and heart felt moments. I look forward to your next email. All my love, Jenny

  5. Cuntz Family
    Cuntz Family says:

    Happy Birthay Lilly from all of us!!!! Martin just turned 8 last week and Ana will be 7 with you this June. Is the song you’re referring to, “This is the day the Lord has made ~ Let us rejoice, rejoice and be glad.” ??? This song comes to my mind and heart and has been a part of my world since I was a child. We SOWS have generated many beautiful words for Leanne and will be presenting her family with our quilt soon, maybe after her service on April 1. Amen about living in the present and seeing the present as the “gift” that it is. We are right along with you in this thought/goal. We love your updates and are so proud of you all. Keep up the great work and know that we’re sending lots of love and smiles to you always! Jen, Dave, Martin and Ana

  6. Jim and Barbara Edmanson
    Jim and Barbara Edmanson says:

    A great big Happy Siete to Lilly! This will bee an unforgettable birthday that she will always remember.
    We are thinking about you all and you are in our prayers.
    I know that when you are out of the classroom situation you will be able to communicate well with the tools you have learned there… and some sign language!

  7. Ron & Essie Williams
    Ron & Essie Williams says:

    What a wonderful time for all of you. Happy Birthday, Lilly. 7 is so big and grown-up.

    We remember you in our prayers, and remember you as the most patient of parents. Good luck and God bless.
    Ron & Essie

  8. Jane Colvig
    Jane Colvig says:

    Your updates warm my heart. It is wonderful to see the kids smiling and enjoying life, and to read how God continues to move in your lives. You’re right! There are no coincidences in God’s timing. I was blessed to be able to spend time praying with Leanne those last few days while she was in the hospital. Her prayer was that her family would know that her peace came from her faith and would help their healing. God is so good. He answered those prayers in such a strong way, and continues to do so. Your sharing about “This is the Day” is yet another testimony to His faithfulness, His love, and how we are all interconnected, inspite of the miles!

    You are prayed for daily! Keep your hearts pointed toward CHrist, He is working through your efforts and sacrifice!

    Much love,

  9. somrak 5
    somrak 5 says:

    Hello all!
    Happy birthday, Miss Lilly. We can’t believe how old you are. It seems like just the other day your mom was showing me a picture of you at Gateway Park!
    I would really love to collaborate with you guys more, especially in the area of education. Let me know what we can do together!
    Love and miss you!
    Mike, Jill, Joey, Annie, and Sarah

  10. Katy Freiberger
    Katy Freiberger says:

    Dear Brave Friends,

    Your email stories of you life in Roatan are inspiring and fund to read.

    God bless and keep you! Love, Katy Freiberger

  11. Bill & Sheri
    Bill & Sheri says:

    Dear Tichi Family – You bring smiles and chuckles to our faces as we read your well written experiences. Kudos! I can imagine the smiles we have seen on your faces in Durango shining now with all with whom you come in touch. God is showing his face through you. Feliz Cumpleanos Senorita Lilly. 7 is so great!
    We are so missing Leanne. Our sympathy to your family also. What a neat connection with “This is the Day!” Thanks for sharing!
    You are all in our thoughts and prayers! Sheri & Bill

  12. jenni riberdy
    jenni riberdy says:

    love, love, love your posts!! we all have these lessons to learn, but i suppose you’re making much better progress than we who are still comfortable at home. i would love it if we could come on a short term trip with you!! not the same as your commitment, but an eye (and heart) opener just the same. i’ll start planting the seeds… : )

    be well, you know the force is always with you… lots of love, jenni

  13. Bob and Jo Etta
    Bob and Jo Etta says:

    Your postings are so well written and inspiring. The current one for me (Bob) especially because I am reading “Living the Sabbath” Written by Wirzba. You are all a blessing for those in your “mission field” but so much so for us “at home”. Thanks and God bless,
    Bob and Jo Etta

  14. Lynda
    Lynda says:

    Cannot believe that Lilly is already turning 7 !! Where does the time go? It flies by…while we are busy slogging our way back and forth to work! That is EXACTLY why your commitment to this whole learning/growing experience is something I truly admire and even envy. As I have said before: you will never be happy with what you have…until you are happy with who you are! Kudos to you, Tichi Family for your commitment/s to becoming a better “you” ! We miss you something fierce at the hospital MIKieeee.

  15. theresa i
    theresa i says:

    Hi Tichis,
    Great update and timely for me personally. Chris and I are in Roatan this week for some R & R. Our oldest daughter was married last Saturday and we are resting from all of the festivites before we get too far into the planning for daughter number 2’s wedding in September. We are going to meet with Henry and Frances while we are here to have some fellowship and perhaps get some concrete plans in place for mission teams that will be coming over the next couple of months.
    I am praying for you today 🙂
    God size blessings on your whole family.

  16. Jeff
    Jeff says:

    Thanks for the update and Happy Birthday Lilly. Hi to the whole Tichi family. Thinking about you all. Jeff & Jocelyn.

  17. The McManus Family
    The McManus Family says:

    Hey guys – we have really enjoyed reading about your journey. Your family inspires us to reach out of comfort zone a little every day.
    We too, were really saddened to hear that Leanne Jordan passed away. After some problems during labor, my midwife called her in at 3 in the morning. Everyone was emotionally spent, and exhausted (well, especially me!) – and she walked in – took charge like a general – and brought my little girl into this world. The next morning she brought Maddy a little teddy bear with angel wings on it. Maddy still has that bear on her dresser. Leanne set her sights high and lived big – another inspiration.

    Our love to all of you. We’ll hold down the fort here!
    Bethany, Pat & Madelyn

  18. Tia Laird
    Tia Laird says:

    Isn’t God good to challenge and compel you forward as you participate in the english as a second language class. It must be fun to experience language on both sides of the spectrum. We continue to lift your family up in prayer and look forward to all the great things He is going to do in and through you.

  19. Bill Postler
    Bill Postler says:

    Kerry & Mike,
    As we grieve the loss of our friend Leanne, and watch Bill’s dad gently slip away from us in hospice care, we are very much uplifted by your stories. Our prayers for safety and courage! Like Leanne, you are an inspiration to us both.
    Love, Jan

    • Cuntz Family
      Cuntz Family says:

      Dear Jan and Bill,

      We’re sending our love to you and your family on the passing of your friend Leanne and of Bill’s father. May God hold all of our dearly departed in the palm of his hand. Until we meet again, we will always rejoice and be glad (like the song that was mentioned) that they were in our lives here on earth!

      Our sympathy,
      Jen Cuntz and family

  20. Mimi Gates
    Mimi Gates says:

    LOVE receiving your updates and your musings. What a journey! Always keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers,
    Love, Chief, Mimi, Caleb and August,

    • laura bohachevsky
      laura bohachevsky says:

      Hi friends,

      It is wonderful to hear your journey via-email….I keep you all in my prayers. We miss you. love you, laura, cyril, alan, nikolai and Isabel

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