Caskey Costa Rica Mission Trip Day 1 Beauty Of It All

What an incredible first day we had today on our mission trip in Costa Rica. It was a busy day, and a day filled with our eyes and hearts being witness to the beauty of  God‘s creation.

First of all, I spent my morning quiet time in a much different way than normal. At home, I’m usually just sitting at the kitchen table eating breakfast, praying and reading the bible. Pretty ordinary. But this morning, I decided that the back patio looked like a good place, so I sat out there praying, reading, drinking a cup of coffee (Costa Rican coffee, by the way, good stuff!), taking in some morning sun and the surrounding scenery. As I was finishing up and just kind of looking around, I saw two of the biggest green Macaw’s that I’ve ever seen at the top of this huge tree just a little ways off. They were amazing looking. I’m not one to normally care too much about the birds around me, but the beauty of these two was awesome.

After breakfast we headed out, walking to the Hogar de Vida Orphanage, which is not too far away. As we walked there, we were greeted with the unbelievable beauty of the surrounding country side. Being that we arrived on Sunday night, and it was already dark, we weren’t able to see any of the surrounding  area. But, this morning, there it was. It was as if God, said, “Ha, see what I can do?”. The mountains, the rain forest, and everything around us was breathtaking. We weren’t in Texas anymore.

Mountains Around Atenas

Soon we arrived at Hogar de Vida Orphanage and were greeted by the director, and then led down to a covered pavilion where the children, staff and other volunteers were gathered. Steve led us all in a time of devotion where he talked to the children about how we always hear so many stories about Jesus and what he did while here on earth, but you don’t hear as many stories about what Jesus is doing now. So what is he doing now? I’ll let you think about that one. It was a great time of hearing the Word and prayer.

What God revealed to me there though, was that there was more beauty to behold. The beauty of the hearts of each worker, staff member, volunteer, and of course the beauty of each of the kids, and the smiles that were on their faces. Even in the circumstances that they were in, they smiled, they laughed and played. And as I looked around, I saw the beauty of my own two kids there with me, as my oldest daughter talked to the different kids and my oldest son kicked the soccer ball around with some of them. This place was a true testament to God’s people, sacrificing everything, to care for and love on these little kids.

Mark 9:37 – Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.

Later, in the afternoon we went to a place called Zoo Ave, which is basically a zoo with many of the indigenous animals to Costa Rica. Once again, God had the beauty of His creation on display. We saw many animals none of us have ever seen. Huge Iguana’s roaming free on the paths along with peacocks. All kinds of monkeys swinging from the trees (they were not roaming free). Species of birds that I’ve only heard of on Animal Planet. It was an unbelievable array.

It was a great first day. A day that God decided He was going to show us all kinds of beauty. The beauty of his creation from the landscape and countryside, to the animals of Costa Rica and the beauty of all of those He created in His image from the staff and workers at Hogar de Vida, my own kids, and yes without a doubt, those precious little kids that call Hogar de Vida home.

Romans 1:20 – For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Caskey Costa Rica Mission Trip Update 2

Friends,

We have entered the “Home Stretch”, the last ten days before we leave on our mission trip to Costa Rica. Still, I stand amazed at what a wonderful God we serve. I am so thankful for all of those that He has surrounded us with, who are supporting us with their prayers and/or supporting us financially. It is truly humbling to watch His hand move in this way. I look so forward to see how He is going to use me and my two kids for His purposes in Costa Rica, and to see what He has in store to teach us. Our hearts are open and ready to serve however He sees fit, and ready to learn what He wants to teach.

As we enter these final ten days, please consider giving of your time and pray for us leading up to our trip and during our trip, and I also ask that you prayerfully consider supporting us financially. We still have a gap in our funding to close, but I’m confident that God will provide.

Praise our Lord God Almighty.

Rick

 

Re-post of our mission trip letter:

Dear Friends,

I am so excited to share with you an opportunity I have to serve the Lord this summer. I have been invited by The Brook Ministries to work with them for a week, helping at one of their pastor training conferences.

On June 19, I will fly to Costa Rica with my oldest daughter, Ariel, and my oldest son, Austin. Together, we will serve for a week at a pastor’s training conference working behind the scenes to serve the pastors from numerous Costa Rican churches. Ariel and I will return home at the end of one week, but Austin will stay on for another two weeks, helping with the beginning stages of the construction of a youth center called Casa de la Cultura. It will be a place for teenagers to come for discipleship and fellowship. Lord willing, it will help keep teens out of trouble and reduce teen pregnancy.

I am writing to ask for your support in two ways:

  1. We need a prayer team to support me and my family. We will be sending out regular updates from Costa Rica on my blog at https://thereasonsedge.wordpress.com, Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/rick.caskey and Twitter at http://twitter.com/rickcaskey, and I need a team of people who will be faithful to pray for me.
  2. We need help funding the trip. Time is becoming critical and we need to have our funding secured in the next couple of weeks. The total is made up of $1,500.00 for Ariel and I, each, and $2,550.00, for Austin. We’ve made it very easy to make donations directly online to The Brook Ministries (www.thebrookministries.org). Click “Donate Online” then select “Caskey Mission Trip” where it says “Please direct my donation to.”

Thank you for any support you can give. We are grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord, and we would love to have you on our team.

If you have any questions, please e-mail me at rickcaskey@tx.rr.com or message me on Facebook.

Because He First Love Us,

Rick Caskey

Caskey Costa Rica Mission Trip Update

As the days pass, and our mission trip to Costa Rica gets closer and closer, I’m amazed more and more at what a wonderful God we serve. He has moved mightily during the last few weeks to build our support team. He has provided every step of the way. I am in awe that He would choose to surround us with so many willing to pray for us and provide the means for us to make this trip to serve Him at The Brook Ministries in Costa Rica.

Again, I humbly ask you to consider giving of your time and pray for us during the weeks leading up to our trip and during our trip, and I also ask that you prayerfully consider supporting us financially.

Thank you all and thank our Lord God Almighty.

Rick

Re-post of our mission trip letter:

Dear Friends,

I am so excited to share with you an opportunity I have to serve the Lord this summer. I have been invited by The Brook Ministries to work with them for a week, helping at one of their pastor training conferences.

On June 19, I will fly to Costa Rica with my oldest daughter, Ariel, and my oldest son, Austin. Together, we will serve for a week at a pastor’s training conference working behind the scenes to serve the pastors from numerous Costa Rican churches. Ariel and I will return home at the end of one week, but Austin will stay on for another two weeks, helping with the beginning stages of the construction of a youth center called Casa de la Cultura. It will be a place for teenagers to come for discipleship and fellowship. Lord willing, it will help keep teens out of trouble and reduce teen pregnancy.

I am writing to ask for your support in two ways:

  1. We need a prayer team to support me and my family. We will be sending out regular updates from Costa Rica on my blog at https://thereasonsedge.wordpress.com, Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/rick.caskey and Twitter at http://twitter.com/rickcaskey, and I need a team of people who will be faithful to pray for me.
  2. We need help funding the trip. Time is becoming critical and we need to have our funding secured in the next couple of weeks. The entire cost for all of us will be $4,050.00. The total is made up of $1,500.00 for Ariel and I, each, and $2,550.00, for Austin. We’ve made it very easy to make donations directly online to The Brook Ministries (www.thebrookministries.org). Click “Donate Online” then select “Caskey Mission Trip” where it says “Please direct my donation to.”

Thank you for any support you can give. We are grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord, and we would love to have you on our team.

If you have any questions, please e-mail me at rickcaskey@tx.rr.com or message me on Facebook.

Because He First Love Us,

Rick Caskey

Caskey Costa Rica Mission Trip

Dear Friends,

I am so excited to share with you an opportunity I have to serve the Lord this summer. I have been invited by The Brook Ministries to work with them for a week, helping at one of their pastor training conferences.

On June 19, I will fly to Costa Rica with my oldest daughter, Ariel, and my oldest son, Austin. Together, we will serve for a week at a pastor’s training conference working behind the scenes to serve the pastors from numerous Costa Rican churches. Ariel and I will return home at the end of one week, but Austin will stay on for another two weeks, helping with the beginning stages of the construction of a youth center called Casa de la Cultura. It will be a place for teenagers to come for discipleship and fellowship. Lord willing, it will help keep teens out of trouble and reduce teen pregnancy.

I am writing to ask for your support in two ways:

  1. We need a prayer team to support me and my family. We will be sending out regular updates from Costa Rica on my blog at https://thereasonsedge.wordpress.com, Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/rick.caskey and Twitter at http://twitter.com/rickcaskey, and I need a team of people who will be faithful to pray for me.
  2. We need help funding the trip. Time is becoming critical and we need to have our funding secured in the next couple of weeks. The entire cost for all of us will be $4,050.00. The total is made up of $1,500.00 for Ariel and I, each, and $2,550.00, for Austin. We’ve made it very easy to make donations directly online to The Brook Ministries (www.thebrookministries.org). Click “Donate Online” then select “Caskey Mission Trip” where it says “Please direct my donation to.”

Thank you for any support you can give. We are grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord, and we would love to have you on our team.

If you have any questions, please e-mail me at rickcaskey@tx.rr.com or message me on Facebook.

Because He First Love Us,

Rick Caskey

She Can’t Be Turning 18 Already

I almost can’t bring myself to say it. It just doesn’t feel right coming off the tongue. But, I guess I have to get use to it because time doesn’t stand still. It marches on at a rapid pace. Sometimes, so fast, that inside I’m screaming, STOP!!! I feel like that right now. On Tuesday, June 22nd, my oldest child, my wonderful oldest daughter, my first baby girl, the one that it seems like just yesterday I was calling “Pumpkin Face”, turns the magical age of 18. There, I said it, or wrote it in this case. Either way, it still doesn’t feel right.

Once again, like I always do, when coming up on these major milestone birthdays, I tend to do a lot of reflecting on the time that’s passed. The first thing that I think about, is that the wonderful day that she was born, was the day AFTER Father’s Day! I never let her forget that I had to wait a full 365 days before I had my first Father’s Day. Ok, sorry, enough of that. This is supposed to be a happy post. Actually, that day was one of the most exciting days in my life. One of the first things that I always think about is the little baby girl with the little red “Pumpkin Face” that I held so carefully in my arms. I remember how my wife would let me give her her last feeding of the night and how that precious little baby girl would drink until she had her fill and would fall asleep while still drinking. But then, I’d still have to take her on what we called the “Magic Daddy Ride” to get her to go to sleep and stay asleep. I look back on the first soccer game, first day of school, first basketball game, first time driving by herself, first Homecoming dance, first Prom, and the many of “firsts” that have come and gone. As many of those things were firsts for her, they were also firsts for my wife and I as parents. Through it all, I see the girl that has grown and matured into a wonderful young, adult woman, who continues to melt her Dad’s heart every single day.

Now, as I think of the present and look forward, the thoughts of just how little time we have left with her weigh heavy on my heart. I think of how little time there is to see her each day, to hear her laugh at any time, to give her all the necessary advice for adulthood (she’d say I’ve given too much), to tell her I love her, that I’m always here for her, that I’m sorry for the arguments we’ve had, and to ask for forgiveness for the mistakes that I’ve made as her father. This is when I want to yell “STOP”, “WAIT”, “DO OVER”!!! But, I know that’s not possible. We all have to move forward with our bumpy road in our past, and learn from it. It’s very strange though because even though all of that does make me sad and nervous, I still have this great sense of joy, excitement, and peace, because I know the young adult woman that she’s turned out to be.

There are exciting times ahead and I’m excited for her. I look forward to watching her continue to grow and mature, and take on, and conquer, the new challenges to come. I’m confident that the Lord will guide her steps. I’m confident that she is ready to make this leap into adulthood. I’m confident in HER.

So, I celebrate this day, June 22, 2010, and say HAPPY 18th BIRTHDAY to my baby girl.

Honoring My Wife On Mother’s Day

On this day that we celebrate and honor mother’s everywhere, I want to take a few minutes to honor my wonderful wife, who is such a great Mom to our 4 beautiful kids.

I am such a blessed man to have a wife such as her. Our kids are so blessed to have her as their mother. Building a family with her has brought me great joy in this life. I thank her for choosing to marry me and have a family with me. God has smiled upon me many times, but I feel that His biggest smile has come in the form of the wife and kids that He has blessed me with.

My wife has given her everything for our family. She gives of herself, her whole self, everyday for our kids. They may not realize it now, but one day when they are parents, I believe that they will look back and realize just how much their Mom has given for them. They’ll realize the sacrifices made and the care that she has given. It takes a lot to be a Mom and many times it’s a thankless job. But, thanks or no thanks, my wife continues to be the great Mom that she is. She knows the importance of her role and she does it faithfully day in and day out. What a joy to watch.

Proverbs 31 verses 10, 11, 28 and 29 says it best:

10 [c] A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”

I have found a wife of noble character and I am a husband that lacks nothing. I pray that me and my kids remember more often to call her blessed and to praise her. And yes, she does surpass them all.

I love you my wonderful wife. I pray that your Mother’s Day is a blessed day.

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Tribute To Momma Jane

I want to take this time to celebrate the life and pay tribute to the woman that I came to call Momma Jane. Momma Jane was my mother-in-law. I was blessed enough to know her for 14 years, before she went home to be with the Lord about 10 years ago. I know, when you think of in-laws, you think, oh no, the in-laws. But, she didn’t fit the stereotype.

Momma Jane from the day I met her was always a fun-loving person. She was full of life, energy and always had a positive outlook on life. She always treated me with respect, kindness and like another son. I appreciated how she eagerly welcomed me into the family when Denise and I got married. I especially appreciated, and still laugh hysterically, at how she wanted to talk to me in private, to make sure I knew what I was getting into, when Denise and I announced our engagement. She knew her daughter all too well. And I quickly learned what she meant. Just kidding, just kidding.

That brings me to what I’m most appreciative of regarding my mother-in-law. And that is that she raised her daughter, who is my wife, very well. I thank her for the love and support she always gave my wife. She was an encouraging individual, and wore her pride, she had in her daughter, on her sleeve. Because of a lady like her, I have the wonderful wife that I have.

I have the typical regrets, when it comes to life, and how short it can be, like my kids not getting to know her any better than they did and vice versa. Me not having a longer time to know her, and my wife not able to have her Mom around anymore. But, we have to move forward in faith and find joy in the fact that we will see her again, for my wife had the privilege of leading her Mom, my Momma Jane, into a relationship with Jesus Christ, near the end of her life.

So, this is a tribute to Momma Jane. I celebrate your life, and say, Happy Birthday!