Caskey Costa Rica Mission Trip Day 4 Conference Starts

The end of our 4th full day in Costa Rica has come to a close. This was the absolute busiest day, so far, from beginning to the end. Though it was busy, it was a wonderful day. The 3 day Pastor’s conference began today.

It wasn’t too early of a start as the Pastors and their spouses weren’t actually to arrive at the conference until around 12:00 PM, but we knew that some would probably arrive early, so we did get there between 9:30 AM and 10:00 AM. We got everything setup for the conference pretty quickly and then were ready for everyone to arrive. They all arrived over the next couple of hours. All of us had our assigned duties of either welcoming them, helping with registration, taking pictures or getting the audio/video equipment setup, and everyone jumped right in. It was a good start to the day.

The Pastors and their spouses were all very nice, friendly, a bit quiet and a bit uncertain about what to expect the next 3 days to be like. Many of them have never been to a retreat or conference like this. For many of them, this may be the first time they’ve been on anything like a vacation, away from home or the family for any extended period of time, or even to a hotel. One of the goals of The Brook Ministries is to provide the opportunity for these Pastors and their spouses to be refreshed, renewed, have a chance to get away and be ministered to, instead of them being the ones doing all the ministering. If you think about it, being a Pastor can be emotionally, physically and spiritually draining, and they need to have times to relax, to be supported and encouraged by others, which includes the support of other Pastors. They also need to be fed, and that’s where The Brook’s goal of teaching and equipping these Pastors and their spouses to help them deal with relevant issues in their ministries, church congregations and their lives in general comes into play.

During today’s sessions I had the privilege of spending the time praying for their specific needs and praying for them in general, for their time at the conference. I’ll be doing the same thing tomorrow and Saturday as well. They’re provided with cards to submit prayer requests on, and we pray for them during the sessions, along with, I’ll call them “prayer partners” around the globe, around the clock. Going before our God in prayer for these Pastors and their spouses is a powerful thing and I’m glad to be a part of it. As I was praying during the first session, God put on my heart to pray about how these Pastors and their spouses needed to be ministered to and I thought about the story of Jesus when he was tempted by Satan in the wilderness (Matt 4:1-11). After the temptations were over verse 11 says “Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.”. So, Jesus after all that was over needed to be attended to, refreshed and renewed. I pray that these Pastors and their spouses will feel that renewal and refreshment, that they will feel ministered to, and cared for, and that their passions for teaching the Gospel, caring for their congregations, their communities, and their families will be burning hot when they leave on Saturday.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

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

Worshiping with Fusion

Last night was the opening of the Back to School Retreat for our church’s youth ministry, Grace Fusion. 3 of my kids are now part of the youth ministry, with my youngest daughter getting her first taste of the youth ministry this weekend.

The kids were pumped and ready to go and with every passing hour were asking “when are we leaving to go up to the church?”. Check in at the church was at 9:00PM, with a worship service to begin at 9:30PM. So, you can see why the wait seemed so long. But soon, the time came and we left. My wife decided to stay home and finish getting the house ready for the 10th graders to come over after the worship service at church.

Since it was late and I had already had a long day at work and then helped get the house ready, my intent was just to drop the kids off and go home, even though my wife had suggested that I stay for a little while. Once there, I thought I’d stay to see a few people and then possibly stay to hear Nick Thurmond and his band. I am so glad I stayed.

The service was AWESOME! It was so awesome that for the next 2 and a half hours, yes you read that right, I was completely drawn in by the music and then riveted to every word that the speaker, Ken Freeman, had to say. It was a powerful time of praise and worship with an engaging message on evangelism.

As the music started, all the kids rushed right to the stage, singing their hearts out, with hands lifted high, pouring their hearts out to God. Worshiping with the teens is a lot different than worshiping in the adult service. No one rushes the stage or sings and moves with the freedom and spontaneity that they do. It would really be a kick if we did though. Anyway, back to the teens. I decided I had to move down front right with them. The room was charged and hearts were being prepared. As a dad, an added joy was watching my 3 kids just let it go, even my youngest there, who is my most reserved child. It added to the charge that I felt in the room.

Finally, it was Ken’s turn. He’s a very energetic, straight-shooter who lays it right out there. You could sense the conviction in his heart and his passion for what he spoke about. Although his message was directed at the youth, his words constantly challenged me to evaluate my effort and effectiveness in witnessing and sharing my faith. I found myself falling short, very short. He closed with a powerful invitation, where a number of kids accepted Christ. Praise God!

As we finished, it was about midnight. I don’t think anyone in the room was tired. I know I wasn’t. I am so glad I stayed. To have missed that would’ve been a shame. I thank God that He started working on me to get me to stay for a little while and then He just pulled me in until there was no way I was leaving. What a great time and a great start to the Back to School Retreat!

The Fearless Son

The other day my son and I got into a conversation about sharing our faith, in Jesus Christ, with other people. When we first began I wasn’t too sure where our talk was going to lead or what was going to come of it. But, once we were done, I was sure glad we had ventured into that topic. Not because I was able to share any great wisdom with him or give him any great tips, but because he impressed me, and impressed me greatly.

You see, it wasn’t a conversation where I was teaching him how to do it or anything like that. It was a conversation where he was telling me how he had been sharing his faith with many of his friends. He was telling me the tools and techniques he was using. He went into how he’d been texting some friends, using facebook to reach others, E-mail and then the good old fashion way of face-to-face. His technique, as he described it, was so open, warm, caring for the other person, and so fearless. He was using everything at his disposal to reach out to those around him. I have to admit, I was in awe and deeply moved.

The conversation ended and I told him I had enjoyed our talk. The teacher had been schooled by the student. After letting what I had just heard settle in, I had to go back to him and let him know just how proud I was of him for being faithful to the call to share the Gospel.

I realized that God was showing me, right then and there, how He was answering my prayers for my son. God was also setting my son up as an example to me, so that I will be more faithful in sharing the message of God’s salvation. I thank God, so much, for what He’s doing in my son’s life and in my life through my son.