As I started to write this, I turned on some Christmas music and the song playing was “I can’t wait for Christmas”. I thought that would be a great title for this update. Christmas has taken on a new meaning for us. It is so easy to take things for granted. Christmas is special as the celebration is centered on the birth and meaning of Jesus Christ. But this year, we are traveling to Kansas where my sister Kim and her family live. And by the sounds of it, it will be cold. Things that Canadians usually take for granted at this time of year, like the cold (snow) and being closer to family will be a renewed experience for Linda and I. We could not afford to get to Canada but we could get to Dallas. We will spend a weekend with Dan and Leanne Zondag (best man at our wedding) outside of Dallas and then with a borrowed vehicle from Dan, drive up to Kansas where we will meet our kids and other family as they drive down from Calgary. It will be a great 2 weeks with family and friends.
Meanwhile at home (Costa Rica), the transition from rainy to dry season is happening. That means a couple of weeks of cold winds. I know, cold is relative but 16-18 C means putting on a warm jacket! Here’s a picture of all the Canadian C&MA’ers here in Costa Rica taken at Canadian Thanksgiving. Let’s get you updated on our work here. There is so much to say. Linda and I just got back from a week in Phoenix where we attended CHE training. The principles learned here are the cornerstone of our disaster reduction ministry. Part of our work is educating communities towards basic disaster response as well as how to reduce the effects of the disaster when it occurs. Now with the CHE training, we can approach this with a total community transformational mindset of building into God’s Kingdom. Disaster reduction will be the tool to empower the community to transform physically and spiritually using the force of the community to carry the change through. It’s an unbelievably powerful evangelistic tool. God has used this in 95 countries of the world to transform over 4500 villages. On the Disaster Response side of things, our focus has been on building a web-based database to handle all of the information of a response effort and the number of volunteers involved. We have had a volunteer, Will Autio, out of Mission Creek Alliance who is helping us out with getting this database operational. Thank you to our volunteers. God does supply our needs as we had a sizable donation given from a person in Prince George, BC. towards ongoing training (including our local CHE community leaders).
As you know, we have been trying to raise financial support for a vehicle that we can use for ministry purposes. We finally were able to find a suitable SUV. It’s a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee that has been babied and is in great shape. When all is said and done with the costs of buying here… it will cost us under $12,000. (Yes, vehicles are very expensive here). Our vehicle fund has not received that much in donations so in the meantime, we have been able to borrow from the Alliance field (Caribbean Sun) and we have till June of next year to pay it off. But guess what? We are already 25% of the way there! That is exciting for us. So we are asking you to prayerfully consider giving to the Doell Vehicle Fund through any Alliance church or you can give through the national C&MA office and direct it to the Doell Vehicle Fund and receive a charitable tax reduction.
From our family to yours, Linda and I want to wish you a merry, merry Christmas filled with the joy of celebrating Jesus Christ as our Savior.