December Update – Lots of Stories

Dear Family & Friends,

So, it has been a bit since we updated you, so we are going to do a few pics and stories to get you caught up.

Muskokas (Ontario) in the fall.
Muskokas (Ontario) in the fall.

In October we were in Ontario for meetings with our Global leadership team.  Part of those meetings included a weekend retreat in the Muskokas (north of Toronto).  The colors were amazing!

Ottawa

After the Toronto meetings, Murray went to Gatineau, QC to spend some time with some Quebecois friends who will be joining our Caracas team in 2013.  While there he took some time to enjoy Ottawa.

LMC Costa Rica 2012

Our next major event was the two week long Leadership Matters Course in Costa Rica.  We organized the event and then both attended as students.  It was some of the best leadership skills training we have received in our 20 years living outside of Canada.

Arenal Volcano.
Arenal Volcano.

At the end of the leadership training we spent the weekend at Arenal Volcano with the members of our Global leadership team that had come to Costa Rica.  The clouds cleared up (after two weeks with our heads in a cloud forest) and we actually got to see the volcano.

The bay that Hemmingway would go fishing from near Havana.
The bay that Hemingway would go fishing from near Havana.
Prayer retreat.
Prayer retreat.

A week after the course ended, Murray headed to Cuba.  It was an eventful week with some time in Havana and some time in central Cuba at a prayer retreat where 500 Cuban pastors gathered from 50 denominations.  It was an amazing experience of unity – an example to all!

Strategic Team Review team.
Strategic Team Review team.
Pepe & Adriana Rivadeneyra
Pepe & Adriana Rivadeneyra
Murray & Arturo Ybarra (with his own personal puppet)
Murray & Arturo Ybarra (with his own personal puppet)

The next week Murray was in Guadalajara, Mexico where we lived from 1993 to 2001.  He was there for a Strategic Team Review which was a really good process of looking back, at the present, and into the future with our projects there.  It also was a chance to see some friends!

The Coyote Project Steering Committee
The Coyote Project Steering Committee

The following week Murray was in Mexico City with a team of people called The Coyote Project which is a steering committee looking into the possibility of starting an international school in one of our focus areas in that huge city.

Mitch & Myles skiing at Big White, Kelowna, BC.
Mitch & Myles skiing at Big White, Kelowna, BC.

This week, while we have been enjoying the tropics of Costa Rica leading up to Christmas week, our boys sent us this photo of their activities this past week!

A Blue Morpho butterfly.
A Blue Morpho butterfly.
Poas Volcano, Costa Rica.
Poas Volcano, Costa Rica.
Braun Family at Poas Volcano.
Braun Family at Poas Volcano.

Also this week we have had Michelle’s sister Karen and family (Doug, Caleb, Emily, and Tobias) with us.  We spent a day at the Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens.  This is one of our favorite places in Costa Rica, as you can see.

Mikaela, Murray, Mattea, Michelle
Mikaela, Murray, Mattea, Michelle

Finally, we would like to say Merry Christmas from the Derksens (Murray, Michelle, Mikaela, and Mattea) from Costa Rica.  Thank you for standing with us as family and friends.  We love you very much and are thankful for the many ways that you find to love us and support us in our international adventures.  We look forward to Mitch & Lauren arriving Dec 21.  Myles & Meagan are spending Christmas with Meagan’s mom in Kelowna.

Murray & Michelle

CMA Canada – Canadian Regional Developers for Latin America & the Caribbean

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6 thoughts on “December Update – Lots of Stories

Add yours

  1. Thanks for the pictures – am glad you’re having a good time with the Braun’s..- don’t eat too much turkey. Love Marianne

  2. I am so glad to see the pic. Too bad I missed you when you came to Guadalajara Murray!! Visit Río Celeste, if you haven’t, in Costa Rica!! It’s a great hike and the most spectacular river, cascades and waterfalls!!

  3. Hey Friends!! SO great to get your good update and see all the great pictures!! Love you to pieces and love the work God is doing through you!! Hugs and prayers!!

  4. We praise The Lord with you for His care in all of our lives. Thanks for giving us the picture tour of your last few months. It is obvious you are strengthened and protected by Him for all that you set your hands to. We love you all. Al and Bon.

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