Watchman on the Wall: Christmas in Costa Rica, Part 2


THE BUNGALOW: Upon arriving I really thought I would be sleeping on Isabel’s sofa. This wonderful family with seven children was a houseful, so Isabel put me up in a beautiful bungalow in the backyard. What an adventure!

My bungalow had a large living room with kitchenette, a spacious bedroom with king size bed, and bathroom that took me three days to figure out how to turn on the hot water. The youngest three girls were a delight and so excited about their new American Sister. They were all fluent in English and helped me with my Spanish.The first thing they wanted to do was help me unpack and were full of questions about everything in my suitcase, all talking at once. It was delightful.

I became a “captive” in their very large backyard which was home to a family of five beautiful, gray, graceful Weimaraner hunting dogs. Papa Esquivel handed me a long rod, and said, “Don’t worry they won’t hurt you. As you walk, keep swinging this rod around you, and that will keep them back. We’ll open the gate each morning at 8 AM and bring you in for breakfast.” So there I was for three weeks going to my bungalow each evening at sundown and was locked in until morning.

It turned out to be fantastic blessing. For years I had tried to get up early to read my Bible and have prayer time to no avail. I’d set my alarm clock and fall back to sleep. I’d get up and be a grouchy bear. It just wasn’t working. At my first church service in Costa Rica, the Pastor preached on prayer and said that Holy Spirit was better than an alarm clock if we were willing to let Him waken us. I said yes that night to a commitment to prayer IF Holy Spirit woke me.

Next morning, I woke up and sat bolt upright in bed, then glanced at the clock – 3 AM! No way; I laid back down. There was a large painting of a ship on a storm-tossed ocean hanging on the far wall. It suddenly began to pulsate with a glowing light. I sat up staring in unbelief. What was happening? Then I remembered my commitment. OK then, Abba had my attention. I got up, put on my robe, made some coffee, got my Bible and journal.
Having five hours every morning for three weeks to study, read, and pray developed into a glorious habit. The presence of the Holy Spirit was tangible as I was engulfed in a time of joy and love, healing and purpose. Throughout the day, I found such peace and joy in all the little things because reading the Bible gives you clearer vision, showing you the world through the eyes of Jesus. Every person you encounter, every detail of life becomes exciting. Perhaps you should ask Holy Spirit to provide you with your own “Bungalow.”

■ Loraine Joy is a small business owner and Arbuckle resident. Contact Loraine at