“All over the World”…to Costa Rica

This past week I went on a mission trip to Costa Rica with my church. There were 15 people total that went. We split up into two teams and did door to door evangelism and then alot of the youth that went did VBS training for the children in two towns Aguas Zarcas and venecia. I wrote down a day by day journal of thoughts/reactions/God moments:

Day 1: Traveling day

I was up at every hour it seemed like the night before our trip due to the excitement. The anticipation was almost worse than Christmas! lol I finally gave up sleeping around 3:30am and we left for the church an hour later to begin our 3hr drive to the dulles airport. We then flew to Miami which took 2 1/2 hrs flying back over roanoke then we had a hour delay 2:4o hr flight to San hose Costa Rica. Throughout the entire day we had been told the church would pay for a meal on the airplane from Miami to Costa Rica we waited and waited and it never came. so by the time we got to costa rica we were exausted from traveling and starving although some had gotten food at the airport anyway. Once we got to Costa rica we got real Costa rican food. we still had 2hrs on a bus to our hotel and everyone had been up for 20 or more hrs. The hotel was nice for Costa Rica but not what I expected. we got a balcony room with a view of an inactive volcano in the distance.

Day 2: VBS Prep

Morning came too soon after a long day of traveling but the fruit juices that they served at breakfast were delicious. After breakfast and devotions we drove to the church to finish folding flyers, making VBS crafts and posters. Then we walked around the surrounding neighborhoods giving out the invitations to families with kids. Almost every house is surrounded by a gate barring you from knocking on their door so you yell “beunas” loudly to get them to come talk to you and normally they gladly will. There are just as many stray dogs as there are children who roam the streets aimlessly so we had to beware. At one house she said that she goes to different church but thats ok b/c we still serve the same God. 

Day 3: Door 2 Door

After a day of getting to know the area a little bit we split into our groups. 3 NCC people/ 1 national/ and 1 translator. We would knock on the door introduce ourselves, introduce the group, give them the gift of the book of john and then ask the national to explain it. On this day we met this lady who’s husband had died and 5 days later her son in law died, she had diabetes and her blood pressure is through the roof! the government has stopped giving her money for her husband’s disability since he died. So she’s stuggling to make it finacially. but God is faithful and has provided people to help her finacially and with food the past 2 months she could not thank God enough. but she was extremely lonely.  One lady accepted Christ. While we were having these life-changing conversations the VBS team was playing with the kids but Satan was doing his best to keep us away by making Whitney be sick and by having dogs attack us to prevent us from going to certain houses. Satan is real but so is God and God wins in the end.

Day 4: Double Duty

We spent a couple hours doing d2d (door 2 door) @ the 1st VBS location site before lunch then continued until after the VBS was through. We met alot of children and several adults who came to know christ as their Savior. One young lady who was a college student really sticks out in my mind b/c she was very standoffish towards Christians b/c they had always told her that she was cursed b/c she had had 3 children with her bf before they were married although they plan on getting married after they finish school next year. She said she doesn’t think they are a curse but a blessing. hearing this made me mad that Christians would outright say that. Children are a gift from God no matter how they are conceived. Granted he has designed marriage as the time for having children but it doesn’t mean that you are exempt from his love and grace. As pastor Oscar talked about Jesus you could see the battle raging inside her but she said she didn’t want to accept Christ b/c she wasn’t skilled at praying but she did want to have her children dedicated at his church. We went back the next day to see if she had thought about what we said and she told us she had been reading the gospel of John we had left with her so that was encouraging.  I love the culture in Costa Rica it’s so laid back, no one is in a hurry to go anywhere they will give you time and hear what you have to say. kids play freely on the street. The people are so friendly and polite. Someone wondered why we don’t see people in Costa Rica smoking and we came to the conclusion that they love life too much to have it wasted on tobacco or alcohol. It was also the 1st day of VBS in Valencia and was a huge success with 60 kids.

Day 5: Lasts

Lasts can be bitter/sweet. We had our last day of VBS and our last day of sharing the gospel d2d. Although we were exausted from the past few days it was well worth it! Not as many kids showed up to the 2nd VBS which was a blessing in part b/c it meant we could spend more time with the kids that were there.  During the final 3 sessions of the d2d my group only went to 2 houses each times. I realized this week that just b/c some of the people in my group are older than I am or more outgoing or know the spanish language better it was making me feel inadequate in comparison the whole week and I would always be the last one to volunteer to knock on doors and wouldn’t have much confidence doing the work which God had prepared in advance for me to do. But then during morning devotions one of the team members spoke on how we are God’s messenger whether we feel like we are worthy or not b/c he has saved us that is enough. 2nd Corinthians 3:4 Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves but our competence comes from God. After I came to this realization that it’s God who gives us our worth and it doesn’t matter if he can do it more fluently than I can, it all brings him glory I didn’t mind volunteering for houses and had more confidence doing them.

Day 6: A world a way

We started the day with club sandwiches w/butter instead of mayo (the food there was fabulous btw). Then we were whisked away to drop two of the translators off at the bus station before heading off to church. The church was held at the same place where we did VBS and we couldn’t follow anything he was saying b/c it was in spanish and it was translated but it was still difficult to follow. Pastor Oscar’s family cooked lunch for us and it was wonderful to have a true costa rican meal! complete with fresh pineapple juice. We then waited 3 hrs playing hangman and eyespy for the evening church 1hr away at a dairy farm. Kinda smelly, cold, small. With one light hanging from the ceiling. But cool they had a few people play the guitar and whitney sang and lamoreya sang this little light of mine and then we sang spanish hymns. during an electrical storm.

Day 7: Fun in the Sun

Not a typical day at the beach. instead a trip to a top notch resort which had hot springs fed/heated by a volcano. they had water slides that were super fast and zip lines that were so high you couldn’t see the ground and horse back rides to the volcano. My horse loved to be in the lead. The hot springs pool had a wet bar you could swim right up to and order drinks. We stopped at an iguana restaurant and they were in the trees everywhere.
Day 8: God’s in Control

We started the day not as early as when we left to come to costa rica and for that i’m grateful. We took a quick detour to a beautiful souvenir shop then we were jostled down the curvy bumpy roads of Costa Rica one last time to the airport and hugged goodbye to the translators who had become good friends this past week. Then our long adventure home commenced. Our plane left at 2:30 we landed at 7:30 (take into consideration the 2hr time change no we were not in a plane 5hrs) we were then freaking out since we had to get 15 people’s baggaged rechecked and through customs in less than an hour before our plan started boarding!!! We finally made it through sprinting to our next plane and were told it had already left. While we were rebooking a flight attendant came out and told us that it hadn’t left PRAISE GOD!! However our luggage didn’t make it so we had to go a couple days without our luggage but we made it to dulles and then those who had to be at work the next morning drove 4hrs to roanoke at 1:30am while the rest of us drove to a hotel and we got there at 3:30am. It was crazy but it was fun. I miss the peacefulness of Costa rica.

I’ll always remember: rocking chairs on every porch, dogs everywhere, the curvy bumpy roads, beautiful children, people who cared and were willing to listen, the care free low key culture, trusting God despite of awful circumstances, delicious fruit/fruit juices, beautiful scenery/flowers, exotic animal, “You…You’ve Got what I need…but you say I’m just a friend…, “He touched me…Yea he touched me”, “Hallelujah”,  “Get out your feelings”,

Published in: on July 21, 2011 at 3:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

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