Costa Rica Missions Update #1

December 29, 2017

Hola from Costa Rica!

On Wednesday night our plane arrived in the San Jose, Costa Rica airport! We all found ourselves in a new country with mixed excitement and nervousness. Pastor Rayner Rojas and his wife Sarah picked us up and we drove to the church that we are partnering with, La Vina Palmares.  We got there at midnight and we were all very tired and got to sleep after the long day of travel.

Morning comes early in Costa Rica with a 5:30 sunrise!  Unlike the snow deserts of Indiana, the sun was shining, and the temperature was already at 70 degrees.  The “Catering Team” came and made us a wonderful breakfast of “Gallo Pinto.”  There was also the best coffee in the world! (I have probably had 5 cups just today!)  I was utterly entranced by the countryside.  There is an awesome view of the town and the mountains.  I was able to sit there and read my Bible and ask God to take over our team!  And boy did He!

We all left the church together and split up into different groups to do different acts of service.  One group poured a new cement floor in a house.  Another group went and painted a house for this family that needed to move.  My group had the opportunity to help that family move from their crumbling house into the new house which the church was providing.  There was a Grandma named Mariaellos and her husband Jose Maria; they had owned the house for 5 years.  Most of their children (now adults) had come to visit for the New Year, so we got to meet their family, and we had many hands to help us.  The house was falling into shambles!  The walls had holes in them, there were no doors, the roof had almost caved in, and water would leak onto the poor lady’s bed.  When we lifted the mattresses, dozens of giant cockroaches fell out.  It was definitely not pleasant.

Ben Shoemaker and I walked all around the house with her and with her son Minor (This family spoke no English, and we had to communicate entirely in Spanish.).  They showed us how rats had eaten the stone foundation, and water was leaking, hastening this process. Very soon this house would fall.  It was heartbreaking. 

Because the situation was so serious, we were extremely excited to move EVERYTHING-refrigerators, beds, pots, books, pictures.  We moved everything into a trailer which dropped stuff off at the new house.  After a couple trips, an incredibly nice man with a huge truck stopped to help us. We were able to take everything in just one trip! That was such a blessing from God. The family was incredibly excited to move into their new home, and they cried when we finished.

While we were there, God gave me the opportunity to pray with Mariaellos.  I asked how she was doing and she said “Very bad.”  She then listed off physical ailments in her family and then said that on top of all of that the house had almost fallen apart.  It seemed very dark in that moment.  Right then God told me that I needed to pray for her.  I thought it would be extremely difficult (Especially since it was in Spanish!).  However, I decided to press through so I could partner with God and love this woman.  So I prayed.  Nothing fancy, just a prayer offered in faith.  What she said next struck me.  She said that everything has been dark lately, but the church and us have been an even brighter light.  She began to cry and thanked me for loving her family.

That was inspiring! What a confidence boost!  God is with us down here, and everyone can see it!  I am so grateful that God has worked all of these little steps (and big steps) out so that that beautiful moment of love could be shared.  I cannot wait to see what he does through the rest of this trip.  We just need to walk though this mission together!


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