First off, thank you for your support to allow us to get out to San Carlos and serve the people there!! We had an excellent time, met some wonderful people, and were able to help fulfill a need while we were there!
San Carlos is in the mountains in the northern part of Costa Rica. San Carlos is not quite “rain forest,” but it is very similar in vegetation and temperature. It definitely is different than the city of San Jose where we live. It is filled with beautiful people and beautiful scenery!
We arrived on bus Friday evening about 7 pm. Our team got off the bus and we were waiting for the bus driver to exit so we could get our bags from the storage compartment. As we were waiting, the bus driver closed the doors of the bus and drove off. It took us about 20 seconds of looking at each other with dumbfounded looks on our faces before we realized, “Our bags are still on there!!” Realizing that there was a very small window of opportunity, I tore off through the streets of San Carlos like a mad man chasing after this bus! I was getting looks from all kinds of people who were wondering what in the world was causing this gringo to be sprinting down the street. They were probably expecting to see police chasing after me or something! After a block and a half, the bus got stuck at a red light (PRAISE GOD)! I quickly ran up to the door knocking and displaying my “luggage ticket” so that he would get out and let us get our bags. The bus driver seemed “inconvenienced” that he had to exit the bus to allow us to get our stuff, but I don’t feel too bad… after all, he wasn’t the one sprinting down the street dodging cars and pedestrians in order to get that bay door open! I’d say we’re even! 😉
Saturday morning we woke up, had breakfast and loaded up for some concrete work that needed to be done in one of the neighborhoods that the local ministry had been working in. The building that was being fixed is a “comedor” that is used for the church’s feeding program for the kids in that neighborhood.
We all piled in the back of a pickup truck and were dropped off at the worksite. Me and one other guy made a few trips back and forth to fill the pickup truck with sand and rocks for the concrete mixture. We filled many buckets full of rocks and sand for the mixing machine and took many wheel barrows full of wet concrete into the main room to create the floor.
After 4-5 hours of concrete work we made our way back to the camp and had lunch.
Directly after lunch, we made our way to another local chuch about 15 minutes away. We played with a group of about 55 kids inside of a big concrete gym that was used as a church. One of the teammates pulled out some magic tricks to entertain the kids.
We broke up into groups and played a few games (Amanda totally owned at the game of red-light, green-light!). We then broke into 4 groups and had a competition to see which group could sing their song the loudest. Luckily for my group, we all knew the song we were given… well, at least until we got to the chorus. We started out very strong, singing with all our might, then we hit the chorus. All my kids stopped singing and looked at me. I just shrugged my shoulders and made up some lyrics, singing at the top of my lungs… ALONE. We all had a good laugh…. at the gringo changing the chorus to a common spanish praise and worship children’s song! PERSONALLY, I thought we should have won for creativity, but
group 1 took the gold instead! 😉
After my butchery of the song “Alabare,” we brought all the kids together and sang more songs as a group. Then we did a story of a worm being transformed into a butterfly to symbolize the new birth we recieve in Jesus. After the story, we broke into small groups again for crafts and made our very own catipillars and butterflys!
We really enjoyed our time with the kids here in this community and we look foward to possibly coming back in the near future to serve and love on the kids again.
We were also blessed with the opportunity to meet a missionary who had been working within that community for 50 years! Marion is 91 years old and STILL serving the community there! He was driving us back and forth to the construction site and he gets around very well around the camp!! At the end of our short stay there, he prayed over us and encouraged us to always continue foward in the Call that God has given us regardless of our age. One of the most profound things that Marion shared with us was that regardless of retirement, we are called to serve. Retirement isn’t our time to relax until Jesus comes back, but its our time to press forward and usher the lost into the Kingdom because it is “all worth it.”
Amanda and I hope to have another opportunity to be able to go to San Carlos again soon! Thank you for your prayers and support towards everything that we are doing here in Costa Rica! Please continue to pray that we will to see more doors of ministry open before us and that we will recieve a heart more like God’s. We want to view people more and more like God views them. With His love and with His compassion.
Lastly, we are seeking where God needs us to go after school. We have a few ideas, but nothing is set in stone as of yet. So please, pray for us that we will hear clearly where God wants us to go and that we will be able to discern the difference between OUR desires and God’s.