2017 Costa Rica team gathers for retreat as mission trip nears


Brandon Sudge

April 30, 2016

The Costa Rica mission trip team gathered for its first meeting in November at Browns Bridge, and the leaders told our group that May would come extremely fast.

Five months later, 32 college students gathered at the Woodlands retreat center for a weekend of fellowship, and it was hard to fathom that it actually came this fast. In three weeks, our chance will come to serve the Lord in Costa Rica. Before May 20 came around however, an exciting weekend in Cleveland, Ga. was in store.

The group arrived and became settled, one of the weekend’s best activities was waiting on us. Our leaders — led by personality expert Karen Stubbs — conducted a test to see where each of our team members lie on the personality skill. Ranging from Green (peaceful and laid-back) to the Red group (leading, controlling and responsible), our team was able to gain a better understanding of those around us and be able to decipher who would be best-suited for the tasks at hand in Costa Rica.

That event allowed the team members to become more comfortable with those that we may not know too well. Consequently, the encounters with other students increased and new friendships were able to develop.

The outdoor fun came on Saturday — accompanied by beautiful North Georgia mountain scene and temperatures topping 90 degrees. The group split up and took on the Woodlands’ rope course, which allowed the team to see Friday’s personality test put into action as different students approached the events in different ways. After a quick breather, the group made it to the other side of the campground and took on the zip line — a preview of the adventure day on the Costa Rica trip — and after everyone was able to get past the fear of stepping off of the platform’s edge, many of the group members made their way down the track with smiles and plenty of enjoyment.

The 24-hour gathering concluded with another large group, in which the guys and girls were separated for specific conversations in preparation for the trip. The Woodlands trip allowed the team to become closer, and build bonds with those they may not know too well, in addition to hearing brief talks from our eight leaders on how the Lord can move on this trip.

Whether it be staying faithful in the small responsibilities or past experiences on mission trips, it was a great opportunity for students to hear from those that have an abundance of mission trip knowledge — whether it be your first or 13th international opportunity to serve.

The moment is coming closer, when our group will be off the ground in Atlanta and en route to San Jose, Costa Rica. This gathering just gets you more excited for that day, and we will reconvene one time more for “Lake Day” on May 17 before heading out.




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