Hey friends and family!! Day One thus far has been a great start to our trip! After arriving at the hotel, we headed straight to a amazing, much needed lunch followed by a Cultural Orientation lead by the Openhouse Church staff. Openhouse Church is a strategic partner of North Point Ministries in San Jose, Costa Rica with the same mission of leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, and providing a church that un-churched people love to attend. The Pastor’s wife, Ashley Gonzalez, gave an awesome presentation mentally preparing us for the week, what it will look like, we will be experiencing, things we will see, etc. After that, the staff directed us to our buses and took us on a tour of the city of Pavas (where Openhouse is located beside), one of the poorest cities in Costa Rica with 20% living in poverty, 45% of those being children and adolescents. We visited a couple of the locations we will be serving this week, Centurio de Esperanza (Center of Hope) and Lomas Elementary School. The Center of Hope has been a breeding ground of hope for the children in that area, and they have expanded extensively within the past year. Other teams have come and painted walls, murals, and the North Point Ministries BE Rich Campaign donated $15,000 which will go towards a brand new kitchen for the center to feed nearly 500 children, which is significantly more than how many they can feed now. Ashley was overcome with emotion while she was speaking about how God has provided for this Center of Hope, which has been the heart of her home in Costa Rica for the past five years. It is an honor just to play a small role in this project alongside Openhouse, and after hearing the heart and the story behind the centers we are serving at, our 48 hearts are even more excited to get going in the morning! After wrapping up our tour of the Centers, we went to a fun little market filled with merchandise and expertly crafted trinkets of all sorts. Some of us are already regretting spending half of our souvenir money…(but its fine). From wooden coffee mugs to handmade jewelry, to fancy, flowy elephant pants, our team had so much fun exploring this area of San Jose. Now we are here at the hotel getting ready to eat dinner, and then HIT THE HAY. The majority of us have gone from 10 to about a 1.5 currently, but we’re powering through and are thankful to have a restful sleep in this nice hotel tonight.
We miss you all and send our love!!