These past two days in Costa Rica, and our entire time here, has been absolutely indescribable. This country is so different from our home and we are all a little culture shocked. We are prepared to show this place the joy of Christ.
Day 3 and 4 have been spent working at a school in Pavas, one of the poorest cities in Costa Rica and certainly one of the most heartbreaking. The children at Lomas del Rio are absolutely amazing and have so much potential, if they get the opportunity to stay in school. We have been doing a variety of activities with the students to love on them and share the hope that is in Jesus Christ. From vacation bible school classes to just kicking around a soccer ball, they enjoy every second and I think we may enjoy it even more. These kids light up with a hug or a smile. Though that seems like nothing to most of us, that hug may be the only form of love that they have received all week.
I have gotten the chance to work with some of the older students (4th and 5th graders) and their maturity shocked me. They know what is happening in their lives. They know all of the awful things that are happening in the slums. My only desire is that we can leave them with a little more hope and a lot more Jesus.
We spend over an hour a day with our specific class, then the rest of the time is spent on maintenance. The school is not in great condition, so we have been sanding, scrubbing, and painting walls. Our goal is to obviously beautify the school but also to create an environment where students love coming and have a sense of pride in their school. Great conversations have sparked from the work and our team has bonded immensely. You can surprisingly learn a lot about a person by painting wall with them for multiple hours. I do not have enough kind words to say about our team and it has been amazing to see God working through us to help Costa Rica.
After some free time and dinner, we get together and worship as a team. It is so cool to be in a room with 28 other students and leaders praising our amazing God. That is followed by large group prepared by the leaders and just talking about our day and sharing the experiences and memories we’ve made. Small group and 1-on-1’s follow and we get to discuss things on a more personal level. Our team has grown a lot closer by simply talking to one person and giving that one person their whole heart for any amount of time. If I haven’t made it clear enough, this team is pretty awesome.
Please keep us in your prayers for a safe rest of our trip!
Wow, what an incredible couple of days. Since we’ve landed here in Costa Rica we’ve experienced an incredible bus tour going through San Jose and visiting landmarks of the city. We arrived at the hotel afterwards and had dinner with the Open House (our partner church) staff. We’ve had two great nights of large group consisting of worship and debriefing of the days’ experiences. Tonight for example we sang “Good Good Father”, “Glory to God”, and “Forgiven” followed by planning activities for this week at the children’s center in Pavas.
We planned VBS lessons for the kids, music, arts and crafts, PE, and we will all be participating in maintenance throughout the week.
This morning we had the opportunity to visit Open House and got to see the way our Churches environments work in this wonderful country. First we took a tour of the church and saw the different environments like we have modeled at Watermarke Church. Then we went to the service and experienced worship and a message in Español. The service ended with a song literally written the night before! Afterwards we went to worship a little more with middle school students in Transit. How fun!
Our team here has been so unified! It’s unbelievable. All the leaders have been blown away seeing the students connect even though they go to different schools, different grades, and have different friend groups. Our God is HUGE and we trust he is going to do some AMAZING things.
Thank you all SOOO much for your prayers and support!
Here we go! The 29 of us arrived to the International airport at 8:00am this morning. We got all checked in and met with the Gwinnett Church Insidious Costa Rica team of 13 this as well. We said goodbye to our parents and went through TSA. Please pray for us as we travel! Our flight departs Atlanta at 11:00am and we should arrive in San Jose around 2:30pm. From there we will take a bus to the hotel which is a little over an hour drive. Thanks for your prayers and support! We’ll post again tonight!
– Zach, Leader