15 de Septiembre – Macy
After eating breakfast and heading out to the center, we arrived and split to fill water balloons and begin face painting. I’m so impressed with how well this team serves each other- whether it’s filling up water balloons in a chain or cleaning each other’s dishes after meals.
Once we filled bags full of water balloons, we got to hang out with the big kids (10-12 year olds). We played a game called Linked followed by Birdie on a Perch and finished with mayhem as water balloons whizzed by heads and the joyful screams filled the air. We then split again into two teams- painters and helpers.
The painters made phenomenal progress today- the room is almost completely done! Hopefully one more hard day of painting and it will be finished!
The routine of today was much like yesterday’s- lunch, teeth brushing, nap time, play time, snack time, more play time, and lots of laughter and hand holding along the way. However, each day lends itself to a completely new experience- New children, new play times, new laughter, new love. Personally, my heart is so full as I wrap up my night. From the winking faces of a little boy I received as I scooped rice onto his spoon, to rubbing the backs of the children as they drifted into their naps and having the opportunity to pray over them, to finally playing whether it be building houses out of giant blocks or with baby dolls. I am touched tonight by the amount of unconditional love the kids have for us, the teachers have for their kids, and God has for each of us. Each child we continue to encounter steals a piece of our hearts and we don’t mind if they keep it!
Joy. Pure joy. Whether it’s from the laughter of a child being tickled, a silly face at lunch, the quiet moments at nap time, or the small hand of a child wrapping around your fingers. We return exhausted, but joyful thanks to the children of Quince. Looking forward to another great day tomorrow!
El Manantial – Hannah F.
Taking care of the babies was such a blast. They’re a lot of work, but it’s worth it when you watch 10 kids, each less than 2 years old, bow their heads and thank Jesus for giving them food to eat. I’m amazed that somebody who still needs to be spoon fed has such an appreciation for God. I put them to sleep after lunch, and I just marveled at these kids who are so incredibly joyful, yet they have so little. Their situations are all varying degrees of bad, but they all come to me with a big grin on their faces. El Manantial provides a safe environment for these kids to just rejoice and take in the love of the Lord. I really appreciate all the blessings I have in my life after seeing how grateful these kids are for the small amount they have.
Finca San Juan – Hannah H.
Today was my first day playing with the kids at the center and it was such a humbling experience. After we set up some stations for the children, they all came running in to the courtyard and immediately started playing and interacting with us. I started jumping rope with two beautiful girls and one of them, named Colet, and I immediately bonded. She followed me around for the rest of the day and most of my time was spent giving her piggy back rides. I ran, danced, and limboed all while Colet was on my back. She loved having someone to show off to all the other children there and loved holding my hand while dragging me around all over the place. Being ridden on all day sure tested my back strength, but also made me realize that these kids get the biggest joy out of the smallest things. One game, craft, or dance session could make their afternoon and it felt so good for a change to see them go home because they were all so ecstatic with the fun morning. The feelings I got watching these happy children walk home confirmed my reason for coming to Costa Rica to serve.
On another happy note, after lunch today we took a break from all our hard work and played a soccer game with the whole team, professional painters included. The game was incredibly fun, not to mention that my team won and I scored a goal. Running around with the team instead of the little kids made me realize that you don’t necessarily have to be physically serving to be working in someone’s heart. Who knows, playing soccer with the painters could have radically changed their views for the rest of the week or every time they see a soccer ball, maybe they’ll think of our fun game.
Physically working and playing alike, we are doing a good work here in Costa Rica and today gave me both views of how to serve. I cannot wait to share the rest of our days serving this amazing country.