Friday, July 20, 2012

Costa Rica: Day Three--7/19

We were picked up by this bus from the airport.

We love our kitchen ladies! They feed us SO well. :)

Coloring with some kiddos(7/18)

Thursday involved making care packages of food to take to families in one of the poorest areas. The people in surrounding areas view these homes as eye sores. We were able to take 12 bags of food to 12 different homes. We asked the families if they had any prayer requests, prayed for them, and gave them the food. In one of the homes there was a grandmother taking care of her grandchildren while her daughter went to work. There were eight people living in a very small, narrow, home. Thanya, Shane, Rachel, Daniel, and I were in the home praying and it was so sweet to see how affected Thanya was as she tried to hold back her tears. We all were moved by the welcoming attitude despite how little each of these families had. It was also really cool to be able to be prayed for by one of the recipients. Even though we were praying in English and she was praying in Spanish it was so touching to be prayed over. We quickly gathered some kids and began blowing bubbles, playing soccer, and coloring with chalk and crayons.

Our next outing involved traveling to Juan Pablo, a place very near and dear to those who went to Costa Rica last year. In Juan Pablo, the 2011 team built two houses and we got to go back and see how the families have been since last year. Tears were shed and hugs exchanged pretty quickly as we made our appearance. For me, as a first timer, it was super sweet to see the bond and connection that my team members made the previous year. It was an absolutely beautiful afternoon. A group of our team and several locals got a soccer game started in four foot high grass. I kid you not, it was literally that high. I hope someone happened to get video footage of the running because it was highly amusing. Daniel reached out to Jeremy, who had some special needs, it was such a tender moment as I watched them interact. He, the towering American, and Jeremy, a little Tico with the largest smile I've seen in a while :) Thanya also got attached to Jeremy and she sat cuddling with him against one of the homes. Isabella was chasing and playing with two siblings, a brother and sister, and by the end of the afternoon the little girl slowly released the grip of her crayons and fell fast asleep in her arms. During the midst of the game, Carson and Lexi collided and Lexi was in a lot of pain. Which resulted in a trip to the hospital that did not definitively say what was wrong with Lexi, but she did not break anything, Praise the Lord!

Group chapel was lead by a 6:8 staffer who shared from Isaiah 58. The whole chapter talks about how the people of Israel think they are dedicated to the Lord and giving him the proper sacrifices etc. However, the fast that the Lord chooses is one that releases us from our stuff. As Americans, we are so "fulfilled" by our things that we cling to them. How about fasting and going to take your meal to the homeless? Or not donating your crappy clothing items and shoes to the homeless but giving your very best? More often than not, our things own us rather than us owning our things. And when we become so selfless and unconcerned with material items that won't last, we will give freely.

Our personal group time (we do group chapel with Celebration church) was really great. We had affirmations, which is when everyone draws a name at the beginning of the day and watches how God uses them during the day. It is one, encouraging to hear about things that other people notice that we don't think twice about, two, it is neat to see how God shows himself through us. After we had people affirmations we went around and affirmed God. How he spoke to us, showed himself to us, convicted, or made each of us aware about his characteristics.

Shane with Jose Antonio.

The little girl that eventually fell asleep in Isabella's arms.

Trooper Lexi! She stayed so positive through all of this :)

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