On July 8, 2013 I had the privilege of joining 29 others in a life changing missions trip to Costa Rica where our focus was working with children and their families. We prepared for months and while we have returned home, our trip to Costa Rica was only the beginning of our mission.
I have sat at my computer trying to put into words an experience that transformed who I am, yet, I’m finding it a challenge to articulate that experience because it was so much more than going to Costa Rica to do good. We went to be a blessing to those who we served, yet we were blessed immensely. We saw God’s favor upon us everywhere we went. Our team worked in harmony and in the power of peace–yes, all 30 of us. Halfway through our trip, I emailed my husband and shared a very brief glimpse into one of our team experiences and I told him something to the effect of “our team is so close, I would trust anyone of them with my children and you know that is a huge statement coming from me.” It’s true. More on this at a post to follow.
I pondered sharing with you a day-by-day recount of our trip, but it would be too lengthy and painful for me to write it all out. So I’m going to share my favorite photos so you can see what we did and I’ll ramble a little here about what stood out the most of the events in the slideshow photos.
- I loved being in the jungle climate although I was confused because I couldn’t find the jungle I had imagined. I’d describe the jungle where we were more like the countryside where I grew up (in Puerto Rico).
- I loved driving through the rainforest.
- I did not love the risky/aggressive driving. I made my own break pedal on the passenger’s side (front seat).
- We really did eat rice + beans at every meal, even breakfast…and I LOVED it!
- The poverty that we saw broke my heart. The way the men work in the banana plantations, being human mules practically, broke my heart. Knowing that the little boys that played with us will most likely grow up to do the same thing broke my heart.
- The way the kids and the people in the jungle loved on us humbled my heart.
- A soccer ball is a universal language
- Children will laugh at you if you mispronounce “ganso” (goose). They will also love you if you give them time…to play…to laugh…to smile …to make them feel special…to see hope.
- Watching my CRamily member, Octavia, get water baptized outdoors spontaneously was God giving us both the desire of our hearts. Me because I had wanted to witness the outdoor water baptisms going on at church while we were gone and Octavia because she had wanted to participate in said water baptism. She got her very own!
- Riding on the roof of our vans because we were wet was fun.
- Praying with my team for a lady with back pain and witnessing God heal her was awesome!
- Flexibility was our keyword and “it’s not about me” was our motto. Both came in handy when it was raining and there was no plan B. We went with plan A cheerfully.
- Dancing in the rain was liberating and fun. (if you’re counting, that’s two days straight we were wet).
- Saying good-bye was not easy.
I will be sharing my favorite photographic moment of the trip as well as more from the entire trip in the coming days.