Mission Trip Report - Costa Rica, Central America, 7/5/2008 to 7/14/2008 Adventures in Missions

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Costa Rica, Central America
Youth Group

Trip Dates:  7/5/2008 to 7/14/2008
Age Group:  Senior high school students
Status: Completed
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   Reports for Costa Rica Trip
trip update 10

7/13/2008  By: Rachel

Hey everyone! Thanks so much for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. It has blessed us so much to have your hearts praying for all of us here in Costa Rica. This week has been so amazing, and I donīt even know where to begin. I guess for me, this trip has been about building relationships with the pastor and his family, people in the church, people in our youth group, and especially God. Today, we led most of the church service. It was so incredible to be singing in another language but to the same God I intimately know and love. Towards the end of the service, Victor, the pastor, wanted to pray for us. His wife Luz, who I have grown to love dearly, came around and gave us all hugs. We were all crying as we thought about having to leave soon. Then the praying began. People we had never met came up and began praying for us in a language we donīt know, but you could just feel Godīs presence and love surrounding us. People we may never see again were on their faces, bawling and praying for our group. We were filled with so many emotions-sadness, joy, love, happiness- all of it so overwhelming. After the prayer almost all of us were crying, and we thought the service was over. Fortunately, we were mistaken. Victor said that he wanted to dance with us. You could see this look on everyoneīs face like, "Oh, alright. This should be interesting." Oh, and it was :) I am not sure if I have ever felt more alive with God. We just danced and jumped and praised God with our whole bodies. It was such a beautiful thing just to see everyoneīs joy through dancing for their Saviour. This was an experience that I will never forget for the rest of my life. Soon we will be going out and participating in our last "ministry session" here in Costa Rica. We are full of mixed feelings: excitement that we can be home soon, sadness that we have to leave this beautiful place and these wonderful people, anticipation of a good nightīs sleep and no more rice and beans ha ha, but most of all, a longing for this feeling of being so close to God to go on for forever. We could all use your praeyrs for safe travels and for when we are home that we can continue shining Christīs love and sharing His words with everyone around us. We love you all.
Por la gloria de Dios,

trip update 9

7/13/2008  By: Joe

Well the service today was great. Shavon, Kristina, and Megan all shared their awesome testimonies. Also Adam G. preached to us today and did a great job. After that we prayed for Victorīs family and the congregation and the town. Then the congregation prayed for us. I think we were all crying, but then we danced like maniacs. We will explain later. Anyways we are starting to pack up. Itīs `pretty sad.

Update 8

7/11/2008  By: Kristina

As I write it is rainy outside, but not even rain wil stop us. People are busy painting, washing, and visiting families who attended the movie last night. This week sure has been busy, especially the last couple days. Nevertheless the work God has given us to do is worth the tiresome days and rice bloated stomachs. Last night we showed the movie Pilgrimīs Progress for the community. Even though I couldnīt understand a word of it, I would still say it went well. I had the opportunity to sit by a sweet, little girl I met named Gabriela. She had the hugest crush on Thomas and it was so hilarious. After the movie we had the opportunity to celebrate our very own Lucasī birthday. There was cake, singing, and a very sentimental prayer by Victor, the generous pastor who allows us to stay in his church. Today, on the other hand, my group, Shavon, Joe, Hayden, and me, went on a prayer walk. We prayed about everything on our hearts and let me tell you it was a very emotional and amazing time with God and each other. The day isnīt over yet and neither is the week. I love it here, Luz, Victor, the AIM staff, and the translators are so nice, understanding, and thoughtful. Iīm excited to see what else is going to happen on this trip. God works in amazing ways, thatīs all I can say. To all of you out there reading this, thanks for your support and prayers, and be prepared to hear about an amazing trip when we come back.

July 11 2008 7

7/11/2008  By: Kecia Kosins

Well today it was hot, yesterday it was hot and I think it will be hot tomorrow too!

Weīve been doing so much for the church lately. There is alot of construction to do around here so we are always busy. Besides that weīve been doing VBS, a group went to the retirement home and did puppets, weīve passed out beans, rice, and sugar, and weīve done prayer walks. But VBS is done now and we already miss the kids. We are getting alot done in a short amount of time. For the girls, nights are very interesting between cats, bats and roosters. And I learned from one of our translaters that instead of cock a doodle do, roosters say key key da key. I love seeing how God is working in each of us. Weīre all really enjoying this trip.

p.s. rice and beans.

July 8 Wednesday Report 2 6

7/10/2008  By: Megan Meulink

Today was our last day of VBS. I really enjoyed the two days I got to spend with the kids. It was so much fun to try to combine our little bits and pieces of each otheīsīlanguages to speak with each other. Some of our group put stucco on the wall outside this morning and we were going to finish that this afternoon, but it began to rain right after we started. Since the rain changed our plans for the afternoon, we went inside to worship and pray.

Iīm so thankful for the group of people we have on this trip. Weīve all worked together so well and have done a great job putting up with all our little annoyances. Iīve hardly heard any complaining even though we eat the same rice and beans for every meal, drink warm water all day long, and weīre always covered in sweat. Instead of complaining, everyone has been so thankful for what we do haveŅ indoor plumbing, ceiling fans in our sleeping rooms, daily showers, great supportive leaders, three square mealls provided by our wonderful cooks, translators who help us communicate )thank goodness!= and a God who loves us and goes with us every step of the way!

Weīve had so much time to do Godīs will and hear his voice, instead of listening to our voice or Satanīs voice. My hope and prayer for all of us is that we do what it takes to maintain this close relationship with God when we go back home.

P.s. Pastor Ron please pray for our church service on Sunday. It will be 2 hours after yours.

Wednesday July 8th 5

7/10/2008  By: Adam Reneker

Yesterday was the first day group three )Megan Meulink, Rachel, Lucas, Kylie, and Adam Reneker= went to VBS. It was an awesome experience. We had about 35 very attentive kids who were great to hang out with. It was very strange for me to not be able to speak to them very well, but we communicated surprisingly well. We had translators for the lesson, but other than that, we were on our own for communication.

The group that wasnīt at VBS went to a catholic nursing home with nuns as nurses. The group gave a puppet presentation and in between songs gave their testimonies and presented the gospel. Only four of the fifteen elderly audience members fell asleep.

In the afternoon, one group painted at the church and wire brushed cement fences. Another group did door to door evangelism, and ours went on a prayer walk. A prayer walk is when you walk around the town and just pray about things you see.

This morning was our last VBS. It was extremely hot and the kids were little uneasy, but when it was time for them to listen, they did an awesome job. The group that wasnīt at VBS today started stuccoing the cement fence that another group wire brushed the day before.

The afternoon was supposed to be full of more stuccoing, giving beans and rice to needy families in the church, and a prayer walk. God had other plans. It started pouring around 145. We all went into the church and had a time of prayer and worship. It was really awesome to be able to just spend the time with God during our busy schedule. After prayer and worship, we worked on our service for sunday morning and our translators, who were supposed to help us when giving out beans and rice, gave us some helpful tips on singing the songs in spanish. All in all it has been an awesome day in which we have all learned that Godīs plan, although different is better than ours. His way, we got to spend time with him, and we will accomplish our tasks sceduled for today, tomorrow. Maybe.

Update 4

7/8/2008  By: Hillary

The trip so far is going very well...The family that is hosting us is very welcoming and you can see theyīre trying to take care of us in every way. As every day passes our relationship with them grows stronger, which is really neat because weīre the first AIM group here. The other day Luz, the pastorīs wife, said she was going to miss us when we leave.
On another thought we have had two days of VBS already. Amazingly God has made the language barrier pretty nonexistent. More kids joined the second day as well, encouraging us because the children really want to come.
The food is plentiful and water is clean, however, we just want chocolate ha ha. One other item, we are truly experiencing this cultureīs food, which is cool. Everything is going amazing and I canīt wait to see what God opens our eyes up to next.

Howdy! 3

7/8/2008  By: Lucas

Luke signing in, wishing you all a great day. Things have been so good and God has been blessing us tremendously. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. Continue to lift us up in prayer and pray that God would continue to bless us. The kids are making such an impact on all of our lives. And the people here are making us feel so welcome. Dios te bendiga!

Update 2

7/7/2008  By: Adam with the dark hair! ha ha

So far our trip to Costa Rica has been amazing! After saying farewell to all our beautfiful families we loaded the church vans and started out on our three hour van ride to Ohare airport in Chicago. The ride was full of conversation, laughing, and the annual u turn! ha ha When we got to the aiport we got through security smoothly and sat and slept for two hours in the terminal. We boarded our flight full to Guatemala City where we had a one and a half hour layover before our flight to San Jose, Costa Rica. From San Jose we had a four hour bus ride to Santa Cruz. We arrived at the church at 3 p.m. and began our night of much needed showers, good dinner, and relaxation. Today we woke up and got dressed for church. We sat through a traditional latin church service, which included singing, a sermon, and communion. The rest of the afternoon we passed out fliers and invited kids to VBS. We then walked through the heat into town to buy much appreciated cold yummy ice cream. Then it was shower time and next is dinner. It is absoltely beatufiul here even during the daily evening rain. As I write this I am sitting on the covered porch in the heat, smelling dinner cooking, while the rain pours down as it has for the last two hours which cools everything down! So far it has been an unforgettable experience and we canīt wait for VBS and outreach to start!

Travel-Dia Uno-Dia Dos 1

7/7/2008  By: Shavon

Travel was interesting, staying up all night and then not being able to sleep on the plane. It was an insanely surreal feeling, and still is. It is yet to sink in that Iīm in Costa Rica! The drive to the church was incredibly long, but yet very cool. I never thought about how the roads would be, it was interesting to be travelling on one road without a bunch of exit ramps and road signs. Arriving at the church I was expecting to see worse conditions, but was very happy that I could relate to this church, reminds me of small churches back home. The sleeping conditions is not what Iīm sued to, but itīs nice. Livign out of a suitcase isnīt doing me well, constantly in it. I wish I had a dresser, so bad. As for the food, not really what I was exptecting, more fruit, but the rice is muy bien, very good. On the other hand, Iīm sick of beans. Church service was very awesome, worship was nice to listen to although I didnīt know what was being said most of the time. It was amazing to see everyone emotional and although I couldnīt speak to anyone I knew most of them but all their trust in Him and know it is all going to turn out well. Me with my human ways, isnīt able to do that yet, and I canīt wait til the day I can let it all go and give my worries to God! Not that the peope down here arenīt human! Walking to the ice cream place and handing out fliers was amazing, learning more culture and the way things work down here. The days here on out will be amazing, especially getting to talk to other people. Needless to say, but Iīm going to say it anyways, Iīm super pumped for the rest of the trip and watching the team show Godīs amazing power. Few things Iīm missing from home, but I know by the time I get home IĻll want o be back. oh, also the storms-rain is amazing because of the cool off. For now from Costa Rica, adios!

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Warsaw Evangelical, IN (David McBeath)

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