Today is day 13 for me here in Costa Rica. I am alive and glad to be here!! Thanks to everyone’s generous support, and God’s supreme goodness, my financial needs were met in the last hours as I packed, and boarded the plane. Thank you, God! And thank you all for helping me get here.
The past almost 2 weeks have been a whirlwind of many things. One of my first priorities was getting settled into my new room, getting to know my host family, and I’m still working on getting to know the area around my house.
Here is a picture of me with my host (grand)parents Xinia and Guillermo, a picture of some sentimental decorations in my new room, and a picture of one of my newest friends- the cat named Suli, who sometimes keeps me company in the evenings if I leave my door open.
After I had a few days to get settled, I began to learn how close the church is to my house, and went in a few days to help with preparations for our Conexion Kids 4 day overnight camp (ohmy!) that went from Thursday morning until midday this Sunday. I helped sort, stack, and staple many booklets for children and leaders. What a joy!
The camp was held at a campsite up near the very tippy top of a mountain about an hour away from the church. It was a blessing to be able to attend with our 18 kiddos. I worked as the assistant to the woman in charge of planning all the games and activities- we were constantly moving: setting up cones, filling up water balloons, setting up scavenger hunts, taping out foursquare courts, you name it! Even though we had to practically climb up and down the side of the mountain to get from one cabin to another, and even though I forgot sunscreen and bug spray… and even though I am still tired… and even though I was so nervous- I would for sure say it was all worth it, because when I got there and started talking with some of our 8-12 year olds- when I saw their hearts, and remembered, “oh yeah, this is why I came…” then it was all worth it. Each of the kids is so special, and I can’t wait to get to know them better, learn, worship, and live alongside them-- the kids and of course all the other leaders that I have met so far.
Here is a picture of the sunset view from how high up in the mountain we were. Many of the kids had never seen a sunset like that because they live (like me now) in the city, tight between houses and other houses. What a blessing it was.
And this picture below was part of an activity we did. The theme for camp this year was identity- talking about all God says we are. For this activity, we went through the forest before the kids and taped Bible verses to trees. We had one leader wait behind each tree, and after dark, we led the kids through this metaphorical walk of life and Christianity with only a few flashlights. The leaders would come out from behind the tree, read the Bible verse, a thought to ponder, and sometimes pray or sing with us before we moved onto the next station. In the middle we denounced the old identities the World gives us, and at the end (the picture above) we claimed the new identity that God gives us. Around a campfire we had all the kids shouting, “I am chosen! I am beloved! I am forgiven! I am of great value!” What a moment to be alive :)
Thank you all so so much for your support!! I could not be here without you and I am so thankful for all your prayers and encouraging notes.
Some ways to lift us up in your prayers:
- Health- still adjusting to higher elevation, needing extra sleep while language learning, praying against stomach bugs!
- Patience and grace- being tired sometimes means being grumpy- and so does not understanding a lot of what’s happening around you. I often find myself doing a lot of waiting because of that. And sometimes I get upset with myself because I feel I should be doing more!
- Routine- here we are close enough to the equator, that our light and dark hours are almost even- the sun comes up fully bright by 5:30am, and it gets dark around 6pm- please pray that I can adjust from my old late night RA schedule to get to sleep on time, feel well rested, and participate fully in the life that happens here.
- Relationships- making friends even in a culture you already understand still takes a while, but it’s even harder when you’re the new girl and barely speak the same language. Please pray for, not just my relationships, but all of us on the church staff, as part of the church body, as part of my host family- that we can all learn about each other, treat each other well, have patience and grace, and build deeper relationships to love and serve each other better.
- Father- That we can all be continually reminded of how great our father’s love for us, our need for him in our lives, and aware of his drawing us nearer.
Please let me know how I can be praying for you as well! It’s a reciprocal relationship, and I’m so thankful for your support, I want to be supporting you as well! Feel free to reach out to me through WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, or email. I would be glad just to hear how you are doing :)