This week has been one of adventure, excitement, and opportunity. Although the trip is coming to an end; ministry activities, building relationships, and work projects have continued to create memories and experiences that will last much longer than the duration of this trip.
After a relaxing Monday and Tuesday, which consisted of putting in place the beginnings to painting three bedrooms in the mission house, Wednesday was a surprise. Every Wednesday we set out to La Carpio (the trash can of Costa Rica), for discipleship groups. Walking the streets with eyes and heart open, Mark and I visited a home were two kids (Michelle and Natalie) waited patiently. As the making of two young disciples was taking place, I continually thought about River Dos (the second river). Just recently Mark took the leadership team into this area which they call the second river. A week or so ago was only the second time. When Mark became interested and drawn to go to this place for the first time he was reminded by a local and member of the ministry of the saying that that has branded this area and its people. That is "Anyone who goes in there will come out with nothing!" Mark asked me if I wanted to visit this river and see the areas they had visited just a few days ago. With no hesitation I said, "Yes!" So we went. When Mark and the team visited this area for only a short period of time, roughly 50 heard and responded to the gospel showing interest in someone returning, both eager and willing to begin a discipleship group. It was yet another reminder of what mighty and great things can come of these areas.
My weapon of choice...the brush!!! This last week has been packed with great work projects and various opportunities to work. Primarily I have and will continue to focus on painting three bedrooms at the mission house for the duration of the trip. As I continue painting a few of the bedrooms at the mission house I also have the opportunity to work around La Finca in Los Guido tomorrow completing some miscellaneous work projects.
Fun With the Leadership Team!
Tomorrow evening we will continue with the Saturday Soap Show, the Show de Jabon. This time is full of fun, playing and laughing with the kids. Kids...mud...and candy...a dangerous combination for fun. Sunday, although it will be the last Sunday is a blessing and a great opportunity. Ending the trip with great food, prizes, a piñata, and presenting the leadership team with letters, gifts, and my favorite See's candy (Scotchmellow) will be an awesome way to express my love, friendship, and thankfulness for their willingness to serve.
For the visits to the second river of La Carpio. That these people would be vulnerable to and absorb God's word. That these people would find hope and comfort through a lifestyle only provided through Christ. That God would allow for an area to be built up as a "safe zone" to be used for outreach events through future visiting teams. That God would place a hedge of protection around those who have accepted Christ and shown an eagerness to love and learn God's word.
For the leadership team. That these young kids would continue to find encouragement and motivation in God's word to serve, love, and make disciples. That they would focus in school and pass their classes. That God would protect them as they return each night from these ministry activities to a home that is dark, missing parents, dangerous, and often unhealthy living conditions.
For duration of this trip. That God would continue using me as He desires. That God would be glorified in all work that is done and words that are spoken. That I would continue to pour my love into these kids and the ministry here in Costa Rica. That the relationships with these kids would be everything but temporary. That the kids I have remained pen pals with over the last 2+ years since my first visit would stay involved and continue running after Christ and away from the things and conditions of this world.
For the completion of the feeding center. That finances would continue to remain steady. That God would place a hedge of protection around La Finca and utilize this building to a maximum capacity. That the weather permits the construction process to remain consistant. That all glory be given to God throughout the duration of the building process. That God would continue to keep His faithful hand placed over this building. That God would begin preparing the hearts and lives of those who will some day visit this building.