This last week has served as a great opportunity to jump right into the weekly ministry of the New Life Church and visibly see the immediate fruit, as well as the fruit from past years. Where does this fruit come from? Is it because I have chosen to give up a summer to be a good person? Is it because it makes the youth feel good when they are praised by others? Or is it because we serve an ALL consuming God who jealously seeks ALL, wants ALL, and desires ALL credit and glory for the opportunities we are provided?
The obedience of the youth leadership team, the missionaries, and visiting teams, as well as the New Life Church to follow the call to GO, has been used as a tool in His "strong hand". What does this mean? This means that fruitful disciples are being produced, that hope and joy are being found in Christ, and that lives are radically being lived with a different purpose. What does this mean for you and me? How awesome it is and how thankful I am, to have had the opportunity to witness and experience the ways in which God moves people within these areas! And how awesome it is, that through your prayer, support, and encouragement, you have joined me in this opportunity to serve.
Gretel, Jose', and Victoria are some of the newest kids to La Finca. They were just another three kids playing with balloons, getting into trouble, and having fun...or so I thought! As they continued to look me up and down, I began praying for the courage to muster up my best Spanish speaking skills. I asked myself various questions in this process. I wondered things like, "Where did they come from?" and "What is their story?" As they sat next to me, I asked them their names and began talking to them. After a short period of time, I told them I was not staying for the Show de Jabon (Soap Show/Kids Club) because I was not feeling well. As I began walking away, I heard "Esperame, esperame!" ("wait, wait!") After stopping, I was greeted by a tug on my shoulder and these three kids...not understanding why I had to leave... asked when they would see me again. I look forward to seeing them again and anticipate how the Lord will work in their lives.
The older youth group meets weekly as well. After playing two games of Spoons, enjoying a warm plate of Arroz con Pollo (one of my favorites!), we were lead through Scripture by Melinda, who leads the youth group. We looked at not only what God is to each of us individually, but as the body of Christ. This time served as a great opportunity for the youth to better understand the characteristics of God through Scripture.
Every week a team from Los Guido (the primary ministry area) travels to La Carpio for discipleship groups. La Carpio is also known as the "trash can" of Costa Rica. This area receives over 300 tons of trash and waste every day. I had the opportunity to visit this little guy as he welcomed us with great joy and excitement. During my time with him, I was able to listen to him share his longing to understand, memorize, and teach the gospel.