Tuesday, July 20, 2010
One month ago yesterday, I stepped foot onto the beautiful soil of Costa Rica. I haven't stopped thinking about the trip since then. Now I know when people come back from mission trips each has a testimony, each has a story. I do have my story, but I feel like I have 13 other stories as well. What blessed me beyond belief was seeing our youth minister, seeing our youth bless others, seeing them be blessed.
For the past 5 years we have watched them grow up. We have laughed with them, cried with them, tried not to pull our hair out over them, loved them. They have matured beautifully into young men and women of the Lord.
Our church here is a traditional church. The Methodist church in Costa Rica was very charismatic. During the worship some people were dancing, some danced with flags. Many raised their hands in worship and were very passionate. Our first Sunday there was Father's Day and all the fathers came to the front. The children surrounded them and we all stretched out our hands to pray for them. W and I have been in every church imaginable, so all of this wasn't a shock for us. The youth, being in a different kind of church though, did awesome. They worshiped God alongside the Costa Ricans and never questioned the differences.
During the mornings when we worked remodeling the church, they gave it their all. Cleaning, scraping, sanding, painting...I never heard a complaint.
For 3 days a few of us worked on a gate in the back of the church. We had to clean it with wire brushes then sand it, then paint it. Both sides of this huge 12 foot wall. On the other side of the gate was an alleyway where homeless people would come and use the bathroom (both #1 and #2). It smelled awful. Doris, one of the women at the church came and power washed the #2s away but it was still rough smelling. Our youth pressed on, finished the job and had a great attitude the whole way.
I love these teenagers. I feel like they teach me how to be a better person and look to the Lord all the more. And they make me laugh :)