We were blessed to participate in the church service at the Methodist church of Alajuela Sunday morning. Although the language is different, the music, fellowship and message did not fall on deaf ears. The congregation and worship team welcomed us with open, gracious arms.
Our time in Costa Rica is coming to an end. It has been such a blessing to get to know the youth and adults on this trip as we discovered the grace and thanksgiving of our Heavenly Father. Learning about the culture, looking into the eyes and faces of the children and adults we met, listening to the testimony, songs and faith of those we came across - the blessings are abundant and unmistakably everywhere we look! Being a servant and the hands and feet of Christ has truly been a blessing for me and our entire team. I am so proud of our church and all the individuals associated with us - our congregation, church staff, pastors, missionaries and conference - for encouraging us to reach beyond ourselves to touch the lives of others in the name of Jesus Christ. If you have never experienced a mission trip, I would encourage and challenge you to participate in one that interests you. If you have participated in the past, I would encourage you to share your experience and knowledge with others. Our youth will share their amazing experiences with others and ignite the desire to praise, learn and grow in personal, spiritual growth, compassion and understanding. Thank you for blessing us with this opportunity and your prayers during our trip!
Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. -
2 Peter 1:2-8a |
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.
With our trip coming to an end, the kids were excited about a free day of zip lining through the rain forest. It was much colder than we anticipated. We had a wonderful day witnessing God's beautiful creations, up in the clouds. The zip line was 6000 feet above sea level and there were seven zip lines to the bottom. It was awesome! All the kids participated and it was a great bonding experience for all. We went to Monte Verde for lunch and some
Souvenir shopping and we were also able to stop by the hummingbird sanctuary. The hummingbirds actually land on your hands, it's amazing!
We were all excited about our last day in Costa Rica and visiting the Methodist orphanage in San Jose. The orphanage is AMAZING. They have been open since 2006 and currently have 19 orphans, ages 2 months to 9 years old. They have over 7 acres and a plan to expand over the next several years. When all is complete they will be able to house 60 orphans!
Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;the Lord delivers them in times of trouble. The Lord protects and preserves them—they are counted among the blessed in the land. Psalms 41:1-3
They do not receive any funding from the government, all their funding is from Methodist churches (such as First Grapevine). They work to reunite families if they are able, by helping the parents with classes and instruction. It was an absolute delight to witness Gods work being done in this facility and made me very proud to be a part of it. While at the orphange Lydia (the director) told us the Turrialba volcano erupted earlier in the day. The volcano has been mostly dormant for over two decades and is located about 30 miles from San Jose. After erupting on Thursday we could feel and see the ash settling everywhere.
After leaving the orphanage we went to the Methodist school where they educate preschool - 11th grades tridents. It is a private school and costs about $6000 per year for high school tuition. It is a beautiful outdoor campus and the current Costa Rica president was a previous student there.
We were excited to arrive at the Methodist house in San Jose where we plan to spend the night and return home with our many stories on Friday. However....
We received a call from the airlines indicating our flight had been cancelled due to the volcanic ash. After a long evening with many people working to get us home, we found that over 111 flights had been disrupted effecting over 7,000 passengers.
God is our refuge and strength,an ever-present help in trouble.2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalms 46:1-3
We are so blessed to have the greatest adult leaders, church staff and congregation all joining together to insure we are safe and will be home as soon as we can. For now that is Monday, March 16. The volcano erupted three more times today, although we have not heard the status of the airport or flights as of yet. Today, the day we were to leave, we took a much needed trip to Nacascolo Beach.
It was a long trip, but well worth the travel as we were all ready to go home. The kids are making the best of the situation and adjusting to our latest plan.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
Please continue to keep us in your prayers. Pray for peace and patience.
And for that volcano to stop erupting!
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” - Romans 10: 14-15
We began this beautiful day with a walk to JFK park in Las Juntas where the tree was planted four years ago in honor of our Dr. Ken Diehm. I've seen many pictures of this tree over the years, but it was a humbling and profound experience to see it in person. It has grown and provides an umbrella of shade for children to play and rest under.
We continued to the elementary school where we played, sang, enjoyed refreshments and visited with the children. It's been amazing to watch our youth grow in the language and how comfortable they feel with the children. It's been such a blessing to sing bible songs in the schools.
In everything set an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity and seriousness. - Titus 2:7
The afternoon was filled with excitement and anticipation for our mountain hike and swim. Although the start of the hike was a little rough - our tour guide had a different route than Armando had previously traveled and an unprecedented brisk pace STRAIGHT up the mountain - we made it to the top and witnessed the most beautiful views! Once we recovered from our trip up, we enjoyed a fabulous *casual* walk, with picture-taking and awe of our surroundings. After walking down our blessings continued with swimming in the thermal pools. What an amazing day!
God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good!
Please pray for safe travels for our trip to and from Monte Verde tomorrow.