Our Costa Rica team has landed and is off to a great start as we serve with the Christian Light Foundation of Costa Rica (www.clfcostarica.com) for a week. Matt, Graham, and I will be spending time with people in some of the poorer areas of the city as we prayerwalk, help with a feeding ministry in Los Guido, play with the kids, hang out with and teach youth, and many more activities.
We have only been here two days and we are already seeing God at work in the lives of people. This all started over ten years ago when Lori and I brought our family here under the leadership of the International Mission Board to learn Spanish at the Spanish Institute that is in San Jose. In the course of our time here we met a very special lady who worked with the children's department in the institute as well as taught guitar lessons. It was this relationship with our friend, Noemy (which is Naomi in Spanish), that has been such a bridge for us to grow to love the Ticos (Costa Rican people).
So our first day was essentially a day of travel. We awoke at 4:30a.m. and left Wilkes-vegas in the midst of a pretty significant storm that had caused a lot of standing water for the first 45 minutes of our journey. Thankfully the rain dissipated and there were clear skies in Raleigh. The rest of our travel was relatively uneventful. Just some close connections, long immigration lines, and a longer than expected trip to the guest house due to San Jose traffic. Bottom line was that we were safe and our luggage arrived safely.
Time with Mark and Meg Kuzdas has been great as they have helped us get settled in and we have had some flexibility due to the smaller size of our team. They also have a student intern working with them named Paige who is from Arizona and she has been a great help in the adjustment/culture shock of our first days in country.
Our first day was full of great opportunities as we prayerwalked the neighborhood and then took sidewalk chalk, jump ropes, and bubbles to play with the children after they had lunch in the feeding ministry. They were very excited and we had some good time playing and talking with them along the way. There were also older youth who came through and played soccer with Matt and Graham which was a lot of fun until a young lady came out and started playing circles around almost all of the guys. The kids really enjoyed the play time and we had some good interactions with families as well. Its amazing the things that we take for granted as that bag full of toys was on clearance at Wal-mart for about $50 total, but the kids had such a great time and those supplies will last them for a while.
Friday night was youth night in Los Guido at the Farm (the land that the church is on used to be a farm...La Finca). They typically have a good crowd of students who come to play games, eat, and have a small group study together. This particular Friday was a festival day for many of the students in which they did not have regular classes but participated in artistic tours, music competitions, etc. So our attendance was a little lower than usual, but we still had a great time! More pictures will be posted in the upcoming days but we played soccer, volleyball, ate burgers, and shared the story of Zaccheus from Luke 19 with them. They had a good time acting out the story and then breaking into small groups to study.
We returned to the guest house tired, sunburned, and ready for showers/bed after a great day full of sweet time among these people.