December 28th-January 7th consisted of some of the most life-changing, team-building, comfort-zone stretching, love-filled days that I have ever experienced. As most of you know, an amazing Kids On A Mission team of 24 traveled to Costa Rica to share the love of Jesus with the locals and boy, was it absolutely phenomenal. As I sit here trying to think of how to even write down a summary of this trip, I am at a loss of words. I couldn’t write a blog post long enough to capture every moment, share every memory, and fully explain how absolutely fantastic this trip and this team was.
But here is what I can tell you… God showed up in a big way. In the faces of the kids we met, in the songs that we sang, in the hearts and spirits of the church leaders, and through the language barrier, God was there. Whether we were soaring through the sky on a zipline thousands of feet in the air, or playing “pato, pato, ganso” (duck, duck, goose) with the kids, God was there. When we were singing our hearts out to “Gloria Adios” or “Yo Tengo Gozo” to when we were holding the hands of a monkey in the jungle, God was there!
Our team had the pleasure of serving two different churches, three days each, by preparing and leading a Vacation Bible School for the kiddos. We also had the opportunity to go into the communities of each church and walk the streets and pass out invitations for our program. Oh and guess what? God was THERE! Every member of our team was part of a specific aspect of this VBS and made it special in their own way. Although we had a language barrier with these wonderful people, the love we had for each other could be seen and shown through any language, and that is what made it so memorable.
Not only did we get to connect and build relationships with the people at the churches and the kids in the communities, but we built relationship with our team. This team of 30… which included our “Costa Rica team” of our translators, (Angelica, Gabriel, Alondra, & Jack) our hosts, (Susan, Jim, Aaron, & Julia), and us, the 24 crazy Americans…turned into one big, happy family. We spent 24 hours a day together. We ate together, prayed together, cried together, and made memories that would last a lifetime. Our inside jokes, crazy car songs, and hilarious stories will definitely never be forgotten. Now, just imagine what that looks like on the last day when we all have to say goodbye… not a pretty sight. Tears were shed as we had to board our bus that would take us to the airport and back home to reality. Although we were so sad that this life-changing trip was ending, we know that the impact that God made on our hearts and on the hearts of those we met, would last forever.
I wish that I could write more and tell all of you how amazing this team was, and how amazing the things we did were, and how amazing our translators were, and how amazing this trip was…but you would be reading for days and days and DAYS. God opened our eyes and hearts to see the world from a completely different point of view, and it changed our lives.
One verse that I think of when looking back on this trip is Ephesians 6:7-8 and it says, “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.” I feel like this verse perfectly describes the team. Each person on our team could be seen serving wholeheartedly. We gave it our all and it was an honor to serve together. While we were in Costa Rica, our first thoughts were to build the kingdom of God, and serve His people, and we were given the opportunity to do just that. It was such a blessing being able to bless so many, and because of that, our trip was so special.
Thank you to everyone who made it to the end of this blog and was able to read a few of my thoughts regarding this wonderful trip!!
Much love to all of you!