As I sit here in the Dallas airport, surrounded by the sounds of rolling suitcases and giggles from my sleep deprived team, I can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness that our 2018 Costa Rica Missions trip is coming to a close. God has done a lot in the hearts of all of our team members over the last ten days. Many of us have grown in our confidence through performing goofy Bible Stories in front of 100 kids, utilizing our small Spanish vocabularies to converse with our young Costa Rican friends, or knocking on doors to invite families to the VBS. We’ve been pushed to exercise our leadership and communication skills in practical ways and every day we had the opportunity to share Jesus’ love through serving.

Undoubtedly, the last ten days have helped all of us to become more mission minded. We’ve made a point as a team to think about how each of can intentionally carry this mindset into our everyday lives.

Olivia says that after seeing the gratitude and appreciation the Costa Rican children displayed, she is determined to be more appreciative and thankful for the little things in life.

Ethan learned a lot about patience through living closely with his team members, having to change plans due to weather, and sitting in airports during long layovers. He, like many others, also noticed the gratefulness and contentment of the kiddos he interacted with in Costa Rica. He wants to have that same “infectious” kind of patience and gratitude.

Kaitlin wants to continue to live out the things she learned and experienced in Costa Rica by thinking of others before herself and serving with the same passion she had during this trip.

Jailyn says that she noticed the humility and thankfulness of the people in Costa Rica and how that differs from the ungratefulness of many Americans. She wants to be more humble and not take things for granted.

Although many tears were shed last night as we left our Costa Rican friends and the country in which many of learned so much, we know that our growth will not stop here. Spending time in this beautiful country has equipped us to be better missionaries in our schools, work places, and homes.

And for that I will be forever grateful.

~Ashley (and My Amazing Team)