BCC heads to Costa Rica
By Chris Jordan
(An article I submitted to our local newspaper, The Beausejour Review, that was printed this week).
From July 17-26, thirteen team members from Beausejour Community Church embarked on a ten day mission trip to Costa Rica. After 12 hours of travel time (including two stop-overs in Houston and Chicago), the team arrived at the Liberia airport. The team had taken down over 400 pairs of crocs to hand out to needy children, and because of that, there was a minor delay at customs, however, the favour of God prevailed, and the team arrived at the Ranchitos where they were staying without further incident.
The team, which was made up of seven adults and six youth, started their first full day in Costa Rica with an orientation meeting with Canadian Foursquare missionaries John and Debbie Overholt. In the afternoon, they hosted a VBS children’s ministry program in Belen, a new area where John and Debbie have planted their latest church. (They have planted seven churches to date in the six years they have been in Costa Rica – wow!). They were expecting 40-50 kids, but over 70-80 showed up! They did their songs, story, their Healer drama, a craft, salvation bracelets, and handed out over 100 crocs to children from the community.
In the evening they went to a local rehab centre. There were about 20 men there, and the team provided them with gift bags of toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, chocolate, flashlight, chips, etc.
One day, the team, focused on a community in Playas del Coco called Las Lomas. This is a bit of a rough area of town where there are lots of needs. While part of the team had a ministry time for the ladies in the neighborhood, the others cleaned up the property next door where they we hold children’s church on Sundays.
The great part of being on a mission team is that everyone has opportunities to be involved. Everyone has come prepared to share a testimony about how God has impacted their lives. Everyone is involved with the worship whether it is playing guitar or helping with some of the action songs. At the end of one service, after leading in worship, sharing testimonies, a drama and an encouraging word from Liza Jordan, the team leader, they had lots of people come to receive prayer from the team members.
One of the days was a workday at the Foursquare Church in Filadelfia. The church’s pastor Juan Carlos was delighted by how much was accomplished. They hauled away garbage by ox cart, built a new platform for the church and did lots of cleaning and painting.
Tori Jordan, one of the youth on the trip, said, “I wanted to go on this mission trip to help the people there and be a blessing to them.” She said that one of the highlights of the trip for her “was getting to see how happy the people were when we gave them the crocs. They had almost nothing, but they were happy with all that they had.” She said that being on this trip helped her to be more thankful for the things that she has. When asked if she had a chance to go back next year, she replied: “I think I would.”
Phil Gut was another high school student who went on the trip. He said, “It was definitely a life changing experience, knowing that what you have here in Canada is not what everybody has in the world. It is amazing to see what all you can take for granted here. Seeing these children who have less than we do in Canada and have way more joy then we do impacted me. People down there accept what they have and are not always in a bad mood for not having what they want.”
Liza Jordan, the team leader, says that the most impacting thing for her was handing out the pairs of crocs that the team took down. She said, “It was a bitter-sweet experience. We were able to put new crocs on 400 children, but there were so many other children that we weren’t able to help. But we were so thankful to be able to provide a new pair of shoes to children who had never had them before. One of the highlights for me was being able to work with the local churches down there. We didn’t just go down there to do something and leave, but there are people who will continue helping the community after we left.”
Some people might wonder what motivated our church’s team of thirteen people (six of them teenagers!) to leave their comfortable homes in Canada to travel on a mission trip to Costa Rica. Every team member had to raise their own money to participate, and when they got there, they worked hard in the hot humid weather.
They held children’s ministry outreaches, went door to door in poor communities, handed out hundreds of crocs to needy families, cleaned up garbage in a neighbourhood, and participated in church services. They visited a rehab center and blessed the men there with gifts of food and toiletries. They cleaned and painted a new building for a growing church.
So why did they go? The love of Christ compels us. Jesus has been so good to us; we can’t help but share His goodness with others! The Apostle John, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, wrote this almost two thousand years ago: “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” The love of Jesus compels us still today.
Pastor Chris Jordan