Our day started with a team meeting where we put God first and prayed together, and read through Psalm 103 from the Bible. I shared with our team the importance of not only reading God’s Word, but also journaling through the Scriptures, using a great method I learned from Pastor Wayne Cordeiro called S.O.A.P.ing. When you read a passage of Scripture, it is helpful to take notes on what you read:
- S – Scripture – write down one of the Bible verses that really speaks to you.
- O – Observation – write out your observations on what you think that Scripture is saying.
- A – Application – write out how you plan to apply it to your life (most important step!)
- P – Prayer – write out a prayer to pray back to God in response to His Word.
After our devotionals, our team of eleven – along with our host missionaries Pastor John and Debbie Overholt (and some friends!) piled into our two large eleven passenger vans and headed into Martina Bustos, one of the poorest communities in the Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica. It was a wild ride trying to keep up with Pastor John driving the roads in Costa Rica where it seems like the speed limits are only vague suggestions…
Our team was partnered together with several of the members of the Foursquare Gospel Church there, led by Pastor Juan and Sandra Zepeda. We went door to door in the community, visiting people and inviting them to the church tomorrow when we will be hosting a family / children’s fair with face painting, games, prizes, climaxing with our team’s presentation of our children’s Spanish songs and our Cuan Grande es Dios drama.
One of the things that never ceases to amaze me with the wonderful, beautiful people of Costa Rica is how friendly they are! It didn’t matter what home we went to and greeted with a warm “Hola!” or “Buenos Dias!” there was always an open response to listen to what we had to say. I had the privilege of being partnered together with Pastor Juan’s son Christian, and we met many great people along the way.
And not only are the people friendly and hospitable, they are so content with their lives! Even though in the natural, they have a very simple existence with modest one room homes that are mostly tin walls and roofs, with no running water, indoor plumbing or electricity, they are so happy and generous with all that they have! It is for this reason (among many others) that I would encourage anyone to participate in a short term missions trip at least once in their lives. It helps you to return home with a greater appreciation for all of the good things that we have in our North American context. Simple things we take for granted like flush toilets, running water, hot water (I haven’t had a hot shower since we got here, but I’m not complaining!), electricity, heat in winter and air conditioning in summer, to name a few.
After a long hot and hard day of work, I took our team to one of my favourite restaurants in Playas del Coco where we had casadas – beans, rice and fish (most of us!). Very delicious! From there, we stopped briefly at the beach before heading home to work on some crafts for tomorrow’s family fair in Martina Bustos… thanks for your continued prayers! Hasta mañana…