This morning, our team went to visit Las Lomas, a barrio (neighbourhood) not more than 20 minutes from our hotel, but a radically different world than the touristy section of Costa Rica. Here, our team encountered degrees of the depths of poverty that many of them had never even imagined were real before. Many families with nothing more than four tin walls and a roof, with no running water, electricity, or any of what we call the comforts of home.
Feeding the Poor: After a brief meeting at the church (the front porch of one of the homes in the neighbourhood) and hearing testimonies of some of the church members, we visited a couple of different homes in the community to bless them with groceries, prayers, and the love of Jesus. Our team experienced a powerful encounter during all of this as well that deeply impacted their lives!
Our host missionary pastor John Overholt posted on Facebook earlier today:
Sometimes the needs around us can seem overwhelming. This happened today as our team met Sandra from the neighborhood of Las Lomas. She has no water because it has been cut off. She is looking after her daughter’s handicapped son because the daughter is in prison and the father has abandoned them. They have little clothing and a great need for food. Fortunately we were able to pray for her, encourage her and help out with food. As we were leaving one of the team members asked me if she could give Sandra her water bottle. She said that it seemed so insignificant but it was all she had to give. This reminded me of one of the teachings of Jesus found in Matthew 25 “I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.” Jesus goes on to say, “In as much as you have done it to the least of these my brothers you have done it to me.”
In my opinion, one of the greatest things that can happen in the lives of those of our team members when they return to Canada is that they have a greater appreciation for what we have back home, and a greater desire to reach out with love and compassion for those who are struggling with injustice and poverty every day.
Tonight, we are heading downtown to do some street ministry and feed hungry people living on the streets of Playas del Coco, ministering the love of Jesus to them in practical ways, and also through our drama, cardboard testimonies, and the Word of God!
p.s. one of the coolest things for me in Las Lomas was seeing many children wearing crocs shoes that our team had brought down for them from two years ago… praise the Lord!