Monday, July 26, 2010

Church on the Beach.

Four Square Church of Quepos meets on the beach each Sunday.

With the exception of the bees buzzing around the juice and doughnuts, I really can't imagine it could be any more perfect of a setting to gather with brothers and sisters in Christ to worship and hear the Word of the Lord. A gentle breeze blowing. The sound of the waves as they tumble over themselves and wash up on the sand. The view of the Pacific stretching as far as the eye can see to where it meets with the blue expanse of the sky. Add the sound of a well-played guitar or two and the voices of those who love The Creator with their arms lifted toward the heavens, singing from the depth of hearts that have been forgiven.


It could only possibly get better when the pastor pronounces the benediction, "Go enjoy God's creation!"

Yesterday was one of the highlights of my trip.

Tonight we will pack up, take a 3 hour bus ride back to San Jose, and board an airplane headed for home. I have to say, as hard as we have worked this week, as much as we have sweated, as much as I miss my husband and boys, I am not ready for this week to be over. I don't think I have ever felt like I didn't want to go home at the end of a trip (vacation or missions). But I can say it now. I don't want to leave yet.

(Honey, quick pack up the boys and come join us! Just kidding, sort of, not really, yeah, just kidding. I'll see you at the airport tomorrow.)

Oh, and a note to anyone else reading... I have lots more to share about our trip that there just wasn't time to share this week, more pictures and stories, so stay tuned.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven.

What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him. ~Ecclesiastes 3:9-14


Friday, July 23, 2010

Pad Thai Costa Rica.

I have to take a moment to brag on the kids in our youth group! Seriously, I have never seen kids work so stinking hard, ever. And I've definitely never seen these work so hard without any bad attitudes. There hasn't been any arguments or complaining, just hard, hard work!

They carried water by the bucket full up from the stream.

They filled bucket after bucket with sand and gravel.

They mixed the sand and gravel with concrete.

They poured water into the concrete

and stirred it with shovels.

They loaded it into wheelbarrows and pushed it up the hill to dump it into the pad.

And did it all over again until they had poured 6 yards of concrete.

They even stuck around until the job was finished and cleaned up after themselves.

And they still had enough joy left to smile.

I am so impressed by their energy and spirit! These kids are making a difference in the name of Jesus and they are doing it with joy!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Building a Pole Barn for a Saw Mill and Mariposa.

Perhaps it is sad to say that I have never worked as hard in my entire life as I worked today. Nor have I ever sweat as much as I did today. My group went to the site of the pole barn. It's located in a clearing in the jungle. Yesterday it was nothing but a pile of rocks and sand on a piece of ground.

Today when we left after working for 6 hours, it was an almost level pile of rocks and gravel with 8 casons and a rocky driveway. Tomorrow we will do more leveling, and possibly start hand-mixing concrete for the floor.

There is very little shade, lots and lots of bugs and back beyond where the latrine is being dug, shovel by shovel, there is a place just inside the trees where a little waterfall tumbles down the rocks! A place where showering in your clothes seems like a good idea, feels absolutely lovely, but in reality it really made the tired body more tired from carrying the extra weight of the water around!

It's entirely possible that we are completely spoiled. Did you ever think of how buildings get built? Did you ever think how buildings get built when there is no heavy, earth-moving equipment around? Did you ever wonder how cement gets mixed when there are no cement trucks around? I tell you, I never have. It's nothing short of hard labor, and a slow process!

But even in that there is the joy of the Lord that carries us through. Being able to enjoy a friendly butterfly, a cool breeze, a tumbling waterfall, a cloud, and a nap on a bumpy bus ride after a LOOOOOONG day's work.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Escuela Cerros Arriba

Our first day in Quepos.

Our surroundings are stunningly beautiful. Our day started early, a head-spinning 5:30 am. for this night owl! But, I was surprisingly awake and alert, chipper even. It didn’t hurt that Mike threatened latrine digging duty for anyone less than happy to greet the morning. Trust me, I’d rather be happy at 6 am. than to dig a latrine!

After breakfast we split into our groups, loaded into busses and headed to our work sites. One group staying behind for K.P., another 3 groups going to the saw mill, and 2 groups going to the school.

My group went to the school.

The current school is little more than some posts in the ground with a corrugated tin roof and chain link fence walls. There are ten students, 3 of which have special needs. Because of the size of the school they do not qualify for government assistance. Once the new school is finished it will draw more students and those special needs students will be able to get the extra help that they need!

I’m not sure how much we actually worked today. And, I know that the teacher didn’t get much teaching done. But, we had some very good times climbing over language barriers to touch the lives of some very cute kids, to play, and have fun. I can’t wait to return later in the week to do it again.

This evening two men from the rehab program came to share their testimonies. Alejandro and Jason shared how drugs and alcohol nearly destroyed their lives and they shared how God had found them and is making them brand new! Alejandro has completed the one year program and is now working in the house as a director to give back to the program that changed his life. Jason has been in the program for 5 months. These men gave me such hope! I never get tired of hearing how God works in the lives of people all over the world. What a blessing!

The scripture we read today was John 5:1-15. It was no coincidence that it went right along with the stories of these men’s lives who were changed.

Prayer request: Please pray for our fearless leader, Mike. He was taken to the hospital tonight in San Jose for a probable apendectomy. Pray for our group to continue on smoothly without him.

Pura Vida! Gracias a Dios con mucho gusto!